Monday, 9 July 2018: Italy wants EU sea missions to take rescued migrants elsewhere, EU won’t break the single market for Brexit UK, British woman dies after being exposed to Novichok

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Italy wants EU sea missions to take rescued migrants elsewhere: Italy will seek commitments from EU partners to have migrants rescued at sea by ships from anti-trafficking and border control missions taken to other countries, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Sunday. The request will be made on Thursday at a meeting of European interior ministers in the Austrian city of Innsbruck. Italy’s new government has helped thrust immigration back on to the European agenda by closing its ports to humanitarian ships that rescue migrants off the coast of Libya, where they are sent out on overcrowded boats by people smugglers. In Germany, thousands of people took part in demonstrations in several German cities to show their support for NGOs rescuing refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. Organisers said around 12,000 people marched in the German capital Berlin in support of the rescuers.
reuters.com, dw.com

EU won’t break the single market for Brexit UK: The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has stressed that there can be no unravelling of the single market, as UK ministers tried to agree on a future UK-EU relationship. Barnier said realistic and workable UK proposals are needed for what happens post-Brexit. His remarks, at an event organised by the Institute of International and European Affairs think tank in Brussels, amounted to a robust defence of the EU single market — „The heart of the European project“ and the EU’s main economic public good, as Barnier put it. It has taken 45 years to build, he said, including the UK’s important and positive role, and with Europe facing so many challenges it has to consolidate its accomplishments. Brexit Secretary David Davis has resigned from the UK government. Junior minister Steven Baker quit shortly after Davis – as Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to face MPs and peers on Monday. In a letter to May, Davis said he was unpersuaded that the government’s negotiating approach would not just lead to further demands for concessions from Brussels.
politico.eu, bbc.com, bbc.com (Davis)

British woman dies after being exposed to Novichok: A woman who was exposed to the nerve agent Novichok in Amesbury, Wiltshire, has died in hospital. Dawn Sturgess and her partner are thought to have handled a contaminated item in Salisbury on 29 June, before falling ill in Amesbury the following morning. The investigation into the poisonings is being led by detectives from the Counter Terrorism Policing Network, and about 100 detectives are working alongside officers from Wiltshire police. Investigators are still trying to determine how the couple were exposed to the nerve agent after emergency services were called to a residential address in Amesbury eight days ago after Sturgess collapsed. According to media reports, the couple are both known to struggle with alcohol and drug addiction. A police officer tested for possible exposure to a nerve agent in Salisbury has been given the medical all-clear.
theguardian.com, euronews.com, dailymail.co.uk, bbc.com (Police officer)

Germany must increase defence spending, says Nato chief: Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said Germany should be more vigilant in increasing its defence spending, as 29 countries prepare to meet for a Nato summit on Wednesday. Stoltenberg said he welcomed the German government’s pledge to increase the defence budget to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2024. But he said he expected the country to do even more to meet the 2024 alliance target of 2 percent of GDP that Germany and other Nato countries agreed on during a 2014 summit. Meanwhile, military figures and diplomats fear that US President Donald Trump could threaten to pull US troops out of Ukraine and refuse to take part in joint Nato exercises if Britain and other European countries fail to commit to increased spending on defence. Trade tensions between the US and longtime allies have thus far not bled over into military activities at Nato, US Ambassador to Nato Kay Bailey Hutchison said Sunday ahead of Trump’s trip to Europe later this week.
dw.com, telegraph.co.uk, politico.eu

Nuclear deal: Iran’s President Rouhani calls on EU to act quickly spiegel.de
Brussels: EU sees results as Ukraine enacts changes advised by bloc dw.com
ECB bond buying: German government supports European Central Bank faz.net
Brazil: Judge overrules order for former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s release bbc.com
USA: Will Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Uphold the 14th Amendment? politico.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

The question is no longer whether or not there will be a trade war, the war has already started.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has warned that Europe is already involved in a trade war with the United States. Le Maire insisted on Sunday that Washington should expect united retaliation from Europe to further tariff increases.
reuters.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

German government distances itself from Seehofer’s Brexit letter: The German government has distanced itself from Interior Minister Horst Seehofer’s call for unrestricted cooperation with post-Brexit Britain on security matters, telling Brussels that his remarks did not reflect Berlin’s official position. In an unusual step for a national minister, Seehofer wrote to the EU Commission just before the European Council summit at the end of last month, warning that the EU’s approach to the UK on security issues could put lives at risk. But in an equally unusual move, Germany’s permanent EU representation in Brussels wrote to the Commission afterward, clarifying that Seehofer’s remarks reflected his personal views, not the official government stance in Berlin. An EU Commission spokesperson said there was only one Brexit negotiation and only one Brexit negotiator: Michel Barnier.
politico.eu

Italy promises billions of euros to Libya if it accepts the return of migrants: Italy and Libya have agreed to reactivate a friendship treaty signed a decade ago that allowed migrants to be returned to Libyan territory. Libya’s foreign minister Mohamad Siala hailed the agreement reached during his first visit to Tripoli as significant and promising. The original treaty was signed by former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi and Italy’s then prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, as they sought to turn a page on 40 years of stormy relations between the North African country and its former coloniser. But the deal was suspended in February 2011, after the start of the uprising that saw Gadhafi forced from power and killed. The original treaty envisaged unlocking 4.2 billion euros of Italian investment in Libya as compensation for colonisation by Rome. In exchange, Libya would work to stop illegal migrants embarking from its shores and receive those sent back to it. In Tripoli on Saturday the two ministers did not say if the text of the reactivated treaty had been amended.
euronews.com

France withholds funds for Marine Le Pen’s far-right party: French judges have blocked the payment of around 2 million euros in state subsidies to the far-right party of Marine Le Pen, a move she described as a „death sentence“ for the group. Le Pen said the amount of withheld funds is nearly half of the 4.5 million euros the party was supposed to receive this year. Le Pen and other lawmakers within her party said without the state funds, which were due to be delivered in the coming days, her party might not be able to stay afloat. The National Rally, which dropped its National Front moniker this year in a bid to shed its racist and anti-Semitic reputation with voters, is currently under investigation for allegedly misusing millions of EU funds. The EU Parliament has accused Le Pen’s party of using 5 million euros in funds for parliamentary assistants and paying it to Le Pen and other party lawmakers, including her father and party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen.
dw.com, telegraph.co.uk

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Jewish Syrian attacked in Berlin: Police in Berlin are investigating after a young Syrian was attacked and left with a head wound. The unidentified victim told police that he had asked a group of people for a light for a cigarette in the park in Berlin’s central Mitte district on Saturday night. The 25-year-old said that when one member of the group discovered he was wearing a Star of David emblem, they started to shout anti-Semitic insults, grabbed the cigarette from his mouth and punched him. He ran away but was chased and beaten to the ground. The attackers fled when passersby came to the man’s aid. Police arrested ten people following the attack, most of them also Syrians, according to reports.
dw.com

Macron’s refugee policy: French President’s approval ratings are dropping tagesspiegel.de

⊂ 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 ⊃

Pride parade in Germany: Cologne’s Christopher Street Day parade saw registrations from 170 groups, setting a new record for the event. It was first held in the German city in the 1980s, inspired by the 1969 Stonewall Inn bar protest in the United States. Christopher Street Day (CSD) gatherings take place across Germany but the largest events are held in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne. Despite being a city of just 1.2 million people hundred-of-thousands, perhaps as many as 800,000 people poured into Cologne from across the region to celebrate. The weekend-long event began on Friday and culminated with Sunday’s colorful parade through the city.
dw.com

 

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