EU's Juncker to undergo urgent medical procedure

The EC president had cut short his vacation in Austria and returned to Luxembourg

Photo: EPA European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

The outgoing head of the European Union's executive arm, Jean-Claude Juncker has cut short a holiday to undergo urgent surgery, the European Commission's press service announced in a statement on Saturday afternoon.

"Jean-Claude Juncker had to shorten his holiday in Austria for medical reasons. He was taken back to Luxembourg where he will undergo an urgent cholecystectomy (surgical removal of the gallbladder)," the team said of what is normally a routine medical procedure.

Juncker, a former Luxembourg premier whose health has been the subject of rife speculation among EU politicians, analysts and media for years, is due to step down on 31 October as head of the Commission. He will be then replaced by German conservative Ursula von der Leyen, the first woman to lead the institution that proposes EU laws, polices the economies of all members of the bloc and negotiates trade deals around the world.

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