European Commissioners and other eurocrats are receiving substantial pay rises for Christmas, while the unelected executive’s controversial president Jean-Claude Juncker has been pictured having to be “supported by two employees” at a festive dinner in Vienna.
Top grade bureaucrats’ pay increases are being applied retroactively from July 2018, taking Juncker, as President of the European Commission, and fellow mandarin Donald Tusk, as President of the European Council, to salaries of around €32,700 a month.
This works out as a boost of roughly €6,600 extra over the course of a year, compared to the annual sum of their previous monthly earnings.
The pay rises are, according to The Telegraph, “meant to cover the cost of living”.
The news comes as Mr Juncker, whose pay rise will be covered in part by British taxpayers’ multi-billion pound annual net contributions to the EU’s coffers, was reported as having “had to be supported at the gala dinner again by two employees” by the Austrian media.
President Juncker has featured in a number of viral videos in which he seems to behave rather erratically, kissing and slapping world leaders and appearing unsteady on his feet.
Am Associated Press video from a NATO summit in July 2018 shows Juncker repeatedly losing his footing, requiring help from other politicians to remain upright — an incident Austrian MEP Harald Vilimsky attributed to drunkenness, but which the EU blamed on the eurocrat’s long-standing “sciatica”.
How drunk are you on a scale of 1 to Juncker needing to be held up by two men at a NATO summit? pic.twitter.com/b4MVrrXqRi
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) December 18, 2018
Health rumours have long dogged the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, with Polish politician Krystyna Pawlowicz going so far as to write an open letter complaining his “alcohol dependency” was a discredit to the European Union and its people, and suggesting that his behaviour towards women “too polite to ask [him] to take a rest” at an audience with the Pope was inappropriate.
A recent video showing him tousling a visibly uncomfortable female colleague’s hair before appearing to perform a mocking impression of another woman who cringed slightly as he leaned in for a kiss caused a great deal of controversy online, with the bureaucrat’s detractors suggestion the footage would have been broadcast as a #MeToo scandal if it had involved U.S. President Donald Trump.
The moment when Jean-Claude Juncker ruffled the hair of a colleague at the EU summit pic.twitter.com/0tL7xD00nO
— euronews (@euronews) December 17, 2018