EUROPE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


EUROPE

Feb 28 09:02

17 EU Member States Team Up Against Franco-German Initiative - Reports

France and Germany sought to create a European rail giant, but their push was blocked by the European Commission, which feared the project would harm competition in the bloc. Now, Berlin and Paris want to revise EU competition rules - raising concerns among smaller member states.

About 17 EU member states have forged a coalition against a joint Franco-German push for easing restrictions on free competition in the union.

According to a letter seen by the Polish Rzeczpospolita newspaper, this coalition includes the Baltic States, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden.

They are said to have warned European Council President Donald Tusk against the "growing risk of protectionism" and possible shifts in balance of power in economic matters post-Brexit.

Feb 27 18:28

Farage ‘DISGUSTED’ at vile ’KNIFE to their THROATS’ Brexit comment from EX-EU President

The LBC host Nigel Farage was furious with the controversial statement from ex-EU president Herman Van Rompuy, who claimed the EU had a knife held to the throat of the UK. Mr Farage expressed his disgust at the comment and questioned why any Remainers would want to be part of a union where politicians speak so ill of a nation.

Feb 27 18:26

UK WILL PAY: German businesses to OVERCHARGE Brits after Brexit 'why should WE suffer?'

GERMAN businesses have hatched plans to charge British consumers higher prices in order to make up for potential Brexit-related losses, it has been revealed.

A leading industrial lobby, which is based in the region around car giant Volkswagen’s headquarters, is leading a charge for “price adjustments” to cover the costs of exporting to Britain in event of a no-deal Brexit. Smaller firms are also following the lead after Lueneburg Chamber of Commerce published “five Brexit tips”, which includes charging Britons more to cover potential customs duties. The plans have been pushed out to over 10,000 people as part of an effort to prepare businesses near Hamburg for a hard Brexit

Feb 27 11:48

Final Steps Of The Multipolar Revolution: Containing The US In Europe

The United States has in the last three decades brought chaos and destruction to large parts of Europe, in spite of the common myth that the old continent has basked in the post-WWII peace of the American-led world order. This falsehood is fueled by European politicians devoted to the European Union and eager to justify and praise the European project. But history shows that the United States fueled or directed devastating wars on the European continent in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, with the conflict between Georgia and Ossetia at the beginning of the 1990s, with the war in Georgia in 2008, and in the coup in Ukraine in 2014, with the ensuing aggression against the Donbass.

Feb 27 09:46

The EU27 are far less prepared for no-deal Brexit than you’d think

As 29 March gets nearer and Theresa May tries to get a Brexit deal through parliament, preparations for no deal continue in both London and mainland Europe. It’s been well-documented that the UK government’s preparations haven’t been optimal, and many British companies aren’t really prepared for no deal. However, on the other side of the Channel, things aren’t going all that well either.

Here is an overview of the EU27’s no-deal plans:

Feb 27 09:41

Hungary’s citizens to receive letter from PM Orban on EU’s pro-immigration efforts – spokesman

The Hungarian government is stepping up its campaign against the leadership of the EU, saying that it seeks to promote mass immigration into the continent. Government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said on Tuesday that citizens will receive a letter from Prime Minister Viktor Orban explaining what Hungary says are the EU’s pro-immigration efforts, which Hungary opposes. EU leaders and European politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have rejected Hungary’s campaign, launched last week with billboards and television and print ads.

Feb 26 10:03

Collapse of EU superstate? Euroskeptics could paralyze Brussels after May elections

Anti-EU parties are set to gain a third of European parliamentary votes in May, a new study says. Analysts warn it may bring down the whole political system in Europe, leaving Brussels powerless, RT.com reports.

The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) report describes the vote as “the most consequential parliamentary vote in the EU’s history” and says it is even possible for Euroskeptic parties to gain more than 30 percent of the EP’s seats “if their popularity continues to grow or if some of the fringe members of the mainstream join them.”

The report argues that if such a situation occurs, the EU could find itself “living on borrowed time” and outlines ways that various anti-EU parties could align with each other to garner more power in Brussels.

Feb 26 10:03

Who’s spreading the fake news: Hungary or the European Commissian?

The European Commission rebuked a media campaign by the Hungarian government aimed at European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and U.S. businessman George Soros, accusing Brussels of pushing migration plans threatening Hungary, Reuters reports.

Viktor Orbán’s latest campaign, announced in a Facebook post, depicts smiling images of Soros and Juncker with the text “You also have the right to know what Brussels prepares for!” overlaid in red and white block capitals. A caption says the EU plans to adopt mandatory relocation quotas for immigrants, weaken the border protection rights of member states and make arrivals easier with a “migrant visa”.

