Monday, 05 March 2018: Trump threatens to slap retaliatory tariff on European cars, May rejects UK financial services demands on Brexit, Populist parties surge in Italian election exit poll

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Trump threatens to slap retaliatory tariff on European cars: US President Donald Trump has threatened to hit car exports from the European Union with a retaliatory tax, escalating a brewing global fight with US trading partners triggered by newly announced 25 percent US tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Trump cited an imbalance between the two countries and said if the 28-nation bloc insisted on imposing punitive taxes on US goods, America would strike back on European car exports. That could spell trouble for car manufacturers like Volkswagen and BMW, two of the most popular European brands sold in the US. Trump’s comment was an apparent response to European officials threatening policy changes of their own in the wake of Trump’s sudden pronouncement on metal imports.
cnbc.com

May rejects UK financial services demands on Brexit: British Prime Minister Theresa May poured cold water on Britain’s financial sector and their push for so-called „passporting“ rights that would more-or-less allow Britain to remain the financial centre of the EU. She defended her position by saying Britain could not become a rule taker when it came to financial services. She maintained that her view of future British-EU ties was credible and expressed confidence that she would reach a good deal, although she appealed for the bloc to be more flexible in its negotiations. Passporting rules allow EU finance companies to sell their services across the 28-member bloc with a local license, rather than getting a license to operate in each member country where it does business.
dw.com, reuters.com

Journalist’s murder sparks EU reactions: A EU delegation will be traveling to Slovakia on Wednesday to gather information on the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and examine the rule of law in Slovakia. The visit is scheduled to last until Friday, said German MEP Ingeborg Grassle. Slovakia’s President Andrej Kiska said on Sunday he would seek talks with parties and urged changes in government or early elections to renew public trust following the murder. Kiska said in a live televised address that Slovakia faced a crisis of trust. Police in Slovakia have released seven people detained in connection with Kuciak’s murder. The men were arrested on Thursday when police raided homes allegedly linked to members of an Italian crime syndicate.
dw.com, uk.reuters.com, independent.co.uk

Syrian army takes ground from militants in eastern Ghouta: The Syrian army said on Sunday it had been attacking rebel positions in eastern Ghouta for the last two days and had recovered control of farmland and towns in the insurgent-held enclave. Britain-based monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government forces now control 25 percent of the area after ground forces attacked the eastern edge of the district. The latest advance, which began on Saturday, comes despite a United Nations cease-fire resolution last weekend and a Russian-backed series of daily humanitarian pauses. Residents are reported to be fleeing the Eastern Ghouta enclave as the situation there was described as beyond critical.
reuters.com, dw.com, bbc.com

French economy minister: EU plans to tax 2 percent of tech giants‘ sales bloomberg.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

The EU themselves have said they want an ambitious and wide-ranging arrangement with us in the future… If we look at our future prosperity and in the other 27 countries, the right deal for us will be the right deal for them too.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has urged the EU to get on with discussing her ambitious but practical vision for economic relations with the UK after Brexit.
bbc.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Populist parties surge in Italian election exit poll: Polls have closed in Italian parliamentary elections, with the first exit polls showing no party has received more than the 40 percent required to govern. The anti-establishment, populist Five Star Movement has polled the highest, with between 29 and 32 percent of the vote, according to the television station RaiNews24. In second place in terms of party strength, with estimates from 20.5-23.5 percent, is the ruling Democratic Party. Berlusconi’s party, Forza Italia, received between 13 and 16 percent; the xenophobic and populist League, formerly known as the Northern League, also received 13 to 16 percent. This would give the centre-right coalition brokered by Berlusconi the most votes, including votes for the smaller Brothers of Italy Party, which is also in the coalition.
cnn.com, politico.eu

Serbia’s ruling populists sweep election in capital Belgrade: Serbia’s ruling populists of President Aleksandar Vucic swept the municipal election in the capital of Belgrade Sunday, further cementing an already tight grip on power in the country. Preliminary results projected that Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party won around 45 percent of the votes, while the main opponents — groups behind former Belgrade mayor Dragan Djilas — trailed with some 19 percent. The Belgrade vote was for local offices only, but it’s considered important because of the city’s key role in Serbia’s economy and politics.
abcnews.go.com

Spanish unionist rally mocks Catalan separatist movement: Thousands of Spaniards joined a rally in Barcelona on Sunday in response to a call by a grassroots group that uses humour to mock Catalonia’s separatist push. The group facetiously calls for the division of Catalonia into two parts. One would be for separatists who want to leave Spain and the other for those who want to remain a part of Spain, which would include the cities of Barcelona and Tarragona where unionist support is strong.
washingtonpost.com

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Swiss voters reject plan to scrap fee: Voters in Switzerland have rejected a proposal to abolish the national broadcasting licence fee. The country was voting in a referendum on Sunday on whether to axe the mandatory yearly fee of 451 Swiss francs per household. The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation offers programming in four different national languages – German, French, Italian, and Romantsch. Its seven television channels and 17 radio stations are mostly funded by the compulsory licence, with roughly a quarter coming from advertising. The overwhelming defeat of the No Billag proposal, named after the group that collects the fee, came after a hard-fought campaign in the country.
bbc.com

Germany’s Social Democrats approve coalition with Merkel’s conservatives: More than five months after Germans went to the polls in the September 24 national election, Germany will be getting a new government. The final hurdle was cleared when the Social Democratic Party (SPD) sanctioned the coalition deal that party leaders had negotiated with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives. French President Emmanuel Macron hailed the development as good news for Europe. Macron’s ambitious reform plans for further integration of the eurozone had been put on hold for months by the absence of a new government in Germany.
dw.com, reuters.com

NGO: Polish group sues Argentine paper under new Holocaust bill 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 ⊃

Topless activist disrupts Berlusconi vote: A topless Femen activist has disrupted polling in Italy’s national election while ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi was casting his ballot. The woman, who had the words “Berlusconi, you’ve expired” written in black marker on her topless torso, jumped onto the table at the Milan polling station as Berlusconi was voting. News reports recalled that Femen activists disrupted Berlusconi’s vote in 2013 as well.
washingtonpost.com

 

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