Monday, 11 October 2021: Sunak to save billions by counting IMF cash as aid for poor, France calls for creation of migration treaty between EU and UK, Austrian Chancellor Kurz resigns amid corruption scandal

⊂ UNITED KINGDOM ⊃

Sunak to save billions by counting IMF cash as aid for poor: Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has been criticised for looking to save of billions of pounds by “recycling” money from an International Monetary Fund (IMF) windfall as aid spending. Campaigners believe the chancellor is preparing to use a large portion of the windfall in the overseas aid budget rather than on top of it. Britain received $27.4bn (£20bn) as its share of an allocation of IMF special drawing rights (SDRs) – financial assets designed to help poor countries struggling during the pandemic – months after the government decided to cut aid spending from 0.7% to 0.5% of national income.
independent.co.uk, theguardian.com

Treasury accuses business secretary of ‘making things up’ in interview about gas crisis: An internal row over the government’s response to the gas and energy crisis erupted into the open in dramatic fashion on Sunday afternoon. Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, had told broadcasters in the morning that the Treasury was in talks with the energy industry to work out ways to help it through the crisis. But the seemingly benign suggestion apparently provoked fury at Rishi Sunak’s department. Treasury sources told Sky News: “This is not the first time the BEIS secretary has made things up in interviews. To be crystal clear, the Treasury are not involved in any talks.”
independent.co.uk

Energy prices: No commitment from Kwarteng on business gas help bbc.com
COVID-19: UK records 34,574 new Covid cases and 38 new deaths reuters.com
Social mobility: UK’s ‘strictest’ headteacher Katharine Birbalsingh made social mobility chief theguardian.com
Biodiversity: Nearly half of Britain’s biodiversity has gone since industrial revolution theguardian.com

⊂ POLITJOBS UNITED KINGDOM ⊃

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⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Praise from Israel: Merkel as the „moral compass“ of Europe: On Sunday, outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel was on a farewell visit to the Jewish state near the end of her 16-year term in office. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who hosted Merkel through the day, called her „a true friend of Israel.“ Bennett credited Merkel with fostering an unprecedented bond between the countries and described her as „Europe’s moral compass“ due to her support for Israel. Later Sunday, Merkel met with Israel’s figurehead president, Isaac Herzog, who told her that the Weizmann Institute, a prestigious research university, had named a fellowship after her. Merkel called it a „stroke of good fortune“ that after the Holocaust, which saw the Nazis kill 6 million Jewish people, „it has been possible to reset and to re-establish relations between Germany and Israel to the extent that we have done.“
news.yahoo.com, apnews.com, dw.com

Belarus: Because of an increasing number of migrants coming to Germany via Belarus, German authorities are investigating Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on suspicion of smuggling, according to German newspaper „Bild am Sonntag“. dw.com

Poland:

  • Polish government summoned Belarus‘ charge d’affaires on Friday after it accused the border force in Belarus of firing towards Polish soldiers, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said dw.com
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has given his backing to a Polish court ruling, endorsed by the government in Warsaw, that deemed aspects of EU law incompatible with Poland’s constitution politico.eu
  • After Poland’s constitutional court ruled that Polish laws take precedence over EU ones, crowds gathered in major cities across Poland on Sunday to show support for the country’s EU membership dw.com

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Trade war looms as UK set to spurn EU offer on Northern Ireland
theguardian.com, twitter.com

  • Fears that UK is heading for trade war with EU have been fuelled by strong indications from British government that it thinks proposals to be unveiled in Brussels on Wednesday over Brexit arrangements don’t go far enough
  • Brexit minister David Frost will use a speech in Portugal on Tuesday to say that EU scrapping its prohibition on British sausages to resolve dispute over the Northern Ireland protocol doesn’t meet the UK and unionists’ demands
  • Lord Frost will call for “significant” changes to the post-Brexit agreement he negotiated, including over the role of the European Court of Justice
  • Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney reacted with incredulity at UK’s “red line” and its timing just days before what he said was a “serious” offer from the EU

France calls for creation of migration treaty between EU and UK
france24.com, theguardian.com