Feb 26 10:02

Hungary: “Budapest Process to become symbol for stopping pro-migration forces”

The Budapest Process interregional forum on migration will become a symbol for stopping pro-migration forces, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said.

At next meeting, tomorrow in Istanbul, the Hungarian government will not allow the forum named after Budapest to become a platform for bringing more migrants to Europe, Szijjarto told MTI. The meeting will see a fight between pro-migration and anti-migration forces, as usual in the recent period, he added.

“[US financier George] Soros and his network, United Nations officials and Brussels want to use the Budapest Forum to start another wave of migration towards Europe”, he said.

They plan to approve a resolution at the end of the meeting which states the need to open further routes for migrants, he said, adding that the Hungarian government “is most resolutely against this.”

Feb 26 08:18

Workers reject Spanish firm’s bid for Israeli settlement project

Last month, the workers council of Spanish train manufacturer CAF voted against participation in the Jerusalem light rail.

The council urged the Basque Country-based company to withdraw from the tender for the expansion of the tramway linking Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank to Jerusalem.

“Any transit project in any city in the world, including Jerusalem, must be built while respecting human rights and international law,” the workers council stated.

Feb 25 10:52

Vimmer: Kosovo is needed by the Americans as a carrier on the ground

IMPROVED German politician Willie Vimmer said that Kosovo as a state had been planned since the late 1980s and that "its only purpose is to be an American air carrier on the ground".

In an interview for today's "Vecernje novosti", which reminds him that in 2000, he said that Kosovo "is America's need to dominate the Balkans," he pointed out that since the aggressive war against the FRY in 1999, NATO led the United States did not cease its clashes .

The paper transmits his words that "the war coalition in Washington is continuously fighting against President Donald Trump because they want to continue wars, and the main target is Europe."

This former German deputy, state secretary and vice-president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, assessed that the possible offer to Serbia to join the European Union if it recognized the false state of Kosovo, the continuation of the war against Serbia.

Feb 25 08:42

Europeans Are Fed Up With US Behaviour - Putin Gets a Report From The Economy Minister On Davos

Feb 25 08:03

EXCLUSIVE: EU in talks with Egypt and other states over police data-sharing

European Union officials have begun talks with counterparts in several Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt and Turkey, about proposed data-sharing deals that would allow Europol to exchange personal information about suspects with local law enforcement authorities.

In some circumstances, the deals could allow the transfer of data concerning a person’s race and ethnic origin, their political opinions and religious beliefs, trade-union memberships, genetic data and data concerning their health and sex life.

The deals are being sought by the EU as part of efforts to bolster counter-terrorism policing across the continent despite concerns being raised about the human rights records of the countries by the bloc’s own data protection watchdog.

Since the start of the year, Egypt has executed a number of prisoners convicted in cases in which several said they had been tortured into false confessions.

Feb 25 07:53

Police fire tear gas against Algeria's anti-Bouteflika protesters

Police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters on a third consecutive day of rare demonstrations against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's bid for a fifth term in the April 18 presidential vote.

Sunday's unrest came in the centre of the capital where hundreds of people took to the streets at about noon despite a significant police presence.

Sofiane Djilali, a coordinator of Mouwatana - the opposition group whose call for anti-government protests sparked demonstrations on Friday - told Al Jazeera, "Algerians showed their high level of [political] awareness once again today and broke the wall of fear."

Feb 24 18:23

Majority want ban on use of controversial weedkiller

Most Irish adults who are familiar with glyphosate are worried about the health effects of the widely used weedkiller and want it banned from use on crops.

An opinion poll found that 64% of adults who know about the controversial chemical are concerned that it may be present in their body through the consumption of food and drink, and 68% favour outlawing its spraying on food crops here.

Feb 24 17:55

Brexit stitch-up: UK’s departure from EU could be DELAYED until 2021, EU sources REVEAL

BREXIT could be delayed until 2021 under outrageous new plans being plotted by senior European Union officials, it has emerged.

The EU are plotting to tell Theresa May if she doesn’t get her Brexit deal through Parliament and wants to delay Brexit, the UK will have to remain in the bloc until at least 2021. Three EU insiders said senior figures and governments are backing an extension of as much as 21 months beyond the current March 29 deadline. Officials on both sides now anticipate some form of extension as a way of avoiding a no-deal scenario.

Feb 24 09:23

US plans to buy weapons for Venezuelan opposition in Eastern Europe, warns diplomat

The US is considering the possibility of buying weapons for the Venezuelan opposition in one of Eastern European countries, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.

