Email
Facebook
style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU calls for investigation into allegations of irregularities in Russian referendum vote

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08520762 A man votes during the main day of a nationwide vote on amendments to the Russian Constitution at a polling station in Podolsk, outside Moscow, Russia, 01 July 2020. The counting of the results for all seven days will begin on July 1 after the closing of polling stations. EPA-EFE/MAXIM SHIPENKOV The nationwide vote on amendments to the Russian Constitution has started on 25 June and will run for seven days until 01 July. EPA-EFE/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

A man votes during the main day of a nationwide vote on amendments to the Russian Constitution at a polling station in Podolsk, outside Moscow, Russia, 01 July 2020.

Print
WhatsApp

The European Union has called for an investigation into allegations that a referendum vote in Russia that gave President Vladimir Putin the opportunity to rule until 2036, was held under “irregular” conditions. In its statement, the EU heavily criticised that campaigning both for and against was not allowed, citing that voters were deprived of access to balanced information. On Friday, the Russian president signed the decree that brings into force the package of constitutional amendments, and which is set to come into force on July 4. As the constitutional changes also clarify the priority of Russian law over international law, the EU called on Russia to respect its international obligations, including its obligation to execute European Court of Human Rights judgements. On June 2, Kremlin saw Vladimir Putin winning almost 78% of the votes in a nationwide referendum on amendments to the Russian Constitution. “We expect all reports and allegations of irregularities, including voter coercion, multiple voting, violation of secrecy of the vote and allegations of police violence against a journalist who was present to observe, to be duly investigated,” a spokesperson by the EU foreign service said in a statement on Thursday. One of them resets Putin’s term-limit clock to zero, allowing him to run for reelection for two more six-year terms. The voting procedure kickstarted on June 25 and run for seven days, leading to a landslide victory for Putin and to more than 200 constitutional amendments being approved.

Linkedin

Viber

Twitter

Border barriers of the German Democratic Republic had divided village Moedlareuth from times of erection of the Wall in 1966 up to the days of the so-called Peaceful Revolution in 1989. Coronakis
Founder of New Europe

epa07977266 Former GDR border watchtower behind the barbed fence at former east German-west German borderline, part of German museum in Moedlareuth, Germany, 06 November 2019. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>China after November

By Basil A. EPA-EFE/FILIP SINGER

Back to the …future (hopefully)

