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17th Nov 2018

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Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK

Brexit events are picking up pace after a provisional agreement was reached on the UK's departure from the EU. The draft document is now under review by member states, with EU affairs ministers planning to meet on Monday (19 November) to discuss the deal ...

Ticker

US warns EU banks and firms against trading with Iran

Banks and firms participating in a special EU initiative to protect trade with Iran risk US sanctions, US special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, warned in Brussels Thursday. The EU is working on a 'Special Purpose Vehicle' (SPV) to enable European non-dollar ...

Ticker

Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem

German chancellor Angela Merkel personally intervened and called Romania's president Klaus Iohannis in April urging him to stop plans by Romania's social-democrat lead government to move Romania's embassy to Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Post reports that ...

Ticker

Protesters call for Czech leader to step down

Thousands protested in Prague Thursday demanding that Czech prime minister Andrej Babis resign over suspected criminal corruption and EU subsidy fraud. Public criticism of Babis has spiked after his mentally-ill son told media that he was held in Crimea in ...

Ticker

Former German chancellor labelled 'enemy' of Ukraine

A spokeswoman for Germany's foreign ministry "strongly condemned" a website labelling former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder as an "enemy of the state" in Ukraine. "We have informed Ukraine of our position in the past and have insisted the Ukrainian ...

Ticker

French lead opposition to Brexit deal on fisheries

A group of French-led EU member states including Denmark, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands on Thursday called for changes to fishing arrangements in the draft Brexit deal agreed between London and Brussels. More than 50 percent of fish caught in UK ...

Ticker

Private accounts of Danske Bank employees investigated

Former employees in Danske Bank's Estonian branch are suspected of having received illegal cash payments in return for helping criminals to whitewash billions through the bank, Berlingske Tidende reports. Large and suspicious deposits on their own accounts ...

Investigation

How the EU commission got tunnel vision on self-driving cars

The European Commission is asking European citizens their opinion on self-driving cars, via a public consultation. However, there is a key question that is not being asked. Regardless of whether fully autonomous vehicles are technologically feasible - ...

No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt

While on Wednesday (14 November) evening the mood in Brussels was cautiously optimistic after EU and UK negotiators had agreed a Brexit agreement which was then backed by the cabinet in London, it all turned sour on Thursday as British prime minister ...

Analysis

Key points of the Brexit deal (if it ever comes into effect)

EU and UK negotiators concluded a Brexit deal on Wednesday (14 November) that Brussels says is the best available, given the red lines of the bloc and London. The final, 585-page long text of the accord was published late on Wednesday, but it still needs ...

Ticker

UK's May defends Brexit deal to MPs, after ministers resign

Under-fire British prime minister Theresa May spent three hours on Thursday defending her government's withdrawal deal with the EU to the House of Commons, despite the resignation of two cabinet ministers. May admitted she shared some MPs "concerns" at the ...

Ticker

Brexit MP calls for 'no confidence' vote on May

Conservative pro-Brexit MP Jacob Rees-Mogg on Thursday wrote to the UK prime minister calling on her to resign, in the wake of the publication of the withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU, and the subsequent resignations of two cabinet ministers. ...

Ticker

Denmark blocks Tanzania aid over homophobic crackdown

Denmark has suspended €8.7m of aid to Tanzania over a homophobic crackdown in the country. Ulla Tornaes, the Danish development minister said she was "very concerned" by "unacceptable homophobic comments" made by a senior politician. She spoke after Paul ...

Ticker

Second UK cabinet minister resigns over Brexit deal

A second British cabinet minister resigned on Thursday morning rather than supporting the Brexit withdrawal deal agreed between the UK and the EU on Wednesday night. Esther McVey quit as secretary for work and pensions, just minutes after the Brexit ...

Ticker

UK Brexit secretary quits morning after deal agreed

Dominic Raab, the UK Brexit secretary, dramatically resigned on Thursday morning, just hours after signing off on the withdrawal agreement agreed between the UK and the EU. Raab, in his resignation letter, cited the Northern Ireland border and the ' ...