"We have information that companies from the US and its NATO allies are considering the possibility of buying a large batch of weapons in one of Eastern European countries in order to provide them to the Venezuelan opposition. The batch will reportedly include heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, portable missile launchers and ammunition for light weapons and artillery systems. So this is what they mean when they talk about delivering humanitarian aid," she said.

Zakharova also said that the US and its allies intended to use cargo aircraft belonging to an international freight forwarder to deliver several shipments of weapons to Venezuela in early March "through a neighboring country".

Feb 24 08:50

Security in Europe only exists with Russia

Merkel’s applause was countered by the booming silence with which the traditionally brave transatlantic community in Munich reacted to the remarks made by US Vice President Pence. Not only did he demand dropping out of the Iran agreement, but threatened to deprive Europe of protection if it did not finally call it quits with Russia. For a long time, the federal government believed that it could just sit out Trump. A bitter mistake. The current US administration combines the erratic destructiveness of Donald Trump with the neo-conservative aggressiveness of Pence and Bolton. This is a toxic mixture. It endangers the security of Europe. After the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Iran Agreement and Unesco, the US has kicked the the next international agreement into the trash bin, with the INF Treaty – to Vladimir Putin’s secret joy. How substantiated the mutual reproaches are is secondary. Both have little interest in actually saving the contract in the remaining six months.

Feb 24 08:36

US lawmakers bully Ireland over move to ban Israel’s settlement goods

A grouping of US politicians has threatened Ireland with economic repercussions if it bans goods from Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Both houses in the Irish parliament, the Oireachtas, have approved a bill to outlaw Israel’s settlement exports during the past few months. Ten US lawmakers have reacted to the moves by warning that a ban could have “potentially severe implications” for the country.

In a letter to Irish political leaders, the 10 members of Congress suggested that some corporations investing would be violating US export regulations if the Dublin authorities enforced a ban on Israel’s settlement goods.

That appears to be a reference to rules introduced by the US during the 1970s in response to the Arab League boycott of Israel. Under these rules, US companies may not take part in boycott activities unless they have been approved by the federal government.

Feb 24 08:14

Swedish Court Convicts Pensioner for Saying Somalis Are ‘Lazy’

A Swedish court has convicted a 70-year-old man of “hate speech” for claiming on social media that Somalis are lazy and don’t work.

In a unanimous decision, the district court of Uddevalla handed down a guilty verdict, ordering the man to pay 60 daily fines of SEK 120, for a total of SEK 7200 (700 euros).

The court said that the man’s Facebook post, which linked to an article by Swedish public broadcaster SVT, was “derogatory” to the reputation of Somalis as a group.

Feb 23 08:47

Poland SLAMS Israel: We Will Not Accept ‘Racist Lies And Insults’

After an Israeli minister said that Poles had harbored anti-Semitism since childhood, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki responded by saying that his country would not accept “racist insults.”

Amid a political dispute between Warsaw and Tel Aviv, Morawiecki told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that Poland, where thousands risked their lives to help Jews during World War II, “will no longer yield to the pressure to accept lies, deceptive phrases, and more-or-less racist insults.”

The Polish prime minister was apparently addressing the comment to Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, who upped the ante last week by saying that every Pole “nursed anti-Semitism with his mother’s milk.”

Feb 23 08:46

A Crisis Grips NATO, Germany Trust Putin More Than Trump

The British Financial Times published an article by its columnist Philip Stevens about the crisis in the ranks of NATO.

At the conference on international security held in Munich (February 15-17), German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s speech in defense of the liberal international legal order and, by default, against the policies of the administration of US President Donald Trump , was met with a bang. However, US Vice President Michael Pence , who rose to the podium immediately after Merkel, apparently, did not listen to her speech. The number two man in the current US administration said that US allies should follow the orders of Washington, writes Stevens.

Feb 23 08:43

EU Expects UK PM May to Request Three-Month Delay of Brexit – Reports

Discussions between the EU and UK reportedly suggest May will ask for an extension to the two-year negotiating period if the British Parliament backs the Brexit deal but it isn’t signed off until an EU summit on March 21-22.

The EU sees this “technical extension” as an opportunity to give British Parliament time to pass necessary legislation related to its departure from the Union, as anything longer than three months would put the UK under pressure to take part in European elections on May 23-26, Bloomberg reported quoting an anonymous source.

Feb 23 08:42

Chilling Echoes: UK Threatens Trade War With Ireland in Search of EU Concessions

Leo Varadkar’s government will on Friday publish a large parliamentary bill incorporating 16 pieces of legislation, all designed to insulate the country from the deleterious impact of the UK 'crashing out' of the bloc.

Ireland is preparing for a no-deal Brexit, due to widespread fears the Irish economy — in particular agriculture, food processing, transport — could face severe disruption, if not outright collapse.