EPA-EFE/FILIP SINGER

Facebook

Twitter

Print

The only way China has a chance to win this war will be for the Democrats to win in November. Trump has not shown his cards as of yet. That it will end up being convenient for China to lose the war with the US does not mean it will give up easily and will make every effort to win. Indeed, Trump has brought the US’ relations with China to a point of no return. In this case, any further discussion of the matter is totally irrelevant. After a period of anarchy, this will make it necessary to substantially increase the democratic deficit in public life. However, there are still four months to go and with growing social unrest and riots in the country, as well as the uncontrollable virus outbreak, four months is a long time for safe predictions. If China wins, then it will become the leader of the world, and the world will become Communist, probably until its geological end. American society has been intelligently brain-washed by the Trump Administration into holding China responsible for the Wuhan Virus pandemic, and the more lives it costs in the United States, the more Americans will hold China responsible. For China, this war is a win-win situation because if Beijing loses, it will be completely isolated from the rest of the world and will have no external influences, which means no dangers, thus leaving the Communist regime with eternal power. Americans are convinced that China is responsible for the pandemic, which is true, but to communicate this sort of truth efficiently, and to engage the entire population of the United States, was a victorious tactical manoeuvre in the New Cold War against China. On the contrary. There is no doubt, of course, that it will continue at even stronger pace after the election, regardless of who the winner is, whether it is the remains of the Democratic party or of the Republicans. And regardless whether he will or not win a second term, the Sino-American war will not stop. For a president, it is his top priority and is certainly way above any interests he may care to serve. This will continue until the “alliance of the free” lands safely on a new Western Civilisation, with minimal damage. At this moment the Democrats are way ahead of the Republicans in the polls and it seems likely they will win the November election. If Trump is re-elected, the US is likely to easily win the war against China as he will form a large “alliance of the free” which will include the entire non-Communist world. This is a very important element to consider due to the fact that once somebody is elected President of the United States, they only have two priorities – re-election and history, the latter of which is a matter that is intrinsically related to human vanity. This may take some time, as in all matters of societal structural changes, but Europe is in the vanguard and changes in the old continent just started with the emergence in Germany of a politically unclassified party, Alternative für Deutschland, and still much remains to be done. In this case, the real winner of the US election will be Wall Street, which although owned by hard-core Republicans, is using the Democrats as a front. If China loses the New Cold War, the Communist Party will be the real winner and war damages for the winner will be irrelevant. For China’s Communists, isolation is the best-case scenario as they will maintain power and extend their totalitarian rule to all aspects of life by eliminating any potential threat to their grip on power, all of which will be done pretty easily as the Chinese people have never sensed freedom or democracy, and they are trained to work for a handful of rice under the shadow of the Great Helmsman. If he does not, he will certainly be accused for high treason, an accusation which regardless of what the impact is on his presidency, will carry on in the historical record. These include an escalation of the rhetoric with China, the proper manipulation of an arrest warrant issued for him and 35 others by Iran, which is likely to be revoked if re-elected in order to start talks with Teheran and other campaign techniques that include the possibility of not running for a second term now, but four years later. Their replacements will have with new schemes. Now all Americans are psychologically engaged against China and this is the bond that the next president will be forced to continue the war against China. China. The formal winner, the Western Alliance in this case, will be busy for decades repairing its damages, which will turn the Western way of life upside down. It would be far fetched to speculate that Trump has handled the pandemic in the way to have exactly this effect, but there is no doubt that he maximised it as an excellent detergent for brain-washing the people of Main Street. However, chances for China to win are of the order of a statistical error and, thus, it remains to be seen how the situation will settle in the case of a Democratic party victory. It is, however, everybody’s guess, but what seems likely is that one of the first changes that the new civilisation will bring in the United States will be the abolition of the two traditional political parties – the Democrats and Republicans. In the case the Democrats win in November, there are some possibilities, remote though they are, that China wins. Such a victory will result in the total isolation of China and will be the conclusion of the first phase of the Cold War of the West vs. However, it is too early for this kind of debate as other socio-political facets of the near future deserve attention at this moment. An ongoing Cold War will, indeed, magnify the beligerant parties for their own reasons and will act as a shock absorber for any socio-political changes. The war between the US and China that started shortly after the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and has since continue at relatively low intensity with several ups and downs, is likely to continue until the November presidential elections. As this is, for ordinary Americans, a matter of life or death, their anger and hatred for China will continue to grow in parallel with the pandemic effects.