  • French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Saturday called for start of negotiations for migration treaty between EU and Britain
  • Darmanin also urged British government to „uphold its promise“ to finance the fight against the illegal immigrants who gather on northern French coast seeking to cross into England
  • More than 1,100 people made the perilous journey across the Channel in small boats on Friday and Saturday

Pushbacks: Croatian politicians deny culpability in border pushbacks dw.com
Iraq: Little hope for change as voters head to the polls dw.com

⊂ QUOTE OF THE DAY ⊃

I am optimistic that every German government, including the one that follows mine, will feel committed to Israel’s security, and I think any successor who becomes German chancellor will see it that way.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Israel’s security will always be of central importance and a central topic for every German government.
apnews.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Austrian Chancellor Kurz resigns amid corruption scandal
cnn.com, dw.com

  • Sebastian Kurz said he was stepping down from his office Saturday evening, days after his office was raided by Austrian prosecutors investigating him and close team members on suspicion of bribery and breach of trust
  • Kurz is under investigation over claims that government money was used to ensure positive coverage in a daily newspaper, Austrian prosecutors announced Wednesday
  • Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg is expected to take over the chancellorship
  • Schallenberg has met with President Alexander Van der Bellen and is expected to be sworn in within days
  • Kurz’s decision to quit means that the governing coalition between his conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the leftist Greens will continue

Czech prime minister’s party loses election, president in intensive care
theguardian.com, cnn.com, apnews.com

  • Prime minister Andrej Babis‘ centrist party on Saturday narrowly lost Czech Republic’s parliamentary election
  • Babis‘ ANO party was edged out by the two opposition coalitions trying to unseat him
  • Centre-right alliance Spolu (Together) won the most votes with 27.79% of the ballots, followed by Babis‘ ANO party with 27.12%, and the centrist PirStan coalition on 15.62%, according to tally of votes on statistical office’s website
  • Czech President Milos Zeman was rushed to the hospital on Sunday, a day after the parliamentary election
  • Czech presidency is largely ceremonial but the president chooses which political leader can try to form the next government

Two senior CDU figures to step down from German parliament
politico.eu

  • Two senior German conservative figures — Peter Altmaier and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer — are stepping down from the parliament
  • In a tweet, Kramp-Karrenbauer said their Christian Democratic Union must “position itself for the future” and she and Altmaier wanted to “contribute to this by giving up our mandates in the Bundestag.”
  • The CDU and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union finished second in last month’s German election, behind Social Democrats

Thousands march in Brussels to demand tougher climate action
time.com, dw.com

  • Thousands of people marched through the Belgian capital on Sunday to push world leaders to take bolder action to fight climate change at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow starting this month
  • Some 80 organisations took part in the protest, aiming for the biggest such event in Brussels since the start of the coronavirus crisis
  • Some of those who attended the march had come dressed as endangered animal species

Macron to push for worldwide end of death penalty: France is to use its upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU to launch a global campaign to abolish the death penalty, President Emmanuel Macron said Saturday. In a speech commemorating the 40th anniversary of the abolition of the death penalty in France, Macron said Paris would host a summit in 2022 to press for an end to capital punishment worldwide. The French president noted that 106 nations have so far completely abolished the death penalty, but that 483 executions were carried out by 33 political regimes in 2020, noting that the figure was “certainly an underestimated number.”
politico.eu

France: Édouard Philippe, former prime minister and France’s most popular politician, founds new party spiegel.de
Italy, Spain, France: Slow admin delays start of Covid fund projects to 2022 handelsblatt.com
Spain: Lava blocks the size of buildings falling from La Palma volcano cnn.com
Georgia: Several dead after part of building collapses dw.com

⊂ POLITJOBS ⊃

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⊂ LAST BUT NOT LEAST ⊃

30 Covid protesters storm hospital in Rome: Following an anti-vax protest in Rome on Saturday, some 30 rioters attacked the emergency room of a hospital where a detained protester was being treated for an injury. The demonstrators broke down the door and clashed with law enforcement officers and ambulance workers, the Ansa news agency reported. Four people were injured, including a nurse who was hit in the head with a bottle.
tagesspiegel.de

 

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