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Patriotism on socks

Patriotism on socks
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By Stefan Grobe
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Nigel Farage gifts Jean-Claude Juncker a pair of Union Jack socks - to promote patriotism "on a nation-state level"

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It started with a gift...Nigel Farage and a mysterious little green box.

The former UKIP leader gifted the EU Commission president with Union Jack socks.

It was a clear message about nationalism, a topic Juncker spoke out against.

"This was all about power, power, power and no acknowledgement that there's a growing well of discontent...He was appealing today for us to be patriots at a European level and not to be patriots at a nation state level."

On his proposals to secure Europe's external borders from migrant flows, a play to the populists.

"It was highly predictable, there is nothing new. Some of the proposals that he came up with are made too late like the strengthening of the external borders which is of course a sound idea, but somewhat difficult to execute", said Rysward Antoni Legutko, a Polish conservative MEP.

On social policy the left felt Juncker was lacking.

"He only spoke about 'We have to be stronger in the world', 'we have to speak with one language', then we will be more respected' and so on. And he forgot the main respect he can get is the respect from our own citizens", said Gabriele Zimmer, a German Left MEP.

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