Email

Viber

WhatsApp

Linkedin

Email

Facebook

Twitter
Print

WhatsApp
The peak of the crisis may be behind us and the situation is completely under control, but having said that, we must prepare, if necessary, for a return of the virus and face the situation as we have seen in the past and prepare for whatever is needed in terms of testing, vaccines, and protection. This makes Morocco an overall extremely favourable environment for the industry, in general, and for the pharmaceutical industry, in particular, that includes a special emphasis on low-cost medicine and the production of generic products from molecules that have fallen into the public domain. Morocco is already producing masks and a lot of protective products, but also medicines. NE: What sort of internal advancements and changes have there been which give Morocco the ability and wherewithal to develop into a leading producer of medical supplies? Everybody is going to suffer a recession this year. How does this fit into King Mohammed VI’s major foreign policy initiatives that focus on strengthening international cooperation?”
Ahmed Rahhou (AR): His Majesty King Mohammed VI has always favoured cooperation between the countries of the South through exchanges of experience, aid, investment and the construction of common social, cultural, economic and political exchange areas. Regarding the current pandemic, it’s obvious that the number of beds available, the beds equipped with respiratory equipment, and the means to treat the most serious cases were called upon. AR: Morocco has a long humanitarian tradition of intervening in specific cases of natural disasters, epidemics, the displacement of populations, and the mass arrivals of refugees to provide aid and humanitarian and health support to the populations concerned. We also have a whole range of companies that have helped research centres enter the field of pandemic research. In addition to being the Ambassador of His Majesty, the King of Morocco, to the EU, His Excellency is also Head of the Mission of the Kingdom of Morocco to the European Union and his country’s representative to the NATO-Mediterranean dialogue. In this phase of the general pandemic, the Moroccan experience, under the impetus of His Majesty, in managing the epidemic shows that there is know-how and that there are also a number of care materials that have been made available by Moroccan pharmaceutical industry and that Morocco today makes them available to its friendly nations. Morocco will also be ready to be a platform in the event a vaccine or new treatments are found, apart from the one just mentioned so that it can produce them through its own pharmaceutical industry and its industrial expertise. In any case, the carriers of the virus are around 2,000 to date, and those who are in a difficult situation, in terms of the disease, are less than 20. Together with its neighbours, Morocco brings its expertise and international know-how to the table to help bring peace and prosperity, wherever possible. The recovery is going to be a little slow. AR: The pandemic, as we have experienced it, challenges us all and the response capacity of countries, both individually and collectively, as well. In anticipation of all this, even if the situation in Morocco remains under control, the number of patients is very low. In addition to material aid, medical, social, and political assistance can be provided to countries. This development is one of the facets of the industrial policy of Morocco, which simultaneously combines investment facilities for nationals and also for all the investing actors coming from abroad. What is important is that the human, social and development aspects remain at the heart of this policy and that this development should be carried out in such a way as to guarantee the well-being of all and to seek the development of good neighbourliness and exchanges at the commercial, cultural, and economic levels. Today, all the patients are grouped together in certain units and the structures that were set up to provide the necessary supplements have been dismantled. NE: What has been the response from Morocco’s partners in Europe, the US, and in other parts of the Islamic world? How does this programme fit into His Majesty’s wider goal of promoting a humanist and developmental paradigm for the region? AR: Since the 1960s, Morocco has developed an important pharmaceutical industry which today covers almost 80% of the country’s needs, in terms of medicines. What must be underlined, in this regard, is the capacity of Moroccan factories to react quickly, along with their inventiveness, and ability to mobilise during serious cases like this pandemic. This is, obviously, only one of the signs of affection, friendship, and closeness that Morocco and the King have towards African countries. Cooperation agreements mean that today medicines sold in Morocco are recognised in Europe and vice versa. Morocco is ready, of course, to work together on this. This also includes the expertise of how to manage the sick, how to treat virus carriers, and how to isolate people who are in a position to contaminate others. It will go into production as soon as the country’s needs are met and will be made available to allies and all other friendly countries. Does the Moroccan government anticipate that future, even closer, cooperation with some of the country’s close allies is possible following the success of this particular project? This expertise, however, makes it possible to react very quickly and, if need be, it can be deployed if the decision is taken to provide the necessary support inside or outside the country. NEW EUROPE (NE): “Is this initiative part of the South-South cooperation that is aimed at the exchange of experience and knowledge between the developing countries of the South? AR: In addition to the pharmaceutical industry, Morocco has an industry, such as textiles and certain high-tech industries, which made it possible during the pandemic to mobilise the rapid production of the country’s needs in terms of, for example, masks and other types of equipment like hydroalcoholic gel, etc. These items could be sent to other countries as a result of Morocco’s production expertise. Today, we have a respirator that is 100% Moroccan and is beginning to be mass-produced. It is on this basis that Morocco, in collaboration with others as well as independently, is working on the production of a national test and the production of a respirator. What, exactly, does this mean in the context of this particular programme and how does the Moroccan government see the approach as being different from other aid initiatives both in Africa and around the globe? How can their experience as aid providers help inform the current and future programmes? It’s with this in mind that, whenever necessary, the resources and expertise from our country can be made available. NE: King