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Yesterday โ€” September 17th 2019EuObserver

[Ticker] Apple and Ireland appeal โ‚ฌ13bn EU tax ruling

Apple, supported by Ireland, challenged on Tuesday in the EU General Court in Luxembourg the EU commission's 2016 ruling that obliged the tech company to pay €13bn in taxes to Ireland. This figure "defies reality and common sense", Apple said. The EU argued that Ireland allowed Apple to take advantage over other companies located in the country. Any further appeal would go to the EU Court of Justice.

  • September 17th 2019 at 17:37

[Ticker] UK PM should provide witness statement, court told

British prime minister Boris Johnson should have provided the Supreme Court with a witness statement, setting out why he prorogued parliament for five weeks ahead of a possible no-deal Brexit, lawyers for activists bringing a case against the government told the court on Tuesday. A verdict by the Supreme Court on whether the suspension was legal, and whether it can even rule on the issue, will come this week.

  • September 17th 2019 at 17:06

[Ticker] Italy's ex-PM Renzi quits ruling Democratic Party

Former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi announced he will leave the Democratic Party (PD) with some 30 other members of parliament. He said that what pushed him out of the party is "a lack of vision of the future". It was Renzi who proposed to form a government between PD and the Five Star Movement, in order to avoid elections after the League left the government in August.

  • September 17th 2019 at 17:05

Defending the 'European way of life' name splits MEPs

European People's Party group leader Manfred Weber defended Ursula von der Leyen's decision to rename a commission portfolio, partly dealing with migration, "protecting the European way of life". He said it means rescuing people in the Mediterranean.

  • September 17th 2019 at 16:11

[Ticker] German top lawmaker scolds Bettel over Johnson snub

Norbert Rottgen, the German parliament's foreign affairs committee chair on Tuesday scolded Xavier Bettel, a day after Luxembourg's prime minister vented his frustration over Brexit following a meeting with UK premier Boris Johnson. Bettel "did not serve the European cause", Rottgen tweeted, adding that "even without a deal there will be a post-Brexit life, which means that right now everyone needs to behave in a way that avoids animosity".

  • September 17th 2019 at 14:42

[Ticker] Greens decide on Tuesday on talks on Five Star joining

Greens in the European Parliament will decide on Tuesday evening whether to start talks with the Five Star Movement (M5S) on Italy's ruling party possibly joining the climate-focussed group, Green co-chair Philippe Lamberts said. "The end of their alliance with the far-right lifted one major obstacle, but it did not lift all major obstacles," he said, adding that he would support starting discussions.

  • September 17th 2019 at 14:40

[Ticker] Belgian mayors give Juncker a tongue-lashing

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker ought to "apologise" for comments he made on a recent visit to the Belgian seaside, Jean-Marie Dedecker, the mayor of Middelkerke, has said. The mayor of Ostend, Bart Tommelein, called Juncker's comments "strange". Juncker had said he now spoke German in the region instead of French, as he did 30 years ago, because "tolerance" of French speakers had declined. Belgium has three native language groups.

  • September 17th 2019 at 12:21

Hungary claims EU 'witch-hunt' over rule of law hearing

Hungary was quizzed by EU ministers over its domestic crackdown on media, judges, academia and NGOs. Hungary's minister responded by saying the country had defended "the European way of life" for centuries, and it should be respected.

  • September 17th 2019 at 09:26

[Ticker] Von der Leyen defends 'way of life' slogan

An "ideological" tug-of-war has broken out over the European Commission's recent pledge to "protect our European way of life" - a line seen by some as a far-right slogan. The words might be "loaded, politicised" to some, but they had "triggered" a positive debate, the new commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, told European newspapers. "It confirms our ideological victory," French far-right leader Marine Le Pen had earlier said.

  • September 17th 2019 at 09:09

[Ticker] Court hears case on UK's pre-Brexit parliament shutdown

The British Supreme Court has started hearings on the legality of a government suspension of parliament in the run-up to Brexit on 31 October, with a verdict due on Thursday or Friday. He would "wait and see what judges say" before deciding whether to recall MPs, UK prime minister Boris Johnson told the BBC on Monday amid concern he might use dirty tricks to force a no-deal exit.

