POLITICS & POLICY
Turkey is back under the spotlight as several newspapers were shut down by the government over the past few days. Moreover, the editor in chief of the main opposition media outlet Cumhuriyet, was arrested on Monday. Can Dundar, Cumhuriyet’s former editor-in-chief, warned about the current situation in his country. He also blamed the German government for its weak reaction to Erdogan’s crackdown on freedom of expression. On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, stated that Turkish developments are “highly alarming”. On Tuesday the vice-President of the European Parliament, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, claimed that it will be difficult to grant visa-free EU access to Turkish citizens by 2017. However, in March the EU had said it would grant Turkish citizens free circulation within its borders as part of the migration deal currently in place. Despite mounting criticism, the Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yildrim, said that his country is “not interested in the red lines on press freedom upheld by Europe”. The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, declared the Turkish actions as “unacceptable”.
In other news, the Brexit debate makes the headlines in the UK. On Wednesday, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny claimed that the UK government could trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty well before March 2017, the date set by Theresa May. Kenny said that Brexit is the biggest challenge Ireland has faced in the past 50 years. He also called for EU institutions and Member States to kick off a reflection on its own future and aspirations rather than being obsessed with the decisions of the UK government. On Wednesday, the “UK in a Changing Europe group”, a collective of academics, claimed that the triggering of Article 50 could easily be revoked at a later stage. Among other things, the group claimed that “changes in government, major economic or diplomatic shocks, and military aggression”, would be sufficient reason for a U-turn on the matter. Meanwhile, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) warned that the trade in services between the EU and Great Britain could fall by 60% should the UK eventually leave the European Single Market.
Although Canada and the EU officially signed the CETA agreement on Sunday, the future of the trade deal continues to be a main concern for politicians across Europe. As part of the deal with its regional governments, Belgium will formally ask the European Court of Justice whether CETA’s investment court settlement system complies with European Treaties. To complicate things further, Rumen Radev, a Bulgarian social-democratic politician who is running for the Presidency of his country warned that he will refer the EU-Canada deal to the country’s Constitutional Court in case he wins next Sunday’s election.
“Me myself, the Chancellor and the Minister of Finance, promised to our Parliamentary group, that the International Monetary Fund will be part of the game. And we’ll keep our word on that. As long as the IMF is not on board, we won’t back any new financial aid to Greece”.
Volker Kauder, Chairman of the CDU party in the German Bundestag
Source: Handelsblatt, 31.10.2016
The percentage of German employees who perceive themselves as under-paid.
Source: Die Welt, 30.10.2016
The number of certificates to work abroad issued by the Athens Doctors Association to its members since 2010
Source: Ekathimerini, 30.10.2016
Photo Credits CC Martin Schulz
Also published on Medium.