Mohammed VI’s pledge to help other African nations deal with serious medical issues goes back many years, including in 2015 when he offered to Guinea-Bissau’s National AIDS Secretariat a massive supply of medicine to treat AIDS-related illnesses. This experience has enabled foreign laboratories to not only come and invest in Morocco and to have their production units on Morocco’s soil, but the development of a purely Moroccan pharmaceutical industry with the needed know-how developed by pharmacists. This has enabled laboratories to be active, not only in Morocco and producing for national needs, but also exporting part of their production as well as having a production unit in Africa and in partner countries. That’s because we have a rather difficult economic situation and no country will be able to cope on its own. Therefore, international cooperation seems essential to us. AR: Morocco has developed, under the impetus of His Majesty, a development model that today allows it to display undeniable successes in both economic and social terms, including its openness to the world, as well as in its contribution to global peace, security, and stability in the world. This is why the approach is both pragmatic and close to the ground, which allows for a rapid reaction. The effort made by Morocco has been significant because the number of intensive care beds has been greatly increased, even if, thank God, the management of the crisis did not involve all the beds that were mobilised. They relate to masks, gowns, gloves, gels, all the instruments and treatments that are needed. Today, considering that we started from almost nothing, Morocco produces almost 10 million masks per day. The use of financial instruments is going to require international cooperation. Is it the position of the Moroccan government that the country will become Africa’s leader when it comes to pharmaceutical and biomedical research, production, and aid? This means that the Moroccan healthcare system provides relatively high coverage for the population and its needs. Morocco can provide other support through its global crisis management policy for the pandemic and social management, along with a number of support measures that have been put in place and which make Morocco a global example for managing the pandemic. With Morocco taking the lead role in Africa as the region fights against the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s Ambassador to the European Union, Ahmed Rahhou spoke with New Europe’s Managing Editor Nicholas Waller to discuss Morocco’s role as a provider and manufacturer of aid, as well as the region’s key promoter of cooperation and stability. His Majesty, through various past experiences, has known how to show the solidarity of Morocco whenever it was necessary towards friendly African countries. Everyone will make the effort they consider necessary, but this also raises questions about the health aspect, about how to react in the future. NE: Several small Moroccan medical units were previously deployed in the region to help care for a variety of ailments. For example, a test that is, again, purely Moroccan, was developed by a foundation. It should also be pointed out that some industries that have had a break in their production, particularly the aeronautics industry, which is flourishing in Morocco, have converted to the production of respirators. Obviously, the economic component is important, but from a health point of view, it is all of the aforementioned needs. This test has been validated by major international laboratories. We all know that there has been a shortage of certain products of this nature throughout the world and that there has been a race to obtain supplies. In addition, there is a fairly dynamic health policy with hospitals and private medicine, as well. The drug validation processes are also in line with international standards when it comes to validation, pricing, and acceptance in terms of social coverage. Moreover, Morocco covers the possibility of exporting from the country as it has free trade agreements that allow operators who are present in Morocco to freely access the market in ninety different territories and countries. AR: In the context of the current pandemic, the needs of the countries facing the disease are known and they are very specific. They are there to react to the needs of the country and to anticipate a certain number of needs at the international level. Along with its knowledge and skills, Morocco also brings in investment, aid, and trade to enable all countries that wish to do so to make progress and find their own specific path to development. NE: To put the entire programme into perspective for those not familiar with Morocco’s pharmaceutical and medical supply industry, what should the international community know about when it comes to the history of Morocco’s domestic investments and its research into this field, as well as its capability to carry out such a massive endeavour? The current needs of these countries are not only financial. Morocco’s approach has been to bring things very quickly to the field in order to have a significant impact by making all these products available and for the benefit of all. At present, we have an initiative that is entirely in line with the wishes of the countries that want to receive items that will enable them to be responsive to the requirements imposed by the disease. Morocco’s Ambassador to the European Union, Ahmed Rahhou. With African countries, moreover, there is an added dimension of fraternity and very close proximity, which means that Morocco is always sensitive to what happens in these counties, especially in difficult times. This obviously allows laboratories to implement, and in complete safety, the recognition of their products. His Majesty’s initiative falls within the framework of this South-South cooperation which has always been at the heart of Morocco’s foreign policy. Therefore, even within Morocco’s borders, a high degree of expertise was called upon to reinforce the medical facilities and emergencies beds that were already available in public hospitals or private clinics to provide what was needed and also to reassure people that there would be sufficient capacity to receive the sick. We reached this result after only a few weeks. In the case of pharmaceuticals, in particular, it should be added that health agencies and drug validation agencies comply with international standards. It is probably necessary that once this crisis is behind us, that we deal with what is very important, the economic aspect. It is in this sense, moreover, that Morocco has joined the EU in the call for COVID funds, launched by the European Commission to participate in the search for new treatments and vaccines available for itself and for other countries. NE: The manner in which the aid has been delivered has been called “pragmatic and action-oriented”.

