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Recent articles...

French regional election tests far-right strength


Posted 13/12/2015

Polls opened in France with the far-right National Front (FN) hoping to win control of a region for the first time, giving leader Marine Le Pen a launchpad for her presidential bid in 2017.

The anti-immigration FN topped the vote in six of 13 regions in last weekend's first round, capitalising on security fears in the wake of last month's jihadist attacks in Paris that claimed 130 lives.

But it faces an uphill battle to convert that performance into victory after the ruling Socialist Party withdrew its candidates from two key regions and urged their supporters there to back former president Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative Republicans.

A poll on Wednesday showed Ms Le Pen -who heads the party list in the economically depressed northeastern Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region -would be beaten by the Republicans' Xavier Bertrand by 53% to 47%.

In the southern Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region, her 26-year-old niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen was trailing the Republicans' Christian Estrosi, with 46% to his 54%...read more...

 



 

 

Meeting of the EU heads of state or government with Turkey


Posted 29/11/2015

This Summit was organised to decide in the first place what the EU and Turkey must do together to cope with the migration crisis. The main goal is to stem the flow of migrants to Europe. After many weeks of hard work and tough talks the EU and Turkey have reached an agreement which they hope will be accepted today by all parties concerned...read more and watch video...

 



 

New €20 notes come into circulation from today


Posted 25/11/2015

The new €20 notes are in circulation here from today.

The third in the 'Europa Series' of banknotes is the same size and is similar in appearance to the existing note.

However it has a number of new security features.

These same features are also present on the Europa Series €5 and €10, and can be easily checked using the 'Feel, Look and Tilt' method. They include:

    • a portrait watermark of the Greek goddess Europa
    • raised lines along the sides of the note
    • a shiny emerald colour number
    • a portrait hologram of Europa

In addition to these, the new €20 has an additional security feature, known as the portrait window.

When you look at the banknote against the light, the window near the top of the hologram becomes transparent and reveals a portrait of Europa, and rainbow-coloured lines, on both sides of the note.

When the banknote is tilted, rainbow-coloured lines appear around the value numeral and in the window on the back of the banknote.

...Read more and watch video...

 



 

The Commission and business leaders partner up to boost youth employment and inclusion in Europe


Posted 17/11/2015

Today the European Commission together with companies launch the European Pact for Youth, a mutual engagement of business leaders and the EU to create a culture of business-education partnerships to improve the chances for young people of getting a job, at the Enterprise 2020 Summit.

Today the European Commission together with companies launch the European Pact for Youth, a mutual engagement of business leaders and the EU to create a culture of business-education partnerships to improve the chances for young people of getting a job, at the Enterprise 2020 Summit...read more...

 



 

G20 meeting marked by Paris attacks


Posted 15/11/2015

Leaders of the 20 wealthiest nations gathered this weekend in the Mediterranean resort town of Antalya for a meeting that will divert from the initial focus of climate change and economy, turning discussions into the most vexing global problem at this moment, this is how to fight ISIL and tackle the situation of the war in Syria.

The two-day Summit discussions were targeted to spur broader economic growth and find common ground to combat climate change in the lead-up to the much-anticipated United Nations conference in Paris...read more...



 

 

Valletta Summit on migration  


Posted 12/11/2015

EU and African leaders have met in Malta to try hammer out some cooperation to tackle the migration crisis. The EU is pledging cash in exchange for help to stem the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean. But is it enough to slow down the biggest refugee crisis since World War II? EU leaders also met for an emergency migration summit in the afternoon in Valletta. 

So far, however, the response of the EU and its member states to the influx of refugees and migrants has focused on keeping people out, by preventing their arrival and facilitating their return, with no meaningful steps taken to increase mobility nor safe and legal routes for refugees. 

Iverna McGowan, Acting Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions office had said “stated commitments to human rights at Valetta will be nothing more than hollow words unless the Summit concretely results in an increase in the availability of resettlement places and watertight safeguards for human rights in any agreements made on border and migration management.” 

“Clear and concrete proposals on safe and legal routes are glaringly absent from the Valetta agenda and declaration, and backroom bilateral agreements in the margins risk having serious adverse human rights impact. The lack of transparency around so many of these agreements is already a red flag.”...read more and watch videos...

