Belgium: Jean-Claude Juncker bids farewell at final news conference

Jean-Claude Juncker held his last press conference as the President of the European Commission, in Brussels on Friday. «It's the last time I have the pleasure, the honour, to address this forum, and I wanted to do that. I'm not a man who likes to go somewhere else than where he is, because I love those I was working with together deeply, and the press is part of that. Not at the very same... Еще intensity, I have to say. But nevertheless, I wanted to address you a very last time,» said Juncker. «Not to thank you. Because, this is a mode, and a mood, and a way of expression and respect which is not the one it should exist between policymakers and the press. The press people, the journalists, are not allies, they are not slaves. They are there. So I wanted to have my last appearance, I have to say, in Brussels, in this press room,» he added. Juncker said that he regretted that the 'Spitzkandidaten' system that led him to taking the post five years ago was not upheld. «It is nonetheless a regret of mine because this was a small step forward in terms of democracy. And it was done away with for reasons which were a little bit obscure. And, actually, I'm hungry. I'm hungry. Bye-bye,» finished Juncker, prompting another round of applause and laughter. Ursula von der Leyen, the former German Minister of Defence and deputy-leader of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), is taking over Juncker's post.

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