Wednesday 23 October 2019

European commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker cuts holiday short for urgent surgery

Jean-Claude Juncker. Photo: PA
Jean-Claude Juncker. Photo: PA
Ursula von der Leyen (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The outgoing head of the European Union's executive, Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission, has cut short a holiday to undergo urgent surgery.

"Jean-Claude Juncker had to shorten his holiday in Austria for medical reasons. He was taken back to Luxembourg where he will undergo an urgent cholecystectomy (surgical removal of the gallbladder)," his press team said of what is normally a routine medical procedure.

Mr Juncker, a former Luxembourg premier whose health has been the subject of rife speculation among EU politicians, analysts and media for years, is due to step down on October 31 as head of the Commission.

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Ursula von der Leyen (Jonathan Brady/PA)

He will be replaced by German conservative Ursula von der Leyen, the first woman to lead the institution that proposes EU laws, polices the economies of all members of the bloc and negotiates trade deals around the world.

READ MORE: John Downing: 'Appointment of Ursula von der Leyen as EC president good for Brexit, but keeps pressure on our tax rates'

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