  



 

Thousands protest in Madrid against domestic violence


Posted 08/11/2015

"Stop male chauvinist violence" demanded tens of thousands of feminists from all over Spain in a demonstration in Madrid on Saturday.

Tens of thousands of people from all over Spain marched in the capital on Saturday to denounce violence against women, which has caused 41 deaths this year, an AFP journalist said. Protesters answered a call by more than 400 feminist groups to flood downtown Madrid, carrying banners that read "Stop 'machista' violence" and shouting "We aren't all here, the dead are missing!"

Organizers said participants had travelled to the city on Saturday morning on 300 buses. Representatives of the main parties and unions also took part, as the country gears up for a general election on December 20...read more...

 



 

Observers praise election fought on issues that matter to Azerbaijanis


Posted 03/11/2015

By Martin Banks

Azerbaijani voters have overwhelmingly returned the ruling New Azerbaijan Party in Sunday’s Parliamentary elections.

It was a surprising outcome perhaps, to European insiders but totally consistent with the findings of international pollsters and one that has been accepted by international election monitors.

While Western politicians and the media have bemoaned the lack of political freedom in the oil-rich nation and the pace of political reform, voters told international polling giants America’s Arthur J. Finkelstein & Associates and France’s Opinion way that the continued occupation or Nagorno-Karabakh, the refugee crisis, and regional security in such a volatile region were the "issues that mattered most to them."

Sixty to seventy per cent of voters found these to be the decisive issues and, as the outcome of the election suggests, they trusted the present government – made up of New Azerbaijan Party candidates and independents that vote with them - as the best option to steer them through these challenges...read more...

 



 

 

EU risks disintegration over migrant crisis


Posted 29/10/2015

The European Union risks disintegrating if it fails to respond to its worst migration crisis since World War II collectively, its top foreign policy chief warned today.

Federica MogheriniFederica MogheriniThe High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said that if the EU merely relied on national responses to a European issue, "the crisis will get worse, with chain reactions from public opinion and national governments."

To prevent this, she said, the bloc needed to be equipped with "instruments up to the challenge" without which, she warned, "there is the risk of disintegration."

The comments came a day after Austria announced plans to build a fence at a major border crossing with fellow EU state Slovenia to "control" the migrant influx...read more and watch video...

 



 

Portugal socialists pledge to topple government


Posted 25/10/2015

Portugal's opposition Socialists pledged to topple the centre-right minority government with a no-confidence motion, saying the president had created “an unnecessary political crisis” by nominating Pedro Passos Coelho as Prime Minister.

The move could wreck Mr Passos Coelho's efforts to get his centre-right government's programme passed in parliament in ten days' time, extending the political uncertainty hanging over the country since an inconclusive 4th of October election.     

Mr Coelho was named prime minister on Thursday after his coalition won the most votes in the national election but lost its majority in parliament, which swung to leftist parties. 

This set up a confrontation with the main opposition Socialists, who have been trying to form their own coalition government with the hard left Communists and Left Bloc, who all want to end the centre-right's austerity policies.         

"The president has created an unnecessary political crisis by naming Passos Coelho as Prime Minister," Socialist leader Antonio Costa said...read more...    



 

Turkey PM hails 'better approach' from EU on refugees after Merkel talks


Posted 18/10/2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered Turkey the prospect of support for faster progress on its bid to join the European Union today in return for cooperation in stemming the flow of migrants and taking back those rejected by Europe.

Speaking in Istanbul at a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Chancellor Merkel said Germany could help accelerate the path to visa-free travel to the EU for Turks and push forward Ankara's protracted EU membership talks.

In return, she expected Turkey to agree more quickly to take in migrants sent back by the EU, so-called "read mission agreements" that Mr Davutoglu has said he will sign up to only if there is progress on liberalising the visa regime for Turks...read more...

 



 

EU leaders to discuss migration crisis


Posted 15/10/2015

European Union leaders are meeting in Brussels today for a summit that will focus on the migration and refugee crisis.

In a letter to EU leaders ahead of today's summit, EU Council President Donald Tusk warned of a new migratory wave that could mean millions of new arrivals in the spring.

Nearly 600,000 migrants have reached the EU by sea so far this year, most via Turkey, and EU leaders are seeking closer co-operation with the government in Ankara.

