⊂ EUROPE ⊃
Creditors send experts to Athens: Greece’s banks have reopened but Greek shareholders aren’t allowed to buy or sell stock, as the Athens exchange remains closed. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tried to rally his Syriza party on Tuesday before a vote in parliament on the second package of measures demanded by international creditors to open talks on a new bailout deal. The first batch of measures had sparked a mutiny within the ruling Syriza party.
reuters.com, dw.com, theguardian.com
Middle East peace process: The EU is turning its attention to reviving peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. EU foreign ministers decided that an international support group to set the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in motion. The effort comes after U.S.-led negotiations collapsed in spring 2014 amid squabbles over Israeli settlements and Palestinian demands for prisoner releases. EU foreign ministers also called on Israel to halt plans for the forced transfer of population and demolition of Palestinian housing in the West Bank village of Khirbet Susiya.
Preliminary climate negotiations: Four months ahead of the UN climate conference in Paris, France signalled a breakthrough. Ministers and top officials at an informal gathering reached consensus on several issues, top climate negotiator Laurence Tubiana said. A pact to be finalised at the conference will have as its goal to limit average global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.
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TTIP negotiations open-ended: The American and European negotiators have finished their tenth round of talks for the free trade deal TTIP. They have been in negotiations for more than two years, with no end in sight. Last December the EU countries’ leaders called for the talks to be concluded by the end of 2015. Now, the chief negotiators have reported that they will meet more often to work on controversial points in the trade agreement.
Frans Timmermans promotes better legislation: Less bureaucracy and better laws are one of the priorities of the current EU Commission. This is intended to address criticism by citizens and companies against Europe, calling Brussels a bureaucratic monster interfering with the daily lives of EU citizens. Proposals by member states, EU Parliament, and the Commission will be discussed starting on July 7th. The negotiations should be completed later this year.
Bank of BRICS states launches: The five large emerging countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are now funded by a new bank. The New Development Bank (NDB) will fund infrastructure and development projects in BRICS countries. It is the second of two new policy banks heavily backed by Beijing that are being pitched as alternatives to existing institutions such as the World Bank.
Afghanistan: Ministers discuss annual report and strategy to stabilize the country consilium.europa.eu
Eastern partnership: Council President Donald Tusk spoke with Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili consilim.europa.eu
Account surplus: First estimate for May 2015 in EU at 13 billion euros europa.eu
⊂ QUOTES ⊃
“We were warned that there were IS militants here. But we never thought that we could be attacked in such a way in Suruc. Now we know that the Turkish government is lying when it claims that there are no IS militants here. Now we know: The border region to Syria is IS land.”
A survivor of the Suruc attack is full of anger at Turkey’s government.
“I am disappointed, but it was an important step forward.”
EU Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, criticizes EU countries for failing to agree on how to distribute refugees.
⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃
Turkey after the attack: Funerals were held Tuesday for victims of the attack in the Turkish border town of Suruc. A suspect has been identified in the attack that killed 32 young activists, the country’s prime minister said. Authorities believe the suicide bomber was a young man recently lured into joining the “Islamic State” group. Opposition figures say the government’s main concern is not the IS threat but the increasingly powerful Kurdish presence in the north of Syria. Kurdish protesters in Istanbul were dispersed with water cannon on Monday evening, while more demonstrations are planned for this weekend.
Fighting in Ukraine continues: Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists have reached a preliminary agreement to extend a pull-back of weapons to include tanks and smaller weapons systems, the chairman of the OSCE security watchdog in Eastern Ukraine said. Hundreds of Ukrainian right-wingers meanwhile rallied in Kiev on Tuesday to protest against government policies in the wake of a deadly stand-off between the radical Right Sector group and police in the country’s west.
Catalonian nationalists vow to declare independence: Catalan separatist leaders have vowed to make a unilateral declaration of independence from Spain after local elections in September. On Monday, the leaders of the two main Catalan nationalist political parties and pro-independence grass roots groups unveiled a united platform for the election. According to their plan, a further, binding, referendum would take place in 2016, before the establishment of an independent Catalan state is completed.
Ukraine hopes for debt relief: Ukraine extended talks with creditors amid predictions that the country could default as early as Friday if an agreement is not reached. After Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the country’s debt is expected to top 100 percent of GDP this year. The nation’s bonds had rallied to a five-month high last week as progress in talks raised hopes that Ukraine won’t stop servicing its debt imminently.
Crisis in Slovenia: The country has a corruption problem. Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar is having difficulty keeping his centre-left cabinet together. Currently there is one resignation after another, Slovenia’s government is dealing with corruption and plagiarism accusations. However, unlike Spain or Greece, the country is not waiting for EU help, but taking action on its own.
France: Emergency measures for cash-strapped farmers euronews.com
Germany: Court rules controversial child care subsidy unconstitutional dw.com
Poland: Parliamentary Election Set for October 25th nytimes.com
Spain: Two British men arrested after German tourist dies in bar fight dailymail.co.uk
⊂ DATA ⊃
76,000 Polish immigrants worked in nursing professions in Germany in 2013. A total of three million people were working in these professions in Germany, 373,000 with a migrant background.
⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃
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⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃
Without words: A man who does not speak a word of French has won the French-language Scrabble World Championship. Nigel Richards from New Zealand beat a French-speaking Gabonese national in the final in Louvain, Belgium. Richards is said to have memorized the entire French Dictionary and conjugations in just nine weeks earlier this year, without understanding the words’ meanings.