European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has tried to clarify controversial remarks about Italy’s general election.

On February 22, he told an event in Brussels that he is “more worried by the outcome of the Italian elections than by the outcome of the voting of [Germany’s Social Democrats] SPD members, but we have to prepare ourselves for the worst scenario… The worst scenario could be no operational government in Italy.

“Combining all these uncertainties, the SPD, Italian elections, minority governments here and there… we could have a strong reaction on the financial markets in the second week of March, so we are preparing for this scenario,” he added.

However, on February 23, Juncker said he had been misunderstood on the outcome of the Italian general election and he was not worried about Italy. “I was misunderstood, I’m not worried” about Italy, he said.

As reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), Italians vote on March 4 amid uncertainty, with polls indicating a coalition between the centre-right opposition Forza Italia party and far-right, anti-immigrant groups could end up in government.