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ON THE BRINK: Now hapless eurocrat Juncker faces no confidence vote in EU parliament

BELEAGUERED Brussels chief Jean-Claude Juncker is facing a no confidence vote in the European Parliament after a crusading MEP vowed to bring him down over his alleged links to tax-dodging firms.

Lifelong anti-corruption campaigner Eva Joly has launched a bid to boot out the controversial EU president in yet another blow to his crumbling authority.The French magistrate and politician, who was born in Norway, blasted the eurocrat’s past as president of Luxembourg and vowed to lead an MEPs’ rebellion to “make him fall”.

Jean-Claude JunckerGETTY

Jean-Claude Juncker is facing growing calls to quit


Mr Juncker has denied being corrupt, claiming that any decisions related to the tax arrangements of large companies during his time in office were “strictly a matter for the tax administration”.

MEP Eva JolyGETTY

MEP Eva Joly has vowed to call a vote of no confidence in the Brussels chief


Angela MerkelGETTY

Angela Merkel has also reportedly lost patience in Mr Juncker


But the damaging row has seriously dented his already battered reputation and has added to the growing calls from across the continent for him to quit.And Ms Joly, from the Green party, said the escalating scandal could finally finish off the “considerably weakened” Teflon bureaucrat.

She said: “Everyone knows that this system was built while he was prime minister. It is a scandal that he leads the Commission. We, the Greens, we do not want it.

“At the first opportunity, I will bring a motion [before the the European Parliament] to make him fall.”

At the first opportunity, I will bring a motion to make him fall

Green MEP Eva Joly

Such a vote would severely test MEPs’ loyalty towards the Brussels chief at a time when he has become the face and symbol of all Europe’s ills.Mr Juncker is seen as the centrepiece of a federalist European dream which has driven Britain to the exit door and angered many eastern European states, who are already calling for him to quit.

He has also apparently lost the support of German leader Angela Merkel over Brussels’ farcical handling of the migrant crisis, making his position at the heart of the Brussels machine ever more tenuous.

And there could be further embarrassment to come with the EU’s Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who recently fined Apple £11 billion over unpaid tax bills in Ireland, vowing to go after deals apparently signed off by the EU chief next.

Under his tenure as Luxembourg’s leader McDonald’s is accused of avoiding a €1billion (£850m) in tax by routing revenue from across Europe through the tiny state, where it is claimed it was given a special deal to lower its tax rate.

In 2014, the online retailer’s UK business paid £11.9million in tax on £5.3billion of sales to British shoppers.And the scrutiny of him intensified in August when leaked secret files revealed he met four senior tax officials from Amazon in 2003.

Bob Comfort, the former head of tax for Amazon, has claimed Mr Juncker fiercely courted the US giant and offered to “help solve problems”.

He was referring to a meeting with the EU chief in 2003, at which Amazon apparently secured a confidential deal from the local tax office.

Mr Comfort said: “His message was simply ‘if you encounter problems which you don’t seem to be able to resolve, please come back and tell me. I’ll try to help’.”

McDonald’s and Amazon both deny any wrongdoing.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/722897/Jean-Claude-Juncker-EU-chief-no-confidence-vote-Brussels-parliament-MEP-Eva-Joly

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