Wednesday, 9 June 2021: French President Macron slapped in face on visit to small town, Brussels prepares case against Germany over ECB ruling, Bosnian Serb commander loses appeal against war genocide conviction


Guterres tapped for second term as United Nations chief: The United Nations (UN) Security Council on Tuesday formally recommended the re-election of António Guterres as secretary general, assuring a second term for the Portuguese statesman that will keep him in office until 2027. Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal who headed the UN refugee agency for 10 years, was the only officially recognised candidate this year for the 2022—2027 term, despite a more competitive and transparent system under changes to the selection process first made in the 2016 election for secretary general. Approval from the General Assembly is seen as a formality and expected to take place soon. During his first term, Guterres was widely regarded as diplomatically adept at having avoided confrontations that could antagonise then US president Donald Trump.,

European Council wants to fill the position of anti-terrorism coordinator: The incumbent coordinator Gilles de Kerchove has been in office for 14 years. Now the position needs to be filled again. The Council Secretariat has sent out an internal call for applications with an application deadline of June 15. The post is limited to five years, with a one-off reappointment being possible. The appointment of an anti-terrorism coordinator was decided as a reaction of the EU member states to the terrorist attacks on March 11, 2004 in Madrid. The Dutchman Gijs de Vries held the office first, followed in 2007 by the Belgian Gilles de Kerchove. Tasks include the coordination of the fight against terrorism. As a political official, the coordinator cannot issue orders, but regularly publishes political recommendations and proposals for measures to the Council and then monitors their implementation.

US Capitol attack was planned in plain sight, Senate report finds: A new Senate report reveals previously unknown details about the stunning security breakdowns ahead of the 6 January US Capitol attack. Although the US Capitol Police’s main intelligence unit „was aware of the potential for violence“ beforehand, there was an intelligence breakdown and a lack of preparation. Among the failures was an inability by intelligence officials to tie together a swirl of troubling internet chatter leading up to the riot and a reliance on using past, non-violent Trump rallies in security planning. There are also several glaring omissions in the report including any examination of Donald Trump’s role in the riots.,

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Putin signs law taking Russia out of Open Skies arms control treaty: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Monday that formalises Russia’s exit from the Open Skies arms control treaty, a pact that allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries. Russia had hoped that Putin and US President Joe Biden could discuss the treaty when they meet later this month at a summit in Geneva. But the Biden administration informed Moscow in May that it would not re-enter the pact after the Trump administration quit it last year.

Meeting of EU interior ministers: Asylum reform postponed again
Belarus: EU foreign policy chief Borrell calls Belarusian ruler Lukashenko “dictator”
Covid aid fund: Brussels approves first plans for aid funds next week
Ryanair vs Condor: EU court announces ruling this Wednesday
New EU social fund: MEPs approve new Social Fund to support young people and the most deprived
MEPs expected to approve EU’s COVID travel pass


French President Macron slapped in face on visit to small town: French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face as he shook hands in a crowd during a visit Tuesday to a small town in southern France. The man reportedly shouted „Down with Macron-ism“ as he slapped the president, as well as „Montjoie, Saint-Denis“ – the battle-cry of the old Kingdom of France, in reference to the banner of King Charlemagne. Two men, both age 28, have been arrested. They risk three years in prison and a $50,000 fine over an attack on a public official. As yet the identity and motive of the man are unclear. French media said the two arrested are identified with the yellow vest movement — the mostly white, working-class protests that dogged Macron politically and personally during much of 2018 and 2019.,

Brussels prepares case against Germany over ECB ruling: The European Commission is expected to launch an infringement procedure against Germany after a ruling by the country’s Federal Constitutional Court that is seen as incompatible with EU law. The German ruling is seen to have risked jeopardising the EU’s legal order by challenging the position of the bloc’s top court. The German court had ruled that the stimulus program, approved by the German government, was partly contrary to Germany’s national constitution. That ruling was deemed to have contradicted the ECJ, which had previously declared the multibillion-euro bond purchase program compliant with EU law.

Bosnian Serb commander loses appeal against war genocide conviction: Former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladić has lost his appeal of a genocide and war crimes conviction — a ruling that means the “Butcher of Bosnia” will spend the rest of his life in prison. The ruling involving his 2017 convictions and sentence closed a grim chapter in European history that included the continent’s first genocide since World War II — the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys. US President Joe Biden, who took a close interest in the Bosnian war as a US senator, welcomed the ruling. He said the “historic judgment shows that those who commit horrific crimes will be held accountable. It also reinforces our shared resolve to prevent future atrocities from occurring anywhere in the world.” But Bosnian Serb separatist leader Milorad Dodik blasted the final verdict as “selective justice” and “satanisation of Serbs” which will only deepen the existing ethnic divide in Bosnia so many years after the war.,

Second military coup in Mali raises doubts about German military mission: Due to the latest developments in Mali, there are increasingly critical voices regarding the Bundeswehr mission abroad. Malian generals had overturned the government of the West African crisis state a few days ago. With up to 1,100 troops, the Bundeswehr took part in the UN blue helmet operation Minusma. In addition, security forces are being trained by 600 German soldiers as part of the EU Training Mission (EUTM). The German parliament extended both mandates in May. The head of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Norbert Röttgen, is now criticizing the behavior with regard to the latest developments, as many officers are trained by the European training mission in Western countries, but „become putschists“ in their own country and are also willing to work with Islamists.

Netherlands: Russian hacker attack on Dutch police
Austria: CEO of Austrian state holding company and close Kurz ally resigns
France: „Bataclan“ attack: six people arrested for financing terrorism
Germany wants to stop influx of refugees from Greece


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Euro 2020: Two Sweden players test positive for coronavirus: Two players in Sweden’s squad for the European Championship have tested positive for the coronavirus, the team said Tuesday, three days before the start of the tournament. Juventus winger Dejan Kulusevski returned a positive test soon after informing Sweden’s medical team that he had symptoms for a cold. Kulusevski remained in Stockholm while the rest of the squad traveled to Gothenburg. After Kulusevski’s positive test, Sweden coach Janne Andersson said he was hopeful the winger could join up with the squad again after the team’s first match at Euro 2020, against Spain in Seville on Monday.


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