Juncker deeply upset words on Italy 'distorted'

Headlines misleading says spokesperson

(ANSA) - Brussels, June 1 - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is upset that comments he made about Italy were distorted in the media and caused a furore, his spokesperson said in Friday.
    With a new League-5-Star Movement (M5S) government set to be sworn in on Friday, on Thursday Juncker said Italy must not blame its problems on the EU and the Commission.
    "Italians have to take care of the poor regions of Italy.
    That means more work (jobs), less corruption, seriousness," Juncker said.
    "We will help them as we always did. But don't play this game of loading with responsibility the EU. A country is a country, a nation is a nation. Countries first, Europe second." A furore exploded, however, after some media outlets, including Britain's The Guardian, reported that he had said Italians need to work harder and be less corrupt on the basis of these words.
    League leader Matteo Salvini, who is set to be interior minister in the new govt, countered by accusing Juncker of racism and saying the EU should not insult Italy.
    "Juncker is deeply upset that his words were reported in such a distorted way," the spokesperson said. "We have seen highly misleading headlines that do not reflect his profound love of Italy.
    "Juncker has introduced flexibility, without which Italy would not have been able to spend an extra 19 billion euros, and he made funds available for a cathedral (in Norca) after the earthquake there.
    "We prefer to look at deeds rather than words".


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