Policy

German inequality surges

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Although poverty has fallen across Germany it has increased in certain regions, the income gap appears to be surging. According to the Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband poverty report published on Thursday, Bavaria has the lowest poverty rate with...

US and China closer to a trade deal

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The United States and China appeared close to a trade deal on Thursday. U.S. President Donald Trump posted on Twitter that the US was “very close” to a “big deal” with China. “They want it,...

Conservative triumph paves the way for Brexit on January 31st

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The UK woke up to the biggest Conservative victory since 1987, sealing the trajectory towards Brexit. The latest data give the Conservatives 364 seats, Labour 203, the SNP 48, the Lib Dems 12, Plaid Cymru...

Jihadists kill 71 soldiers in Niger base attack

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Hundreds of heavily armed Islamist militants ambushed an army camp on 10 December in Niger, near the border with Mali. 71 soldiers were killed, the country's defense ministry said. 57 of the attackers had been...

Italian coalition government reaches ESM reform consensus

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The Italian governing coalition reached an agreement on the reform of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) during a meeting on Tuesday evening. A majority resolution on the ESM reform was approved by parliament by 291...

Germany seeks WTO deadlock resolution

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Germany aims to find a permanent solution for the composition of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Appellate Body by June, a spokeswoman for Berlin’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday. The Appellate Body has seven members...

French pension reform tests Macron’s political resilience

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France introduced a pension reform plan on Wednesday that is already testing the political resilience of President Emmanuel Macron’s administration. The plan has triggered nationwide strike action, with the closure of rail transport, factories, and...

European ‘Green Deal’ unveiled

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Less than a fortnight into her term as President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen walked into the EU Parliament on December 11 and presented her administrations' first major initiative - the...

WTO’s top court shuts down

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The terms of two of the last three judges on the World Trade Organization's Appellate Body ended on 10 December. Their departure will leave countries' trade disputes open as the organisation will not be able...

Austrian writer receives Nobel Literature prize amid protests

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Austrian author Peter Handke has received the 2019 Nobel prize for Literature on 10 December in Stockholm, Sweden. The choice sparked controversy as he was criticized for backing late Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who was...

US, Mexico, Canada finalise trade deal

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The United States, Mexico and Canada signed a deal on 10 December to finalise their new trade agreement, USMCA, after more than two years of negotiations. USMCA was first signed in 2018 to replace the...

UK economy at its lowest point since 2009

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The British economy had its worst quarter since 2009, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported on Tuesday. The economy flatlined month-on-month in October, after two months of decline. Services expanded by 0.2% from August-to-October, offsetting...

Italian coalition to renegotiate government program

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The Italian coalition government remains divided over the 2020 budget law and the ESM reform, to the extent that the prime minister’s position is called into question. In an interview with Corriere della Sera published...

French regulator fines Morgan Stanley for bond-market manipulation

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The French financial market regulator (AMF) fined US bank Morgan Stanley €20 million for manipulating French and Belgian bond prices at the height of the Greek debt crisis in June 2015. Morgan Stanley bought a...

France ready to take US to WTO over proposed tariffs

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France is willing to go to the World Trade Organization, as a response to US President Donald Trump’s threat to put tariffs on French goods, over a French tax on tech companies, the country's...

Johnson calls for “ripping up” the EU rule book

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is promising to “rip up the EU rule book and write a new one,” in the countdown towards the general election this Thursday. “We can literally rip up the EU...

US blocks appointment of WTO judges

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The United States had clocked the appointment of judges to the World Trade Organization's top court on Monday. From Tuesday onwards, the WTO can no longer be the ultimate arbiter in international trade disputes. For...

Turkey expels 11 French Jihadis

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Turkey’s government deported 11 French Jihadi fighters on Monday. “As part of ongoing deportations of foreign terrorist fighters, 11 French citizens have been sent back to their home country,” Turkey’s interior ministry said in a...

