Juncker heckled for texting Greek PM in European parliament

It would seem that the ongoing Greece crisis is beginning to get to people, not least those tasked with trying to sort it out. This morning, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker lambasted euro MPs after they heckled him for using his mobile phone during a debate in the European parliament.

Juncker responded with frustration, explaining that he was texting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in the crucial hours leading up to the emergency eurozone summit over Greece which is taking place today.

"Stop all this chatter about me looking at my telephone all the time. I am texting, as they say in Franglais, with the Greek prime minister," a disgruntled Juncker responded to the hecklers in French.

"I don't know if you will have the chance to do the same but I have to do that today. I am doing my work, so stop this stupid banter, for which there is no cause."

The former Luxembourg prime minister was pestered by a number of MPs including members of the eurosceptic UK Independence Party (Ukip), who placed Union Jack flags on their desks to show their opinion of Juncker's handling of the Greek crisis, AFP reports. The UK will hold a referendum on its membership of the EU before the end of 2017.

Juncker and Tsipras have been forced to form a tense and sometimes tumultuous relationship as they have tried to negotiate a bailout plan for Greece. In June, Juncker accused Tsipras of lying over bailout talks but added "I do not have a personal problem with Alexis Tsipras. He was my friend. He is my friend... But frankly, in order to maintain [the friendship], he has to observe some minimum rules."

Eurozone ministers hope that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will use today's emergency summit in Brussels to present new proposals for a viable bailout plan which would allow Greece to remain in the eurozone.

Juncker heckled for texting Greek PM in European parliament | Politics