EU Affairs

UK will not nominate an EU Commissioner before national elections

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Britain's Ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow wrote in a letter to the European Commission on Wednesday night that the UK will not nominate an EU Commissioner before its national elections scheduled for 12...

Ebola vaccine authorised by EU Commission, approved by WHO

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In a landmark decision on 11 November, the European Commission granted a marketing authorisation to the company Merck Sharp & Dohme B.V. for the Ervebo vaccine against Ebola. Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner in charge of Health and...

UK inflation sinks to three-year lows

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UK annual inflation dropped to 1,5% in October to a three-year low, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). That compares to 1,7% in September. Decelerating inflation can reflect anaemic growth, as the British...

Tesla buys into “Made in Germany”

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The automaker of electrical vehicles Tesla is buying into the “Made in Germany” brand. Tesla will set up shop near Berlin in the Eastern German state of Brandenburg. Elon Musk made the announcement on Tuesday...

Irish corporate tax intake surpasses expectations

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Ireland expects to collect more than €11bn euros from corporate tax receipts in 2019, outperforming budget projections of €9.5bn, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said on Wednesday. Corporate tax receipts have doubled since 2012 reaching a...

Police in Tuscany averts terrorist attack against Muslim community

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Police in Tuscany averted a far-right extremists attack against the Muslim community in Siena on Tuesday. The Italian police detained 12 people in and around Siena and Florence in connection to a planned to attack...

Clinton calls UK decision to bury Russian election-meddling report “shameful”

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Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the decision of the Conservative government to bury a parliamentary report on Russian meddling in UK politics “shameful.” The report by the parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee...

Turkey begins EU Jihadi fighters repatriation

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Turkey started deporting foreign IS fighters to their home countries, The Guardian first reported on Monday. The first deportation was of a US citizen. A German and a Dane were to follow later on Monday....

France calls into question NATO’s relevance

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In an interview with the Economist, the President of France Emmanuel Macron called NATO “brain dead” Asked to comment on Macron’s dismissal of NATO on Friday, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo noted that...

Moody’s threatens to downgrade Britain’s sovereign debt profile

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The UK's credit rating could be downgraded by rating agency Moody’s, according to a rating issued on Friday. The UK is currently rated Aa2 - the third-highest grade for sovereign debt. The rating agency changed...

Twitter data-leak scandal linked to Saudi journalist killing

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Saudi journalist and writer Turki Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Jasser died in prison after being tortured, the New Khaleej reported last Thursday. The killing has been linked to thousands of user data leaked from the social media...

US queries Serbia about Russian arms purchases amid EU/NATO turmoil

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On October 31, senior State Department official Thomas Zarzecki landed in Belgrade to meet Serbian officials over the announced purchase of sophisticated anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia. “CAATSA is very serious about this”, a senior...

Mitsotakis’ first real crash test

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What could possibly be wrong with a government that is ahead of the main opposition party by 18 percentage points in the polls and while the prime minister currently enjoys approximately 70% of approval...

Brussels casts Zaev a thin lifeline

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Brussels cast a thin Italian-flavoured political lifeline to North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev over the last ten days, something sorely needed after Zaev had badly managed his public reactions in the period immediately...

Timmermans takes over from Juncker

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Jean-Claude Juncker’s surgery on 11 October had his right hand, Frans Timmermans taking the lead as interim President of the European Commission. The Rules of Procedure that were adopted when Juncker took office in 2014,...

Cyprus revokes 26 Investor Passports

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Cyprus is to revoke 26 so-called “Golden passports,” obtained by investing in real estate; these include nine Russians, eight Cambodians, five Chinese, two Kenyans, one Iranian and one Malaysian. Among the 26 is fugitive financier...

US charges two former Twitter employees with espionage on behalf of Saudi Arabia

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US authorities charged two former Twitter employees and a former Saudi royal family employee on Wednesday with espionage charges. This is the first time the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is charged with espionage in...

Italy to renew 2017 bilateral deal with Libya to stem migration

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Italy is calling for government-run migrant centres in Libya be taken over by UN agencies, public news agency ANSA reported on Wednesday. Rome wants to review a 2017 deal with Libya for combatting immigration. However, Rome...

Airbnb vows to verify the security of all listings

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Airbnb’s C.E.O Brian Chesky has vowed that the platform will conduct a comprehensive review of every property listed to improve trust. At the DealBook Conference on Wednesday, Chesky promised Airbnb guests “peace of mind,” after...

