04:45 GMT +322 January 2019
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    President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker

    'Total Nonsense' to Say EU Wants to Build European Superstate - Juncker

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    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday called "total nonsense" claims that EU leaders like him are seeking o build a European superstate, referring to remarks by UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

    "I am strictly against a European superstate. We are not the United States of America, we are the European Union, which is a rich body because we have these 27-28 nations. The European Union cannot be built against the European nations. This is total nonsense," Juncker told reporters.

    Earlier in the day, the UK foreign secretary said that Brexit represented a "natural desire for self-government of the people, by the people, for the people." According to Johnson, Brexit diverges with EU politicians’ plan to "create an overarching European state as the basis for a new sense of European political identity."

    During the Brexit referendum campaign, Johnson in particular accused EU leaders of having the desire to create a superstate and even drew parallels between the current situation and "different methods" used by Napoleon Bonaparte or Adolf Hitler.

    READ MORE: Boris Johnson Says Second Brexit Referendum Would Make Country a Loser

    In his speech, the European Commission head also touched upon recent Turkey's actions in the Aegean Sea, following an incident between Turkish and Greek vessels.

    "I am strictly against the behavior of Turkey," Juncker said when asked about his reaction to the incident.

    The day before, the Greek Foreign Ministry said it had lodged a protest with Turkey following an incident near the disputed islets of Kardak, also known as Imia, in the Aegean Sea, where a Turkish boat collided with a Greek coastguard ship. Later in the day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that the incident took place and claimed that Greece was responsible for the incident.

    Late on Tuesday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called on his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras to de-escalate tensions in the Aegean Sea.


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