Nato has called for calm in the escalating diplomatic row between Ankara and the Hague over the refusal of the Dutch authorities to allow Turkish ministers to campaign in the Netherlands for a constitutional overhaul in Turkey.
Jens Stoltenberg, Nato’s top civilian, told reporters in Brussels he had been in contact with the Dutch and Turkish governments during a weekend in which Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, accused the Netherlands of behaving like Nazis.
The Netherlands had refused to allow Turkey’s foreign minister to enter the country for a political rally in support of constitutional changes that will boost Mr Erdogan’s powers in a looming April referendum. The two countries are members of Nato, prompting concern relations within the alliance that it could be destabilised as a result of the row.
“Robust debate is at the heart of our democracies but so is also mutual respect,” said Mr Stoltenberg in response to a question about the tension between Turkey and the Netherlands.
“Therefore I will encourage all allies to show mutual respect, to be calm and to have a measured approach, to contribute to de-escalate the tensions and defuse tensions and de-escalate the situation.”
In the shadow of Donald Trump’s spree of controversial actions, the European commission has quietly launched the next offensive in the war on cash. These unelected bureaucrats have boldly asserted their intention to crack down on paper transactions across the E.U. and solidify a trend that has been gaining momentum for years.
The financial uncertainty amplified by Brexit has incentivized governments throughout Europe to seize further control over their banking systems. France and Spain have already criminalized cash transactions above a certain limit, but now the commission has unilaterally established new regulations that will affect the entire union. The fear of physical money flowing out of the trade bloc has manifested a draconian response from the State.
The European Action Plan doesn’t mention a specific dollar amount for restrictions, but as expected, their reasoning for the move is to thwart money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Border checks between countries have already been bolstered to help implement these new standards on hard assets. Although these end goals are plausible, there are other clear motivations for governments to target paper money that aren’t as noble.
The Greek government has just three weeks to secure a deal with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, to avoid the possibility of a Greek exit from the EU and a fresh debt crisis. Radio Sputnik discussed this with Dr. Marina Prentoulis, a senior lecturer at the University of East Anglia.
When asked whether there was any chance of a compromise that would appease both creditors and Greece, Marina Prentoulis said that the situation hasn’t changed since the first round of negotiations.
“There are different political forces involved and the creditors insist on the implementation of additional austerity measures. One thing the IMF doesn’t want to understand is that these measures have already had a catastrophic effect on Greece and also on the future of the European Union,” she noted.
Meanwhile, it looks like the Greek government is taking advantage of the political instability in the EU to secure a better deal for itself, knowing that if the country enters another debt crisis it could destabilize the already fragile EU.
Senior ministers from EU member countries do not believe that Ireland plans to remain a part of the European Union, said Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar.
Ireland’s Minister of Social Protection Leo Varadkar says that a number of his colleagues approached him at a recent EU meeting in Slovakia who did not realize “we’re staying in Europe,” in what may be a harbinger of things to come for the Island nation.
Citing a series of “unusual questions,” Varadkar says there is not a big diplomatic effort needed to reassure other countries that Ireland remains committed to staying in the European Union.
“Some of them were asking me ‘is Ireland going to leave the European Union as well?’ So I had to make it very clear that our place is in Europe, our home is in Europe,” said Varadkar.
“Europe is a big place now. There are 28 members and we’re a small country,” he said. “There’s a big diplomatic offensive underway now to first of all reassure everyone in politics, in business and everything else that Ireland made its decision a long time ago.”
The eurozone could suffer a 0.5 percentage point hit to GDP growth next year, as the single currency area is hit by the adverse effects of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the European Commission has said.
In its first economic analysis following the Brexit vote, the Commission said the referendum decision would “reverberate across the rest of the EU”, forcing it to pare back its growth forecasts over the next two years
In its worst case scenario, which forecasts prolonged market jitters and dramatically reduced investment, the 19-country bloc would see growth trimmed to 1.5 per cent this year and 1.3 per in 2017.
This would, however, dwarf the 2.6 per cent hit to UK GDP next year, plunging Britain into a recession with GDP likely to contract by 0.3 per cent, according to the latest calculations – the EU’s first economic update since a pre-referendum outlook was published last month.
European Commission President says he made a friendly bet Britain would vote to leave
Jean-Claude Juncker continues his self-inflicted campaign of embarrassment by revealing he made a bet (for one pound) with EU Financial Stability Commissioner Jonathan Hill that Britons would vote to leave.
He “still owes me a pound,” Juncker told Spiegel in an interview just published.
” It was important for the Brits to trigger Article 50 as quickly as possible in order to avoid any uncertainties”
Why Britain voted leave? “In its 43 years of EU membership, Britain has never been able to decide whether it wants to fully or only partially belong to the EU.”
President of the European Parliament Martin Schultz was also a part of the interview:
Schultz on who is responsible: “Primary responsibility for Brexit lies with British conservatives, who took an entire continent hostage. First, David Cameron initiated the referendum in order to secure his post.”
Prior to the Brexit vote, George Soros was one of the notable names who came out to implore the voters to decide to remain in the EU. At that time, Soros took scaremongering to a new level by writing an op-ed titled “The Brexit crash will make all of you poorer – be warned.” Following the referendum, Soros came back to write “the catastrophic scenario that many feared has materialized, making the disintegration of the EU practically irreversible.”
In remarks made to the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday, Soros made yet another round of dramatic statements. Expanding on comments made over the weekend about the “inevitable disintegration” of the EU, Soros said Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has “unleashed” a crisis in financial markets similar to the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008.
“This has been unfolding in slow motion, but Brexit will accelerate it. It is likely to reinforce the deflationary trends that were already prevalent,” the billionaire investor said on Thursday.
Earlier today and on several occasions since Tuesday morning when the Bakraoui brothers blew themselves up at the Brussels airport and city metro, we’ve documented the connection between the Brussels attacks, the brazen assault on Paris in November, and other terror-related events that have unfolded in Belgium over the past 14 months.
Here are some bullet points worth noting:
In January 2015, two men are killed in a police raid on a flat in Verviers; the men are later pictured with Paris ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud in a cover story for Islamic State magazine Dabiq
In September, one “Soufiane Kayal” was seen with Salah Abdeslam at a Hungary-Austria border checkpoint; Kayal would later turn out to be bomb maker Najim Laachraoui whose DNA was found on explosive material in Paris and also in two residences (one in Auvelais that was raided on November 26 and one on Rue Henri Bergé, in the Schaerbeek section of Brussels that was searched in December); he is now thought to have blown himself up on Tuesday at the Brussels airport
A November 30 raid on a home in Auvelais where Abaaoud may have met with suicide bombers turns up a 10-minute surveillance tape apparently filmed at the home of a senior Belgian nuclear official; reports later suggested the camera was set up and retrieved by the Bakraoui brothers
A March 14 raid on an apartment in Forest rented to one of the Bakraoui brothers leaves one gunman dead, but two other presumed jihadis escape; Paris fugitive Salah Abdeslam’s fingerprints are found in the apartment