For instance, over 50 percent of Ireland's annual beef exports are sold in the UK, with the Irish Farmers' Association estimating WTO tariffs — imposed in the event of a no-deal Brexit — would cost Ireland's beef farmers over US$900 million (€800 million) annually, and a system favouring cheaper imports from countries such as Brazil could end Irish beef exports to the UK altogether.

Feb 23 08:42

Ireland publishes no-deal Brexit legislation, hopes law ‘will never be needed’

The Irish government published a bill on Friday designed to ease the damage if Britain leaves the European Union next month without a Brexit divorce deal. However, Dublin hopes the law will never be needed. Ireland plans to fast-track the bill through parliament before the UK’s scheduled departure from the bloc on March 29, AP said.

Feb 22 14:50

European Oil Demand Is Shockingly Weak

Feb 22 09:24

US Military Has Taken Control Of Europe — Wimmer

“We note to our sorrow the fact that our national parliaments and our national governments are no longer in a position to make an independent assessment of other parts of the world, or to ask ourselves whether our policies towards other countries can be upheld or have to be changed, because we follow the lines from Washington and sometimes from Paris and London in a very bad way.”

Feb 22 08:39

Leading Israel lobby group sees massive rise in budget

A leading pro-Israel group in Brussels has seen its budget increase fivefold over the past few years.

The European Jewish Association has become increasingly prominent in efforts to counter the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions. One of its campaign priorities is to convince political parties that they should issue policy statements rejecting the BDS movement as anti-Semitic.

The association has a massive war chest.

The latest annual budget that it declared came to $8.5 million. That is five times the $1.7 million per year figure previously stated by the association.

I asked Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association, to explain the increase. I asked him, too, how much his group receives from the Israeli government.

Margolin replied that “since we can’t really consider you as a great supporter” of his organization, “we won’t answer your questions and won’t provide you [with] any information” about it.

Feb 22 08:31

Warsaw won’t bow to ‘lies & racist insults,’ Polish PM says amid simmering row with Israel

After an Israeli minister claimed that Poles harbor anti-Semitism from childhood, a Polish PM fired back, saying his country, where thousands risked their lives to help Jews during WWII, will not accept “racist insults.”
Amid a simmering political row between Warsaw and Tel Aviv, Mateusz Morawiecki told Haaretz that Poland “will no longer give in to a pressure to accept lies, misleading phrases, let alone racist insults.”

Feb 22 05:34

Donald Trump Uses Poland to Divide Europe and Undermine EU’s Policy towards Iran

Political analyst Adriel Kasonta believes hosting the Warsaw summit would cause further deterioration of Poland’s relations with the European Union, which attempts to avoid the break with Tehran and works on a mechanism to bypass US sanctions against Iran.
Adriel Kasonta, in an interview with FNA, said that the right-wing ruling party in Poland instead of establishing an independent foreign policy, is strongly influenced by “the xenophobic warmongering Trump administration”.

Mr. Kasonta believes that “there are many Polish politicians that condemn the shameful behavior of the current government” in hosting an anti-Iran summit which according to the analyst does not serve the interests of Poland or that of the European Union.

Adriel Kasonta is a London-based lawyer, political analyst and entrepreneur of Polish-Jewish and Tanzanian descent.>>>

Feb 22 04:01

Anti-Semitism rising sharply across Europe, latest figures show

Anti-Semitism is rising sharply across Europe, experts have said, as France reported a 74 per cent increase in the number of offences against Jews last year and Germany said the number of violent anti-Semitic attacks had surged by more than 60 per cent. The figures confirm the results of three recent Europe-wide surveys showing Jewish people feel at greater risk, and are experiencing markedly more aggression, amid a generalised increase in racist hate speech and violence in a significantly coarser, more polarised political environment ... The French president, Emmanuel Macron, denounced the trend as "unacceptable", telling ministers that anti-Semitism in France was "a repudiation of the Republic and its values". Petra Pau, an MP for Germany's Die Linke party, said more and more people felt free to "deny the Holocaust and engage in anti-Semitic agitation".

Feb 21 11:23

Putin Threatens US Soil If Missiles Deployed in Europe

Russian President Vladimir Putin, during his annual presidential address to the legislature Wednesday, criticized the United States for ignoring the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty by deploying missile launchers in Romania and Poland.

"First it started developing and using intermediate-range missiles it deceitfully called targets for missile defenses. Then it began to deploy the Mk-41 launchers in Europe, capable of using intermediate range cruise missiles Tomahawk for combat purposes," he said.

"By doing all this the United States blatantly ignored the provisions contained in articles 4 and 6 of the INF Treaty."

