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Luxembourg PM says Sarkozy Roma jibe ‘inappropriate’

Published on 16/09/2010

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker took a dig at French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday, deeming a jibe about who should take in France's Roma deportees as "inappropriate."

Sarkozy aimed the slight at France’s tiny eastern neighbour after European Commission justice chief, Luxembourg’s Viviane Reding, drew parallels with World War II-era deportations.

“It is not appropriate, when a commissioner comes from a country, for that commissioner’s country of origin to stand charged,” Juncker said following a summit of EU leaders where Sarkozy clashed with Barroso on the issue.

Juncker underlined that commissioners “no longer represent their country from the moment they are named,” and stressed that in his case, “I have very little influence on the Luxembourg commissioner.”

“I would like other countries to be in the same position,” he said ironically, while chiding Reding for her “excessive” allusions.