The summit will discuss strengthening the EU's external borders - including a possible EU border guard...read more...

 



 

Snowden – Hero or VillainRandall CalvinRandall Calvin


Posted 11/10/2015

By Randall Calvin

He only ended up in Russia by accident, he had intended to fly to South America, but got stuck in a Russian airport.

To some he is a hero and to others he is a traitor, depending on your opinion. This week he spoke to the BBC’s Panorama reporter Peter Taylor. Snowden is living in Russia now and Taylor relates how it was very difficult to arrange the meeting, indeed he said it took him over three months just to set it up.

Snowden doesn’t give many interviews, except a couple he has done with the Americans in the past.

Taylor says he had to work through intermediaries and used encrypted messages to reassure Snowden that his ambition was not to “paint a portrait of the man” but rather use his interview to inform the debate on this highly sensitive issue...read more...

 



 

 

NATO chief on Russia's air violation


Posted 06/10/2015

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said Russia’s violation of Turkish-NATO airspace does not look like an accident.

He said the duration of Russia’s two incursions over the weekend makes him doubt Moscow’s explanation of the incident and said Russia has not offered "any real explanation."

Turkey has summoned the Russian ambassador to Ankara for a second time after the violation of its air space by a Russian warplane close to the Syrian border on Sunday.

Turkey warned the Russian envoy that similar incidents should not happen again otherwise "Russia would be held responsible," the official said.

Sunday’s incident appears to have been the second in as many days after Turkey said its fighter jets intercepted a Russian warplane close to the Syrian border on Saturday, forcing it to turn back.

The Russian ambassador had also been summoned following Saturday's incident...read more...

  



 

MSF staff frantic call to NATO during suspected US bomb attack


Posted 03/10/2015

The medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières has condemned "in the strongest possible terms" air strikeson its hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz.

MSF said frantic staff phoned military officials at NATO in Kabul and Washington as bombs rained on their hospital for nearly an hour.

The death toll from the suspected US air strikes on the hospital rose to nine today, with 37 others wounded and many still unaccounted for, the charity said.

"It is with deep sadness that we confirm so far the death of nine MSF staff during the bombing... of MSF's hospital in Kunduz," it said in a statement...read more...

 



 

Spanish PM offers Catalonia “dialogue” within bounds of law


Posted 28/09/2015

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Monday offered the Catalan government “dialogue and institutional loyalty” within the bounds of the law.

The head of the centre-right Popular Party (PP) appeared at La Moncloa, the seat of central government, to assess the results of the regional elections held in Catalonia on Sunday.

The election was won by pro-independence forces, which secured a majority of seats although they failed to obtain more than 48 percent of the popular vote...read more...

 



 

Draghi says too early to decide on further stimulus – ECB


Posted 23/09/2015

The European Central Bank needs more time to assess if it will have to beef up its €1 trillion plus asset-buying programme, ECB President Mario Draghi said.

His comments confounded some expectations that the bank was ready to expand quantitative easing.

Mr Draghi made his comments at the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

He said the bank was ready to act but needed more evidence to see if the emerging market slowdown, the euro's firming and the fall in commodity prices would hijack inflation from its projected path.

"The asset purchase programme has sufficient in-built flexibility," Draghi said in prepared remarks.

"We will adjust its size, composition and duration as appropriate, if more monetary policy impulse should become necessary," he said.

"More time is needed to determine in particular whether the loss of growth momentum in emerging markets is of a temporary or permanent nature and to assess the driving forces behind the drop in the international price of commodities and behind the recent episodes of severe financial turbulence," Draghi said.

...Read more... 



 

Europe takes action to help 12 million long-term unemployed get back to work


Posted 17/09/2015

The European Commission has today proposed guidance to Member States to better help long-term unemployed return to work.

The European Commission has today proposed guidance to Member States to better help long-term unemployed return to work. Following the relaunch of the Youth Employment Initiative in May, this is another concrete initiative in the context of the broader economic and social agenda of the Juncker Commission, which seeks to strengthen job creation, economic recovery and social fairness in Europe...read more and watch the videos...

  



 

Catalans march in Barcelona for independence


Posted 13/09/2015

Hundreds of thousands of Catalans marched in Barcelona rallying for independence.