Russia will respond to any U.S. deployment of short or intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe by targeting not only the countries where they are stationed but the United States itself, Putin warned.

Feb 21 09:41

Brexit LIVE: Chaos as UK to be blocked from MAJOR EU trade deals in event of no-deal

THE EU’s trade agreements with Japan, Algeria and Turkey will not automatically still apply to the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Government has confirmed.

The revelation was made in the latest document released by Whitehall as the UK gears up its preparations to leave the Brussels trade bloc without a deal. The Government said it was “in the process of transitioning existing trade agreements of which the UK participates as a member of the European Union”. It is hoped a total of around 40 existing trade deals will roll over after March 29 in the event the Brexit deadlock is unable to be broken.

Feb 21 08:54

Israel should apologise to Poland in Holocaust row: U.S. ambassador to Warsaw

Washington’s ambassador to Warsaw on Wednesday called on Israel to apologise to Poland in a row between the two countries over the Holocaust, after Israel’s acting foreign minister said “many Poles” had collaborated with the Nazis.

Feb 21 08:00

Europe to Sign Own 'Suicide Pact' If Hosts New US Missiles – German Politician

Europe’s possible agreement to host US intermediate and shorter-range ballistic missiles will be tantamount to signing a "suicide pact" in light of Russia’s declared resolve to target these potential security threats, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the leader of Germany’s Civil Rights Movement Solidarity party, told Sputnik.

"If Europe were to accept the installation of new US missiles on its territory in this strategic environment, it would sign a suicide pact," Zepp-LaRouche said.

Feb 21 07:55

UK has until mid-March to seal Brexit deal – EU diplomats

Britain has until mid-March to seal a deal with the European Union, diplomatic sources in the bloc said on Wednesday. Otherwise, it would be too late for the gathering of 28 national leaders later that month to approve it before Brexit day on March 29. “They have until March 10, maybe March 15 at the latest,” Reuters quoted one EU diplomat as saying.

Feb 20 12:22

Poland asks Israel to apologise for ‘slanderous’ remarks

The government of Poland said it is still waiting for an apology from Israel following “slanderous” remarks made by senior officials regarding the role of Poles in the Nazi Holocaust.

International media widely reported the Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek saying yesterday: “We leave it to Israeli leaders to choose what form of reaction they will have and who will react, but it should be a unified and definite one.”

The Polish official described the remarks of the acting Israeli foreign minister Yisrael Katz as “shameful, scandalous and slanderous” and they require an “unequivocal and definite” reaction.

Feb 20 12:01

Ukraine President Signs Constitutional Amendment On NATO, EU Membership

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a constitutional amendment committing the country to becoming a member of NATO and the European Union.

Addressing parliament on February 19, Poroshenko said he saw securing Ukraine's membership in NATO and the EU as his "strategic mission."

Ukraine should "submit a request for EU membership and receive a NATO membership action plan no later than 2023," the president told the Verkhovna Rada.

However, he acknowledged that his country needs to come a "long way" to meet the criteria of joining both institutions.

European Council President Donald Tusk attended the signing of the constitutional amendment in the parliament building.

Feb 20 11:56

Russia Will Respond To ANY U.S. Weapons Deployment In Europe

Russian president Vladimir Putin has vowed to use force against the United States should the U.S. deploy any missile weapons in Europe. Putin says the threat is necessary to protect Russia because U.S. weapons will be much closer to being able to destroy his country.

In what could be called Putin’s toughest remarks yet on a potential new arms race, the Russian president said Moscow was not seeking confrontation and would not take the first step to deploy missiles in response to Washington’s decision this month to quit a landmark Cold War-era arms control treaty. But Putin would take action against the U.S. if the decision is made to deploy weapons in Europe.

Feb 20 11:53

Russia Will Target US With New Hypersonic Weapons If It Deploys Missiles To Europe

In his first major public address since the US formally pulled out of the INF arms-control treaty, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that Russia would point its new arsenal of hypersonic missiles - which can purportedly bypass NATO's ABM systems - directly at the US if it dares to reintroduce ground-based intermediate-range missiles to Europe.

According to Fox, Putin threatened to deploy Russia’s new Zircon missiles, which Putin said can fly at nine times the speed of sound and carry a range of 620 miles and are part of the country's drive to upgrade its defensive capabilities against an increasingly aggressive US and NATO.

Feb 20 11:47

Putin cautions if threatened, Russia could target US missiles ‘hosts’ and America as well

Russia will consider tit-for-tat and asymmetric measures if the United States deploys intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles to Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his annual State of the Nation address to the Federal Assembly on Wednesday.

