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Minutes of an EU coup: How Martin Selmayr made his move

12 March 2018

2:29 PM

12 March 2018

2:29 PM

Martin Selmayr’s power grab, elevating him to the post of Secretary-General and putting him in charge of 33,000 staff, was a brilliantly-executed Brussels coup. As Jean Quatremer reveals in The Spectator, the double promotion of Juncker’s chief of staff was over in nine minutes flat, and was described by one of those present as an ‘impeccably prepared and audacious power-grab’. So how did he do it? And how can such skullduggery be covered up? On Friday, the European Commission slipped out the minutes for the meeting on February 21st at which Selmayr earned his promotion. Early in the meeting, we learn that the job of Deputy Secretary General was vacant:

But then – surprise! – Selmayr wasn’t finished there. To the shock of those present, it was announced that Alexander Italianer, the current Secretary-General, was retiring. There are no prizes for guessing who was to be put forward to be his replacement. The minutes record that:

Mr S thinks it is pushing it to describe his appointment as Deputy Secretary-General as recent: Selmayr had been in that post for a matter of minutes when he earned his next promotion…


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