POLITICS & POLICY
The UK electoral campaign and Brexit are under the spotlight. On Wednesday, British Work and Pension Secretary Damian Green blasted the Labour party claiming that many long-lasting progressive voters changed their minds after Brexit, and will support the Tories in the upcoming elections. Brexit burst the dam and caused radical changes in party affiliations, especially in the Northern regions of the country, he said. Nevertheless, a last minute endorsement for the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, came from both Roger Cohen of the The New York Times and from world renowned economist Joseph Stiglitz. According to a poll conducted by the Independent, nine out of 10 voters believe that the elections are about public services and not about Brexit.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that she will not pursue a second independence referendum until the UK has negotiated a deal with the European Union. However, the Scottish leader also said that she struggles in establishing an effective and constructive relation with Theresa May.
The main European Farmers’ Union, COPA-COGECA, warned that Brexit will threaten the agricultural sector, as a raise in tariff barriers would hamper transactions among businesses. In a 156-page report, COGECA called for the European Commission to step in with adequate compensatory measures by 2019, in order to hinder negative effects of the UK leaving the Union, EurActiv reports.
In France, the legislative elections are making the headlines. According to an analysis of Le Monde, one in three candidates of Emmanuel Macron’s movement, La République en Marche (LREM), has no past political experience. LREM is set to win the elections with a 30% of the votes. Meanwhile, discussions over the labour market reform are under the spotlight. After Le Parisien revealed the existence of a secret plan to enforce unpopular policies, Labour Minister Muriel Pénicaud rejected the claims of the French newspaper. However, on Wednesday, even Libération published some leaked papers concerning a secret agenda of the Government.
In other news, the refugee crisis is making the headlines in Germany and in Eastern Europe. On Wednesday, a former MP of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Wofgang Bosbach, called for the national government to reject migrants entering the country without identity documents. Recently, media reported that two out of three migrants entering the country do not hold any ID. On Tuesday the European Commission warned the so-called Visegrad group of central and eastern European Member States that it is ready to enact sanction as of next week should they not comply with the resettlement policy agreed upon by EU Member States on September last year. The announcement of the European institution came after that the Czech Republic said it would stop relocation of migrants from Greece and Italy.
In Greece, the Union of Greek Shipowners Theodore Veniamis rounded on the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, as the latter argued the Greek government should increase taxes on the owners of ships in the country. According to Veniamis, Schäuble’s words are motivated by strict national interests and aim at defending the German ship industry only. In the meantime, the European Commission defended the actions undertaken by the Syriza government under the current bailout agreement. Finally, a spokesperson of Palais Berlaymont called for international creditors to hold their promises and concede some financial relief to the country, EurActiv writes.
“The ways of the ECB are inscrutable as those of God. Nevertheless, we fully respect that it is only up to the ECB to decide whether Greek should enter the quantitative easing program”.
Euclid Tsakalotos, Finance Minister of Greece.
Source: Handelsblatt, 06.06.2017
The amount of money the European Commission proposed to mobilize by 2027 to support the development of military capabilities within the Union.
Source: EurActiv, 07.06.2017
Photo Credits CC First Minister of Scotland
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