"I’ve already said and I want to repeat - and this is vital - to repeat this specifically, that Russia is not planning to be the first to deploy these missiles to Europe. If they are indeed manufactured and sent to the European continent, and the US does have these plans, anyway, we haven’t heard other statements, this will sharply deteriorate international security and create serious threats to Russia since it takes up to 10-12 minutes for certain types of these missiles to fly to Moscow. This is a very serious danger to us. In this case, we will be forced, and I want to stress this, we will be forced to envisage tit-for-tat and asymmetric measures," Putin said.

Feb 20 11:46

Putin: Russia to Take Steps if US Deploys Its Short, Medium Range Missiles in EU

In an address to the Federal Assembly on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin touched upon a spate of pressing international issues related to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Putin Warns Against US Missiles in Europe

During the address, the Russian president specifically touched upon the possible deployment of US missiles in Europe.

He warned that if Washington deploys its medium-and short-range missiles in Europe, it will “dramatically exacerbate international security situation" and create serious challenges to Russia.

Feb 20 11:46

Yellow Vests Go International, Protest in Front of UN HQ in Geneva (VIDEO)

Last Saturday marked the 14th straight weekend of Yellow Vests demonstrations in Paris. The movement emerged in France back in November following the government's fuel tax hikes proposal and while the French government ultimately abandoned its plans to raise fuel taxes, the protests have continued.

Yellow Vests demonstrators gathered in front of the UN headquarters in Geneva on Wednesday to show their indignation with police violence during protests.

The wave of Yellow Vests rallies — named after the garment all drivers are legally required to carry in their vehicles in France — started in mid-November.

Feb 20 11:45

Swedish-Hungarian War of Words Escalates as Minister Called 'Sick Creature'

Sweden and Hungary have been embroiled in a bitter quarrel after a Swedish cabinet minister made a controversial comparison between Budapest's pro-family policy and that of Nazi Germany.

The Hungarian ambassador to Sweden has been summoned to a meeting with representatives of the Foreign Ministry as part of the escalating verbal exchange of fire between the two nations.

The war of words broke out when Swedish Social Insurance Minister Annika Strandhäll compared Hungary's new pro-family policy, which includes complete tax exemption for mothers of four children, to Nazi Germany, claiming it "reeked of the 1930s". In turn, Hungarian Vice Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen called the Swedish minister a "poor sick creature" in a talk show on Echo TV.

Feb 20 11:26

Hungarian 'Conspiracy Theory' Over Soros, Juncker 'Beggars Belief' - EU

The new campaign of the Hungarian government targeting the European Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker and Brussels' migration policy promotes falsehoods, the European Commission said Tuesday.

"The Juncker commission made the commitment to fight disinformation and fake news. And this case is no exception. The Hungarian government's campaign beggars belief. It is shocking that such a ludicrous conspiracy theory has reached the mainstream to the extent it has… Hungarians deserve facts, not fictions," Chief Spokesperson of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas told a press conference.

The spokesman stressed that the European Union was not undermining national border protection.

Feb 20 10:10

Putin: If mid-range missiles deployed in Europe, Russia will station arms to strike decision centers

If the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow will respond by stationing weapons aimed not only against missiles themselves, but also at command and control centers, from which a launch order would come.

The warning came from President Vladimir Putin, who announced Russia’s planned actions after the US withdraws from the INF Treaty – a Cold War-era agreement between Washington and Moscow which banned both sides form having ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles and developing relevant technology.

The US is set to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in six months, which opens the possibility of once again deploying these missiles in Europe. Russia would see that as a major threat and respond with its own deployments, Putin said.

Feb 20 09:52

Europe Slowing Into Recession

Feb 19 10:26

The Worst Possible Version of the EU Copyright Directive Has Sparked a German Uprising

By Cory Doctorow

Last week’s publication of the final draft of the new EU Copyright Directive baffled and infuriated almost everyone, including the massive entertainment companies that lobbied for it in the first place; the artists’ groups who endorsed it only to have their interests stripped out of the final document; and the millions and millions of Europeans who had publicly called on lawmakers to fix grave deficiencies in the earlier drafts, only to find these deficiencies made even worse. The epicenter of the uprising is Germany, which is only fitting, given that German MEP Axel Voss is almost singlehandedly responsible for poisoning the Directive...

Feb 19 10:14

Gibraltar row EXPLODES as Spain defends warship’s actions in 'Spanish territorial waters’

Madrid stated they left the area after being contacted by the Spanish warship. Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said a Spanish navy ship named Tornado was policing the area on Sunday in what he said was a standard procedure. Mr Borrell told reporters in Brussels, “The Tornado called three commercial ships that were breaking maritime security law in Spanish territorial waters by standing still”

Feb 19 09:23

Poland pulls out of Israel meeting over 'anti-Semitism' and Nazi comments

Poland's prime minister canceled plans for his country to send a delegation to meeting in Jerusalem on Monday after the acting Israeli foreign minister said that Poles "collaborated with the Nazis" and "sucked anti-Semitism with their mothers' milk."