Worldwide arms sales on the rise

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Sales of arms and military services by companies listed in the Top 100 rose by nearly 5% worldwide in 2018, according to data released on Monday by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The turnover...

Pan-European battery consortium emerges with 7 EU Member States

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An important Project of Common European interest (IPCEI) jointly notified by Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Sweden to support research and innovation in the common European priority area of batteries has been...

China condemns US Xinjiang bill

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China condemned on 9 December the Uyghyr bill passed last week by the United States' House of Representatives, after foreign countries accused it of violating international law. The so-called "Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of...

EU watchdog says Hungarian government’s control of media is unprecedented

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Following a recent visit to Hungary, seven press watchdog organisations have come to the conclusion that the Hungarian government's control over the media has reached an “unprecedented state for the European Union." According to the...

European Central Bank to launch a major review of its strategy

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The President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde is preparing to launch a sweeping review of the bank’s strategy for the first time since 2003 to address divisive issues that range from negative...

Republicans introduce LGBTQ non-discrimination bill

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Republicans lawmakers put forward a pro-LGBTQ legislation on Friday that would ban discrimination against LGBTQ people in employment, housing, education, public accommodations, commercial credit and jury duty, while also protecting religious organisations and churches that...

China orders removal of foreign tech in public offices

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The Chinese government has ordered state offices and public institutions to remove foreign technology within three years. This is one of the latest developments in the trade war between China and the United States. The...

Johnson consolidates Leave vote but overall majority still up for grabs

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Boris Johnson has consolidated the Leave vote, is likely to win the forthcoming general election on Thursday, but it is still unclear whether he will command a majority. The latest national polls published on Sunday...

Google tax could trigger new EU-US WTO dispute

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France is ready to challenge US threats of punitive tariffs at the World Trade Organization, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday. The US threatened to introduce punitive tariffs in response to the...

EU divided over definition of “tax paradise”

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A policy proposal presented by the Danish government last week calls for a wider scope in the operative definition of tax avoidance and tax evasion. The Danish position paper is said to have the support...

In harsh desert conditions, Qatar seeks a sustainable energy, water environment

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DOHA, Qatar – The desert in Qatar extends on the right of the massive natural gas plant towards Mesaieed along massive sand dunes, reaching the sea border with Saudi Arabia. “Here we have high temperatures,...

A return of the Normandy Four

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Much will be at stake when the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine meet in Paris on December 9 for their first direct talks about the region in more than three years. Ukraine’s...

On thin ice

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Body language is sometimes much more indicative, as was the case during a key December 4 meeting between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the sidelines of a...

Turkey’s parliament backs controversial deal with Libya

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Turkey’s parliament on 5 December endorsed a controversial agreement signed on 27 November between the country and Libya, on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean. The deal gives Turkey access to an economic zone across the...

Crețu pushes EU Commission for solutions to asylum procedures deadlock

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Former Commissioner for Regional Policy and member of the European Parliament, Corina Crețu, has pushed both the EU Commission and the European Court of Auditors to present their solutions to overpass the deadlock of the...

United Airlines replaces Boeing with Airbus

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The Chicago based United Airlines is planning to replace an ageing fleet of Boeing 757-200 aircraft with 50 new, medium-range Airbus A321XLR jets, Reuters reported on Wednesday. Boeing is also based in Chicago. Boeing’s 737...

Spain follows France, Italy, and the UK to introduce a digital tax

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Spain will press ahead with a digital tax, following in the footsteps of France, Italy, and the UK, according to El Pais. The plan for a so-called digital tax will go ahead despite threats of...

Italian tax authorities claim FIAT undervalued Chrysler

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Italian tax authorities believe that Fiat has underestimated the value of its U.S. Chrysler arm to the tune of €5.1bn, which could lead to an additional tax bill of €1,2bn, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. Tax...

ECB brings forward plans for public digital currency

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The European Central Bank is planning to bring forward a plan for a public digital currency as European economies are continuously reducing cash usage, Reuters reported on Thursday. The EU’s cryptocurrency is also likely to...