Friday, 12 January 2018: Europe urges unity to back Iran nuclear deal, May tells bankers they are a priority for Brexit, German coalition talks drag on

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Europe urges unity to back Iran nuclear deal: Top European diplomats offered Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif renewed support Thursday for the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran even as the White House weighs whether to step away from the pact. In sharp contrast to US President Donald Trump’s view that the 2015 pact was “the worst deal ever negotiated”, Britain, France, and Germany said there was no alternative to it and that sanctions should remain lifted.
washingtonpost.com, reuters.com

May tells bankers they are a priority for Brexit: British Prime Minister Theresa May told bankers on Thursday they were a priority for her in the Brexit talks. May met in Downing Street with some of Europe’s most powerful financiers including HSBC chairman Mark Tucker, UBS chairman Axel Weber, and Richard Gnodde, chief executive of Goldman Sachs International. Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said he now thinks the nation should have a second vote on Brexit. According to a new study, leaving the EU without a deal in 2019 could cost Britain almost half a million jobs.
uk.reuters.com, independent.co.uk (Farage), bloomberg.com (Study)

Free movement rights should extend to same-sex spouses: European Court of Justice advocate general Melchior Wathelet said in an opinion published Thursday that an EU member country cannot refuse residency rights to the same-sex spouse of an EU citizen on the grounds that it does not recognise gay marriage. The bloc’s members must fulfill their obligations under the freedom of movement of EU citizens, according to Wathelet.
politico.eu

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EU wants to invest in supercomputers: The EU is planning to spend one billion euros on supercomputers to help with research into creating artificial intelligence and fighting climate change. Brussels officials said Europe was lagging behind on supercomputers, noting that none of the world’s top ten most powerful machines were in the EU. Supercomputers are needed to process ever larger amounts of data and bring benefits in many areas from health care and renewable energy to car safety and cybersecurity.
independent.co.uk, europa.eu

Bulgaria’s presidential stint begins: Protests kicked off in Sofia on the same night as Bulgaria took over its first Presidency of the European Council from January 2018 until June 2018. Guests at the opening ceremony of the presidency in Sofia included EU Parliament President Antonio Tajani, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the Council head Donald Tusk.
express.co.uk

Kenya frustrated report into disputed election: The Kenyan government blocked the presentation of the EU’s report on its hotly disputed presidential election, the head of the EU’s Election Observation Mission Marietje Schaake has claimed. That drew an angry response from Johnson Weru, Kenya’s ambassador to the EU, who accused the Dutch MEP of contemptuous political grand-standing.
euractiv.com

Vote: EU Parliament sets date for election politico.eu
European Central Bank: Euro soars after ECB says it could revisit policy message soon cnbc.com
Luxembourg: Court overturns verdict against LuxLeaks whistleblower politico.eu

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

Bulgaria is fully committed to Europe’s agenda and has focused on the issues that are especially important to Europeans, like migration, the digital agenda, a European defence union and the future of the Western Balkans.
Bulgaria has achieved a great deal since it became an EU member in 2007, says EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
dw.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

German coalition talks drag on: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party grouping and Social Democrats toiled deep into the night on Thursday to overcome differences on tax cuts and other issues that threatened to block a new “grand coalition” government. Negotiators, who have vowed to reach a decision by Friday on whether to launch formal coalition talks, predicted many more hours of hard negotiations.
reuters.com

First round of presidential election in Czech Republic: Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis backed incumbent Milos Zeman in the country’s presidential election, which starts with a first round on Friday and Saturday. The Czech presidency is largely ceremonial but has an important role in picking who should form a government.
reuters.com

Polish parliament approves controversial electoral law: Poland’s lawmakers have approved a controversial electoral law that critics say will give the ruling party influence over the voting procedure and will allow more room for vote rigging. The lower house voted late Wednesday to approve the legislation that will govern elections, beginning with local elections this fall.
handelsblatt.com

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shoepassion.com

Hungary to hold general election in April: Hungary has set the date of its next general election for April 8, Hungarian President Janos Ader said in a statement released Thursday. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing Fidesz party is currently leading election polls at 35 percent, with nationalist Jobbik party — the main opposition force — polling at 17 percent.
politico.eu

Iranian ayatollah Shahroudi leaves Hanover: Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahroudi was responsible for overseeing hundreds of death sentences as head of Iran’s justice ministry. Many in Germany were outraged by his stay in the country and filed complaints against him. Police in the northern German city of Hanover announced that Shahroudi has left the city. The Iranian cleric was receiving medical treatment for a reported brain tumor at a private hospital in the city.
dw.com

Migrant crisis: Italy and France urge Europe to increase efforts to ease crisis euronews.com
Muslims: Greece no longer requires Muslims to use Sharia law euronews.com
Germany: Top court overturns ‚Sharia Police‘ acquittal dw.com

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

politjobs.eu: Bitkom sucht Referent europäische Digitalpolitik (w/m) *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Innovation Project Manager *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Project Assistant for EU Funded Projects *** PwC seeks Public Affairs Senior Manager Belgium *** Johnson & Johnson seeks Policy Assistant, Government Affairs & Policy EMEA *** Public Policy Manager, Connectivity *** Ryanair offers Public Affairs internship
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

Merkel is Europe’s only real leader, says Turkish minister: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been the only real leader in Europe in recent years, according to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu. The Turkish foreign minister referred to his German counterpart as a “dear friend,” admitting his country has had tensions with Germany but that due to recent efforts to rebuild the relationship, there was rapprochement between Germany and Turkey.
politico.eu

 

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