Pro-independence supporters gathered by the hundreds of thousands in Barcelona on Friday afternoon to hold a march that has become an annual tradition on the 11th of September, but which takes on added meaning this year because of the 27th of September elections that could lead to Catalonia’s secession from Spain.

Catalonia's National Day, known locally as La Diada Nacional de Catalunya, is a fiesta (festival) held in the region every year on the 11th of September. It has always been an occasion to celebrate Catalan culture and customs but the debate over Catalonia's right to vote on independence from Spain has transformed it into a politically charged event.

Throngs of crowds in white t-shirts had completely filled the four traffic lanes of Meridiana Avenue by 5.14pm, when the main event of the Diada – Catalonia Day – got started...read more...

  



 

 

Elizabeth II becomes longest reigning UK monarch


Posted 09/09/2015

Queen Elizabeth II today becomes Britain's longest-serving monarch when she overtakes Queen Victoria's reign of 63 years and seven months.

The Queen will break the record previously held by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria whose reign, according to Buckingham Palace, lasted for 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes - or around 63 years and 216 days.

Princess Elizabeth became Queen when she was only 25 years of age, on the 6th of February 1952, after her father died.

It is thought Queen Elizabeth II will break Queen Victoria's record at around 5.30pm this afternoon, but it's difficult to pinpoint a precise time because the exact moment of her father's death is not known. It is inevitable that comparisons will be made between the two women, and some experts argue Queen Victoria would become an ideal role model for her great great granddaughter...read more...

 



 

EU at loggerheads over refugee crisis


Posted 05/09/2015

The publication of pictures of a deadtoddler on a Turkish beach may have set the tone of the meeting between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Parliament President Martin Schulz in Brussels.

Aylan’s death may be changing politicians’ mind as Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström was moved to tears when discussing the image on a TV show. Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said: “Aylan made me and my family cry.” However, Berthold Kohler in FAZ criticises that the picture of the young Syrian boy has been exploited by the media.

Jean-Jacques Mével explains in Le Figaro that Europe now has ten days to regain control of the migrant crisis and make up for “two years of finding excuses and burying its head in the sand.”

Turkish authorities revealed that Turkey is at the forefront of this humanitarian emergency; on Wednesday, the Turkish National Security Council expressed concern over the EU’s “worrying attitude” towards the refugee crisis and urged Europe to take action...read more... 



 

The European Week of Sport #BeActive


Posted 28/08/2015

The European Week of Sport aims to promote sport and physical activity across Europe. The Week is for everyone, regardless of age, background or fitness level. With a focus on grassroots initiatives, it will inspire Europeans to #BeActive on a regular basis and create opportunities in peoples’ everyday lives to exercise more.

Engagement in sport and physical activity is at an all-time low: 59% of Europeans never or seldom exercise or play sport (Eurobarometer)...Read more and watch the video...

 



 

 

French President salutes train heroes for preventing 'carnage'


Posted 24/08/2015

French President Francois Hollande has presented three US citizens and a Briton with the Legion d'Honneur medal in recognition of their bravery in stopping a gunman on a packed train.

Airman Spencer Stone, 23, and his friends, student Anthony Sadler, 23 and National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, 22, along with 62-year-old Briton Chris Norman were honoured at a ceremony at the Elysee Palace this morning.

Mr Hollande said: "A terrorist decided to commit an attack. He had enough weapons and ammunition to carry out a real carnage, and that's what he would have done if you hadn't tackled him at a risk to your own lives.

"You have shown us that, faced with terror, we have the power to resist. You have given a message of courage, solidarity and hope."

Mr Hollande added: "I did not want you to return to your countries without receiving this honour.

"Faced with the peril of terrorism, it's in refusing to back down, in refusing to be afraid, it's by standing up together that we overcome."...Read more...

 



 

Greece and the euro


Posted 16/08/2015

A third bail-out gets the green light

A month ago Greek membership of the euro was in peril, as Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s powerful finance minister, argued that Greece should leave the monetary union for at least five years in what he euphemistically called a “time out.”

Any such exit, which would almost certainly have turned out to be permanent, would have undermined a founding principle of the monetary union—that those joining the euro do so irrevocably.

