Tuesday, 6 October 2020: Germany says no-deal Brexit would be irresponsible, Tensions ease in the Eastern Mediterranean, EU Parliament favours strict rule of law mechanism


Germany says no-deal Brexit would be irresponsible: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier met in Berlin on Monday to discuss the trade negotiations between the UK and the EU. Barnier also met with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who said that a no-deal Brexit would be irresponsible. He said while the coronavirus had made negotiations more difficult in every respect, they had made reaching a deal more crucial, too: „With today’s health and economic challenges, people on both sides of the channel have enough to shoulder, so it would be totally irresponsible to burden them in this position with the additional problems through a no-deal.“ Maas added that the EU was still open to constructive discussions with the UK. According to the Nikkei financial daily, Toyota and Nissan will ask Britain to reimburse them for additional custom charges incurred if the UK government fails to reach a Brexit trade deal with the EU.
dw.com, reuters.com

Tensions ease in the Eastern Mediterranean: A Turkish drill ship has left the area where it was operating southwest of Cyprus and reached Turkey’s coast for maintenance. The Yavuz vessel reached shore and Turkey’s energy ministry said it would now prepare for work in a new location. EU leaders last Friday assured Cyprus the bloc would punish Turkey if it continues drilling in disputed Mediterranean areas, after resisting Cypriot calls to impose sanctions on Ankara.

EU Parliament favours strict rule of law mechanism: A report from the European Parliament has branded the EU as ill-equipped and ineffective, with MEPs arguing that the existing mechanisms for violations around the rule of law simply aren’t working. They added that a new rule of law process should be enshrined in a legally binding document with proper enforcement measures. Ahead of a vote on the issue Wednesday, MEPs have accused Germany of watering down plans already agreed by EU leaders.

EU budget rules to remain suspended in 2021: European Union rules that set limits on government borrowing will remain suspended in 2021 as the 27-nation bloc strives to support a recovery from the recession caused by the pandemic, Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said. The EU Commission earlier this year suspended requirements to keep government deficits below 3% of GDP and to reduce public debt every year as the EU economy entered a record recession.

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict takes toll on civilians: Azerbaijan and Armenia accused each other on Monday of attacking civilian areas and said the death toll was rising from the fighting in the South Caucasus region. Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over Nagorno-Karabakh in 1988-94, eventually declaring a ceasefire. However, they have never reached a settlement over the dispute. The current fighting is the worst seen since the ceasefire. Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called for a ceasefire in the region, saying there could be no military solution.
reuters.com, bbc.com

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Climate activists criticise how the EU Commission calculates emissions spiegel.de
Climate law: EU Parliament votes on the Commission’s proposed climate law this Tuesday euractiv.com
Eurozone: Covid-19 resurgence hits service industries reuters.com
EU Competition Commissioner Vestager calls for German leadership in overcoming Covid crisis reuters.com
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There mustn’t be a second shutdown. And as far as it’s up to me, there won’t be a second shutdown for industry.
Germany will avoid another round of lockdown measures on businesses to contain the coronavirus pandemic, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Monday as rising infections cloud the growth outlook for Europe’s largest economy.


Hamburg suspect taken to psych ward: German investigators said Monday they were treating an attack on a Jewish student outside a synagogue in the northwestern city of Hamburg as an attempted murder with anti-Semitic intent. The student sustained severe head injuries after he was assaulted with a spade outside a synagogue on Sunday. The suspect is a German man who is said to have been acting in an „extremely confused“ manner. According to media reports, he appears to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and has been placed in a psychiatric facility. The attack is the latest in a series of anti-Semitic incidents.
faz.net, dw.com, theguardian.com

Paris raises alert to maximum: Paris and its surrounding suburbs have been put on “maximum alert” Monday as coronavirus cases surge in the city. Bars, gyms and swimming pools will all be closed for two weeks in a bid to curb the spread of the virus, the city’s police chief Didier Lallement said. „These are braking measures because the epidemic is moving too fast,“ he added. Restaurants will remain open if strict hygiene rules are in place.
cnbc.com, bbc.com

Spain tops 800,000 coronavirus cases: Spain became the first Western European nation to surpass 800,000 total coronavirus cases after registering 23,480 new infections over the weekend, health ministry data showed on Monday. Authorities in the north-western region of Castilla y León said the cities of Palencia and León would follow the capital, Madrid, and nine nearby municipalities into partial lockdown for a fortnight from Tuesday, meaning people can only enter or exit the areas for work or on medical grounds.
reuters.com, theguardian.com

Poland’s education minister tests positive, swearing-in postponed: Poland rescheduled a ceremony at which the president was to confirm new ministers on Monday, after the incoming education minister, Przemyslaw Czarnek, said he had tested positive for coronavirus.

Belarus opposition leader to ask Merkel about upping pressure on Lukashenko: Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Tuesday. Tikhanovskaya said she will ask Merkel about her potential participation as a mediator in talks between protest leaders and the government of the embattled autocrat Alexander Lukashenko. Meanwhile, Belarus police have detained 317 people and deployed water cannon during mass protests against Lukashenko.
theguardian.com, bbc.com

Austria: Ministers test negative for Covid-19 after scare reuters.com
Italy plans nationwide mask requirement kurier.at
Czech Republic: Health Minister Prymula threatens tougher Covid measures pnp.de


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Von der Leyen goes into coronavirus quarantine: EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tested negative for Covid-19 while she was self-isolating Monday following a close contact last week with a person who has tested positive for the infection. Despite the result, she will remain in quarantine until the end of Tuesday, in line with Belgian regulations. European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel is also self-isolating pending coronavirus test results, she announced Monday.
politico.eu, politico.eu


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