EU's Juncker says Cameron 'has problem with other PMs'

5th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker accused British premier David Cameron on Wednesday of having a "problem with other prime ministers", stoking a bitter row over EU budget contributions.

Juncker reacted strongly to what he said were unjustified criticisms by Cameron and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi following a summit of European Union leaders at the end of October.

"I don't have a particular problem with Mr Renzi, whom I have great respect for," former Luxembourg prime minister Juncker said in his first press conference since taking the helm at the Commission, the EU's executive arm.

"I don't have a problem with Mr Cameron, Mr Cameron has a problem with the other prime ministers.

"Cameron had confronted other leaders at the summit, bluntly refusing to pay 2.

1 billion euros ($2.

6 billion) in back payments demanded by Brussels and saying that the bill had been "unacceptably" sprung on Britain.

Earlier this year the British leader -- who has vowed to hold a referendum on his country's membership of the EU in 2017 -- strongly opposed Juncker's appointment as commission president.

Renzi meanwhile had vowed at the summit to make public the cost of European Union "palaces" in a row over Italy's own budget projections.

But their comments clearly irked Juncker, who said in the European Parliament on Tuesday that Cameron and Renzi had misled their citizens by saying one thing during the summit and then another to the media afterwards.

© 2014 AFP

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