  • September 17th 2019 at 09:08

[Ticker] Nato rings alarm on Gulf 'escalation'

Nato was "extremely concerned about a risk of escalation" in Gulf tensions after the US accused Iran of drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, the Western military alliance's secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, told the AFP news agency on Monday. Stoltenberg did not blame Iran, as the EU also has declined to so far, but did complain that Iran was "supporting different terrorist groups" and "destabilising the whole region".

  • September 17th 2019 at 09:07

[Ticker] Luxembourg mockery of British leader sparks 'anger'

There was "Tory anger" over Luxembourg's belittling of UK prime minister Boris Johnson on Monday, British newspaper The Times reported, referring to the ruling Conservative party. Johnson was "ridiculed" in an "extraordinary break with protocol," The Times said after Luxembourg's leader, Xavier Bettel, held an empty-chair press conference following their meeting. Luxembourg was "staggeringly rude", The Sun, Britain's top tabloid, said. Street protesters also chanted anti-Johnson slogans on his visit.

  • September 17th 2019 at 09:05

[Ticker] Majority of Belgians against excluding Vlaams Belang

According to an opinion poll, 58 percent of Belgians are against excluding the far-right party Vlaams Belang from the Flemish government. The same percentage is also against a federal coalition government that includes the Francophone socialist party PS and the Flemish nationalist party NVA. Two-in-three Belgians say they are against new elections. In the same poll Vlaams Belang became the largest party in Belgium.

  • September 17th 2019 at 08:59

[Ticker] Greece: time for EU to step up on migration

Greece's minister for migration, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, has said the EU Mediterranean countries are in a better position to convince other countries to cope with migrant arrivals, Ekathimerini reported. He added that it was helpful that migration was a priority of the new European commission. According to Koumoutsakos, this month 4,500 to 5,000 migrants came to Europe via the eastern Mediterranean route, nearly four times more than any other route.

  • September 17th 2019 at 08:56

[Podcast] Trumpworld In Europe

Pastors and plutocrats are sponsoring an ultra-conservative agenda in Europe. Many of them have links to Donald Trump.

  • September 17th 2019 at 08:56

[Opinion] How EU firms and banks help fund Amazon fires

Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Blackrock, and Vanguard collectively own more than $1.1bn in debt in the three largest soy, and the three largest cattle companies, and own $6bn worth of shares in these companies.

  • September 17th 2019 at 08:49

[Opinion] Amazon fires mean EP must rethink Mercosur trade deal

The European parliament debates on Tuesday the fires in the Amazon region. "It goes without saying that, in light of the gravity of the situation, Europe will need to renegotiate the Mercosur agreement", writes MEP Kathleen Van Brempt.

  • September 17th 2019 at 08:48
Before yesterdayEuObserver

[Ticker] Germany prepared to top up post-Brexit EU budget

Germany is prepared to pay €10bn a year more to the EU budget in 2021-2027 to offset losses from the British contribution after Brexit, it said in a paper circulated at an European affairs ministers' meeting in Brussels on Monday, Reuters reported. "We will conduct the ... [budget] negotiations on the basis of 1 percent of the EU27 GNI," Germany's paper said. "Losing the UK" would hurt "significantly," it added.

  • September 16th 2019 at 17:57

[Ticker] New Saudi attack threats, but EU and US still divided

Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen have threatened further drone attacks against Saudi Arabia, putting at risk European oil supplies and southern neighbourhood security. The US has said Iran was directly responsible the assaults, but the European Commission repeated on Monday that "it [was] important to clearly establish the facts and then determine responsibility for this deplorable attack." The escalating tension comes amid a US-EU split on how to handle Iran.

  • September 16th 2019 at 17:50

[Ticker] EU anti-trust chief goes after Belgian tax breaks

The European Commission is opening new probes into whether Belgium gave undue tax breaks to 39 multinational firms, including brewery Anheuser-Busch Inbev and British American Tobacco. "We're concerned that the Belgian ... system granted substantial tax reductions only to certain multinational companies," the commission's anti-trust tsar, Danish politician Margrethe Vestager said, amid efforts to secure another five years office. The EU court earlier overturned commission accusations against Belgium.

  • September 16th 2019 at 17:48
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