Juncker struggles before gala, leaders step in to help

Stumbling Juncker helped by leaders before Nato gala dinner

Stumbling Juncker helped by leaders before Nato gala dinner

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was suffering from a "painful attack of sciatica" at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation gala Wednesday that caused him to stumble, according to a spokesman.

Juncker was seen unsteady on his feet at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit event - to the extent where the prime ministers of the Netherlands and Portugal had to prop him up - before having to be helped away in a wheelchair.

Juncker has said he suffers from sciatica that sometimes affects his movements.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Friday that Juncker had back trouble at the summit and that he did not seem drunk. "I don't think that's fair".

'I think it's more than tasteless that some press tried to make insulting headlines by exploiting president Juncker's pain. Sciatica is a medical condition that may cause pain going down the leg from the lower back.

EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker is recovering from "painful attack of sciatica" he suffered at the meeting in Brussels, the commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas has said rebuffing "insulting" rumors of drunkenness.

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.

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The woman assaulted him without warning, hitting him with a concrete brick and enlisting a group of men to beat him, he said. Jones allegedly fled from the scene after the beating. "There's no harm that he meant for you to treat him the way you did".

"I have some difficulties to walk". After a lunch I grabbed a Dutch minister by the arm and he said that I was drunk. I am not drunk; I have sciatica.

The episode has prompted speculation that Juncker had been drinking.

Quatremer wrote that "during our recent lunch he downed four glasses of champagne to go with just a salad".

"Do you think I would still be in post if I had Cognac for breakfast?" he told Libération in 2016. "One can excuse a politician anything but not alcoholism", Mr Juncker added.

It is noticeable that Juncker is so hard to balance that without help he can not even climb the stairs.

Following the event, Rutte said: "He doesn't have a serious health problem as far as I am aware of but he does have a back problem for some time".

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