European Council

‘Europe’s Trump’ reelected as Czech president

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Czech voters in the country's hardscrabble heartland voted on Saturday to give the populist pro-Russian incumbent Milos Zeman a second five-year term in the East European country's largely ceremonial role as president. The 73-year-old Zeman doubled down...

Portuguese police search Eurogroup president’s office

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Portuguese Police on Friday searched the cabinet office of newly elected Eurogroup president Mário Centeno in connection with an investigation into illegal tax breaks, according to confirmed reports by the authorities. Local media reports said Friday’s search was tied...

EU ministers discuss asylum system overhaul, improved border management

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With Bulgaria taking its turn in the rotating presidency, Sofia hosted the first informal meeting of EU interior ministers to launch talks on one of the most contentious issues within the bloc - the overhaul of Europe's...

EU makes controversial decision to remove 8 countries from tax haven list

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The EU's finance ministers agreed on Tuesday to remove eight countries, including Panama, from their newly updated list of tax havens. Only a month after the original list was compiled, EU finance ministers opted to remove...

Eurogroup gives Greece conditional green light for third review conclusion

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Eurozone finance ministers approved a new €6.7 billion loan for Greece on Monday after Athens pushed through controversial reforms. The working group of EU finance ministers said, however, that disbursement is not possible until the Greek government...

Centeno says precautionary credit line is up to the Greek authorities

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Ahead of his first meeting as the new Eurogroup chair on Monday, Portugal's Mário Centeno took talks on Greece’s post-bailout future off Monday’s agenda. During his doorstep comments, Centeno said that he is looking forward to chairing his...

Franco-German axis to submit common Eurozone reform deal by June

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The Franco-German axis will have a joint position on the Eurozone’s reform by June, according to the French finance minister. Following consultations with the German finance minister The Franco-German axis will have a joint position on...

Bulgaria’s Borissov warns of instability risk in Balkans without EU support

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Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said Thursday that Brussels needed to offer a clear message on future EU membership to the countries of the Western Balkans in order to preserve stability in the region. “The...

At Rome ‘Club Med’ summit, Greece gets a line on TAP gas to Italy

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As heads of state and government of Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain, or so-called “Club Med,’ convened in Rome on January 10 for the fourth Summit of the Southern European Union...

Hammond and Davies to return empty-handed from Berlin

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Side-lining Brussels, two top members of the British cabinet were in Berlin on Wednesday to talk trade. The visit of Philip Hammond and David Davies culminates in their address of the Die Welt Economic Summit, where...

Half as many migrants landed in Europe in 2017 as 2016: IOM

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Slightly fewer than half as many migrants reached Europe by sea in 2017 than 2016, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said, with curbs finally cutting traffic on the deadly route from Libya to Italy. Two...

Hammond and Davies to Berlin to press for bespoke trading partnership

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The British government has reached a consensus over the need for Single Market access during the UK’s two-year transition period after leaving the EU (March 2019-March 2021). Ahead of a visit in Berlin on Wednesday,...

Macron reiterates his call for a single corporate tax on US digital giants

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French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for a harmonized corporate taxation rate, a policy that if adopted could hurt the economic model of countries like Luxembourg and Ireland. During a New Year press conference, Macron responded...

EU, Iran to discuss preserving nuclear deal in Brussels

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The foreign ministers of the European Union and Iran have scheduled talks in Brussels on January 11 on preserving Iran's 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, which is seen now under threat after having...

Russia could leave WTO over EU pork dispute

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The deputy president of Russia’s Economic Council, Sergei Kalashnikov, said Moscow could leave the World Trade Organization (WTO) amid a dispute on limiting pork imports from the European Union. Russia said on Monday it would contest...

Bulgaria to help Ankara in EU

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Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, whose country currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency, has vowed to improve ties between Turkey and the EU. “Turkey is the EU's largest neighbour and has the largest army...

Athens wants to resolve Macedonia name dispute within 2018

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Greece wants to settle the name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said on Thursday. “I think 2018 will be the year when foreign policy issues that have been...

Davies spires to access to Single Market access for both goods and services

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The UK aspires to a Brexit deal that allows access to the Single Market for services. Access to Services “I do not believe the strength of this cooperation needs change because we are leaving the European...

