Monday, 06 August 2018: UK trade minister says no deal most likely Brexit outcome, ECB’s Lautenschlaeger says worried about banking deregulation, Venezuela makes six arrests in alleged Maduro assassination attempt

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

UK trade minister says no deal most likely Brexit outcome: British Trade Secretary Liam Fox said in an interview that it’s likely the UK will fail to agree upon a divorce deal with the European Union before it leaves the bloc next March. Fox told the „Sunday Times“ newspaper that „intransigence“ by EU officials was pushing the UK towards no deal. He put the chance of Britain crashing out without a deal at 60 percent. He said a no-deal scenario, in which Britain would exit the EU in March 2019 without having come to a withdrawal agreement with Brussels, looked more likely by the day. He said the EU had to decide whether to act in the economic best interests of its people, or to go on pursuing an approach determined by an obsession with the purity of its rules. Divorce talks have stalled, and the British government is trying to heap pressure on the other 27 EU nations to compromise by stressing the economic harm from a no-deal Brexit that imposes tariffs and other barriers on UK-EU trade.
politico.eu, cnbc.com, bbc.com

ECB’s Lautenschlaeger says worried about banking deregulation: An easing of European banking regulation risks taking power from regulators to ensure that banks have sufficient capital to withstand crises, ECB board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger has told a German newspaper. Lautenschlaeger told the weekly „Welt am Sonntag“ that she was concerned about looming deregulation, not just in the United States but also in Europe. After the financial crisis supervisors were strengthened and given instruments to proactively react to looming risks. Before that they could only react when the damage had already been done. Lautenschlaeger warned that the pendulum shouldn’t swing back to that. The European Central Bank last month unveiled a compromise solution on how banks must set aside cash against a large pile of bad loans after plans by its Single Supervisory Mechanism to force them to set aside money within a given timeframe met resistance from bankers, lawmakers and even within the central bank.
uk.reuters.com

Venezuela makes six arrests in alleged Maduro assassination attempt: Venezuelan authorities said on Sunday they have detained six people over drone explosions the day before at a rally led by President Nicolas Maduro, as his critics warned the socialist leader would use the incident to crack down on adversaries. Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the suspects launched two drones laden with explosives over an outdoor rally Maduro was holding in downtown Caracas to commemorate the National Guard. State television footage of the rally showed Maduro startled by what appeared to be an explosion and footage later panned to soldiers lined up on a boulevard who chaotically broke ranks in what appeared to be a reaction to a second blast. The president later described the attack, which injured seven soldiers, as an assassination attempt. Maduro accused neighbouring Colombia and elements within the US of instigating a plot to kill him. The Colombian government has denied any involvement, saying there was no basis to Maduro’s allegations. US National Security Adviser John Bolton denied any US involvement in the incident, adding that it could be a pretext set up by the regime itself. To add further to the confusion, firefighters at the scene disputed the government’s version of events, the Associated Press reports. Speaking on condition of anonymity, three of them said the incident was actually a gas tank explosion inside an apartment, but did not provide further details, the news agency says.
reuters.com, bbc.com

Erdogan hits out at US sanctions over pastor’s detention: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised a US decision to impose sanctions on two of his ministers in response to the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson. Speaking to the women’s wing of his AK Party on Saturday, Erdogan said the US sanctions were disrespectful and not suitable for a strategic partner. The president also said he had ordered assets in Turkey that belong to the US justice and interior ministers to be frozen „if they have any“. The standoff has raised tension between the two Nato members. Turkish authorities arrested Brunson on terrorism and espionage charges following a failed coup attempt on Erdogan’s government two years ago.
politico.eu

European election: Liberal merger between Germany and France? faz.net
Youth travel programme: Problems with DiscoverEU zdf.de
South Sudan: Leaders make another attempt at peace wsj.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

The US are now looking for new distribution channels for their soy and are planning on selling more soy in Europe.
According to German farming association DBV president Joachim Rukwied, European farmers will take much less soy from the US than US President Donald Trump would expect after talks with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
tagesspiegel.de

