EU foreign policy chief brushes off controversy over 'jungle' remarks

From time to time something erupts, says Josep Borrell, adding that 'every day is as intense as the previous one'.

EU foreign policy chief brushes off controversy over 'jungle' remarks

Facing charges of racism, the EU foreign policy chief on Monday passed up the chance to make amends, instead brushing off the controversy as something normal.

Asked how he is holding up after controversial remarks calling Europe a “garden” and the rest of the world a “jungle,” Borrell told reporters that he is fine.

"I am very okay, why not? Why should I not? Every week is very intense," he told reporters in Luxembourg ahead of an EU foreign ministers' meeting.

“From time to time, something erupts in the public opinion but I can assure you that every day is as intense as the previous one,” he said.

In a speech to rookie diplomats in Belgium last Thursday, Borrell said, "Europe is a garden," while "most of the rest of the world is a jungle, and the jungle could invade the garden."

He also urged against “building walls” around the garden, saying instead, “Europeans have to be much more engaged with the rest of the world,” but most commentators charged that his remarks were “racist” and “colonialist.”

During the same address on Thursday, Borrell also warned that if Russia launches any nuclear attack on Ukraine, its army will be “annihilated.”

Hüseyin Demir

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