Monday, 2 July 2018: Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic contradict Merkel, Spain allows NGO rescue ship to dock, France honours Simone Veil with hero’s burial in the Pantheon

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic contradict Merkel: The German government has announced that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has secured the consent of 16 European Union member states for the rapid return of migrants who first arrived in other countries. Following reports of the deal, a spokesman for the Hungarian government denied that Budapest has agreed to a migrant repatriation system with Germany. Soon after, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis also denied there was a migrant deal with Berlin, as did a spokesman for the Polish Foreign Ministry. Subsequently, a spokesman for the German government responded by saying that the Czech side had expressed willingness to negotiate an administrative deal on improvement of cooperation for returning the migrants in the future. Merkel had been hoping the deal in Brussels would placate her coalition allies, Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, who are demanding a hardening of immigration policy. At a Brussels summit this week, leaders hammered out a deal to share out refugees on a voluntary basis and create controlled centres inside the EU to process asylum requests.
dw.com, euronews.com

Spain allows NGO rescue ship to dock: After Malta and Italy refused access to a Spanish NGO rescue ship, Spain agreed late on Saturday to let the ship dock in Barcelona. The Open Arms, a ship operated by Proactiva Open Arms NGO, rescued 59 migrants earlier in the day as they tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Libya. Expressing deep sadness over the deaths of more than 100 refugees and migrants when their boat sank in the Mediterranean Sea, the United Nations refugee agency has called for greater international efforts to avoid further tragedies. According to the UN agency, about 123 individuals were on board the rubber boat – which survivors said was unseaworthy and overcrowded – when it sank off the coast of Libya on 29 June. Once again, more than 60 refugees have gone missing in the Mediterranean. Egypt said on Sunday that it will not build refugee camps for migrants deported from the EU if asked. Thirty African leaders began a closed-door meeting Sunday to discuss ways to fight extremism and corruption at the 31st African Union summit being held in Mauritania’s capital.
dw.com, un.org, dw.com, washingtonpost.com (Africa summit)

Trump wants to wait until after midterms to sign Nafta deal: US President Donald Trump said Sunday he wants to wait until after the midterm elections to move forward on a new Nafta deal with Mexico and Canada, with the parties locked in tough negotiations. The Congressional midterms are scheduled for 6 November. Trump has labelled the EU as bad as China when it comes to trade, as he defended his „America First“ policy. Asked during an interview with „Fox News“ whether it would be better to team up with Washington’s European allies to try to change China’s trade practices, Trump claimed the EU treated the United States very unfairly, „possibly as bad as China“.
cnbc.com, independent.co.uk

Istanbul police disperse gay pride march: Police used tear gas, dogs and batons to push back crowds celebrating Istanbul’s 16th Pride March on Sunday. The people, carrying rainbow flags and banners, had been marching down the city’s central Istiklal shopping street as part of the pride celebrations. But they were forced to move from street to street for an hour as police tried to end an event the local government had banned for the fourth year in a row. The activists unfolded a large rainbow flag while a press statement was read out amid heavy security in the area, saying the city’s ban would not deter them from marching peacefully. The march was intended to fight violence and discrimination against the lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex community (LGBTI). Turkish officials closed a German Embassy school in Izmir. The head teacher told the German press agency DPA that Turkish officials said the school lacked a license.
dw.com, dailymail.co.uk, dw.com

Mexico election: Polls closing after campaign marred by violence bbc.com
Yemen: Offensive on Yemeni port halted for talks euronews.com
Austria’s idea: Hahn against downsizing of EU Commission orf.at
Expenses: EU Parliament deals with expenses of right-wing populists orf.at
ECB: Italy wants bank oversight, Germany wants to prevent it handelsblatt.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

In the interests of this country and the capacity of this government, which we want to maintain, we want to make an attempt to find an agreement on this central question of turning people away [at the German border.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer wants to find a solution to the refugee dispute with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU.
dw.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