Even after euro-zone leaders meeting at a crucial summit managed to agree upon a framework for a bail-out agreement on July 13th the chances of it actually being concluded and avoiding a “Grexit” seemed slim. Mr Schäuble made clear in the following week that he still thought Greece should be temporarily expelled from the euro while Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, said he did not believe in the agreement he had just made at the summit...read more...

 



 

George Cole - uh my god!Randall CalvinRandall Calvin


Posted 07/08/2015

By Randall Calvin

It may be political ‘silly season’ where political journalists dig deep to find a story with a catchy title, but this is no cynical piece. Short of a war being declared, I have to pay a modest homage to Arfur.

As readers will no doubt know George Edward Cole, OBE passed away this week aged ninety, and as has been said his bio in film was truly extensive. I had seen him in many film roles in my youth, when Britain still had a pretty respectable indigenous film industry.

However in 1979 at the tender age of ten, a strange new TV show came on the tube with the even stranger name of “minder.” My older brothers had to explain to me that a minder was a type of bodyguard. I fell in love with the odd couple, laurel and Hardy mis-matched duo almost immediately...read more...

 



 

North Atlantic Council meeting on threats against Turkey


Posted 28/07/2015

The North Atlantic Council met today in Brussels at Turkey’s request to hold consultations under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty, which states that “the parties will consult whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence, or security of any of the parties is threatened.”

Turkey requested the meeting in view of the seriousness of the situation after the recent terrorist attacks, and to inform Allies of the measures it is taking...read more and watch video... 

 

 



 

 

Summit of Conscience for Climate


Posted 26/07/2015

From a meeting in Paris for a “Summit of Conscience for Climate,” initiated by Nicolas Hulot, the French President’s Special Envoy for the protection of the planet, took this opportunity to speak to us in person.

By their nature, COPs (Conference of the Parties) offer an opportunity to meet and talk at the highest level. They also offer an opportunity to undertake decisive steps to tackle climate change; but as we all know that opportunity is beset by challenges.

President Hollande said “2015 is a dramatic year for making key choices for Humanity: we need to reinvent how we tackle the major challenges that face us and our planet. This calls for new ways of living and acting.”

The conference framed the discussion by way of an open question: Why should I care?...read more and watch video...

 



 

Greece submits official request for IMF loan


Posted 25/07/2015

Greece has submitted an official request to the International Monetary Fund for a new loan as it seeks a huge third bailout from its creditors, the finance ministry said.

"We would like to inform you that we are seeking a new loan facility from the International Monetary Fund," Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos wrote in a letter to Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF.

Earlier, talks on tying up a new bailout deal for Greece failed to start as had been expected, with officials blaming security worries for delaying the negotiations with international creditors - who are detested by many Greeks.

Greek government officials had said this week that the talks on the third bailout programme worth up to €86bn would start in Athens today.

But representatives of Greece's creditor institutions - the European Commission, the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund - said they cannot begin until the right location is found, given the talks' sensitivity and the wide public anger about austerity policies imposed under "there are some logistical issues to solve, notably security-wise," a European Commission official said...read more...



 

Marie Curie: restless source of energy…and inspirationRaquel JimenezRaquel Jimenez


Posted 19/07/2015

By Raquel Jimenez

In the 19th century physicists and chemists were at the edge of new discoveries, the basic laws were able to explain almost everything. However, a final surprise was to be unleashed in the field of science before the turn of the century.

A young 24-year old Marie Curie (then Marie Skłodowska), was confronted in 1896, with a topic which the French physicist Becquerel had lost interest in.

Becquerel accidentally left a package of uranium salts on top of a roll of photographic plate in a drawer, and days later found that the plate had darkened as if it had been exposed to light; he thought that these salts had emitted penetrating rays that were able to pass through metal.   

A Polish national, Marie, who did not have any other choice but to emigrate to France in order to pursue her university studies, needed to choose a subject for her doctoral thesis. Taking Becquerel’s findings, she decided to investigate more thoroughly these stones that constantly emitted so much energy and didn’t seem to be consumed, and baptized this phenomenon as radioactivity...read more...

 



 

Bosnia marks Srebrenica massacre anniversary


Posted 11/07/2015

Several thousand people gathered today in Srebrenica for the 19th anniversary of the massacre of 8,000 Muslim males by ethnic Serbs forces, Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.

