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22nd Jan 2019

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Ticker

EU hits Mastercard with €570m fine

The EU Commission on Tuesday fined Mastercard €570.6m for breaching antitrust rules, by limiting retailers from benefitting from conditions offered by banks elsewhere within the EU. The fine is the latest move by EU regulators to reduce card fees for ...

Ticker

Romanian minister prepares to cancel corruption cases

Romania's justice minister Tudorel Toader said Monday that he has prepared an emergency decree that could invalidate hundreds of corruption cases involving the country's most senior officials, AP reported. On Tuesday he meets with prime minister Viorica ...

May pushes defeated Brexit deal, offers no Plan B

It was British prime minister Theresa May's opportunity to lay down an alternative plan for breaking the Brexit impasse, but there was no 'Plan B' as she decided to continue to push for concessions from the EU. On Monday evening (21 January) May told the ...

Ticker

Sefcovic: no gas supply problems this winter

European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic discussed the security of gas supplies this winter with Russia and Ukraine on Monday. "The good news that everything is fine, under control, and we do not foresee any complications this winter," he said. ...

Ticker

Report: Commission warning on passport-sale schemes

The European Commission reportedly will call on EU member states to be cautious offering so-called golden visas, because of "risks of infiltration of non-EU organised crime groups in the economy, money laundering, corruption and tax evasion". Bulgaria, ...

Ticker

France summons Italian ambassador over colonial remark

The Italian ambassador to France was summoned Monday to explain comments by Italian deputy PM Luigi Di Maio. The leader of the Five Star Movement blamed French policy on colonial-era French African currencies for holding back development. "If people are ...

European Parliament targets 'fake' political groups

Additional restrictions on creating European political groups are being formulated - to prevent the abuse of public funding and wider influence in EU lawmaking. The move is being spearheaded by Jo Leinen, a German socialist MEP, who says so-called 'fake ...

Opinion

What is fate of non-euro EU states after Brexit?

Despite the United Kingdom never having adopted the euro, the upcoming Brexit will have consequences for EU monetary integration. The UK's withdrawal from the EU will heighten fears of marginalisation among the 'euro-outs', that is, the eight member states ...

Ticker

May U-turn on fee for EU nationals in UK

British prime minister Theresa May announced on Monday that the proposed £65 [€74] fee for EU nationals in the UK to apply for "settled status" after Brexit would be scrapped, and previously-paid fees reimbursed. The U-turn came as May detailed to British ...

Interview

Turkish NBA star takes on Erdogan

Enes Kanter, the Turkish basketball star who plays for the New York Knicks, skipped his team's match in London last Thursday for what he says was fear of his life. An outspoken critic of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kanter said he was afraid ...

'Meme ban' still on table in EU copyright bill, says MEP

A centre-left British MEP involved in the EU institutional negotiations over a reformed copyright bill said on Monday (21 January) that the text as it stands could still lead to a ban on memes. Memes are creative expressions - for example text, photo or ...

Ticker

French data watchdog gives Google €50m fine

The French data protection authority CNIL handed Google a €50m fine on Monday for violations of the general data protection regulation (GDPR). It said Google was not transparent about the data it collected. "The relevant information is accessible after ...

Ticker

EU hits Russians with sanctions over Salisbury attack

The EU on Monday imposed travel bans and asset freezes for chemical weapons' use for the first time against individuals linked to the poisoning of Russian former double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain last year. The sanctions target the ...

Ticker

'Don't look for answers to Brussels', EU tells UK

The EU commission warned on Monday that the British government should not look for concessions from the EU in their search for an alternative Brexit plan. "Don't look for answers to Brussels. This is the moment for London to speak, not for us," a ...

Ticker

Germany warns UK not to 'misuse' EU patience on Brexit

Germany's economy minister, Peter Altmaier, on Monday warned the UK not to 'misuse' the patience of the EU over a Brexit deal compromise ahead of the scheduled 29 March exit date. Altmaier, a close confidante of chancellor Angela Merkel, tweeted: "Sympathy ...

