Tuesday, 12 November 2019: Germany calls for sanctions against Iran, Far-right march on independence anniversary in Poland, Catalan separatists block France-Spain highway


Germany calls for sanctions against Iran: Iran is enriching uranium at its underground Fordow site and rapidly accelerating enrichment more broadly, a report by the UN atomic watchdog showed on Monday. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the three European countries Germany, Britain and France must be ready to react, and that could mean reimposing international sanctions on Iran. Europe’s position is vital as the United States has withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear deal and the other signatories, Russia and China, are allies of Iran and unlikely to start the process under which sanctions could be reimposed. Maas said Iran must finally return to its commitments under the 2015 accord. Otherwise the European countries would reserve the right to use all mechanisms specified in the deal for sanctions to be reimposed. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said she was contacting the signatories to decide what to do next. She said it was becoming increasingly difficult to save the nuclear accord.
euronews.com, reuters.com

UK has yet to nominate EU commissioner: The incoming president of the new EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has written to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, asking him to propose a British candidate for EU commissioner in the shortest time possible. The EU had given an ultimatum to Johnson saying that the EU Commission expected to be told who the new official was by Monday. Johnson’s spokesman said on Monday that the government would comply with the law and that officials remained in regular contact with the president-elect’s team. The EU wants the full Commission to be finalised by 1 December.
theguardian.com, mirror.co.uk

British founder of White Helmets found dead in Istanbul: A former British Army officer honoured by the Queen for his work with the White Helmets civil defence group in Syria was found dead in Turkey on Monday. James Le Mesurier, the founder and director of the Mayday Rescue group, was found dead near his apartment in central Istanbul’s Beyoglu neighbourhood. The cause of death is unknown. Turkish media reports said he was found with fractures to his head and legs and appeared to have fallen from a balcony. The office of Istanbul’s governor said it had launched an investigation. The Russian Foreign Ministry had essentially declared Le Mesurier a terrorist only three days prior to his death. In a briefing Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova insinuated that Le Mesurier had active ties to Britain’s foreign intelligence service as well as to terrorist groups.
bbc.com, theguardian.com, cnn.com

Commission: Outgoing EU Commission President Juncker to undergo aneurysm surgery this Tuesday tagesspiegel.de


I think President Macron’s doubts about (Nato’s commitment to mutual defence) can make other allies wonder if perhaps it is France that has concerns about sticking to it.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has warned that French President Emmanuel Macron’s critical remarks about Nato were dangerous.


Far-right march on independence anniversary in Poland: Tens of thousands of Poles on Monday took part in a march in Warsaw organised by nationalist groups to mark Polish independence. Although the yearly march is organised by far-right bodies, many families have also joined the event in recent years, seeing it as a simple display of patriotism. Two years ago, there was international outrage after some participants carried banners with white supremacist slogans. This year, politicians from the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party steered clear of the march, with the party holding its own separate events to commemorate the anniversary.

Catalan separatists block France-Spain highway: Pro-independence protesters in Catalonia blocked a major highway between France and Spain on Monday, halting traffic in both directions. Some 80 people blocked the road at La Jonquera on both the French and Spanish sides after a call to gather there by campaign group “Democratic Tsunami”. The group said it was seeking to bring an international focus to cause of Catalan independence. The head of Spain’s centre-right Ciudadanos party, Albert Rivera, quit on Monday after heavy election losses.
dw.com (Protest); reuters.com (Rivera)

Greece and China plan closer co-operation: Greece and China have signed 16 agreements in sectors including energy, agriculture, tourism and ports. Chinese President Xi Jinping is on an official visit to Greece, seeking to expand co-operation between the two countries. Xi announced that the Chinese government also wants to strengthen the transit role of Piraeus Port to expand bilateral trade and to invest in transportation and the banking sector. The port of Piraeus is the biggest Chinese investment in Greece and port operator Cosco recently received approval for a new development, including a new cargo terminal. China has already poured more than 800 million euros into the port and intends to invest another 600 million euros.
bloomberg.com, dw.com

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Merkel and Conte call for more EU solidarity: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte have called for more solidarity from European countries when it comes to the distribution of refugees rescued at sea. At a recent meeting of EU states in Malta, first steps were taken to replace the previous ad hoc solutions for individual rescue ships. However, much remains to be done to achieve a fair division of tasks across Europe. Merkel also called for improvements to the co-operation with the Libyan Coast Guard. Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed during a phone call on Monday that Ukraine should give its separatist-led Donbass region a special status set out in Ukrainian law. The Ukrainian military and Russia-backed separatist rebels have completed a pullback of troops and weapons from another area in eastern Ukraine.
handelsblatt.com, faz.net (Italy); uk.reuters.com (Putin); nytimes.com (Ukraine)

Austria: Conservative leader backs coalition talks with Greens euronews.com
Netherlands: Court orders government to repatriate children of radicalised women in Syria time.com
Italy: Holocaust survivor faces threats after calling for investigation into hate npr.org
Sweden: Police set up task force to combat gang violence news.yahoo.com
Greece: Influx of migrants continues zdf.de


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)


Poland accuses Netflix of mistakes in documentary: Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has written a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, asking the streaming service to make changes to the documentary series entitled “The Devil Next Door”, which chronicles the story of John Demjanjuk, a retired US carworker convicted by a German court in 2011 of having been a Nazi death camp guard during the war. The documentary includes a map showing Nazi death camps inside the borders of modern Poland. Morawiecki said he believed the mistake was unintentional and that the company would swiftly correct it, either by modifying the map or providing further explanation to viewers. He reiterated that Poland did not even exist at that time as an independent state, and millions of Poles were murdered at these sites.


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