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Slovakia calls Visegrad summit to oppose migrant quotas

EU Active - 31 augustus, 2015 - 14:29

Slovakia hopes to forge a common position with three other central European states on tackling the migrant crisis engulfing the continent, which would include rejecting any EU quotas for redistributing refugees, its premier, Robert Fico, said today (31 August).

Fico said he would meet with the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland on Friday (4 September) or Sunday (6 September) in Prague to discuss the crisis, as the death toll among migrants continues to mount. The four countries constitute a group inside the EU known as the Visegrad Four, of V4.

Austria toughens controls on road traffic from Hungary

EU Active - 31 augustus, 2015 - 13:53

Austrian authorities toughened controls along the country's eastern borders today (31 August), stopping hundreds of refugees and arresting five traffickers in a clampdown that followed last week's gruesome discovery of 71 dead migrants in a truck.

Migrants dump Hungary for Croatia

EU Observer - 31 augustus, 2015 - 13:37
Migrants go for Croatia to avoid fence along Hungary-Serbia border as they make their way to the EU.








[Ticker] Austria tightens border control

EU Observer - 31 augustus, 2015 - 13:35
In agreement with Germany, Hungary, and Slovakia, Austria on Monday tightened border controls in a clampdown on smugglers after the bodies of 71 migrants were discovered in an abandoned truck last week. "We are not in violation of Schengen [the EU passport-free system]," Austria's interior minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, insisted.








NGO: German firms mired in worst Greek corruption scandals since WWII

EU Active - 31 augustus, 2015 - 13:09

Siemens, Daimler, and Rheinmetall have been mired in cases of alleged corruption in Greece, the country that Berlin has repeatedly admonished for the parlous state of its economy.

No date has been set yet for 19 former executives of German engineering group Siemens to appear in Greek court, but it is expected to be one of the biggest financial trials of the decade in Greece.

More than 60 people in total are being investigated for corruption in the case that US watchdog CorpWatch has labelled "the greatest corporate scandal in Greece's postwar history."

France, Italy, Portugal and Spain to tackle dairy crisis together

EU Active - 31 augustus, 2015 - 11:04

Spain's Minister of Agriculture will meet with her French, Italian and Portuguese counterparts this Friday (4 September), in order to present a united front ahead of a Council meeting on 7 September. EurActiv Spain reports.

Aping Wilders, Dutch government harshens asylum rules

EU Active - 31 augustus, 2015 - 10:46

As Europe grapples with its biggest wave of migration since World War Two, the Netherlands is about to toughen its asylum policy by cutting off food and shelter for people who fail to qualify as refugees.

[Ticker] Street artist Banksy depicts EU's migration crisis

EU Observer - 31 augustus, 2015 - 09:04
The stars of the EU flag have been replaced by floating bodies in an image posted on Facebook over the weekend by street artist Banksy, in reference to the EU's migration crisis. The image is said to have been first created by the Spanish Refugee Aid Agency.








[Ticker] UN says Dutch 'Black Pete' is 'vestige of slavery'

EU Observer - 31 augustus, 2015 - 09:02
The UN committee on the elimination of racial discrimination Friday described the popular Dutch character Black Pete or Zwarte Piete as a "vestige of slavery". Black Pete, who is presented in colonial attire with a black face and large red lips, is celebrated as part of Dutch Christmas.








[Ticker] Sweden Democrats want immigration referendum

EU Observer - 31 augustus, 2015 - 08:34
Sweden's far-right Sweden Democrats want a referendum on the country's generous immigration policy, its party leader Jimmie Akesson said Saturday. The Sweden Democrats became the third-biggest party in 2014 elections and holds 49 of the 349 seats in parliament, but a majority is needed to approve a popular vote.








[Ticker] Italy's ENI discovers huge gas field in Mediterranean

EU Observer - 31 augustus, 2015 - 08:33
Italian energy giant Eni announced on Sunday it has found one of the world's largest natural gas fields off Egypt's coast, potentially home to 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, making it the biggest find in the Mediterranean. The finding may force Israel to change plans of supplying Egypt.








French minister: Rich EU states should transfer money to poorer members

EU Observer - 31 augustus, 2015 - 08:29
French minister Macron is calling for "a new foundation of Europe", with fiscal transfers between richer and poorer countries.








[Opinion] EU needs to step up its game in Ukraine

EU Observer - 31 augustus, 2015 - 08:28
The EU should not expect Russia to change its posture in the foreseeable future, because confrontational EU and US relations suit the Kremlin.








UK proposes new EU free movement rules

EU Observer - 31 augustus, 2015 - 08:27
The British government has said EU free movement should be limited to people who have a job to go to.








EU ministers to hold emergency talks on migrants

EU Observer - 31 augustus, 2015 - 08:22
EU interior ministers to hold emergency meeting on migration in two weeks, amid a war of words between member states.








Nine EU states to increase train security

EU Observer - 31 augustus, 2015 - 08:10
Nine Western European countries have decided to increase ad hoc checks of train passengers' identities and luggage.








[Ticker] Hungary detains fifth man over migrant truck deaths

EU Observer - 31 augustus, 2015 - 08:03
A fifth man suspected of being involved in the deaths of 71 people found in a truck in Austria has been detained, Hungarian police said Sunday, AP reports. Meanwhile, at Budapest's Keleti train terminal's main gate, several hundred migrants protested, demanding that Hungarian authorities allow them to travel to Germany.








Bettel: EU, Russia play a lose-lose game on Ukraine

EU Active - 31 augustus, 2015 - 07:58

EXCLUSIVE / In the wake of repeated international calls for a ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine, Europe and Russia must abide by the Minsk accord, Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel told EurActiv in an exclusive interview.

On Saturday, the leaders of Germany, France and Russia held a phone conversation in which they backed a joint announcement made by Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists last week, that a ceasefire would be reinstated on 1 September.

Bulgaria offers Azerbaijan ‘a package’ of energy projects

EU Active - 31 augustus, 2015 - 07:57

The Bulgarian government has proposed a package of energy cooperation projects to Azerbaijan. It remains unclear if the massive deal is part of a swap of property linked to a plan to divest 17% of Azerbaijan’s shares of Greek gas operator DEFSA to a third country.

Bulgaria is reported to have invited Azerbaijan to participate in the construction of filling stations, and to invest in the construction of oil and gas storage facilities, and refineries.

Fabius calls Eastern Europe's reluctance to receive migrants ‘scandalous’

EU Active - 31 augustus, 2015 - 07:51

European Union leaders yesterday (30 August) called for action to defend the "dignity" of migrants ahead of fresh emergency talks, as tensions flared on the bloc's eastern borders over the escalating crisis.

Home affairs ministers will meet on 14 September in Brussels to try and "strengthen the European response" to the influx, said Luxembourg, which holds the rotating EU presidency.

"Europe needs to stop being moved and start moving," Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said, calling again for a fairer distribution of migrants among the European Union's 28 members.

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