POLITICS & POLICY

European media continue to monitor the Polish judiciary reform. After several days of massive protests on the streets of Warsaw and other major Polish cities, on Monday, Polish President Andrzej Duda announced that he will block the reform approved by both chambers of the national Parliament last week. The decision to veto the text written by the Law and Justice (PiS) Government came as a surprise, as Duda has always been sympathetic to the Government’s actions. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said that the veto will not prevent the executive from pushing ahead the reform process. Szydlo said that the reform of the judiciary power “is much needed in the country”. Meanwhile, the European Commission said that it continues to keep an eye on the situation, signalling that Brussels is not entirely reassured by the veto of the Polish President. Over the past weeks, many political leaders from other European Union member states voiced their worries over the reform process in Poland. The historical leader of the former perestroika movement, Lech Walesa, also joined the protesters.

In other news, the refugee crisis continues to make the headlines across Europe. In Germany, the Social democratic (SPD) leader, Martin Schulz, issued a warning claiming that the country needs to confront the threat of a new refugee crisis similar to the one that hit in 2015. However, for many commentators, the centre-left Chancellor candidate is simply looking for electoral themes to challenge the incumbent Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Indeed, most polls show that the SPD lags behind the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) by a wide margin. On Monday, in an interview published by the French daily Le Monde covering Germany’s stance towards its EU partners, Schulz said that “Berlin needs to stop to dictate terms to the rest of the Union”.

Coming back to the migration crisis, the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, blasted the EU and the liberal order. Orban said that no country has ever managed to integrate muslims into their societies. On Monday, the Czech State Secretary for EU Affairs, Aleš Chmelař, said that the EU relocation scheme is of no use if some basic security and risk sharing issues are not discussed first. Last week, the Italian Government opened a new row with EU partners, accusing the latter of not supporting the management of immigration flows from north Africa. More precisely, the Italian Government harshly debated with its Austrian counterpart over the number of migrants that are crossing the border between the two countries.

The evolution of Greek economy is under the spotlight. On Tuesday, Greece gained access to international financial markets for the first time since 2014. The Greek Government issued bonds with a five-year maturity in an attempt to test the appetite of international investors. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke to the British daily The Guardian, admitting, for the first time, that he made “big mistakes” during the diplomatic crisis that rocked the Union in 2015. Nevertheless, Tsipras said that Greece is definitely on its way up again and that the “worst is behind”.


THE STATEMENT

“Wholesale EU immigration has destroyed conditions for British workers.”

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the British Labour party

Source: New Statesman, 23.07.2017


NUMBERS

€1 trillion

The amount saved by Eurozone member states since 2008, thanks to the expansionary monetary policy of the European Central Bank.

Source: Handelsblatt, 24.07.2017


Photo Credits CC:NBC News


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