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Corbyn apologises for hurt inflicted on Jewish people by antisemitism row: British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has apologised for the hurt inflicted on Jewish people by the Labour antisemitism row as he vowed to speed up scores of disciplinary cases. In a video message released on social media, the Labour leader said that working with the Jewish population to rebuild trust was a vital priority as to his earlier attempts to defuse the row. Britain’s Labour party must act swiftly to end its anti-Semitism crisis or it will „disappear into a vortex of eternal shame and embarrassment“, its deputy leader Tom Watson said in an interview published on Sunday. He called on Corbyn to adopt in full an internationally accepted definition of anti-Semitism. Labour says it has concerns about part of the definition but had re-opened discussions to take into account Jewish community concerns.
theguardian.com, politico.eu, reuters.com

Anti-semitic graffiti on Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel’s house: Police in Romania are investigating anti-semitic graffiti found on the walls of the house where Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel was born. Romanian police are analysing images from surveillance camera footage in the area, the authorities said. In a communique on Saturday, the county council said that there were suspects. When the act of vandalism was discovered, it drew condemnation from Israel, and one lawmaker in Romania said it could be an important test of a new anti-Semitism law there. The building in Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania, is now a protected historical monument and museum. Wiesel became famous after writing about his teenage years in Nazi concentration camps. He devoted his life to ensuring Nazi atrocities would not be forgotten. Wiesel’s use of the term Holocaust helped cement the word’s association with Nazi atrocities against the Jews. In 1986, he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize for his role in speaking out against violence, repression and racism. After his death, the head of the World Jewish Congress said he was undoubtedly one of the great Jewish teachers and thinkers of the past 100 years. Scuffles broke out as scores of right-wing and anti-fascist demonstrators squared off on in Portland, Oregon on Saturday.
bbc.com, nytimes.com, euronews.com (Portland)

Germany considers tough response to Spain migration surge: German authorities are considering stronger controls along the French and Swiss borders, Helmut Teichmann, junior minister for migration at the Interior Ministry, told the „Bild am Sonntag“ newspaper. Teichmann said authorities are alarmed by the increased number of migrants arriving to Spain after Rome prevented boats carrying migrants to dock at Italian ports. Italy had become the main entry point to the EU for irregular migrants after the so-called Balkan route was closed in 2016. Spain has witnessed nearly 21,000 migrants arrive to its shores across the Mediterranean between January and July, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). On Saturday, the Spanish coast guard rescued 395 people from nine boats. While the overall numbers of migrants reaching Europe by sea is down from the peak in 2015, Spain has witnessed a steady increase in sea arrivals that began more than a year ago and has surged in recent months.
dw.com, reuters.com

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Greece’s police, fire chiefs fired in wake of deadly fire: The Greek government announced Sunday that the chiefs of the national police and fire service had been fired and replaced by their deputies in the wake of a forest fire that killed at least 91 people near Athens. The dismissed chief of Hellenic Police, Constantine Tsouvalas, had been in the post since February 2016. Sotiris Terzoudis had been head of the Hellenic Fire Service since February of this year. The changes came a day after Greece’s public order minister, Nikos Toskas, resigned. Interior Minister Panos Skourletis took over Toskas’ duties overseeing Greece’s security services. The death toll from the fire rose to at least 91 after the weekend deaths of a 55-year-old woman, an 85-year-old man and a 95-year-old woman. Authorities said 36 people, including one minor, remained hospitalised, six of them in critical condition.
washingtonpost.com

Portugal: At peak of European heatwave, Portugal battles wildfire, power outage reuters.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 ⊃

Melania Trump praises LeBron James after Donald Trump insults him: The American First Lady Melania Trump has appeared to support basketball star LeBron James, a day after her husband publicly insulted the basketball star. In a volley of late-night tweets, US President Donald Trump publicly questioned the intelligence of the NBA star. In a statement released by her spokeswoman, Melania Trump expressed her support for James, saying she believed the 3-time NBA champion „is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today.“ James had recently suggested that the US president had used sports to divide the country. Trump had previously criticised several top athletes who spoke out against his policies.
independent.co.uk, cnbc.com

 

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