Viber

Linkedin

style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Morocco’s frontline presence as a leader in times of crises

By Nicholas Waller
Managing Editor

His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco during an official trip to Côte d’Ivoire

MAP Agency

Viber
Linkedin
Print

Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organization during a press conference, at the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on January 30, 2020. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>“The risk of another betrayal cannot be tolerated”

By Abebe Gellaw
Executive director of Ethiopian Satellite Television & Radio (ESAT) 2016-2019. 

EPA-EFE//JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT

An interview with Tedros Adhanom critic David Steinman, author of Money, Blood and Conscience

Twitter

Email

AG: What do you say to those who argue that the middle of a pandemic is not the time to change WHO leadership? Lastly, the Swiss should prosecute Tedros under international law for his Ethiopian human rights violations. Tedros shares responsibility for some of these atrocities, that his involvement disqualifies him for his present position, and that his hidden past helps explain his actions during the COVID-19 outbreak. National Security Council during the Reagan administration, played an instrumental role in the overthrow of Haiti’s notorious “Baby Doc” Duvalier and helped shape U.S. Dr. Those misrepresentations delayed relief aid and cost lives. Viewed through that lens, the probability accords with the most disparaging estimates. However, its author, David Steinman, a retired American adviser to Ethiopia’s democracy revolution, puts storytelling aside in a nonfiction afterword to demand TPLF leaders be held accountable for crimes against humanity. Besides the cynical UN members and naïve public health experts who voted for him despite his callous record, those advocates include clueless celebrities like Lady Gaga who publicly called Tedros a “superstar.”
AG: Where’s the proof? AG: Dr. In addition to co-planning the Ethiopian rebellion, Steinman also exposed the TPLF’s human rights violations and corruption in the Washington Post, Forbes, and New York Times. Remember the human suffering behind them. DS: The conventional narrative is that Tedros heroically saved lives under the EPRDF despite the evil all around him. democracy promotion strategy to include right wing dictators. The EPRDF, controlled by a tribal faction called the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), was a major human rights violator. AG: What’s the bottom line here? Steinman is a Wharton-trained economist who, as a consulting expert to the U.S. Money, Blood and Conscience tells the story of a Hollywood television producer who stages a rock concert for Ethiopian famine victims and finds himself embroiled with that dictatorship, a formerly Marxist-Leninist coalition called the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, or EPRDF. Money, Blood and Conscience combines investigative journalism and fiction to describe an agonised Ethiopia under TPLF rule. ABEBE GELLAW (AG): What exactly do you assert in your book’s afterword that Dr. He was an integral part of the machinery of death. News of Steinman’s accusation is beginning to spread. Ethiopian lives matter. Terms like “human rights violations” are so clinical. In 2018, the coalition jettisoned its TPLF partner and appointed Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmed as a reformist prime minister to fend off a democracy revolution. DAVID STEINMAN (DS): Tedros under-reported Ethiopia’s poverty rates by promoting fake statistics. That meets the evidentiary standard used to convict Ribbentrop at Nuremberg. Those on both sides of the WHO’s American funding cut debate should compromise by conditioning resumed financial aid on Tedros’ resignation. The fact that Abiy Ahmed ended most of the abuses soon after taking over also shows that Tedros’ TPLF, which had an even tighter grip on the security forces, could have stopped them too but chose not to. AG: What does this have to do with the COVID crisis as you allege? The truth is that he was an active supporter and enabler of that evil—a leader of it, in fact—who contributed to the death and injury of thousands of Ethiopians whose lives his advocates prefer to sweep under the rug. The biggest proofs are hiding in plain sight. A student was tied in contorted positions and suspended from the wall by one wrist because a business plan he prepared for a university competition was considered to be underpinned by political motivations. The influential conservative magazine National Review aired it in late June. EPRDF horrors were widely reported. So is a 2015 CNN interview in which he tries to gloss over and defend