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1st Jun 2020

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Coronavirus

Spain takes 'giant step' on guaranteed minimum income

The coronavirus has made things even more difficult for the one-quarter of all Spaniards (12.3 million people) at risk of poverty or social exclusion by pummelling a country not fully recovered from the previous economic crisis. However, the pandemic has ...

Vestager hits back at Lufthansa bailout criticism

EU Commission vice-president Margrethe Vestager on Friday (29 May) hit back by at criticism she is being too tough on the bailout package for Germany's air carrier Lufthansa. Lufthansa and the German government this week agreed a more than €9bn rescue ...

Ticker

Orban calls EU Commission recovery plan 'absurd'

Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban on Friday called the EU Commission's €750bn recovery plan "absurd", saying it is based on jointly-guaranteed credit and would help rich member states more. "They want to take out this loan for 30 years, so even our ...

Ticker

ABBA's Björn new president of authors' rights federation

Björn Ulvaeus, co-founder of ABBA, has been appointed president of CISAC, the global confederation of authors' societies. "As CISAC president, which has a three-year term, Björn will support the confederation's work to secure stronger rights, more ...

Ticker

Malta and Libya to create anti-migrant 'units'

Malta and Libya are to open anti-migration "coordination units" in each other's countries to help stop the 800,000 irregular migrants said to be in Libya from coming to Europe, Maltese prime minister Robert Abela said after meeting with Fayez al-Sarraj, ...

Ticker

France reopening bars and parks next week

Bars, cafes, restaurants, and parks in France are to reopen on 2 June, marking the latest stage in lockdown-easing measures of one of Europe's strictest regimes, French prime minister Edouard Philippe said Thursday. "Freedom will become the rule, bans the ...

Ticker

EU wants more money to hedge against hard Brexit

The EU needed higher financial guarantees from states over the next seven years in order to hedge against the cost of a potential no-deal Brexit in 2021, Johannes Hahn, the EU' budget commissioner said Thursday. "Our proposal is to increase the [budget] ...

Ticker

UK needs to move in negotiations, EU trade official says

The EU is willing to move in negotiations on future EU-UK relations, but Britain must make a bigger effort in talks, EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan said Thursday, adding that negotiations had not made much progress. "Perhaps the UK has come to the ...

Ticker

Germany seeks EU sanctions on Russia spy-chief

Germany is seeking to use new targeted EU sanctions against cyber-attackers to impose visa bans and asset freezes on the head of Russian military intelligence and one of his alleged operatives in Germany over Russian hacking of the Bundestag in 2015, the ...

EU Commission aspires for treaty change on health

The European Commission is hoping for a treaty change so that it has more say on health. "If the moment is right, it will happen," Margaritis Schinas, the vice-president of the European Commission, told reporters on Thursday (28 May). "Nothing is off the ...

Investigation

Did Russia get Nato's cosmic-level secrets?

It took Belgian intelligence years to decide if a top colonel was spying for Russia, potentially exposing Nato to "grave damage". And even if he was innocent, leaked files painted a picture of the Nato and EU host state as a playground for Ferrari-driving ...

Green Deal

EU Commission: Five-fold aid increase for fossil-fuel regions

The European Commission's recovery package increases five-fold the resources of the Just Transition Fund, part of the Green Deal that aims to support fossil fuel-dependent regions to green their economies. "This is our firm commitment to make every region ...

Investigation

France opposed guidelines on EU presidency sponsorships

France, Spain, and the Czech Republic refused to endorse a draft letter from the Council of the EU to the European Ombudsman on the controversial issue of sponsored council presidencies, a confidential document in possession of EUobserver revealed. The ...

Opinion

China's post-Covid 19 'techno-nationalist' industrial policy

While Covid-19 brings China one step closer to technology-perfected authoritarianism through improvised health apps and real-time surveillance, Europe is busy looking inward. The pandemic has reignited self-reliance ambitions and given new impetus to ...

Ticker

EU extends sanctions against Syrian regime

The EU Council on Thursday extended restrictive measures against the Syrian regime. "The EU remains committed to using every tool at its disposal to push for a political solution to the conflict that would benefit all Syrians and put an end to the ongoing ...

