President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker seemed unable to control his glee as he welcomed national leaders to the EU summit in Riga last week. The world watched as cameras caught him slapping, kissing and shoving some of the world’s most powerful politicians.
Juncker, whose out-of-control drinking was the matter of a scandal last year at the time of his selection as European President, was seen refusing a handshake with former president Martin Schulz, preferring instead to plant a kiss on his forehead. Suffering from a fit of giggles, former Polish president, now senior European official Donald Tusk turns away as Juncker gesticulates at others.
Most remarkable is Juncker’s greeting of traditional nationalist Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, who he slaps around the back of the head, calling him a “dictator”. He then pushes Orban to one side before turning to greet others.
The rough handling may reflect a difficult few weeks between Hungary and the EU, after Orban announced his intention to restore the death penalty for certain crimes – just the latest in a line of strong measures he has taken to keep his country on track which has offended sensibilities in Brussels.
You can see it all, set to music, here: