Malta killing scandal exposes EU unwillingness to supplant Muscat

Malta killing scandal exposes EU unwillingness to supplant Muscat

Malta’s Prime Minister Josep Muscat came under increasing pressure on Thursday (12 December) as calls for his immediate resignation intensified in Brussels in an ongoing investigation over the 2017 assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Anne Caruana Galizia. The Maltese Prime Minister has said that he will step down in mid-January, but with the ongoing murder investigation implicating senior government officials, there has been no shortage of those calling for Muscat to leave with immediate effect. As European leaders arrived in Brussels yesterday for an EU summit, a protest took place…

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MEP: Commission “irresponsible” of the risks to health caused by 5G

MEP: Commission “irresponsible” of the risks to health caused by 5G

The European Commission is “irresponsible” in not addressing the health risks associated with the future rollout of next-generation mobile network, Bulgarian MEP Ivo Hristov has said. His comments echo concerns recently highlighted by EU telecoms ministers, related to “non-technical” elements of 5G cybersecurity, as the debate continues around Europe’s ability to keep pace with the rest of the world on 5G deployment. However, discussion over the potential health risks of establishing denser network infrastructures consisting of considerably higher capacities has recently surfaced as a growing concern among Parliamentarians in Brussels….

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The UK economy has fallen to the lowest point since 2009

The UK economy has fallen to the lowest point since 2009

The British economy had its worst quarter since 2009, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported on Tuesday. The economy flatlined month-on-month in October, after two months of decline. Services expanded by 0.2% from August-to-October, offsetting a 0.7% contraction in manufacturing and 0.3% in construction. Reflecting a drop in manufacturing exports, Britain’s goods trade deficit widened to £14.5bn in October, up from £11.5bn in September. The pound shrugged off the low growth, gaining both against the dollar and the Euro. The pound broke over €1.19 on Monday, for the first…

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Soros Orchestra: the next chapter in Hungary, article 7 odyssey

Soros Orchestra: the next chapter in Hungary, article 7 odyssey

The General Affairs Council held a thematic hearing on Tuesday (10 December) on the ongoing Article 7 procedure against Hungary, tackling the alleged breaches of judicial independence, academic freedom and freedom of expression, particularly media freedom. While no concrete steps were adopted, the Council’s Finnish presidency that made rule of law its priority was satisfied with the discussion. “I think today’s work on the rule of law issue shows that there is the necessary commitment and that is good news for the future work,” said Tytti Tuppurainen, the presiding Finnish…

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Czech Prime Minister must leave, 50,000 protesters say so

Czech Prime Minister must leave, 50,000 protesters say so

Tens of thousands of Czechs rallied in central Prague on Tuesday (10 December) demanding the resignation of populist billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babiš over fraud allegations. Prosecutors reopened a previously closed case last week alleging that he fraudulently obtained EU subsidy money in 2007, four years before he entered politics. Babiš has denied any wrongdoing and refused to step down. Tuesday’s protest came after even bigger anti-Babiš rallies in June and November, the largest such events since the end of communism in 1989. The rally, in Prague’s iconic Wenceslas Square,…

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“Do no harm”: nuclear system pushed out of EU green financing scheme

“Do no harm”: nuclear system pushed out of EU green financing scheme

European Greens claimed victory on Thursday (5 December) after EU negotiators reached agreement on a green finance taxonomy aimed at channelling billions of private investor’s money into clean technologies. Coal, and – in principle – nuclear power, are out. The deal, reached by national envoys and EU Parliament negotiators yesterday evening, marks a stunning defeat for France, which lobbied hard to win recognition for nuclear energy as a low-carbon source of energy. “Nuclear energy should be part of this eco-label,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire back in October,…

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Russia suspended from the Olympics in Tokyo and the World Cup

Russia suspended from the Olympics in Tokyo and the World Cup

The World Anti-Doping Agency has voted unanimously to ban Russia from international sport for four years for doping offences. Russia now have 21 days to appeal against the sentence, which would see the country banned from participating at next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo and the Qatar 2022 World Cup. They will, however, still be able compete in next year’s European football championships, where they will also be one of the host countries. Individual Russian athletes will furthermore be able to compete under a neutral banner at the Olympics, providing they…

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German football club with a mission to protect the climate

German football club with a mission to protect the climate

With thousands of fans travelling to matches and giant stadiums being built, football has a considerable climate impact. Clubs are increasingly aware of this and are trying to limit their carbon emissions. One club from the small city of Mainz has been leading the movement for a decade. Football is one of Europe’s most popular sports as well as a significant business. Last year, the European football industry generated 28.4 billion euros, an increase of 11% compared to the previous year. This year, 250 matches were played in UEFA alone….

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Strong mobilization against pension reform casts doubt on French government

Strong mobilization against pension reform casts doubt on French government

In protest at the government’s pension reform proposal, French workers staged a massive strike on Thursday (5 December), which paralysed the country. With teachers and transport sector workers expected to strike again today, this will be the ultimate test for President Emmanuel Macron’s attempts to reform the country. Scheduled for three months, the strike that started on Thursday (5 December) in France brought together around 800,000 demonstrators. There were many many civil servants, as well as lawyers, firemen, doctors, students, but also yellow vests and so-called ‘casseurs’ (hooligans). The mobilisation…

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New SPD leadership prepares to challenge Germany’s Great Coalition

New SPD leadership prepares to challenge Germany’s Great Coalition

Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) officially elected Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans as the new chairmen at a national conference on Friday (6 December). There was no vote about remaining in the Grand Coalition with the CDU/CSU conservatives, but the new leadership appears to have ‘declared war’ on them. EURACTIV Germany reports. Although a formality, Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans were elected as the new SPD leaders with 75.9% and 89.2% respectively. “We’ll make sure things get better,” Esken promised in her candidacy speech before the vote. Due to historically low…

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