POLITICS & POLICY
The refugee crisis remains one of the most pressing issues for many governments across Europe. On Monday, EU Commission spokesperson Natasha Bertaud invited Greece to comply with the provisions of the Dublin agreement, thus preparing to welcome back migrants who reached other EU countries via its territory. The EC declaration came the day after the German Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière, claimed that Greece was not complying with its legal obligations. In the same vein, on Wednesday, September 7, the Slovenian Minister Miro Cerar blamed Greece “for not doing enough to secure its borders”. Cerar threatened the Greek government with a potential expulsion from the EU, to which the Greek Minister of Migration, Ioannis Mouzalas responded by defining these claims as unacceptable. In fact, Greek and Bulgarian authorities recently agreed to jointly patrol their common borders as well as the Bulgarian-Turkish border in an attempt to withhold undocumented migrants.
In the meantime, Denmark is harshening its anti-immigration laws. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, explained that his government is drafting a bill to reject asylum-claimants in times of crisis. For its part, the Austrian government has finalized an emergency decree imposing a cap on asylum-claimants. To make matters worse, the Austrian government has sued the Hungarian executive before of the EU Court of Justice for not complying with the Dublin regulation. Hungary is preparing for a refugee referendum to be held on October 2. The Hungarian people will be asked whether to “allow the EU to relocate to their country non-Hungarian citizens, without the approval of the National Assembly”. Last but not least, on Wednesday Robert Goodwill, the UK Immigration Minister, said that Britain will build a 4-meter high wall in Calais to prevent migrants from entering UK territory.
The Brexit debate continues to make the headlines in the UK and many other European Countries. After Prime Minister Theresa May engaged in talks with China and Australia on the occasion of last weekend’s G20, the German government reminded that EU member states are not allowed to engage independently in free trade talks. On Wednesday, the European Commission’s representative for Brexit negotiations, Michel Barnier, assured that the EU and the UK will strike a deal and underlined the importance of maintaining good ties in matters of security and defence. However, Scottish PM Nicola Sturgeon declared that her government will soon prepare for a second independence referendum, as a backup plan in case the final Brexit deal won’t take into consideration Scotland’s interests. On Wednesday, the vice-President of the European Commission, Vladimir Dombrovskis, reminded the UK financial institutions about the negative consequences of leaving the Single Market. Similarly, talking about the trade-off between free movement regulations and Single Market access, Swedish PM Kjell Stefan Löfven confirmed that the UK can’t have its cake and eat it too: Great Britain won’t have a special deal on EU migrants, he said. Meanwhile, Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, warned about the negative economic prospects of the UK, confirming its pre-referendum stance.
“Europe is living a profound crisis. It resembles a sleepwalker walking towards a cliff”.
Alexis Tsipras, PM of Greece
Source: LeMonde.fr ,08/09/2016
“Being French, in the words of Charles De Gaulle, means being European, white and catholic”.
Robert Ménard, Mayor of Béziers, southern France
Source: Politico.eu ,07/09/2016
The amount of euros by which the German government could cut taxes in 2017, after the federal elections.
The number of jobs UBS might move away from the City of London.
Germany’s foreseen trade balance surplus in 2016.
Source: Corriere della Sera
Photo Credits CC: GUE/NGL