The outgoing head of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has cut short a holiday to undergo urgent surgery, his press team has said.
“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 on Saturday of what is normally a routine medical procedure.
Juncker, 64, a former Luxembourg premier whose health has been the subject of widespread speculation for years, is due to step down as head of the commission on 31 October. He will be replaced by the German conservative Ursula von der Leyen, the first woman to lead the institution that proposes EU laws, polices the economies of the bloc’s members and negotiates trade deals around the world.