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Trump yet to speak to EU leader

By AFP
15 December 2016   |   7:30 am
US President-elect Donald Trump did not speak to the head of the European Commission after his election, but instead left the job to his deputy, officials told AFP Tuesday.
European Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker  / AFP PHOTO / FREDERICK FLORIN

European Commission’s President Jean-Claude Juncker / AFP PHOTO / FREDERICK FLORIN

US President-elect Donald Trump did not speak to the head of the European Commission after his election, but instead left the job to his deputy, officials told AFP Tuesday.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence spoke to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on December 7, according to a presidential transition source.

Juncker, the outspoken former leader of Luxembourg, previously described Trump’s election campaign as “absolutely disgusting.”

“It was not American democracy’s hour of glory,” he said.

Trump’s delegation of the call could be seen as a diplomatic slight in Europe, where there are already jitters about Trump’s commitment to the transatlantic alliance ahead of his January 20 inauguration.

Juncker may not be a household name around the world, but he runs the bureaucracy tasked with writing legislation that spans the entire European Union — the world’s largest common market.

European Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein on Tuesday demurred when asked whether Juncker spoke to the president-elect or his deputy.

“It’s clear there are a lot of subjects in common that the leaders could discuss in common,” said Winterstein.

“I won’t go into detail, but I can tell you the president was in contact with the new leaders in the United States.”