Ticker

Romanian MPs call for national 'Magnitsky Act'

Some 43 Romanian MPs have signed a petition urging the government to adopt a 'Magnitsky Act', imposing sanctions on human rights abusers, named after Russian anti-corruption activist Sergei Magnitsky. "Today the campaign for a Romanian Magnitsky Act began ...

Romania heaps scorn on 'revolting' EU criticism

Romania's ruling party has, literally, shown the middle finger to EU institutions as it prepares to take on the bloc's presidency next year. The obscene gesture was made in parliament on Wednesday (14 November) by Florin Iordache, the deputy speaker from ...

Ticker

Greece to investigate former PM's bank accounts

Greek anti-money laundering authorities have ordered the opening of former Pasok prime minister Costas Simitis and his family's bank accounts, as well as those of Simitis' public order minister, Michalis Chrisochoidis in relation to bribe allegations ...

Ticker

Tusk: Brexit summit on Sunday 25 November

European Council president Donald Tusk announced Thursday that EU leaders will meet for a summit to formalise the Brexit deal on Sunday 25 November, at 9:30AM – "if nothing extraordinary happens" between now and then. He said that EU ambassadors will meet ...

Ticker

EU threatens to retaliate if US introduces auto tariffs

EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said on Wednesday that the EU has a list of potential retaliation targets ready in case US president Donald Trump imposes auto tariffs on EU member states. "It could be cars, it could be the agricultural sector, it ...

Ticker

Frontex: Spain now main destination for migrants

Illegal border crossings into the EU have dropped to a five-year low, with Spain now the main destination, accounting for 60 percent of new arrivals, the EU's border agency Frontex said on Wednesday. Frontex reported 118,900 illegal border crossings in the ...

Ticker

German AfD funding scandal widens

The scandal over a dubious and possibly illegal transfer of €130,000 from a Swiss-based pharmaceutical company to fund the election of German AfD MP Alice Weidel grew on Thursday, with the AfD admitting Weidel also received €150,000 in February from a ...

Opinion

US steps in to clean up Cyprus

In June 2018 the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) sent a circular to Cyprus' banks to improve due diligence on so-called shell companies, as part of Cyprus' campaign to improve its image for countering money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism ...

'Decisive progress' on Brexit as British cabinet backs deal

The UK and the EU have reached agreement on a draft Brexit deal, after British prime minister Theresa May's cabinet backed the text on Wednesday (14 November). The 585-page long document emerged after 17 months of negotiations. It ends over 40 years of UK ...

Ticker

Full text of Brexit withdrawal agreement published

The EU published the full text of the agreement between the UK and Brussels on a withdrawal agreement on Wednesday, just after Theresa May received backing from her cabinet for the deal. The text runs to 585 pages and will now be scrutinised by UK MPs, and ...

Ticker

UK cabinet agrees Brexit deal after marathon session

Theresa May persuaded her cabinet to agree the withdrawal deal between the UK and EU on Wednesday evening, after a marathon session the PM described as "long, detailed and impassioned". May called the deal "the best that could be negotiated", and the only ...

Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot

Hungary's government on Wednesday (14 November) confirmed that Macedonia's convicted former prime minister, Nikola Gruevski, has submitted an asylum request with authorities there, with a hearing to be granted for "security reasons." The issue has put the ...

Ticker

Czechs join other EU states in rejecting UN migration pact

The Czech Republic's government on Wednesday decided to join several other EU countries in rejecting a United Nations pact on the treatment of migrants, Reuters reported. The non-binding pact was agreed in July by over 190 countries and is expected to be ...

Opinion

How the 'EU's Bank' fails to raise the bar on accountability

As the financial arm of the European Union, the European Investment Bank (EIB) likes to call itself the "EU Bank" and to publicly praise its environmental and social standards in comparison to other investment banks. Nevertheless, over the last years, a ...

Ticker

EU Commission to give verdict on Italy budget next week

The EU Commission will assess Italy's revised budgetary plan and publish its opinion on 21 November, a spokesperson announced on Wednesday. Italy submitted its revised budget plans for 2019 on Tuesday after the commission rejected its first draft, saying ...

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