Tuesday, 16th May 2017: Cyber attacks slow but fears remain, British block new EU military headquarters, EU antitrust probe over pricing of cancer drugs

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Cyber attacks slow but fears remain: A massive global cyber attack that has spread across 150 countries appears to be slowing down, with few reports of fresh attacks globally on Monday. A spokesperson for police agency Europol said the situation in Europe seemed stable. The attack has wreaked havoc on some hospitals, transport systems, phone companies and assembly lines around the world. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, came out swinging against the NSA on Sunday, alleging the attack used exploits that were stolen from the agency earlier this year. The Trump administration hastily called emergency meetings Friday and Saturday to contain fallout from the ongoing ransomware campaign.
bbc.com, nbcnews.com, politico.eu

British block new EU military headquarters: Conflicting signals from Britain over a planned military headquarters the EU wants to set up to run its foreign training missions have annoyed France and Germany. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson downplayed the spat, saying the UK would not block an EU plan to create a joint military unit responsible for training missions in Somalia, Mali and Central African Republic. The command centre in Brussels is part of a broader Franco-German plan to build closer EU defence ties, save Europeans taxpayers‘ money and deter threats from Russia and Islamist militants.
reuters.com, politico.eu

EU antitrust probe over pricing of cancer drugs: Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. faces an EU antitrust probe for ramping up the price of cancer drugs. The EU’s first investigation into excessive pricing of medicines follows Italian and British action against pharmaceutical price increases. The EU Commission will investigate information indicating that Aspen has imposed very significant and unjustified price increases of up to several hundred percent. Aspen’s behaviour may be in breach of the EU’s antitrust rules, which forbid the imposition of unfair prices or unfair trading conditions on customers.
bloomberg.com, europa.eu

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EU to change relations with Africa: EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the bloc is changing its attitude towards Africa after the massive increases in migration in the past few years. Many millions of young Africans remain frustrated at the unemployment and the high levels of poverty they continue to endure. One of Italy’s largest migrant centres has been in the hands of the mafia for more than a decade, police said. The claims came to light on Monday, when officers arrested 68 people, including a local priest.
euronews.com (Africa), bbc.com (Italy)

Citizens’ initiative: EU Commission to review judgement on “Stop TTIP” derstandard.at
Brussels: EU and US to meet Wednesday over in-flight laptop ban abcnews.go.com
State aid: Commission finds Portugal’s extension of hydro-power concessions does not involve state aid europa.eu

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

Family is the core element of our social order and has a fundamental role in the formation of our youth and the transmission of the values on which our common life is founded.
EU Parliament President Antonio Tajani pointed out on Monday that May 15th is the International Day of Families, which this year focuses on the role of families and family-oriented policies in promoting education.
europarl.europa.eu

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Merkel and Macron announce roadmap to EU integration: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed on Monday to draw up a roadmap to deeper EU integration and opened the door to changing the bloc’s treaties to facilitate reform. Both said they were open to changing existing EU treaties as part of their modernisation efforts. Macron mentioned fiscal and economic cooperation, external defence, joint asylum proposals and foreign policy as possible areas of cooperation between France and Germany. Macron has chosen centre-right mayor Edouard Philippe as France’s new prime minister.
reuters.com, dw.com, politico.eu, bbc.com

German Holocaust denier arrested in Hungary: Horst Mahler, a prominent former German left-wing militant turned neo-Nazi, applied for political asylum in Hungary, where he was subsequently arrested. A German court in 2009 sentenced Mahler to 10 years in prison for inciting hatred and Holocaust denial, which is a criminal offence in Germany. The 81-year-old former lawyer was released early two years ago due to poor health, but was then ordered back for other offences committed while in prison. Instead of returning, he went on the run in April.
dw.com

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Dutch coalition talks have failed: Talks on forming a coalition government in the Netherlands have collapsed. The negotiations between Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s conservative VVD Party and three other parties to form a centrist coalition broke down on Monday over a failure to agree on immigration policy. Rutte said the failure of the talks was unfortunate. The breakdown is likely to set back the formation of a government by months.
politico.eu, reuters.com

Austria heads for snap election: Sebastian Kurz, leader of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), said Sunday that he would hold talks with his social democratic coalition partners and suggest they jointly propose a snap election. Kurz, who also serves as Austria’s foreign minister, was elected ÖVP leader on Sunday following the resignation earlier this week of Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner. Chancellor Christian Kern warned that an early election could also open the door for the far-right populist Freedom Party (FPÖ) to enter the national government.
dw.com

Germany: Berlin considers moving troops from Turkey over diplomatic dispute politico.eu
Greece: Country slides back into recession at start of 2017 telegraph.co.uk

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

politjobs.eu: GIZ seeks Advisor (m/f) Economic Analysis and Policy *** IASS seeks Two Senior Research Associates (m/f) for the project “Co-Creation and Contemporary Policy Advice” *** Bayer seeks Government Relation Manager *** Google seeks Public Policy and Government Relations Analyst (Northern Europe) *** Lufthansa bietet Praktikum im Bereich Konzernpolitik *** NATO seeks Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges *** Copa-Cogeca seeks Policy Advisor Expert on Wine & Aquaculture
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

Putin’s and Zeman’s disturbing jokes: Before meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday in China, Czech President Milos Zeman commented on the presence of journalists, telling Putin that they were too numerous and they should be liquidated. Putin countered that it could be enough to reduce them. The comments caused an immediate uproar as they reverberated through social media on Monday. Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka reshared a Twitter post about journalists who have been killed or attacked in Russia.
nytimes.com

 

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