Brexit power grab by MPs hangs over May's 'Plan B'

UK prime minister Theresa May is due to explain her 'Plan B' on Brexit on Monday afternoon (21 January), but could face a power grab by members of the British parliament. British media reported that amendments have been prepared by two cross-party groups ...

Ticker

Germany sent 8,658 asylum-seekers to other EU states

Under the EU's Dublin rules, Germany deported 8,658 asylum-seekers to other EU countries in the first eleven months of 2018, significantly more than the year before, when 7,102 were deported, according to information from the interior ministry given to the ...

Polish mayor's funeral marred by Tusk TV dispute

Poland has buried the liberal mayor of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, amid questions as to what extent Polish hate politics contributed to his killing. The funeral took place at the Bazylika Mariacka in Gdansk on Saturday (19 January) - declared a national day ...

Ticker

Poll: Macron popularity up four percent

French president Emmanuel Macron's popularity has risen four percent since December, to 27 percent, an Ifop/Journal du Dimanche poll showed on Sunday, following a drop in popularity for Macron when the 'Yellow Vest' protests were at their height. An Ifop ...

Ticker

'Economy is broken' says Oxfam in global inequality report

"Our economy is broken, with hundreds of millions of people living in extreme poverty while huge rewards go to those at the very top," Oxfam concluded in their global wealth report, published ahead of this week's Davos gathering. Oxfam says last year 26 ...

Ticker

Vestager under pressure to allow Siemens-Alstom deal

A plan by Siemens and Alstom to create a European rail champion to face Chinese competition hangs on approval from EU antitrust regulators, with French media reporting that company representatives will meet EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager in ...

Ticker

Teargas and clashes in Athens over Macedonia name change

Protesters clashed with police in Athens on Sunday at a rally to oppose the government's deal to rename the country's northern neighbour as North Macedonia. The Greek parliament is set to vote on ratifying an agreement this week. The name Macedonia is ...

Opinion

Salvini and Kaczynski - the new 'axis' powers?

It is a measure of how much Europe's political centre of gravity has shifted that the recent meeting between Matteo Salvini and Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Warsaw has been a major political event in the EU. Only a few years ago the meeting between the leader of ...

Seven member states miss climate plan deadline

Seven EU member states have not yet sent the European Commission their draft energy and climate strategy, despite having agreed to a 31 December 2018 deadline. The countries that did not submit their draft plan on time were Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic ...

Agenda

Aachen treaty and Brexit endgame This WEEK

Germany and France are set to renew the alliance that kept European integration rolling on Tuesday (22 January) in Aachen. The two countries agreed to deepen a 1963 treaty of post-war reconciliation in a bid to show that the European Union's main axis ...

Ticker

EU trade commissioner asks for green light for US talks

The EU commission has sent draft mandates to EU governments for trade negotiations with US. "These [...] will enable the commission to work on removing tariffs and non-tariff barriers to transatlantic trade in industrial goods," trade commissioner Cecilia ...

Ticker

Slovakia's commissioner takes unpaid leave to run for presidency

EU commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic said Friday he would run for president of Slovakia in March's election, backed by the ruling Smer party. Sefcovic will take unpaid leave from his position at the EU executive from 1 February, a commission ...

Ticker

Minority elects Lofven as prime minister of Sweden

After 131 days without a government, a minority in Sweden's parliament on Friday elected leader of the Swedish Social Democrats, Stefan Lofven, as the next prime minister. Three parties abstained in the vote, meaning there was not a majority against giving ...

Germany led way on EU rights protection

EU institutions and the German federal government led the way on protection of human rights this year, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW), a US NGO. Their activism came amid "disturbing" and "dark" trends both in Europe and on the world stage, HRW ...

Ticker

Tsipras launches campaign to ratify Macedonia deal

The Greek government is gearing up for a campaign to secure ratification of the name-deal with neighbouring Macedonia, which Germany and the EU hope may foster stability in the Balkan region. The deal will be published in Sunday newspapers this weekend and ...

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