Wednesday, 26 April 2017: Council of Europe puts Turkey on watch list, Hungarian university chief appeals for EU help, Israel’s Netanyahu scraps talks with German minister

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Council of Europe puts Turkey on watch list: The Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assemby (PACE) has put Turkey on a monitoring watch list. There are concerns over what is described as the stifling of dissent and rights violations under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The assembly denounced Turkish government actions before and after last year’s failed coup. The Turkish foreign ministry has strongly condemned the decision. Turkey’s high administrative court on Tuesday dealt a new blow to the main opposition party’s efforts to appeal the result of the constitutional referendum. More than 30 US-backed Syrian and Iraqi Kurdish fighters were killed in a series of airstrikes carried out by Turkish jets on Monday.
euronews.com, bloomberg.com, abcnews.com, foxnews.com

Germany blocks post-Dieselgate reform: The German government on Tuesday appeared to reject an EU proposal calling for stronger controls on auto emissions, according to media reports. Among the EU Commission’s proposals were stronger controls over industry regulatory bodies, such Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), as well as additional on-the-spot emissions tests carried out by Brussels itself. Germany also has not yet reached a position on the proposal that the Commission should be able to impose high fines on cheating carmakers if the national authority has not done so.
dw.com, euobserver.com

EU parliaments could get vote on Brexit: Negotiating Britain’s exit from the EU could be even more fraught than previously thought — because national parliaments may also be involved. That is one of the conclusions of an analysis by the research service of the German parliament, the Bundestag. The stakes have been raised ahead of Britain’s early election in June, with the opposition Labour Party setting out its Brexit strategy. Attempting to tackle Prime Minister Theresa May’s lead in the opinion polls, Labour says if it wins power it will immediately guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK.
politico.eu, euronews.com

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EU all set for free roaming: As of June 15th, mobile users travelling to other countries in the EU will be able to call, text or surf the net without paying any extra charges. The last requirement for abolishing mobile roaming fees was met on Tuesday with the adoption by the Council of the legal act that limits how much operators may charge each other to allow roaming across Europe. Roaming without paying surcharges is for those living in Europe and who travel to other EU countries for work or leisure. It will also be introduced in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway shortly after June 15th.
consilium.europa.eu

85th anniversary: North Koreans celebrates founding of its army as US submarine lurks in the south cnn.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

We are witnessing the starving and the crippling of an entire generation. We must act now to save lives.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the UN has now been promised half the amount requested for its humanitarian appeal for Yemen, which is facing a tragedy of immense proportions.
washingtonpost.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Hungarian university chief appeals for EU help: The head of a Hungary-based university founded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros appealed Tuesday for EU support to fight a new law he says is aimed at shutting the school down. Michael Ignatieff said he was cautiously optimistic that the EU would launch infringement proceedings against the Hungarian government for its attack on academic freedoms. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has requested to personally appear before the EU Parliament during a debate Wednesday over his country’s controversial new education law seen as targeting Central European University for closure.
washingtonpost.com, theguardian.com, politico.eu

France mourns slain police officer: A ceremony has been held in Paris to honour the police officer shot dead on the Champs Elysee last week. Mourners were joined by President Francois Hollande and presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. Hollande called for unity in the long and difficult fight against terrorism. He awarded Xavier Jugele the Legion of Honour, one of France’s highest honours. Macron has urged France to not give into fear after the attack. Jean-Marie Le Pen, the father of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, says he thinks his daughter has produced a too laid-back campaign in the French presidential race.
euronews.com, bbc.com, dw.com, foxnews.com

Israel’s Netanyahu scraps talks with German minister: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cancelled talks with Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel after he refused to call off a meeting with Israeli human rights activists. Netanyahu had warned he would not see Gabriel if he met the groups Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem. Netanyahu’s office said he refused to meet any diplomats who lent legitimacy to organisations calling for the criminalisation of Israeli soldiers. Breaking the Silence, a group of former soldiers, gathers anonymous testimony from within the military about alleged abuses of Palestinians by the army.
bbc.com

Bailout talks resume in Athens: Greece’s creditors resumed a long-delayed audit on Tuesday. Talks over reforms in the energy and labour market and pension cuts and income tax increases have dragged on for months, mainly due to differences between EU lenders and the International Monetary Fund over fiscal targets. Greece is set to sell a two-thirds stake in the country’s second-largest port of Thessaloniki to a German-led consortium. Greece’s appeals court has refused Ankara’s request to extradite three soldiers who fled across the border after last year’s failed coup attempt in Turkey.
reuters.com, global.handelsblatt.com (Thessaloniki), euronews.com (Turkey)

Spain: Suspects with links to Belgian airport attack arrested reuters.com
Ukraine: Electricity to rebel areas cut dw.com
Sweden: Suspect linked to Stockholm attack released politico.eu

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

politjobs.eu: PlasticsEurope seeks Public Affairs Manager (m/f) *** GIZ seeks Policy Advisor (m/f) *** Siegfried Mureșan MEP offers Traineeship *** European Sunlight Association seeks Communication Officer *** ChildFund Alliance seeks Director – Brussels Office *** Mototrola Solutions seeks Director of Government Affairs – Europe and Africa *** Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft sucht Praktikant (m/w) *** Uni Europa seeks Policy Officer (m/f)
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

Ivanka Trump gets booed in Berlin: Ivanka Trump, the daughter of US President Donald Trump, arrived in Berlin Tuesday morning armed with facts and figures to recite at an international summit to discuss women entrepreneurship. But on her first international trip as an official representative of the United States, the first daughter was put on the spot about her father’s attitudes toward women, booed and hissed at by the crowd, and grilled by the moderator about what, exactly, her role is in Trump’s administration.
politico.eu

 

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