Friday, 19th of June: Referendum as a possible solution, Germany puts toll plans on ice, Danish government voted out of office

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Referendum as a possible solution: The meeting of eurozone finance ministers ended on Thursday with no deal on Greece’s bailout. Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said there was still a chance to reach a deal, though little time remained. EU leaders will try in an emergency summit meeting on Monday to break the deadlock between Athens and its creditors. If no agreement is reached, the Greek government wants to consult the Greek people, possibly in a referendum.
nytimes.com

Germany puts toll plans on ice: The EU Commission is launching legal proceedings against Germany for its plans to introduce a controversial road toll, forcing Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt to put his pet project on hold. The Commission believes the planned road toll scheme is against EU law as it would only charge foreigners and motorists whose vehicles are not registered in Germany. Dobrindt insists that the toll does not violate EU laws. The EU Parliament welcomed Germany’s step to delay introducing the toll.
dw.de, reuters.com

NATO maneuver in Poland: After Russia’s announcement that it would add more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal this year, NATO responded with its first combat maneuver by the new spearhead force in Poland. It is the biggest maneuver since the end of the Cold War. US, Belgian, Czech, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Norwegian and Polish troops have been preparing since last week for this full-scale exercise.
dw.de, yahoonews.com

Brussels takes action against minimum rates in Germany: The EU Commission initiated proceedings against Germany on Thursday, arguing that the country’s regulation on fees for architects, engineers, and tax advisors violates EU law. The Commission called on the German government to eliminate the minimum rates for the three groups. There was no evidence that the rates contribute to securing higher quality standards.
faz.net

Farmland grabbing spreads in Europe: Farmland grabbing has been on the rise in Europe, with the focus of foreign investors clearly being on Eastern European nations. In some areas, foreign investors own over a third of farmland. In Romania, for instance, between 30 and 40 percent of all farmland was controlled by foreign investors. According to a recent study, farmland grabbing is leading to a weakening of the environmental vitality of the rural sector.
dw.de

Enormous wealth gap: Last year, ten of the 28 EU member states were above average in an analysis of so-called individual consumption expenditure. They are all states in Northern, Central, and Western Europe, among them Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Great Britain, Finland, France, and the Netherlands. Seven EU countries, however, scored below average with up to 20 percent: Italy, Ireland, Cyprus, Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Lithuania.
zeit.de

UNHCR: Refugee numbers reach highest ever recorded cnn.com
Nord Stream pipeline: Gazprom signs preliminary deal to expand gas pipeline wsj.com
Poaching: Liberals call for EU action plan to counter illegal trade of game trophies alde.de
Great Britain referendum: Martin Schulz meets David Cameron in London to “listen and learn” europarl.europa.eu
Fortress Europe: EU states spent more than 12 billion euros over the last 15 years for border measures euractiv.de
Digitalisation: Commission approves aid scheme in Germany to support high speed internet roll-out europa.eu

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

Anyone who claims, that German taxpayers are paying Greek pensions and wages, is lying.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speaks out against myths, false assumptions and wrong numbers in regard to Greece.
reuters.com

It’s nice to see that rationality is finally finding its way into the debate. There are 24 different toll systems that should be unified.
Claudia Schmidt, member of the European Parliament, rejects Germany’s method, not the road toll itself.
eppgroup.eu

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Danish government voted out of office: Denmark’s opposition parties have beaten the ruling coalition after a close general election. With 99 percent of the votes counted, challenger Lars Lokke Rasmussen’s centre-right group beat Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s centre-left coalition. The results represent a surprise yet clear victory for the bloc led by Rasmussen, even though his Liberals party won fewer votes than the right-wing Danish People’s Party (DF) which will become the second-largest in parliament.
bbc.com, reuters.com

Power struggle in Ukraine: After only 13 months in office, the chief of the Ukrainian domestic intelligence service SBU, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, was dismissed by Parliament, shining a light on the power struggle between some Ukrainian oligarchs and President Petro Poroshenko. Shortly before his dismissal, Nalyvaichenko published a video claiming that he had no relations to billionaire and oligarch Dmitry Firtash.
handelsblatt.com

U.S. gets permanent base in Andalusia: The United States and Spain signed a defense agreement giving U.S. Marines permanent use of an air base near Seville, from which they can be quickly deployed to Africa. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Spanish Deputy Foreign Minister Ignacio Ybanez signed the deal at the State Department on Wednesday. The air base has been used jointly by the Spanish and U.S. air forces since 1953.
reuters.com

Bosnia-Herzegovina faces state bankruptcy: The EU and international financial institutions are working together to promote reforms in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz, clarified that there will only be financial aid in return for more reforms. The quarreling Bosnian parties will have to find a solution until June 30th and sign the reform agenda.
derstandard.at

France responds to humanitarian situation: Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has announced a plan to create thousands of new shelter places for the huge influx of migrants to EU shores. The plan will see new shelters built for at least 4,000 people by 2016, accommodation for 5,500 who have already been granted asylum, and some 1,500 places in emergency housing for those who have entered France illegally.
dw.de

Estonia: President Toomas Hendrik Ilves calls for peaceful solution n Ukraine crisis derstandard.at
France: Orchestrator of 1982 Jewish cafe attack in Paris arrested theguardian.com
Switzerland: National Council receives Russian politicians sanctioned by EU nzz.ch

⊂ DATA ⊃

1.2 million migrants paid 16 billion euros to traffickers to reach Europe in the last one and a half years.
faz.net

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

politjobs.eu: Fundació Barcelona Promoció seeks Brussels Liaison Officer (German Speaker) *** Verband öffentlicher Versicherer sucht Policy Advisor (m/w) *** Kellen AGEP seeks Stagiaire Consultant *** Inclusion Europe seeks an Executive Director *** VDMA sucht Referent (m/w) Handelspolitik/Wirtschaftsrecht *** Bayer seeks EU Policy Manager *** POLITICO seeks Policy editor/Account Manager *** RISE Foundation seeks Researcher *** ECDHR offers Advocacy & EU Public Affairs Internship
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

Golfballs violate international law: Switzerland’s ambassador to Venezuela, Sabine Ulmann, is in a dispute with a neighboring elite golf club, after a banner appeared at the diplomat’s residence warning that golf balls injuring or killing anyone inside would violate the Vienna Convention. The large placard begins by explaining that the residence is considered Swiss territory. The Venezuelan Federation of Golf said in a statement that it had read the sign with astonishment.
reuters.com

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