EUROPEAN Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker gave David Cameron a high-five as they met in Brussels yesterday, in an apparent sign he is not harbouring a grudge over the Prime Minister’s failed attempt to block him from getting the EU’s top job.
The pair met over breakfast for potentially awkward talks just weeks after Mr Cameron’s very public bid to stop the appointment of a man he saw as a barrier to EU reform.
But Mr Juncker was all smiles as he greeted Mr Cameron, who was defeated 26-2 by fellow EU leaders in a vote on his appointment.
Mr Cameron has made it clear he is ready to work with the president, though his office stressed it was Mr Juncker who initiated the hand-slap. “I think that’s how Mr Juncker greets quite a few people,” said the Prime Minister’s official spokesman. “They have known each other for quite a while.”
Journalists were not allowed to witness the event, but a photo of the celebratory gesture was distributed by the commission shortly after their hour-long meeting, which Downing Street characterised as “substantive, constructive and amicable”.
Mr Cameron used the meeting to lobby for Lord Hill of Oareford, his nominee for Britain’s place on the commission, to be handed a key economic portfolio.