Slovene governing coalition loses parliamentary majority

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Slovenia’s five-party ruling coalition lost the support of the opposition Left party on Wednesday, which could trigger early elections. The Left party joined the five-party coalition led by prime minister Marjan Sarec in March but...

France pens $15bn trade package with China

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China and France signed contracts totalling €13.5bn ($15bn) on Wednesday, mainly in the agriculture, aeronautics, and energy sectors. The deal comes amid an ongoing Sino-American trade war, with significant collateral damage for EU exports. For...

Boeing faced with additional profit-over-safety allegations

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A whistleblower claims that Boeings’ 787 Dreamliner could be left without oxygen if the cabin were to suffer a sudden decompression. Emergency oxygen systems are supposed to keep passengers and crew alive if the cabin...

Eurozone manufacturing shows signs of bounce-back

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France is leading what appears to be a eurozone bounce-back in manufacturing. The French manufacturing sector expanded in October, according to HIS Markit data released on Wednesday. The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 50.7...

German nod on banking union

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Germany’s finance minister, Olaf Scholz, told the Financial Times on Wednesday that Berlin is ready to accept an EU-wide bank deposit reinsurance scheme. The nod from Berlin comes as the prospect of Brexit means that...

ECJ rules Polish 2017 Judicial review was unlawful

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Poland broke European Union law with its 2017 judicial overhaul the European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday. The ECJ said Poland failed in its judicial reform efforts by establishing a different retirement age for...

Turkey determined to repatriate European IS fighters

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Turkey is committed to the repatriation of EU citizens who fought for the Islamic State and their families. Following the capture of northeast Syria from Kurdish forces, a pressing question has been who will take...

Italy makes climate change education obligatory

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On the very day Washington formally withdrew from the 2015 Paris climate accord, Italy announced that it will become the world’s first country to make the study climate change and sustainable development compulsory in...

EU financial regulator determined to close London’s back doors to the Single Market

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The chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), Steven Maijoor, issued a warning to the City of London on Monday: the EU has entered a “completely new area of supervisory convergence” to...

EU reports slow progress in bridging the gender pay gap

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Every year the European Commission marks the European Equal Pay Day to reach out to Member States on the link between pay, earnings and pension entitlements. The European Equal Pay Day date is calculated on...

EU and China to sign geographic indication agreement

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The EU and China will sign in Beijing an agreement to protect geographic indications, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday in Shanghai. Geographic indications are locally made products protected by EU law President Macron arrived in...

The Euro was a “strategic mistake” says Hungary’s Central Banker

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The euro has been a “strategic error” the Governor of the Bank of Hungary (NBH), Gyorgy Matolcsy, wrote in an article published by the Financial Times. Under Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Hungary has pursued its...

IAG to take over Air Europa

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IAG is taking over the Spanish carrier Air Europa for €1bn. With a fleet of 66 aircraft, in 2018 Air Europa carried 11,8 million passengers, generated revenue of €2.1bn, and an operating profit of €100...

Germany to ban gay conversion therapy

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German health minister Jens Spahn has drafted legislation that would ban so-called “gay conversion” therapy for all under 18 youths Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) reports. Spahn is openly gay and is explicit about the desired political message...

Lagarde uses first speech as ECB President to reach out to fiscal conservatives

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Christine Lagarde delivered her first speech as President of the European Central Bank on Monday, reaching out to her critics to signal her political neutrality. Lagarde made no reference to monetary policy but reached out...

Juncker’s surgery will delay Luxembourg trial

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Jean-Claude Juncker's plan to undergo surgery has forced the Luxembourg court to delay next hearing for the intelligence scandal that made him resign from his position as Prime Minister of Luxembourg, in 2013. The out-going...

Trump administration signals conclusion of Sino-American trade deal

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U.S. President Donald Trump signalled on Friday the possible conclusion of a long-awaited Sino-American trade deal. Trump referred to a “phase one” agreement that could be signed in Iowa. Although China has not confirmed that they...

Turkey negotiates Russian Su-35 fighter jets to replace F-35s

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Turkish and Russian government officials are in an “advanced stage of negotiations” to buy 48 Su-35 Russian jet fighters, Defense News reported, citing a Turkish procurement official. The news was later confirmed by the...