Bulgaria president vetoes anti-corruption law

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Bulgarian President Rumen Radev vetoed anti-corruption legislation approved by parliament last month, saying it doesn’t do enough to counteract graft as the Balkan country assumes the European Union’s rotating presidency. The law, passed in an effort to improve...

Bulgaria takes over EU’s rotating presidency with Brexit and Migration and Serbia on the...

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Bulgaria took over for the first time in its history as an EU member state the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union on Monday. Sofia chose "United We Stand Strong", the...

Turkey says EU funds for Syrian refugees not used as they should

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A substantial part of the funds promised by the European Union to help Syrian refugees in Turkey is still not being used on the field Turkey’s EU Ministry said on Saturday. In the past, Turkey...

EU leaders praise Ukraine prisoner exchange

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European leaders have praised a long-awaited exchange of prisoners between the government in Kiev and Russia-backed separatists that enabled hundreds of former captives to return to their homes for the New Year holiday. In the...

Centeno succeeds Dijsselbloem in the EU’s bailout fund ESM

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The Board of Governors of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the EU’s permanent bailout fund, appointed on Thursday the president­-elect of the Eurogroup Mario Centeno as its Chairman. Centeno, whose term officially begins on 13...

British PM writes to EU citizens

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British Prime Minister Theresa May has written an open letter to the three million citizens of other European Union states living in Britain. “I know our country would be poorer if you left and I...

EU Parliament, Council agree on rules for energy efficient buildings

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The European Parliament and Council provisionally agreed on December 19 on new measures to ensure that all buildings in the European Union are as energy-efficient as possible by 2050. The Directive for Energy Performance of...

Ireland repays Danish bilateral bailout loan

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Ireland paid back a €400 million loan to Denmark on Tuesday four years earlier. The loan was due to be repaid in 2021, that is, an early settlement will save the Irish taxpayer €10 million....

Trump tax bill sets the US on collision course with Europe

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The US House of Representatives approved the biggest tax overhaul in a generation on Tuesday. The bill must now be approved by the Senate.  The new tax bill is the first legislative victory for the Trump administration...

5-Star movement threatens with a referendum on Euro membership

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The Five-Star movement reiterated on Monday the possibility of a referendum on whether or not Italy should remain in the Eurozone. The new leader of the movement, Luigi Di Maio, suggested that his future government...

Portuguese bonds rally following Fitch two-notch upgrade

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On Monday Portugal saw a rally of its bond yields following a two-notch upgrade by Fitch ratings. Lisbon saw its sovereign debt rated BBB, up from BB+. Lisbon’s 10-year bond on Monday had a 1,804%...

May’s government struggles to deal with its own divisions on Brexit

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British Prime Minister Theresa May was presiding over negotiations within the British cabinet that is divided over the vision of Brexit on Monday and Tuesday. While the Prime Minister offered assurances that the government is...

Czech PM rejects refugee quotas, again

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In Brussels for the European Union summit held on December 14, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis once again rejected the quotas for the redistribution of migrants by accepting some refugees. According to Babis, it’s a...

EU set to achieve migration breakthrough vote by June

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EU leaders left aside the days of strong unity and are now getting ready for difficult talks during the first semester of 2018 when Bulgaria is going to hold the rotating presidency of the...

EU’s Brexit unity at risk amid Migration dispute

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What brought the EU-28 together during the last semester as Brexit talks, consolidating the way Europe’s heads of state and government take decisions, is now over. The persisting dispute over the refugee issues despite long-standing...

EU leaders extend Russia sanctions for six more months, congratulate May on Brexit progress

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European Union leaders have agreed to extend economic sanctions against Russia for six months over the occupation of Crimea and Moscow's aggressive actions in Ukraine. The decision will extend current restrictions against Moscow until July...

EU leaders to set the basis for a European army

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European Union leaders will today set the basis for a European army, by signing a pact between 25 EU governments to fund, develop and deploy common armed forces together after Britain’s decision to quit...

Before the summit: Amnesty accuses EU of being “complicit” in migrant rights violations...

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European governments are knowingly complicit in the torture and abuse of tens of thousands of refugees and migrants detained by Libyan immigration authorities in appalling conditions in Libya, said Amnesty International in a report...

Italian spreads nosedive as economic recovery picks up pace

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The spread between the Italian and the German 10-year bond yields closed to 1,64% on Monday, that is, the lowest since October 2016. The spread rose beyond 2% earlier this year, amidst fears of...