The strike of railway workers causes chaos, not least in youth camps

The strike of railway workers causes chaos, not least in youth camps

Among the victims of the two-day railway strike that began last night: scouts and other children are sent to the summer camp as school holidays begin. The strike by rail union OVS was somewhat mitigated by the fact that enough notice was given, and we are now in the holiday period. Only one train in three was due to run on Wednesday, but the rail authority NMBS has now instituted a system of minimum service, which gives priority to mainline services between cities. The authority also effectively uses social media,…

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Trump threatens to leave NATO if they do not make immediate efforts on defense spending

Trump threatens to leave NATO if they do not make immediate efforts on defense spending

American President Donald trump has threatened Thursday to leave NATO, if the allies will not undertake immediate efforts to increase their defense spending, according to diplomatic sources following the discussions during the Second session of the Atlantic summit, was quoted by German press Agency DPA. This information was confirmed by Belga. Donald Trump was extremely aggressive towards his NATO Allies, demanding that they reach “immediately’’ 2% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in military expenditure. He even suggested, during interviews held Wednesday, that member countries invest 4% of their GDP…

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The European Parliament and the Commission are divided into national parks in Bulgaria

The European Parliament and the Commission are divided into national parks in Bulgaria

According to a letter sent last week to the European Commission by representatives of all major political groups in the European Parliament, two national parks in Bulgaria are threatened by construction plans. The MEPs call on the Commission to launch an infringement procedure against Bulgaria as a matter of urgency. The Pirin National Park is a Natura 2000 area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site but the Bulgarian government plans to open up almost half of the area to construction. Kresna Gorge, also a Natura 2000 site, is under threat…

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Greece is on the right track, but the economic situation is contradictory

Greece is on the right track, but the economic situation is contradictory

Greece is on its way to economic recovery after its third aid is completed next month, according to a key official responsible for providing financial assistance to the Euro area countries with financial problems. Klaus Regling, director of the European Stability Mechanism and its temporary predecessor the European Financial Stability Facility during the height of the financial crisis, was interviewed in German newspaper Handelsblatt. He was quoted by Greek centre-right newspaper Kathimerini on Wednesday (4 June) as criticizing the Greek government and its former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis for having…

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The Commission clarifies the decisions Of the migration Board

The Commission clarifies the decisions Of the migration Board

European Council conclusions on migration, made last week, was prepared in the middle of the night and leave the EU leaders and journalists without clarity on how to work the so-called platform landing in countries outside the EU and controlled by centres in the EU for illegal migrants once they are created. Some were also wondering why these new measure were needed when the number of illegal migrants have dropped drastically on almost all routes leading to EU. On the eastern Mediterranean route arrivals have dropped by 97 % or…

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The Council of Europe calls on Russia to return the wreckage of the Smolensk plane crash

The Council of Europe calls on Russia to return the wreckage of the Smolensk plane crash

The Committee of the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a report last week on the plane crash near Smolensk, Russia, in April 2010, calling on Russia to return the wreckage. In the crash the Polish president, his wife and 94 other people representing the Polish state lost their lives. The Polish plane crashed on 10 April 2010 on its route to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre of Polish officers by the Soviet secret police during the Second World War. The report was adopted unanimously…

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More than 13,000 Britons received EU citizenship in 2017

More than 13,000 Britons received EU citizenship in 2017

More than 13,000 Britons have requested new citizenship from an EU member state in 2017, the BBC reports. It appears to mainly be because of concerns about Brexit. The figure is a massive increase compared to 2016 (5,025) and 2015 (1,800). The UK will leave the EU in March 2019. The BBC has acquired data from 17 EU countries. German nationality is the most popular among British people: 7,493 British people became German nationals last year. France is the second most popular country for British people wanting to keep their…

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Austria will assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union

Austria will assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union

Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his government intend to focus on immigration after Austria takes office as head of the Council of the European Union on 1 July. Austria is governed by a coalition made up of conservatives (ÖVP) and the extrême right (FPÖ) following elections in October 2017. In presenting his presidential programme, Sebastian Kurz announced that he wanted to “fight illegal immigration” and “protect the borders” of Europe. Austria has been advocating, among other things, the strengthening of the European border and coastguard agency, Frontex. The upcoming summit…

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Brussels has become more expensive for expats

Brussels has become more expensive for expats

Brussels has become more expensive for expats to live. According to the annual list of cities in the world and how much it costs to live in them, compiled by consultant Mercer, Brussels is the 67th most expensive city in the world for expats. This is 37 places on the 104th place in Brussels last year’s list. Each year Mercer compiles a list of the top 200 cities based on how expensive it is to live in them as an expat. The consultancy takes into account factors such as renting…

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Successful Bulgarian presidency, but EU crises are still not resolved

Successful Bulgarian presidency, but EU crises are still not resolved

Six months later, the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU is coming to an end and will transfer the presidency of Austria. Although a crucial week remains, culminating in the European Council summit in Brussels on 28 – 29 June, Bulgaria has already taken stock of the results. “We took over the presidency in an important and difficult moment for the EU when unity was and continues to be of utmost importance,” said ambassador Maya Dobreva at Brussels Press Club last week. “The challenges stemming from Brexit, the…

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