Tuesday, 30 November 2021: President of European Court of Auditors accused of fraud, France urges UK to open legal migration route, Sweden’s lawmakers elect first female Prime Minister – again


Omicron variant requires urgent action, G7 health ministers say: G7 health ministers said Monday that the threat of what may be a highly transmissible COVID-19 variant requires urgent action worldwide. Ministers also recognised the strategic relevance of ensuring access to vaccines.
france24.com, g7uk.org

  • Spain confirms its first case of Omicron variant apnews.com
  • Poland announces new restrictions to guard against Omicron variant reuters.com
  • EU discussing emergency virtual summit on Omicron for Friday bloomberg.com
  • Covid will be discussed at EU foreign ministers‘ meeting in Barcelona tagesschau.de
  • US President Joe Biden: Omicron „a cause for concern, not a cause for panic“ politico.com

Nursing unions accuse EU of protecting profits of big pharmaceutical companies at the expense of public health: Nursing unions from 28 countries have called on the United Nations to support a temporary waiver on patents for COVID-19 vaccines, and warned of a „crisis of global vaccine apartheid.“ euronews.com

China pledges another one billion Covid vaccine doses for Africa. reuters.com

President of European Court of Auditors accused of fraud: This Tuesday, the EU Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee will follow up on a newspaper article published in La Libération, containing allegations that some members of the European Court of Auditors are abusing their system of allowances. According to media reports, the allegations concern misuse of housing allowances, expense claims and excessive use of official cars for private purposes.
europarl.europa.eu, derstandard.at

Inflation reached its peak in November – ECB’s Schnabel: The European Central Bank (ECB) believes that inflation peaked in November, meaning it would be premature to raise interest rates as price increases look likely to slow gradually next year, ECB board member Isabel Schnabel said.

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Europe’s telecommunication companies want to make US tech giants pay: In a letter to the EU Commission signed by, among others, Telekom CEO Timotheus Höttges, the CEOs of Europe’s leading telecommunication companies are specific about which policy adjustments they would like to see made and how: Lower competition barriers and frequency costs. And they renew their old demand that the US internet giants should share the costs.

Legal regulation of online platform work: Growing pressure on EU Commission. heise.de

Talks to revive Iran nuclear deal resume: Negotiators in Vienna resumed talks Monday over reviving Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, with the United States taking part at arm’s length as in previous rounds since the Trump administration pulled out of the accord three years ago. US President Joe Biden has signalled he wants to rejoin the talks.

Afghanistan: Taliban ask EU for help with airport operations faz.net
300-billion-euro plan: EU braces for China’s Silk Road ft.com
Climate: Europe revisits nuclear power as climate deadlines loom; Fewer greenhouse gases in EU than before the pandemic nytimes.com; welt.de
European Payments Initiative: Bundesbank supports push for European payment system handelsblatt.com
World Health Organization: Austrian to be WHO’s new European crisis manager derstandard.at
Economy: Eurozone economic sentiment rose dropped to 117.5, EU dropped to 116.5 actionforex.com
Reporting: EU Commission sets up newsroom for news agencies in Brussels faz.net


The numbers I hear of, sort of, the upfront investments to be fully self-sufficient, that makes it not doable.
Becoming completely independent on semiconductor production is just “not doable” because of the high levels of investment needed, the EU’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager admitted Monday.


France urges UK to open legal migration route: French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin urged Britain on Monday to open a legal route for asylum seekers in order to prevent people risking their lives by taking small boats across the Channel to England. „Great Britain needs to open up a legal immigration route“ because „at the moment anyone who wants to ask for asylum has no other choice but to cross the Channel,“ Darmanin said in an interview with the RMC/BFM media group.

Allegedly 115,000 soldiers on the border: Ukraine fears Russian invasion ahead of NATO meeting; Belarus announces military drills with Russia near Ukraine border. tagesspiegel.de; reuters.com

Sweden’s lawmakers elect the country’s first female Prime Minister – again: Swedish lawmakers have again elected Magdalena Andersson to the role of prime minister – days after she resigned from the post – and she is set once more to become the first female leader in the country’s history. Andersson was first chosen to be prime minister last week, but she quit the same day after her proposed budget was defeated and the coalition government she hoped to lead broke down.

Belgian protesters demand better police action on violence against women: Thousands of protesters in the Belgian capital took to the streets on Sunday to demonstrate against violence towards women. Between 5,000 and 8,000 joined the protests in Brussels, according to the Mirabel platform, which represents dozens of civil society organisations.

France welcomes Germany’s new ‘pro-European’ coalition agreement: The coalition deal struck between three parties that will form Germany’s next government is very much in line with France’s own ambitions and priorities, including its vision of a more federal EU. “It is very positive what is happening in Germany,” French MEP Valérie Hayer, the new co-chair of the French delegation of the liberal Renew Europe group in the European Parliament, told „Euractiv“.

Austria: Who is behind the attacks on the Kurz investigators? spiegel.de
France sees chance of compromise with Germany on EU fiscal rules reuters.com
Italy: Eitan Biran: cable car fall survivor must be returned to Italy, Israeli court rules theguardian.com
Serbia: Anti-mining activists block roads to protest against new laws reuters.com
Weather chaos: Snowfalls, heavy rains and strong winds hit Italy and Spain euronews.com


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French minister in talks with unions on troubled Caribbean island: France’s minister for overseas territories held talks on Monday with union leaders on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe on ways to end more than a week of violent protests sparked by Covid restrictions. The riots began over compulsory Covid vaccinations for health workers and first responders but quickly ballooned into a broader revolt over living conditions.


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