Thursday, 5 October 2017: Catalonia to declare independence on Monday, EU takes Ireland to court, Agreement close in Central European University fight


Catalonia to declare independence on Monday: Catalonia will move on Monday to declare independence from Spain after holding a banned referendum. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said he favoured mediation to find a way out of the crisis but that Spain’s central government had rejected this. Puigdemont attacked Spain’s King Felipe VI for ignoring millions of Catalans. Puigdemont claimed that the king had rejected a moderating role granted to him by the constitution. The EU Commission called on Wednesday for the Spanish government and Catalan authorities to open dialogue. Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans endorsed the legal position of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.,,

EU takes Ireland to court: The EU Commission said on Wednesday it was taking Ireland to the European Court of Justice for its failure to recover up to 13 billion euros of tax due from Apple. The Commission said the deadline for Ireland to implement its decision had been Jan. 3 this year and that, until the aid was recovered, the company continued to benefit from an illegal advantage. Apple is appealing the case.

Commission proposes reform of VAT system: The EU Commission has launched plans for the biggest reform of EU VAT rules in a quarter of a century. The reboot is meant to improve the system for governments and businesses. According to the Commission, over 150 billion euro of VAT is lost every year. It is estimated that this sum would be reduced by 80 percent as a result of the proposed reform.

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ECB asks banks to set aside more cash for bad debt: The European Central Bank (ECB) is attempting to put a lid on nearly 1 trillion euros worth of bad debts stored in eurozone banks by asking lenders to be more prudent about the way they handle new customers falling behind on repayments. The ECB issued guidance on Wednesday intended to stop a new pile of problem debts being built up inside the banks by setting out how much cash it wanted lenders to set aside for bad debts incurred from January 2018.

Asylum policy: EU Parliament calls for consensus on joint asylum law
Tillerson: „I never considered“ resigning as secretary of state


Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Amazon. As a result, almost three quarters of Amazon’s profits were not taxed.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has taken a tough line on multinational companies’ approach to tax.


Agreement close in Central European University fight: A university in Hungary under threat of being shut down says an agreement with the government seems to be approaching. The Central European University in Budapest has accused the government of trying to remove it from the country, prompting an international campaign to protect academic freedom. There have been negotiations in New York and the university says a basis for an agreement has been reached. The EU Commission on Wednesday stepped up legal action against Hungary over restrictions on foreign funding.,

German parliament president criticises AfD: The outgoing president of the German parliament, Norbert Lammert, has criticised former AfD leader Frauke Petry for leaving the party straight after the election. Petry quit days after the AfD became the third largest party in the Bundestag, winning 94 seats. Lammert also rebuked the party for saying it will hunt Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Poroshenko introduces new Donbass law: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has introduced a controversial law for the areas controlled by separatists in eastern Ukraine. The law aims to create a new legal basis for the defence against enemy aggression in Donbass.

Junior justice minister to replace Dutch defence minister: The Netherlands‘ junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff is to become the country’s new defence minister after the resignation of Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, who quit following a highly critical report into the deaths of two Dutch peacekeepers during a training exercise in 2016. The appointment comes as talks to form a new four-party ruling coalition continue following elections in March.

Greece: Part-time work on the rise, wages fall
Germany: Ex-AfD leader Frauke Petry charged with perjury
Turkey: Court sentenced 34 people to life in prison after coup

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Theresa May speech interrupted by comedian: British Prime Minister Theresa May’s attempt to relaunch her faltering premiership was badly derailed Wednesday when a keynote speech was marred by an interruption from a prankster, a prolonged coughing fit and finally the disintegration of the stage set behind her. May was left fighting to finish, barely audible, in front of a packed hall full of delegates at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.



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