How Europe's press reported Boris Johnson's 'humiliation' in Luxembourg

'In the end, the man who has defined himself as the Incredible Hulk has become invisible'

Jon Stone
Europe Correspondent
Tuesday 17 September 2019 08:36
Boris Johnson explains why he did not take part in a press conference alongside Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel

Europe's press has largely reported Boris Johnson's visit to Luxembourg as a humiliation for the British prime minister – with many outlets focusing on him skipping a press conference because of protesters.

"In the end, the man who has defined himself as 'Incredible Hulk' has become invisible," Italian newspaper La Stampa quipped of the situation.

Belgian French-Language newspaper Le Soir says Johnson "could not have chosen a worse image than the one he gave himself on Monday in Luxembourg" – that of an empty lectern. The newspaper also runs an editorial headlined "Quo vadis, Boris Johnson" – a Latin phrase meaning "where are you going?"

Over in Flanders, De Standaard's headline says Boris Johnson was "humiliated by Luxembourg", noting that Xavier Bettel was "anything but tender" to the British prime minister.

"Nothing achieved, the host snubbed" summarised German news magazine Der Spiegel of the day. German publication Bild meanwhile said the day was a case of "Eat well, nothing done".

Spain's ABC daily newspaper writes that Mr Johnson was "forced to flee boos" noting that the instigators were a "group of his fellow countrymen residing in the small country".

The Irish Times says the aftermath of the "much-hyped" meeting "descended into farce" because of noisy protesters.

Poland's outlet says "Boris Johnson's visit to Luxembourg will be remembered for a long time", noting that he did not attend the press conference because he was "scared" of the jeering crowd. Meanwhile Polish print newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza says Mr Johnson "caused himself bigger problems" by not appearing at the press conference.

Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant says the meeting ended in a "cold shower" for Boris Johnson".

Taking a wider view, France's Le Monde newspaper says Mr Johnson's strategy is still "unreadable" and that the meeting "does not seem to have helped unblock the situation".

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