The Polish pullout triggered the collapse of a planned summit of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu with leaders of four Central European nations known as the Visegrad group.

Feb 19 08:49

Reform Now: Russia Wants A ‘Strong, Independent And Open’ Europe, Says Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the European project failed to provide security and prosperity for the continent while the European Union (EU) is wasting its energies to confront Russia to please Washington.

“A unified Europe has not yet been built,” Lavrov said in his speech at the Munich Security Conference. “Everyday issues – from eradicating terrorism to steady economic growth – have not been addressed with adequate solutions.”

Instead, the Russian diplomat said that Europe has enjoyed being a “follower” of Washington’s “lead” while pursuing a “NATO-centered” foreign policy.

Feb 19 08:26

Huge statue that depicts Donald Trump as a Warhammer warrior with Twitter engraved on his sword and Vladimir Putin is unveiled in Italy

A huge statue of President Trump dressed as a Warhammer warrior with Twitter birds on his sword and the head of Vladimir Putin on his shoulder has been unveiled in Italy.

Covered in golden armour and wearing a gold leaf crown, the gigantic effigy brandished a huge claw hand with long talons and a Twitter-themed blade.

As it moved through the streets the animated Caesar-like figure turned from side-to-side and moved its arms, as people stood at its feet waving US flags.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Watch the video. This is very impressive!

Feb 19 07:46

European Trees With The Most Interesting Stories

The Environmental Partnership Association (EPA) is seeking votes from the public to help them select the winner of the European Tree of the Year competition 2019. Each year participating countries select an entrant by holding a national poll, from which a winner is selected in the European round by an online poll that runs throughout the month of February. The winner is announced at an awards ceremony in late March held in the EU Parliament, Brussels.

Feb 18 18:28

TRADE WAR: Juncker warns Trump over car tariffs - EU ready to react immediately

BRUSSELS will not hesitate to slap hefty tariffs on cars made in the United States if Washington decides to do the same, Jean-Claude Juncker has warned.

Feb 18 10:27

EU to blacklist eight Russians over Azov Sea stand-off - sources

The European Union will blacklist eight more Russians over a stand-off with Ukraine in the Azov Sea, diplomatic sources said on Friday.

EU foreign ministers will discuss on Monday further EU support for Ukraine, especially the south-eastern regions most affected by the conflict. Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Kiev in 2014 and backed separatist rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk industrial regions.

Last November, the Russian navy captured 24 Ukrainian sailors and their vessels in the Kerch Strait, which links the Black and Azov seas. Moscow has not heeded EU calls to release them.

Feb 18 10:20

Trump demands Europe 'take back' and lock up 800 ISIS fighters captured in Syria or he warns the US will be forced to release the terrorists to 'permeate Europe'

President Trump wants America's European allies to put more than 800 ISIS fighters captured in Syria on trial.

'The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial,' the president tweeted late Saturday.

'The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them.'

Trump continued: 'The U.S. does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go.

'We do so much, and spend so much - Time for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing. We are pulling back after 100% Caliphate victory!'

Feb 18 10:19

Denmark Rejects US Call to Take Back Daesh Fighters, Germany Notes Legal Issues

A day before US President Donald Trump urged EU allies to take back over 800 Daesh* fighters that had been captured in Syria and put them on trial.

According to the DPA news agency, citing representatives of Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Copenhagen won't take back Daesh fighters to stand trial in the country.

"We are talking about the most dangerous people in the world. We should not take them back", he stressed, adding that Trump's statement was premature, as the situation in Syria is far from stable.

Feb 18 10:04

US mobilizes allies to blame Russia for dismantling INF Treaty - Lavrov

Washington takes unscrupulous steps mobilizing its allies to put the blame for dismantling the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) on Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Munich on Saturday.

"Back in October, US officials told us that President [Donald] Trump announced a withdrawal from the treaty. It is not an invitation for dialogue but a final decision," Lavrov said.

"Afterwards, it has not been very scrupulous to mobilize allies in order to blame us for dismantling this crucial agreement," he said.

Lavrov said that Moscow has no doubts that Washington warned NATO officials against attending a briefing organized by the Russian Foreign and Defense Ministries on the 9M729 cruise missile.

Feb 18 09:18

V4 summit cancelled amid Polish-Israeli tensions

Poland’s prime minister said on Monday Warsaw was pulling out of a summit in Jerusalem after a senior Israeli politician reportedly claimed that Poles “suckled anti-Semitism with their mother’s milk.”

