Europe

Jean-Claude Juncker: I don't own a smartphone

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker (L) and Prime Minister of Estonia, Jueri Ratas during a joint press conference to mark the start of Estonia's six month rotating EU presidency on 30 June 2017. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker (L) spoke to the press alongside Estonia's Prime Minister Jueri Ratas

Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, has admitted that he does not own a smartphone.

"I shouldn't say, but I have to say it - I still don't have a smartphone," the 62-year-old told a news conference.

The light-hearted confession came as he helped launch the EU presidency of digital-savvy Estonia.

Mr Juncker joked that the country's Prime Minister Juri Ratas had "sent me, like in the 19th Century, a postcard inviting me to Tallinn".

According to EU sources, Mr Juncker's telephone of choice is an old Nokia mobile.

The EU chief is a former prime minister of Luxembourg, but said that with such technophobic tendencies, he "couldn't become prime minister of Estonia; this would be totally impossible".

Estonia is one of the world's most digitally-connected countries, and was the first to introduce online voting.

It hopes to push digital issues as part of its six-month stint as president of the EU, which begins on Saturday.

Tech matters will have to share space with the pressing issues of Brexit and migration, however.

Mr Juncker's admission comes 10 years after Apple introduced the iPhone, setting a global revolution in motion.

Image copyright European Parliament
Image caption In a 2014 picture, Jean-Claude Juncker (L) stares at a non-smartphone with Martin Schulz, former president of the European Parliament

And yet, he is not the only political heavyweight resisting the march of technology.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has led Germany since 2005, still does not have a Twitter account.

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