I am NOT a drunk! EU Commission president Jean Claude Juncker angrily denies rumours he has a drink problem – instead blaming sciatica and cramps for his onstage tumbles and problems with walking straight

Jean Claude-Juncker today furiously denied he has a drink problem.

The EU Commission President has repeatedly blamed his outlandish behaviour on his eccentric personality and his unsteady walk on sciatica.

Mr Juncker, who will leave his job in July, raged when asked if he was a heavy drinker by journalists, calling them ‘stupid’.

He said today: ‘I’ve said it many times that I do not have a problem with alcohol. Stupid journalists always ask the same question, even though this question has already been answered.’

His hi-jinks at summits and other major events where he has inappropriately kissed political leaders and ruffled the hair or pinched the bottoms of officials have made headlines around the world.

On a number of occasions he has also stumbled or had to be held up by other VIPs – but always blamed cramps, back pain or other ailments. Jean Claude-Juncker, pictured drinking a beer at a Brussels summit last summer, today furiously denied he is an alcoholic Jean Claude-Juncker, pictured drinking a beer at a Brussels summit last summer, today furiously denied he is an alcoholic The EU commission president erratically runs his hands through the hair of Pernilla Sjölin – the Brussels deputy head of protocol – as he greets her in December more videos

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Mr Juncker greets Spanish Finance Minister Elena Salgado in 2011 and Swiss politician Simonetta Sommaruga in 2015 Mr Juncker kisses Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier as talks with Theresa May came to an end in December Mr Juncker kisses Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier as talks with Theresa May came to an end in December He was also seen stumbling as he arrives at the welcome dinner of the High-Level Forum Africa-Europe at the Spanish Horse Riding School of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna in December He was also seen stumbling as he arrives at the welcome dinner of the High-Level Forum Africa-Europe at the Spanish Horse Riding School of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna in December Nigel Farage and Jean-Claude Juncker ready themselves for a big high five before a European Council meeting on Brexit Nigel Farage and Jean-Claude Juncker ready themselves for a big high five before a European Council meeting on Brexit Juncker took a remarkably long time to descend from a podium after a photoshoot with the other world leaders in July Juncker took a remarkably long time to descend from a podium after a photoshoot with the other world leaders in July

At Christmas he was seen struggling to navigate a small set of stairs at a key international summit. Mr Juncker closed his eyes as he shared this seated hug with Estonia’s Prime Minister Juri Ratas in December Mr Juncker closed his eyes as he shared this seated hug with Estonia’s Prime Minister Juri Ratas in December

The European Commission President was also photographed seemingly losing his balance and having to be held and helped by a pair of aides.

It was one of a long line of incidents critics have linked to drinking, which he says is a malicious rumour.

In July last year the outgoing European Commission President was attending a dinner at the NATO summit in Brussels attended by US President Donald Trump and a number of other world leaders.

Mr Juncker was seen stumbling and swaying to the extent that the presidents of Finland and Ukraine, among others, had to help keep him upright.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also stepped in to guide Juncker.

Footage from the summit also showed him struggling to make it up some steps and being held by the arm, at times by two other people.

In May 2017 he was reportedly ‘drunk and bumping into furniture’ at a UN Peace Summit during critical talks.

Mr Juncker was said to be ‘very visibly p**ed’ during talks over Cyprus, which has been split between Greece and Turkey for decades, in Geneva in May 2017.

A diplomat also said that the 62-year-old’s familiar behaviour with some young aides was ’embarrassing’.

A source said: ‘He was bumping around into things, and going up to junior members of staff for conversations. It was odd behaviour, and a little bit embarrassing for everyone’. Juncker is often pictured with a glass in his hand, pictured raises a toast to Angela Merkel in 2010, blames journalists for the stories Juncker is often pictured with a glass in his hand, pictured raises a toast to Angela Merkel in 2010, blames journalists for the stories Then Luxembourg PM, Mr Juncker jokes in front of Swedish counterpart Goran Persson in 2001 and mucks around with tie-less Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras in 2015 and then alone in 2017 The politician is well known for kissing men and women in public, including Theresa May in March and European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom a fortnight ago Mr Juncker was also photographed unable to climb the steps to the podium and being pushed around in a wheelchair at last year’s NATO summit and he has said he has serious back problems Mr Juncker was also photographed unable to climb the steps to the podium and being pushed around in a wheelchair at last year’s NATO summit and he has said he has serious back problems Mr Juncker’s antics have made headlines all over the world (pictured top left to bottom right_ with Sigmar Gabriel, Frans Timmermans, Vladimir Putin, and Simonetta Sommaruga Mr Juncker’s antics have made headlines all over the world (pictured top left to bottom right_ with Sigmar Gabriel, Frans Timmermans, Vladimir Putin, and Simonetta Sommaruga WHAT IS SCIATICA?

The term sciatica describes the painful symptoms when the sciatic nerve, which runs from your hips to your feet, is irritated due to something pressing or rubbing on it.

The most common cause of sciatica is a slipped disc – which is when a soft cushion of tissue between the bones of your spine pushes out.

Other causes include a back injury, spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the part of your spine where nerves pass through) and spondylolisthesis (when one of the bones in your spine slips out of position).

Sciatica usually gets better in four to six weeks, but it can last longer.

If you have sciatica, your bottom, backs of your legs and/or feet and toes may feel painful (the pain may be stabbing, burning or shooting); tingly (like pins and needles), numb and/or weak.

These symptoms may be worse when moving, sneezing or coughing.

There may also be back pain, but it is usually not as severe as the pain in your bottom, legs and feet.

Source: NHS England

And last summer he was branded an alcoholic who binges on gin and leaving his deputy to govern, in an explosive account by Brussels insider Jean Quatremer – a French journalist who has covered the EU for years – in The Spectator.

He said he had heard from sources across Europe that the EU politician is ‘a little too fond of the bottle’ adding that one former minister told him: ‘When a bailiff brings him a glass of water at a council of ministers, we all know it’s gin.’

Mr Juncker has repeatedly denied claims that he is an alcoholic and insisted that his sometimes shambolic appearance is down to chronic back pain known as sciatica.

He hit back at reports of his drinking in Mr Quatremer’s story and denied the allegations when speaking to reporters.

Asked directly if alcohol played a role in his stumbling at NATO, he said: ‘I’m really impressed by the interest some people are taking in these not even marginal issues and I am asking for respect.’

He added: ‘I had sciatica and moreover I had cramps in my legs’ adding that he ‘laughed at the pettiness’ of what was being said about him.

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