Wednesday, 28 August 2019: British opposition parties agree strategy to block no-deal Brexit, Italy and Malta ban rescue ship from entering their waters, Bolsonaro will only accept aid if Macron apologises

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

British opposition parties agree strategy to block no-deal Brexit: Leaders of several opposition groups in the UK met on Tuesday and announced plans to work together to block a no-deal Brexit by passing legislation in the British parliament. They accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of using anti-democratic means to force through a no-deal after he suggested that parliament could be suspended to prevent it stopping a no deal. One possible tactic for the opposition might be to try to pass a law forcing Johnson to delay Britain’s departure from the bloc to prevent a no-deal scenario. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told Johnson on Tuesday he would look at any concrete proposals the British prime minister had on the Northern Irish backstop but underlined that the bloc’s support for Ireland was steadfast. EU Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici has reiterated that Britain would still have to honour all its financial obligations made during its EU membership even if a no-deal Brexit occurred.
dw.com, euronews.com (Opposition); reuters.com (Juncker); reuters.com (Moscovici)

Italy and Malta ban rescue ship from entering their waters: The two countries have banned a migrant rescue ship operated by the German charity „Mission Lifeline“ from accessing their waters. Though Italy and Malta have the EU ports closest to Libya, the countries have constructed policies to exclude humanitarian ships. The positions have led to numerous standoffs. The German rescue ship took aboard 100 people from a a rubber lifeboat sinking off the Libyan coast on Monday. The charity said the people on the ship were undernourished and dehydrated. Meanwhile, Italy has grounded two planes used by NGOs to search for migrant boats in distress in the Mediterranean Sea. The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR has announced that at least 40 people are estimated to have drowned off the coast of Libya in the latest boat disaster in the Mediterranean.
dw.com, reuters.com (Ship); theguardian.com (Planes); unhcr.org (Libya)

Bolsonaro will only accept aid if Macron apologises: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Tuesday that he will accept the offer of international aid to help fight the Amazon rainforest fires, but only if French President Emmanuel Macron apologises to him. His demand for an apology followed Macron lashing out after a Bolsonaro supporter mocked Macron’s wife in a Facebook post, comparing her to Bolsonaro’s wife and suggesting Macron was jealous. Bolsonaro has also accused Macron of having a colonialist mentality and suggested that Western nations appeared motivated by the resources that the Amazon provides. Macron told reporters on Tuesday that Bolsonaro misinterpreted the intention of the G7 aid pledge. Brazilian Deputy Economy Minister for Foreign Trade Marcos Troyjo said on Tuesday that a proposed agreement between the Mercosur trade bloc and the EU is being revised by lawyers.
nbcnews.com, politico.eu, time.com, reuters.com

Russia violated whistleblower’s human rights: Europe’s top human rights court has condemned Russia for multiple violations in the case of prominent whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky. The court found that Magnitsky’s detention under poor conditions amounted to ill-treatment and that Russia had violated his right to life. Besides insufficient medical care and ill treatment, the court said that the length of his detention was unjustified, that he was held in severely overcrowded conditions, and that Russian authorities failed to carry out an effective investigation into allegations of mistreatment and and medical negligence. Magnitsky, an auditor who uncovered a fraud scheme by Russian tax officials and was subsequently arrested, had died while in detention.
politico.eu, dw.com

Digital tax: EU Competition Commissioner Vestager says EU prepared to act alone on digital tax reuters.com
Tax fraud: European Council President Tusk faces Polish tax probe politico.eu
Iran: Rouhani says no talks with Trump until sanctions are scrapped; Iran convicts British-Iranian dual national of spying cnn.com; bbc.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

A ’no-deal‘ scenario will only ever be the UK’s decision, not the EU’s.
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has reiterated that the UK will be solely to blame if it leaves the EU in a no-deal Brexit.
france24.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Italian parties press ahead in bid to form government: Italy’s ruling Five Star Movement and the opposition Democratic Party PD appeared on the verge of a deal to form a new Italian government after the PD indicated it had abandoned a veto on Giuseppe Conte serving another term as prime minister. Conte’s reinstatement, insisted on by Five Star but previously resisted by PD, had been presented as the main stumbling block to a deal between the two traditionally antagonistic parties. President Sergio Mattarella has given the two parties until this Wednesday to form a government, otherwise Italy faces new elections.
reuters.com, france24.com

Macron calls for new economic world order: French President Emmanuel Macron has called for a new global economic order, decrying an unprecedented crisis in the market economy. In a speech on Tuesday, Macron warned that pushing Russia farther away was a deep strategic error. Macron said it was time for Europe to reach out to Russia — to keep it in the Western fold, check its global ambitions and avoid being caught in the middle of a new Cold War.
washingtonpost.com, france24.com

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Prosecutors raid Deutsche Börse offices: German police raided offices of Germany’s exchange operator Deutsche Börse as part of a broader investigation into a fraudulent share-trading scheme. Deutsche Börse confirmed that offices of its Clearsteam subsidiary were searched. The investigations focus on a practice, known as cum-ex, which involves cross-border trading of company shares around a syndicate of banks, investors and hedge funds to create the impression of numerous owners, with each entitled to a tax rebate.
reuters.com

Germany 1: Left Party urges Germany-wide rent control dw.com
Germany 2: Mass cancellations at Munich Airport over stray passenger reuters.com
Spain: German said to have deliberately sparked three forest fires in Mallorca de.euronews.com

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

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)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

Annual tomato fight in Spain: La Tomatina is an annual, globally-renowned food festival held in the Valencian town of Bunol, which is situated in the east of Spain. As the name suggests, tomatoes feature heavily during this celebration, as thousands take part in a mass tomato-fuelled food fight. Thousands of tourists visit the region to take part in La Tomatina festivities.
independent.co.uk

 

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