France honours Simone Veil with hero’s burial in the Pantheon: The former French minister and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil was honoured at Paris‘ Pantheon on Sunday. Veil, who also championed the 1974 law legalising abortion in France, was laid to rest at the Pantheon a year after her death at the age of 89. She is only the fifth woman to be buried in the secular mausoleum, which has become the final resting place for the country’s most illustrious citizens. Veil, who became one of France’s most revered politicians and a president of the EU Parliament, was known for her battle as health minister to legalise contraception and abortion in France in the face of bitter opposition. She also secured improved rights for prisoners and children in the care system. On the European stage, she continually pushed for an inclusive European Union as a way of never reliving the horrors of the past. French President Emmanuel Macron, in a speech on the Pantheon’s steps, said Veil’s burial there marked the entry of generation of women who made France without the nation ever giving them the recognition or freedom that was due to them.
euronews.com, theguardian.com

German Interior Minister threatens to quit in asylum row: German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has confirmed his offer of resignation from both from the cabinet and as CSU leader within the next three days, after unexpectedly re-escalating his standoff with Chancellor Angela Merkel over Germany’s asylum policy. But according to reports from a leadership meeting in Munich, other senior party figures had tried to dissuade Seehofer from stepping down. Seehofer did confirm that he was going to seek one more talk with Merkel on Monday about asylum policy before deciding on his future. Seehofer said the conflict with Merkel over migration was affecting the credibility of his role as party leader. He also slammed the migration deal Merkel secured with her EU counterparts last week as ineffective. Merkel, who was meeting in Berlin with the senior ranks of her own party, described the situation to colleagues as very serious, Germany’s ARD public television reported.
dw.com, telegraph.co.uk, politico.eu

Sweden’s new sex law takes effect: A law that allows sex without explicit consent to be prosecuted as rape has gone into effect in Sweden, putting the country on par with several others in Europe. The consent provision that took effect on Sunday was part of broader sexual crimes legislation Swedish approved lawmakers in May. It comes after the country was rocked by the #MeToo movement denouncing sexual harassment and assault. Under the new law, sexual activity not preceded by a partner’s spoken agreement or other clear demonstration of consent could be considered rape. The law does not permit passivity as a sign of voluntary participation or as a defence. Courts will need to pay particular attention to whether consent was expressed with words, gestures or in another manner, and judges will have to rule on the issue.
abcnews.go.com, dailymail.co.uk

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Germany not ruling out further car recalls: Germany is not ruling out further recalls of cars as it continues to check the car industry for illegal software, transport minister Andreas Scheuer told a German daily. There was an ongoing monitoring of the market, Scheuer was quoted as saying by „Handelsblatt“. The German Transport ministry last month said 774,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Europe had been found to contain unauthorised software defeat devices, ordering Daimler to recall more than 200,000 cars in Germany. Scheuer said the ministry was also monitoring cars from manufacturers outside of Germany, without specifying the brands, but could not take any action itself.
reuters.com, handelsblatt.com

Italy: Salvini wants European association of nationalist parties telegraph.co.uk
Daphne Caruana Galizia: Malta urges revoking license of bank that fought murdered journalist politico.eu
France: Government lowers speed limit to fight road deaths euronews.com
Serbia: About 10,000 dead every year due to bad air nzz.ch

⊂ 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 ⊃

Protests in Greece against name deal with Macedonia: Rallies took place in Athens and Thessaloniki on Sunday to protest the deal between Athens and Skopje on the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The demonstrations outside the parliament in the Greek capital Athens and Aristotelous Square in the northern port shut down key thoroughfares in both cities. Protesters in Thessaloniki originally tried to gather in front of the White Tower but were prevented from doing so by police. There were some brief scuffles before the protesters moved to Aristotelous. Protesters in Athens also clashed with police, who used tear gas to disperse the crowds.
orf.at

 

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