European Council head says Europe still open to a British change of heart

European Council head says Europe still open to a British change of heart

The president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, intimated on Tuesday that Europeans would still be ready to accept a change of heart by Britain with regard to its decision to withdraw from the European Union (EU). “If the U.K. Government sticks to its decision to leave, Brexit will become a reality – with all its negative consequences – March next year, unless there is a change of hearts among our British friends” Tusk said in a plenary debate of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. “Wasn’t it (U.K. Brexit negotiator)…

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Catalonia will remain under tutelage if Puigdemont wants to lead it from Brussels

Catalonia will remain under tutelage if Puigdemont wants to lead it from Brussels

The autonomy of Catalonia (Northeast Spain) will remain suspended if separatist Carles Puigdemont attempts to govern it from Brussels, warned Monday the Head of the Spanish Government Mariano Rajoy. The future president of Catalonia “must take possession of his mandate, and do it physically, for one cannot do so from Brussels; and if he does not, Article 155 will remain in force, declared Mariano Rajoy, evoking the Article of the Constitution that has allowed the Region to be placed under tutelage since 27 October.

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Sex workers in St.-Josse in increasingly precarious situation, group warns

Sex workers in St.-Josse in increasingly precarious situation, group warns

“The confusion some people make between sex work and human trafficking is only making working conditions increasingly deplorable for men and women who do sex work freely,” the UTSOPI collective, which defends the rights of sex workers, said on Monday. The statement by UTSOPI – the Union of Sexworkers Organized for Independence – came in reaction to weekend articles in the Flemish press on an influx of Nigerian women in prostitution in Belgium. The Flemish press reported the Federal Police as stating that more and more under-aged girls, often from…

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Despite courier demonstrations Deliveroo boasts growth phase

Despite courier demonstrations Deliveroo boasts growth phase

Despite the demonstration by couriers in Brussels, Liège, Antwerp, Malines and Ghent, the meal home-delivery platform, Deliveroo, boasted on Sunday having “growth of 34% in the number of couriers” in a week. Deliveroo both denounces and condemns “acts of vandalism and intimidation.” To recap, on Saturday evening between 50, say Deliveroo and 130 couriers, according to the collective representing 200 couriers, took part in the initiative in the various cities where the platform has an active presence. Those who took part are refusing to accept management’s wish to force all…

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EU committed to the nuclear deal but worries about Iran’s role in the region

EU committed to the nuclear deal but worries about Iran’s role in the region

Last week’s roundtable between EU/E3 and Iran resulted in press statements where the EU representatives expressed their support for the implementation of the nuclear deal. The EU foreign policy chief and the foreign ministers from three EU member states, France, United Kingdom and Germany, showed a common front in defending the deal and calling on the US to respect it. From that point of view the invited Iranian foreign minister, Jawad Zarif, could be satisfied with the outcome of meeting but he was conspicuously absent from the press briefing. He…

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Lactalis to withdraw 12m boxes of baby milk in salmonella scandal

Lactalis to withdraw 12m boxes of baby milk in salmonella scandal

Emmanuel Besnier, chief executive of French dairy giant, says all products from contaminated factory will be recalled The head of a French dairy giant at the centre of an international salmonella scandal has promised to withdraw 12m boxes of powdered baby milk from the supermarket shelves of 83 countries. Emmanuel Besnier, the scion of the secretive family behind one of the world’s biggest dairy groups, was speaking publicly for the first time since an outcry erupted over claims the company hid the salmonella outbreak at a plant making the product….

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Bundesbank: China’s yuan to be included in currency reserves

Bundesbank: China’s yuan to be included in currency reserves

Germany’s central bank decides to include Chinese yuan in its own reserves in further boost to international status of currency Speaking at an event in Hong Kong on Monday, Bundesbank board member Andreas Dombret said the decision was taken last year following an investment of €500 million by the European Central Bank (ECB), of which the German authority is a part. He declined to comment on the amount that would be allocated. “The renminbi is used increasingly as part of central banks’ foreign-exchange reserves – for example, the ECB included…

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New EU strategy on support to Iraq while Kurdish independence put on hold

New EU strategy on support to Iraq while Kurdish independence put on hold

The European Commission published this week an EU strategy for support to Iraq. The strategy paper addresses the humanitarian, political, economic and security challenges the country faces following the defeat of the Islamic State (Da’esh). An EU spokesperson told The Brussels Times that there is no change in EU policy with regard to the issue of Iraq’s territorial integrity and Kurdish independence. The strategy paper says that EU “should remain fully committed to Iraq’s unity” but it also stresses the necessity of a “sustained dialogue on all outstanding issues” between…

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UK risks losing up to 500,000 jobs if no deal with EU on Brexit

UK risks losing up to 500,000 jobs if no deal with EU on Brexit

The United Kingdom could lose close to 500,000 jobs by 2030 if it leaves the European Union (EU) without an agreement on the modalities of the withdrawal, according to a study commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and released on Thursday. The pro-Europe mayor, who belongs to the Labour Party, warned in a press release that if the United Kingdom were to leave the EU in March 2019 without a deal on the single market, customs union or transitional arrangements, that could cause the loss of up to 482,000 jobs….

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Fewer garage owners but higher staff numbers per unit

Fewer garage owners but higher staff numbers per unit

In Belgium, the number of garage owners has decreased in recent decades, going from 6,000 in 1990 to some 1,800 dealers today. Traxio, the federation for the automobile sector and related industries has indicated this. The volume of employment in the sector has however remained stable and there are some 3,000 job vacancies across the entire country. The spokesman for Traxio, Philippe Decrock, explained to the Belga press agency, “Back in 1990, each garage employed an average of between five and 10 people. Currently there are between 20 and 50…

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