The remains of 175 newly-identified massacre victims were laid to rest after a commemoration ceremony held in Potocari memorial centre, just outside the Bosnian town.

The youngest victim to be laid to rest during the service was 14 when he was killed.

Among the others who will be buried are 13 teenage boys, aged between 15 and 17.

Around 8,000 men and boys died in the Srebrenica massacre which followed the town's seizure by Bosnia Serb forces on 11 July, 1995.

It was labelled a genocide by two international courts...read more and watch the videos...

 



 

Europe: divide and conquer – peace in our time!Randall CalvinRandall Calvin


Posted 08/07/2015

By Randall Calvin

Tonight there was no decision taken, but to realign. For once we had Prime Ministers speaking out. Amongst them, Matteo Renzi, in simple and in clear English he recalled that this is not a problem of Greece alone, but for all of Europe. We need policies for growth, not austerity, he said.

 

At an incredibly depressing and disappointing press conference of the main heads of the European Union, Donald Tusk sent a clear yet again reconciliatory message of openness towards a Greek deal, while Juncker is still spiralling towards strong-liners of the Troika, with strong words indeed.

Earlier in the day at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, he had made a plea to the Greeks to modify their language, and be a little more temperate for the tense Summit. Yet stunningly at this press conference, he finally let his guard down, as you can see for yourself in this video.

 

 



 

Heatwave sweeps across Europe


Posted 03/07/2015

A heatwave is sweeping across Europe, with temperatures set to exceed 40°C in some countries.

The summer heat has taken hold of Italy, with temperatures of over 35°C in many Italian cities.

Rome's zoo is helping the animals deal with the high temperatures by handing out iced treats and encouraging frequent bathing in cold water.

 

Iced lollies made with yogurt and fruit were a hit with the zoo's orangutans, while the brown bears enjoyed iced melons. Throughout the summer months at the zoo, keepers make sure the animals have access to the frozen treats and a constant supply of fresh water.

“We are trying to give them some iced mixed with some food and some frozen yogurt. They do like it very much. For most of the other animals they have water all the time, who has the pool can go into the pool, they have the shade which is very important in every enclosure,” said Rome zoo curator Yitzhak Yadid...read more...

 

Source: AFP/Reuters

 



 

Greece told to accept debt deal or 'head towards default'


Posted 20/06/2015

European Council President Donald Tusk told Greece to accept a debt deal with its international creditors or face defaulting.

An emergency summit will be held on Monday to address Athens' future in the eurozone.

"The situation of Greece is getting critical," Mr Tusk said in a video message.

"We are close to the point where the Greek government will have to choose between accepting what I believe is a good offer of continued support or to head towards default."

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank has raised the level of emergency funding for Greek banks by an unspecified amount following a request from the Bank of Greece, a Greek bank source said.

"There was no problem with the financing of Greek banks," the source said, adding that bank governors were expecting a "positive result" at an emergency eurozone leaders summit on Greece on Monday...read more and watch the video...

 



 

Human tide reaches Calais


Posted 15/06/2015

The number of migrants now queueing up to enter Britain illegally has reached crisis point with 4,000 living in a crimeridden ghetto in Calais.

Steven Woolfe is a British politician and barrister. Since his election in the 2014, he has been a Member of the European Parliament for the North West England region for the UK Independence Party (UKIP). He recently visited a camp site in Calais to inspect the living conditions of those seeking entrance to the UK...read more and watch the video...

 



 

Tsipras loses favour with the European Commission


Posted 10/06/2015

There was confusion this morning as to whether the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Junker would meet Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras as scheduled in Brussels today following the effective rejection of the latest proposals from Greece to resolve its debt crisis...read more...

 

 



 

Ban Ki Moon Visit to Ireland


Posted 31/05/2015

This week United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon visited the Curragh Camp where he met with the Minister for Defence Mr Simon Coveney T.D. (Member of Parliament) and the Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Conor O'Boyle.

He received a Guard of Honour from the 91st Cadet Class accompanied by the Army No 1 Band, as well as briefs from United Nations Training School and the Military College and Ordnance School instructors...read more...

 


 


 

Cameron expects ups and downs in EU negotiation


Posted 24/05/2015

David Cameron backs staying in the EU as long as he can secure reforms such as controlling migration

British Prime Minister David Cameron has begun his campaign to persuade European leaders to make changes to the European Union before he holds a referendum to decide whether Britain should stay in or quit the bloc.

