Wednesday, 9 May 2018: Trump withdraws US from Iran nuclear deal, EU defends proposal to cut farm subsidies, Opposition leader named new Armenian prime minister


Trump withdraws US from Iran nuclear deal: US President Donald Trump declared on Tuesday that he was pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal. Trump’s announcement, while long anticipated and widely telegraphed, plunges America’s relations with European allies into deep uncertainty. They have committed to staying in the deal, raising the prospect of a diplomatic and economic clash as the United States reimposes stringent sanctions on Iran. The leaders of France, Germany and the UK expressed “regret and concern” over Trump’s decision. Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and Theresa May spoke by phone to discuss Trump’s decision, a Downing Street spokesperson said, “and agreed their continuing commitment” to the pact. Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s top diplomat, said she believed the deal was successfully deterring Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and predicted that the rest of the international community would stand by the pact.,,

EU defends proposal to cut farm subsidies: The EU Commission has defended its budget plans to reduce farm subsidies. Speaking before the parliament of the Belgion region of Wallonia, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the reduction of farm subsidies would not be a „massacre“, but rather a „re-shaping“ of the agriculture fund. The proposal comes as part of a bigger, new, multi-year EU budget set to trigger battles among member states over how to fill the funding gap left by Britain’s exit next year. France, by far the largest beneficiary of the Common Agriculture Policy, said the proposals were unacceptable and stressed they were only a starting point for negotiations.

EU court strengthens rights of non-EU citizens banned from bloc: Non-EU citizens can challenge being banned from the bloc if they can demonstrate a relationship of dependency with an EU national, the European Union’s top court ruled on Tuesday. The case, brought against the Belgian state, centres on citizens of Armenia, Russia, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Albania, Guinea, who were all ordered to leave the country and banned from reentering because they were deemed “a threat to public policy’’. Following the decision, they applied for residence permits, arguing that they were parents, children or partners of Belgian citizens. However, Belgium refused to process their requests, insisting that they first had to leave the country in order to ask for the entry bans against them to be lifted. The issue was referred to the European Court of Justice for help in interpreting EU laws on freedom of movement. The court ruled that Belgium had a duty to consider the residency requests on the basis of family reunification.,

Brexit Britain’s satellite threat falls flat with Brussels: The UK’s threat to launch its own version of the Galileo navigational satellite system over a Brexit spat with Brussels has one big black hole: Any alternative version is unlikely to match the value of sticking with the EU’s programme. London’s access to the encrypted part of Galileo, called the Public Regulated Service and needed by the military to guide missiles and plan operations, is emerging as a key conflict in talks over the UK’s impending departure, with the EU saying that as a third country Britain would no longer have access to such sensitive data. That prompted Business Secretary Greg Clark to warn earlier this month that the government will set up a task force to “develop options for an independent satellite navigation system using the world-beating expertise of Britain’s thriving space sector.”

Foreign exchange: Italian stocks underperform Europe as election worries bite
Immigration: EU on the brink of a major rift over migration
Vasiliauskas: ECB can end bond buys this year despite slowdown


If you have the new customs partnership, you have a crazy system whereby you end up collecting the tariffs on behalf of the EU at the UK frontier.
British Foreign secretary Boris Johnson has launched an unprecedented attack on Prime Minister Theresa May’s preferred option for a post-Brexit EU customs partnership, calling the proposed system crazy and saying it would not give Britain control of trade policy.,


Forza Italia considering moving aside to let government take office: Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party is considering standing aside to let its ally the League form a government with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, Forza Italia sources said on Tuesday. However, Berlusconi denied he may stand aside to let his ally the League form a government with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement. Italy has been stuck in political limbo since inconclusive elections in March, with 5-Star offering to form a government with the far-right League but only on condition that it breaks clear from its veteran partner, Berlusconi.,

Opposition leader named new Armenian prime minister: Opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan was elected Armenian prime minister by the country’s parliament on Tuesday, following weeks of mass protests against his predecessor. Thousands of supporters gathered to celebrate in the capital of Yerevan as Pashinyan won the vote 59 to 42, according to the BBC. Former Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan was forced to resign in April in response to a series of protests triggered by his appointment as prime minister, after he had already served as president for a decade. Pashinyan said he would hold a snap election as soon as he believes the conditions are right for a vote to take place. He also promised to end corruption and election-rigging.

Macron wants to treat France’s addiction to public money: In an interview given with the Journal du Dimanche (JDD) and the Figaro, French President Emmanuel Macron said he wanted to wean the French off public fund allocations, as he assessed his first year in office. Two weeks following his state visit to the US, Macron told JDD he wanted to reshape the strategy with President Donald Trump by focusing on political and military matters and the fight against terrorism. On the military strikes in Syria, led by France, the US and the UK on 14 April, Macron stressed his role in convincing Trump to join the strikes. On Russia, Macron advocated a firm stance on the suspicions of interference in the French presidential elections last year.

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Migrants sue Italy for aiding Libyan coast guard: Nigerian migrants who survived a deadly sea crossing last year filed a lawsuit against Italy for violating their rights by supporting Libya’s efforts to return them to North Africa, their lawyers said on Tuesday. Seventeen plaintiffs petitioned the European Court of Human Rights last week, Violeta Moreno-Lax, a legal advisor for the Global Legal Action Network, told reporters. She was among four lawyers and several humanitarian groups involved in the case. The migrants say Italy violated multiple articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, including that people not be subjected to torture, held in slavery, or have their lives put in danger. This is the first lawsuit to be filed against Italy for its decision to back the Libyan Coast Guard. The country lost a case in the same court in 2012 for directly handing over migrants intercepted at sea to Libyan authorities.

Germany grilled on racism during scheduled UN review: UN member states posed critical questions to Germany about its policy against racism and discrimination on Tuesday, during a regularly scheduled review session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Despite Germany’s positive reputation on human rights, the country has faced a rise in ethnic-charged violence since the 2015 refugee crisis. Authorities recorded around 5,700 attacks on refugees and refugee centres in recent years. The German government has also warned of a rise in anti-Semitism. During the Tuesday session, the UK wanted to know about Germany’s answer to anti-Semitic violence and attacks on asylum seekers. Separately, Brazil urged Germany to protect its places of worship, including synagogues and mosques.

Greece: Asylum service approves second Turkish soldier’s plea
Czech Republic: Former minister criticised President Zeman – „Works for foreign power“
Belgium: Belgium debates liberalising abortion

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Israel offends Japanese delegation by serving dinner in a shoe: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t exactly put his best foot forward when he served his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, chocolates in a metal shoe. This proved to be a cultural faux pas given the Japanese etiquette that calls for footwear to be kept outside the front door. A Japanese diplomat expressed his dismay to Israeli news outlet Yedioth Ahronoth. „This was an insensitive decision,“ the article quoted one unidentified senior Israeli official as saying. A source close to the chef stressed that the dessert was not served in a real shoe but rather in leather-looking metal sculptures forged by industrial designer Tom Dixon.,



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