Monday, 28 September 2020: EU calls for end to fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, Macron says Lukashenko has to go, Swiss voters reject EU immigration curbs

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

EU calls for end to fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh: European Council President Charles Michel has called for a halt to fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Clashes broke out between the two countries on Sunday over Nagorno-Karabakh, an occupied territory that is inside Azerbaijan but is run by ethnic Armenians, causing casualties on both sides and reigniting concern about instability in the South Caucasus. Armenian officials said Azerbaijani forces had attacked civilian targets in the region on Sunday morning, including in Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital Stepanakert. Azerbaijan said it had responded to Armenian shelling. Both countries declared martial law, with Armenia announcing general mobilisation of troops. Azerbaijan said they were not mobilising all of their forces yet.
euractiv.com, politico.eu, npr.org, dw.com

Macron says Lukashenko has to go: French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that Alexander Lukashenko must step down, after the EU refused to recognise Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus. “What is happening in Belarus is a power crisis, an authoritarian power that cannot accept the logic of democracy and which is hanging on by force,” Macron told “Journal du Dimanche”. He added that he had been impressed by the courage of the protesters. Around 100,000 protesters marched through central Minsk on Sunday to show their opposition to Lukashenko. The protests have been taking place for weeks.
france24.com, politico.eu, dw.com

EU wants secure video conferences: The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing the EU to hold most of its meetings via video conference. This has raised security concerns over eavesdropping, since there is apparently a lack of tap-proof technology, according to German newspaper “Spiegel”.
spiegel.de

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progressive-governance.eu

Lebanon: Macron accuses Lebanon’s politicians of “collective treason” spiegel.de
European Investment Bank solicits additional equity capital from EU member states to increase investments in climate protection in Europe tagesspiegel.de
EU Competition Commissioner Vestager appeals against Apple ruling in $15 billion tax battle cnbc.com
EU Commissioner Kyriakides goes into Covid quarantine politico.eu

⊂ QUOTE OF THE DAY ⊃

The first months in office were characterised by a ‘turbo regime’ with the parliament quickly adopting long-stalled reforms. However, according to many observers, the pace of reforms has slowed down recently, including on the implementation of the Association Agreement commitments [to the EU].
EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said the EU’s support for Ukraine will continue, but it is also linked to the urgent need to enhance the rule of law and develop the fight against corruption.
euractiv.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Swiss voters reject EU immigration curbs: 61.7% of Swiss voters have rejected a proposal to end an accord with the EU allowing the free movement of people. The move to rein in immigration was proposed by the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), which argued that the country must be allowed to set its own limit on the number of foreigners coming in to work. The initiative was opposed by the government, which warned that it would impact other bilateral deals on transport, research and trade with the EU, disrupting economic activity. Swiss people are given a direct say in their own affairs under the country’s system of direct democracy. They are regularly invited to vote on various issues in national or regional referendums.
bbc.com, politico.eu, theguardian.com

Germany takes in refugees from Moria: Following a fire in the Greek refugee camp Moria, Germany will take in around 150 affected refugee children. An interior ministry spokesman confirmed that around 50 unaccompanied minor refugees are expected to land in Germany on Wednesday. Several other European countries have also agreed to accept refugee children from Moria. Meanwhile, Greek officials on Sunday announced the first coronavirus death in a migrant camp near Athens.
n-tv.de (Moria), france24.com (Virus death)

Romania voted in local elections: Polls opened on Sunday in Romania’s local elections, which are being viewed as an indicator of how an upcoming General Election in December might unfold for the country’s government. Voters across the country chose local officials, council presidents and mayors.
euronews.com

Madrid in standoff with government over lockdown: The Spanish government and authorities in Madrid are in a standoff over how to tackle the second wave of Covid-19 in and around the capital. The Spanish government recommended locking down all of the city of Madrid again to curb the spread of the virus. But the regional government, led by Isabel Díaz Ayuso, is refusing to implement the recommended lockdown over fears of the economic damage it could cause. Spanish newspapers reported on Sunday that Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa is looking at ways to take over the response to the virus in Madrid. In the meantime, protesters gathered in Madrid to voice their opposition to the mandatory use of face masks and other Covid measures.
theguardian.com, bloomberg.com, bbc.com

Portuguese workers protest for better wages: Thousands of workers in Portugal protested for higher wages on Saturday amid the coronavirus pandemic. Workers wearing masks and keeping a safe distance urged the country’s government to raise the national minimum wage to 850 euros from the current 635 euros, the lowest in western Europe.
reuters.com

Belgium: Thousands protest against planned government handelsblatt.com
France 1: Parisian restaurateurs protest against Covid restrictions nau.ch
France 2: Suspect admits to deliberately targeting “Charlie Hebdo” offices bbc.com

⊂ POLITJOBS ⊃

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⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

Biden compares Trump to Goebbels: US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has compared US President Donald Trump to German Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. When Biden was asked during an MSNBC interview about Trump’s repeated claim that he was pushing a socialist agenda, Biden said: “He’s sort of like Goebbels. You say the lie long enough, keep repeating it, repeating it, repeating it, it becomes common knowledge.” He said Trump was using socialism as a way to distract from his handling of the pandemic.
politico.com, nytimes.com

 

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