Monday, 16 April 2018: Turkey to get worst EU scorecard so far, Djukanovic wins Montenegro’s presidential election, Thousands of pro-independence supporters take to the streets of Barcelona

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Turkey to get worst EU scorecard so far: Turkey will on Tuesday receive the European Commission’s most critical report since it launched its bid to join the European Union over a decade ago, with Brussels warning that years of progress towards membership were being lost, officials said on Saturday. According to the report, Ankara has suffered serious relapses in the areas of justice, rule of law, fundamental rights and freedom of expression. With the exception of cooperation on Syrian refugees, Turkey and the EU are drifting apart on human rights, press and judicial freedoms and the rule of law, the Commission will say. The Commission will ultimately conclude that there is no basis for advancing membership talks with Ankara, effectively keeping talks on hold.
dw.com, reuters.com

New Russia sanctions coming Monday: The US Treasury Department will announce fresh sanctions on Monday on Russia related to its involvement in Syria’s use of chemical weapons, US United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said on Sunday. The US has previously expelled Russian diplomats and sanctioned Russia, a Syrian ally, for a suspected nerve-agent attack against a former spy in Britain. UN chemical weapons investigators were set on Sunday to begin examining the scene of a chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma, which had prompted the joint US, French and British strikes against military installations and chemical weapons facilities in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that further Western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world affairs. France is urging Russia to join a push for a political solution. The Syrian army said on Saturday it was in control of the Douma district of Eastern Ghouta after the removal of rebels and their families to Jarablus in northern Syria.
time.com, reuters.com, theguardian.com, cnbc.com, euronews.com

Germany’s Steinmeier warns of growing estrangement between Russia and the West: German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has expressed alarm over a deepening alienation between Russia and the West, particularly in the wake of the Skripal case. Steinmeier called last month’s poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, which Britain and its Western allies have blamed on Russia, „a very serious incident.“ Steinmeier, the former German foreign minister, agreed that it was necessary to show Russia that actions had consequences, giving the example of Western sanctions imposed on Russia after it annexed the Crimean peninsula and sparked a military conflict within Ukraine. Moscow on Saturday accused the chemical weapons watchdog of manipulating the results of its investigation into the poisoning of a former Russian spy, saying his samples had traces of a nerve agent used by the west.
dw.com, theguardian.com

Giacomo Filibeck: Philippines bars EU Socialist Party official for criticising Duterte reuters.com
Military: Israel destroys Hamas cross-border tunnel from Gaza dw.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

We support the fact that our American, British and French allies have taken responsibility in this way as permanent members of the UN Security Council.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has voiced her support for the US-led joint airstrikes in Syria, describing them as a „necessary and appropriate“ measure to hinder the Syrian government’s potential future use of chemical weapons and make sure international responses to their use remain effective.
dw.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Djukanovic wins Montenegro’s presidential election: Montenegro defied Russia on Sunday by electing a pro-Nato political veteran who hopes to lead the small Balkan state into the EU. On Sunday night, officials announced that Milo Djukanovic, who has dominated politics in the former Yugoslav republic for nearly 25 years, had secured victory. The result could allow Djukanovic, who favours deeper European integration, to push for Montenegro to become an EU member, which experts say could happen as soon as 2025. His main rival was Mladen Bojanic, an economist who has the support of most opposition parties, including pro-Russian factions, and is expected to secure around a third of the vote.
telegraph.co.uk

Thousands of pro-independence supporters take to the streets of Barcelona: Tens of thousands of supporters of Catalan independence took to the streets of Barcelona on Sunday calling for the release of jailed separatist leaders. The demonstrations come after a Supreme Court ruling prevented the latest attempt to appoint a regional leader. The protesters blocked several main thoroughfares in the city waving flags and wearing yellow in support of the jailed leaders. The secession movement in the wealthy region has plunged Spain into its deepest institutional crisis in decades.
euronews.com

Tens of thousands in anti-Orban protest: The EU anthem ‚Ode to Joy‘ rang out in Budapest on Saturday in a musical message of defiance to Hungary’s Eurosceptic Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Tens of thousands of protesters in the capital denounced what they say was an unfair electoral system that returned Orban’s right wing Fidesz party to power with a landslide last Sunday. Orban, who campaigned on an anti-immigrant platform, won two-thirds of seats in parliament with just 49 percent of the national vote. Demonstrators want a recount of ballots, a free media, a new election law, and better cooperation among opposition parties.
euronews.com

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Arrests, injuries as French protesters challenge Macron: French authorities say 63 people have been arrested and nine police officers injured as protests took place in two cities amid simmering anger at President Emmanuel Macron’s labor law changes. Interior Minister Gerard Collomb denounced the violence and damage to stores and public buildings at the edges of Saturday’s protests in Nantes in western France and Montpellier in the south. Collomb called for calm as another protest is planned Sunday at Notre-Dame-des-Landes in western France.
cnbc.com

Gerard Batten chosen as new Ukip leader: The British Independence Party confirmed Gerard Batten as its new leader Saturday. Batten — who has previously referred to Islam as a “death cult” — had been the party’s interim chief since February after Henry Bolton was sacked over a racism row. The BBC reported that Batten has pledged to step down in 12 months because he won the leadership unopposed, so paving the way for a full contest to take place.
politico.eu

After Syria attack: Greeks fear a wave of refugees de.euronews.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 ⊃

The German Parliament is leaking: It doesn’t take long for water to start leaking through the ceilings of the German Bundestag when it rains in Berlin. On these occasions, someone at the parliament will simply place a bucket under the leak to collect the falling rain water as the parliament continues to go about its business. Almost every building in the parliament has leaks and matching buckets to collect the water. Some tourists have even assumed these random buckets throughout the parliament to be part of some sort of art installation.
spiegel.de

 

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