Ticker

Cyprus expects 600,000 tourists in August

Cyprus expects to receive some 600,000 passengers in August, transport minister Yiannis Karousos said Thursday, noting that this estimate includes people flying in on commercial and private planes, Ekathimerini writes. "There is a gradual lifting of ...

Ticker

EU agency: tracing apps must respect fundamental rights

A report on Thursday by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) urges EU governments to respect fundamental rights when using contact-tracing apps to curb the spread of the coronavirus. It also calls for open-source solutions to enhance transparency and ...

Ticker

US: more than 40m job losses due to coronavirus

The number of Americans who lost their jobs in the past 10 weeks soared to more than 40 million, with unemployment claims continuing to rise, the Guardian writes. Earlier this month, department of labor reported that more than 20 million Americans lost ...

Ticker

South Korea might return to coronavirus restrictions

South Korea has reported its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases in 53 days, triggering warnings it may have to revert to stricter social distancing measures after appearing to have brought the outbreak under control, The Guardian reports. There ...

Ticker

Markets welcome EU rescue package

Shares in European banks soared by 4 percent after the EU unveiled its multi-billion pandemic bailout plan on Wednesday, amid broader market gains. Shares in some travel firms, such as Tui, also rebounded, as EU states slowly reopened to tourism. But the ...

Ticker

Antisemitic attacks on the rise in Germany

Antisemitic crimes in Germany rose by 13 percent to 2,032 last year, with 93 percent of them committed by far-right extremists, the country's interior minister, Horst Seehofer, said on Wednesday. "We must do everything humanly possible to ensure the ...

Ticker

Irish leader defends lockdown regime

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has defended his caution on phasing out lockdown measures, as Ireland lags behind Europe in plans to reopen restaurants (late June), hotels (July), and bars (August). It would be "premature" to move faster without "proper data ...

Ticker

Europe arrests suspects behind 2019 lorry deaths horror

Suspected human smugglers face up to 15 years in prison after Belgium and France announced 26 arrests Wednesday in a case linked to the deaths of 39 Vietnamese people in a lorry in the UK last year. There were 16 raids in Brussels, arresting 11 Vietnamese ...

Ticker

Russian tanker on record Arctic route to China

Russian gas tanker, the Christophe de Margerie, was, on 27 May, approaching the Russian island of Wrangel in the Arctic Ocean en route to the Chinese port of Jingtang, the Barents Observer news website has reported. The trip is the earliest-ever on the ...

Ticker

EU to borrow €7.7bn for vaccines and healthcare

The European Commission on Wednesday proposed borrowing €7.7bn on the financial markets to increase spending on vaccines, drugs and healthcare over the next four years, reports Reuters. Although it still needs approval, the plan aims to reduce Europe's ...

Ticker

EU states warned on China threat to Hong Kong

China's effort to undo Hong Kong autonomy despite a 1997 treaty to preserve the former UK colony's freedoms "affects not only our direct interests in Hong Kong, but also the maintenance of the rules-based international order where legal and political ...

Analysis

EU Commission's €1.85trn recovery package - key points

The EU Commission on Wednesday (27 May) unveiled its recovery plan and revised budget aimed at restarting the European economy after it came to a standstill due to the coronavirus lockdowns. The EU is facing its biggest economic slump in its history and ...

Feature

Why developing countries may be last to get the vaccine

If the global scramble for a coronavirus vaccine is successful, a whole new challenge awaits. Ensuring that people in developing countries benefit from this new vaccine is an issue already plaguing health experts. Inequality in vaccine coverage between ...

Opinion

Budapest to EU: 'Sorry seems to be the hardest word'

Europe breathes again. It seems that the darkest days of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic are coming to an end. Hungary has also successfully completed the first phase of the fight against the coronavirus. We have managed so far to prevent the ...

Green Deal

EU Commission's green recovery criticised as 'brown'

The European Commission's combined €1.85 trillion recovery plan from the coronavirus crisis - comprising Wednesday's €750bn recovery fund and the next seven-year budget - has not convinced environmental NGOs, who said the proposal fails to offer a truly ' ...

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