Mr Cameron was due to hold talks with European Council President Donald Tusk and a handful of EU government heads on the sidelines of a European Union summit with six ex-Soviet republics in Latvia.

There were no formal meetings planned with EU power brokers Germany and France, but Mr Cameron will travel to Berlin and Paris next week for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande, British officials said.

Mr Cameron said the negotiations would have "ups and downs".

Arriving at the summit, he told reporters: "One thing throughout all of this will be constant and that is my determination to deliver for the British people a reform of the EU so they get a proper choice in that referendum."...read more...

 



 

Airbus warns investment at risk if UK leaves EU


Posted 21/05/2015

The European aerospace and defence giant Airbus would reconsider investment in the UK in the event of Britain leaving the European Union.

Paul Kahn, president of the 16,000-employee Airbus UK, said Britain must compete for international investment.Paul KahnPaul Kahn

"The best way to guarantee this is by remaining part of the EU," he said.

Earlier, Chancellor George Osborne said in a speech to the CBI employers' group that he wants the UK "to be in Europe, but not run by Europe".

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a referendum on the UK's EU membership by the end of 2017, and the matter has been rising up the political and business agenda.

On Monday, the chairman of construction equipment firm JCB said the UK should not fear an exit from the EU.

And on Wednesday, the president of the CBI, Sir Mike Rake, said businesses should "speak out early" in favour of remaining in a reformed EU...read more...

Britain - The Balkans of Europe?


Posted 14/05/2015

EU Spectator is delighted to collaborate with, support and promote, our favourite economist David McWilliams.

In this video David gives his unique colourful perspective post the recent UK elections.

From the fallout of the elections, he sets out his stall thus. 

Welcome to new Britain, Europe’s 21st century version of the Balkans!

"When you have anti-English, pro-European nationalists in Scotland and anti-European, pro-British nationalists in England, spiced up with a few anti-English, pro-European nationalists in Wales and of course, the anti-each-other, pro-whatever your having yourself, British and Irish nationalists in that blissfully incoherent chunk of Ulster - Northern Ireland, you know you’re not in the old UK.”

...read more and watch the video...

EU leaders urged to step up efforts to end bloodshed in DonbassMartin BanksMartin Banks


Posted 12/05/2015

By Martin Banks

Forum calls on Europe to 'do everything possible' to break the deadlock in Eastern Ukraine 

The leader of one of the two breakaway republics in Eastern Ukraine has called on Europe to "do everything possible" to prevent a further escalation of violence in the bitter year-long conflict.

Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic since August 2014Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic since August 2014The demand by Alexander Zakharchenko came in Donetsk on Monday at the start of a major 'peace and unity' forum, comprising national parliamentarians and representatives from civil society.

The two-day event, "Donbass: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow," is being attended by MPs, along with senior representatives of the governments of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics.

The international conference coincides with the first anniversary of elections on establishing self-rule in the two republics.

The poll was not recognised by most countries but a majority of respondents are believed to support some form of self-rule for Donetsk and Luhansk...read more...

 



 

NASA Captures Biggest Solar Flare Burst This YearGuadalupe del OlmoGuadalupe del Olmo


Posted 10/05/2015

By Guadalupe del Olmo

Our nearest star brings the light and warmth that is responsible for all life on Earth, but it has a nasty temper too.

Solar flares, eruptions and other sun storms can have serious effects to satellites and other systems around or on Earth.

Though the sun lies 93 million miles (149 million km) from Earth, its unceasing activity assures an impact on our planet far beyond the obvious light and heat. From a constant stream of particles in the form of solar wind to the unpredictable bombardment from solar flares and coronal mass ejections, Earth often feels the effects of its stellar companions. Less noticeable are the sunspots crossing the solar surface, though they are related to the more violent interactions. All of these fall under the definition of "space weather."

This week the sun blew off a powerful solar flare, its biggest burst in 2015 and one that temporarily knocked out radio communications in the Pacific region, according to NASA. It was an intense X2.7-class flare, erupting Tuesday around 6 p.m. EDT. The U.S. space agency’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which has been hurtling through space and studying the sun since 2010, captured the event on camera...read more...