Category Archives: EU

Greece scrambles for debt deal with fresh plan before summit

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An anti-austerity protester holds a Greek flag in front of the parliament during a protest against austerity policies on July 21, 2015

Greece’s prime minister presented new proposals to European leaders Sunday aimed at ending his country’s debt crisis, as Athens announced a frenzied round of meetings ahead of a summit that could determine whether Greece crashes out of the eurozone. In a telephone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Alexis Tsipras detailed a “mutually beneficial deal”, the Greek premier’s office said in a statement. The flurry of diplomatic contacts came as Athens scrambled to reach a deal with its eurozone lenders after five months of deadlock, with Tsipras also scheduled to …read more

Greece scrambles for debt deal with fresh plan before summit

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An anti-austerity protester holds a Greek flag in front of the parliament during a protest against austerity policies on July 21, 2015

Greece’s prime minister presented new proposals to European leaders Sunday aimed at ending his country’s debt crisis, as Athens announced a frenzied round of meetings ahead of a summit that could determine whether Greece crashes out of the eurozone. In a telephone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Alexis Tsipras detailed a “mutually beneficial deal”, the Greek premier’s office said in a statement. The flurry of diplomatic contacts came as Athens scrambled to reach a deal with its eurozone lenders after five months of deadlock, with Tsipras also scheduled to …read more

Italy’s Renzi says no tension with France over migrant crisis

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Italian PM Renzi smiles as he arrives with French President Hollande to visit the French pavilion at the Expo 2015 global fair in Milan

Italy’s prime minister and France’s president put on a show of unity on Sunday, dismissing suggestions of tensions between their countries over handling the waves of migrants landing on southern Europe’s shores. Ministers in Paris and Rome have exchanged barbs after France began turning back migrants at the French-Italian border earlier this month, invoking EU rules requiring refuge seekers to do so in the first European country where they set foot. Italy has long argued that it and Greece cannot cope alone with the influx just because they are the closest landing points for refugees and economic migrants from Africa …read more

Demonstrators dig migrant ‘graves’ in Berlin

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An activist lays flowers and lights candles on symbolic graves in front of the Reichtsag building on June 21, 2015 in Berlin

Around 5,000 people joined a Berlin demonstration on Sunday by a controversial protest group which dug mock graves in front of parliament to highlight Europe’s deadly migration crisis, police said. The political art group calling itself “Centre for Political Beauty” had planned to march to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s offices with what it said were the corpses of dead migrants and bury them outside. After the Berlin authorities barred them from carrying out the plan, they knocked down security barriers in front of the nearby Reichstag parliament building.

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Three killed as clashes grip Ukraine ahead of talks

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Ukrainian servicemen patrol near the chemical plant in Avdeevka, Donetsk region, on June 20, 2015

Ukraine on Sunday reported the death of two soldiers, while pro-Russian rebels accused Kiev’s forces of killing a civilian as fresh clashes preceded peace talks aimed at ending the 15-month war. Kiev military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said two government troops were killed and six wounded in mortar fire and shelling across swathes of the eastern separatist Donetsk province over the past day. Separatist negotiator Denis Pushilin called the reported attack “a grave violation of the Minsk agreement” that Russia and Ukraine signed in mid-February during talks involving the leaders of Germany and France.

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Italy, France play down migrant border drama

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Migrants pray on June 17, 2015, on the eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, in the city of Ventimiglia in Italy, near the French border

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and French President Francois Hollande played down tensions Sunday over a migrant crisis which has seen hundreds of asylum seekers blocked at the border between the two countries. “I don’t think there are tensions between us… sometimes ministers can let themselves go with statements, it’s like engaged couples who have been together a long time,” Prime Minister Renzi quipped during a joint press conference in Milan. The leaders were meeting ahead of a European summit on June 25 and 26 which is expected to focus on the relocation and resettlement of asylum seekers and return …read more

Pope ‘moved to tears’ by asylum seekers’ plight

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Pope Francis waves next to Bishop Cesare Nosiglia (R) as he arrives to meets patients of the Cottolengo Hospital in Turin on June 21, 2015

Pope Francis said Sunday the plight of asylum seekers hoping for a new life in Europe was enough to make him cry, condemning those who treat them “like merchandise”. Speaking during his first pastoral visit to northern Italy, the pontiff slammed hostility towards migrants arriving by boat from Libya, with European countries bickering over who should be forced to provide shelter to the needy. Francis, whose father grew up in the city, was in Turin to pray before the mysterious shroud, believed by Christians to be the burial cloth of Jesus but held by sceptics to be a medieval fake.

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