Feb 18 08:26

Spike in Gibraltar Tensions as Spanish Ship Orders Vessels to Leave UK Waters

Royal Navy ships have been deployed in response to the incident, which was described as a "foolish game" by a spokesperson for the government of Gibraltar, a British overseas territory. The incident comes amid UK-Spanish tensions over Gibraltar which have reached a fever-pitch as the 29 March date for Brexit approaches.

When asked about Sunday's incident involving a Spanish warship in Gibraltar waters, British Defence Minister Gavin Williamson pledged on Monday that the UK "will always be there to defend our sovereign interests and defend Britain's national interests".

The crew of a Spanish warship ordered commercial vessels to leave Gibraltar waters, a spokesman for the government of the UK overseas territory said on Sunday, accusing the Spanish ship of trying to take "executive action" against the commercial vessels.

Feb 18 07:36

EU Foreign Policy Chief Holds Press Conference After FAC Meeting (VIDEO)

The foreign minister of the EU member states have gathered in Brussels to discuss the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine, the developments in Syria, as well as the crisis in Venezuela.

Feb 17 10:12

Russia warns NATO against expanding presence in Black Sea

Russia has warned the US-led NATO alliance over a recent decision to beef up military presence in the Black Sea, saying such a move would further increase tensions in the volatile region.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said on Friday that the decision by the Western military alliance to strengthen its position in the sea “is not a surprise” for Moscow.

“We are talking about the strengthening of military and maritime forces of NATO member states, first and foremost, Romania and Bulgaria, plus non-coastal states entering the Black Sea more often,” he said.

"It is our understanding that this activity aggravates the situation in the sphere of security,” Grushko added.

Feb 17 08:49

Hate Fest In Warsaw

Warsaw, Poland is not a fun place to visit in darkest February, but that is where the US just staged an anti-Iranian jamboree of 60 client states that brought derision and scorn from Europeans and much of the Mideast.

The point of this cynical exercise was to lay the diplomatic groundwork for an anti-Iranian coalition to act as a fig-leaf for an upcoming attack on Iran planned by President Donald Trump and his close ally, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.

The real question is who is calling the shots in bleak Warsaw, Trump or Bibi Netanyahu? It seems to many that the Israeli tail is again wagging the American dog.

Feb 17 08:45

MSC-2019: With Western Elites in Disarray, Russia’s Opinion Gets More Attention

At this year’s Munich Security Conference the US has failed to push its European allies towards further confrontation with Moscow, while Russia has played a constructive role at the event by continuing a dialogue with its partners.

If you manage to get close to the main entrance of the Bayerischer Hof hotel in the Bavarian capital during the annual Munich Security Conference (MSC), you'd see dozens of VIPs — politicians, their staff, NATO generals, and hundreds of police officers. It's been like this for years, but this time there was also something else beyond the glossy pictures of motorcade arrivals.

Feb 17 08:40

Mogherini: JCPOA fundamental, crucial for Europe's security

Feb 17 08:03

Chaotic scenes in Albania as opposition attempts to storm PM's residence (VIDEO)

Albania's capital, Tirana, was plunged into chaos on Saturday as thousands of people swarmed the square in front of Prime Minister Edi Rama's residence, clashing with police and storming the building with metal poles.

Violence erupted at the protest against Rama's Socialist Party government, with hundreds of demonstrators breaking through police cordons set up around the residence.

Feb 17 08:01

Donald Trump urges Britain to 'take back' ISIS fighters or US will 'release them'

US president Donald Trump has said Britain and other European allies should "take back" more than 800 Islamic State fighters captured in Syria.

Trump warned the ISIS fighters could "permeate Europe" and called on Britain, France and Germany to "step up" and put the prisoners on trial in their countries.

US-backed fighters in Syria are poised to capture ISIS's last, tiny enclave on the Euphrates, bringing its self-declared caliphate to the brink of total defeat.

Now Trump wants European countries to help out in putting them in jail through their respective justice systems.

Feb 17 07:59

US VP Pence Demands EU Recognize Guaido as Venezuela President

Venezuelan congressional chief and self-appointed interim president, Juan Guaido, must be acknowledged as such by the European Union, according to the US vice president.

US Vice President Mike Pence, speaking on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference, declared that the EU must recognize Guaido as the official — although temporary — leader of the beleaguered South American nation, until a new official presidential election can be held, according to Reuters.

Pence's remarks appeared to be a veiled warning against the entire economic bloc, as opposed to the traditional diplomatic process of negotiating with nations on an individual basis.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I get a sense that Europe is fed up with Pence' and Pompeo's "demands."

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