Friday

3rd Jul 2020

News in Brief

  1. French prime minister and government resign
  2. France lied on Nato naval clash, Turkey claims
  3. EU highlights abuses in recent Russia vote
  4. Belgium bids to host EU mask stockpile
  5. France shamed on refugees by European court
  6. French and Dutch police take down criminal phone network
  7. EU launches infringement case on Covid-19 cancelled trips
  8. Michel to propose smaller EU budget, keep recovery figure

Coronavirus

EU leaders to reconvene in July on budget and recovery

Most EU leaders want an agreement before the summer break, but the Dutch PM, leading the 'Frugal Four', warned there might not even be a deal then. But the ECB's Christian Lagarde has warned of a "dramatic" economic fall.

Coronavirus

EU leaders seek to first narrow differences at summit

EU leaders on Friday will share their takes - online - on the €750bn recovery and €1.1 trillion budget plans, before they try to seal the deal at one or two likely head-to-head meetings in July.

Coronavirus

Mix of loans and grants in Commission €750bn package

Italy and Spain, the worst-hit EU countries by the coronavirus pandemic, will get much of the new money under the European Commission's recovery plans - that mark a turning point for the bloc in moving towards joint debt.

Coronavirus

EU recovery agreement deal may need 'personal' summit

EU Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic pleaded with EU affairs ministers for "rapid agreement" on the EU budget and recovery plans to be unveiled on Wednesday - but an agreement and ratification process has its risks.

Coronavirus

EU links access to recovery fund to economic advice

Most EU countries are now breach the common fiscal rules, as governments tackle the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The commission plans to link recovery funds to countries following its budgetary advice - but sanctions seem to be few.

Interview

Chinese ambassador: We must safeguard Hong Kong security

In an interview with EUobserver, Chinese ambassador Cao Zhongming, talks about Hong Kong, disinformation, "unabashed bullying by the United States" on Huawei and on the role of the EU in the world.

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EU plans tougher checks on foreign takeovers

The EU and its member countries are worried that foreign powers, such as China and its state-owned companies will take advantage of the economic downturn and buy up European firms

Opinion

EU budget: Don't repeat the austerity of 2008

European leaders have a historic choice on Friday when they dial-in to discuss how to stop a health crisis turning into a social one: will they learn the lessons of 2008, or opt again for austerity and short-term self-preservation?

Coronavirus

EU still divided on recovery but Denmark relaxes position

Ahead of EU leaders' first online discussion on the EU recovery and budget plans, EU countries remain divided on the key issues in the economic package. They will need to hammer them out in person in July.

Coronavirus

EU Commission slammed for Covid-19 'mid-threat' ranking

The European Commission classified on Wednesday the coronavirus as a "mid-level" threat to workers, drawing criticism from socialist lawmakers and trade unions because the decision allows businesses to apply less stringent safety measures in the workplace.

Vestager hits back at Lufthansa bailout criticism

Commission vice-president in charge of competition Margarethe Vestager argued that companies getting large capital injections from the state during the corona crisis still have to offset their competitive advantage.

Coronavirus

EU rift deepens as Commission sticks to €1trn recovery

The EU Commission said it is still aiming for a recovery initiative above one trillion euros to kickstart the pandemic-hit EU economy - after a German-French proposal called for a commonly-financed €500bn plan.

Coronavirus

Macron and Merkel propose €500bn EU recovery fund

German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron proposed on Monday a recovery fund of €500bn to support the sectors and regions in the EU most affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Ombudsman slams EU bank watchdog for 'revolving doors'

The European Banking Authority allowed its executive director to take a job at one of the world's largest financial lobbying groups. The move has been slammed by the European Ombusdman, who called it maladministration.

Coronavirus

EU set for record recession, putting euro at risk

Debt levels around Europe, especially in southern states, forecast to rise alarmingly, but EU commission remained confident countries can manage, despite fears of a second viral wave.

German court questions bond-buying and EU legal regime

The German Constitutional court ordered the European Central Bank to explain its 2015 bond-buying scheme that helped eurozone stay afloat - otherwise the German Bundesbank will not be allowed to take part.

Coronavirus

EU Commission clash with countries over travel refund

Twelve EU countries have asked the commission to temporarily suspend rules that require travel operators to provide cash refunds for cancelled trips. The commission argues consumers have to be protected - and that vouchers should be made more attractive.

Coronavirus

Firms in EU tax havens cannot be denied Covid bailouts

Denmark, France and Poland are refusing to provide bailouts to companies that are registered in tax havens like Panama. But campaigners point out that the EU's Luxembourg and Netherlands are also home to firms avoiding paying billions into national coffers.

Opinion

Orban's risky bet in economic response to coronavirus

Two concerns loom large: a large part of the stimulus the Orbán government is offering is directed towards particular industries where oligarchs are particularly influential; and the response does not address the needs of large swathes of the population.

Coronavirus

New rules coming for Europeans' summer travel

The commission will out forward guidelines for safe travel, as some member states and companies are already drawing up plans to restart tourism under the threat of the pandemic.