the EPRDF’s indefensible human rights record. DS: Ethiopia under Tedros was a monstrous tyranny, not a “fledgling democracy.” Take, for example, just a few cases documented by Amnesty International of the type of TPLF barbarity for which he shares liability: A teacher was stabbed in the eye with a bayonet during torture in detention because he refused to teach propaganda about the TPLF to his students. More media outlets are also planning stories based on his disclosures. Why does a work of fiction stir such unease in Geneva that the WHO’s Director-General, its Office of Compliance, Risk Management and Ethics, and its Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee refused to comment on it? A young girl had hot coals poured on her stomach because her father was suspected of supporting an opposition group. Tedros maintains? Our discussion ranged from Ethiopian history to the current Ethiopian-Egyptian Nile waters dispute. DS: The degree to which Tedros is willing to let others be hurt to protect powerful patrons, and the depravity of which he’s capable, must be properly understood before the probability of a betrayal by him for China’s benefit can be assessed. DS: Tedros’ misleading 2014 claim that only 29% of Ethiopians lived in poverty under the EPRDF is on tape. Yet Tedros, despite his undeniable knowledge of them, publicly defended, represented, advised, and helped guide the regime. Tedros did wrong? Former prisoners from the Tedros era tell of beatings, electric shocks, mock executions, burning with heated metal or molten plastic and gang rape. The EPRDF which he co-led tried to hide the extent of a 2015 famine by warning NGOs not to use the word “famine” when speaking to the press. Tedros arranged kidnappings of Ethiopian dissidents in Yemen, tried to whitewash a 2016 massacre of nonviolent protesters by state security forces, and looked the other way while the TPLF tortured children, sent them to concentration camps, and its Somali proxy put political prisoners in cells with lions, leopards and hyenas. The afterword also contends that Dr. DS: The trustworthiness of those on whom billions of lives depend must be unquestionable for public safety and to encourage compliance with WHO directives. AG: Weren’t the human rights violations just the growing pains of a fledgling democracy as Dr. His attempt to whitewash the 2016 massacre is on his own blog. Instead, the world’s most important public health agency is run by someone whose character would be impeached in any courtroom. As foreign minister and an influential member of the TPLF politburo, he was Ethiopia’s third-highest official from 2012 to 2016, before his election as WHO chief. Switzerland has in persona jurisdiction over Tedros since he resides there. Could a new historical novel about Ethiopia’s former dictatorship be the final straw that forces the World Health Organization’s beleaguered Director-General Tedros Adhanom Gebhreyesus to resign? Tedros, who goes by his forename, is another prominent EPRDF survivor. DS: If Tedros really cares about the WHO and its mission, he should prove it by resigning in favor of a new leader who can restore the agency’s reputation and relationship with the United States. Tedros’ fans say he couldn’t have been involved with such wrongdoing which must have been done by others in the EPRDF. I reached Steinman in Los Angeles for an interview to explore his charges against the WHO’s director-general. Obviously, the risk of another betrayal is intolerable. He’s not protected by diplomatic immunity for those kinds of crimes.

Facebook

WhatsApp

Twitter

WhatsApp

Email

Linkedin

Merkel and von der Leyen will have six-months to promote their priorities, which are fully aligned, as the head of EU’s Executive said; climate change, digitalisation, resilience and post-Brexit negotiations with the UK. German Chancellor Angela Merkel along with the chief of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, have pushed for an agreement on the recovery fund and the bloc’s long-term budget, in July, to cope with the economic aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic. The €750 bn Next Generation EU package proposed by the Commission has prompted divisions among the bloc’s members, with the “frugal four”, namely Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden supporting the provision of loans that need to be paid back, instead of grants to countries hit by the pandemic. “I am going to Brussels on July 17 with the will to strike an agreement,” said Merkel, adding that even if negotiations were inconclusive, “there must be an agreement in the course of the summer anyway, I can’t imagine any other option.”
In the joint press conference that followed the two leaders’ virtual meeting, von der Leyen also highlighted that the fund needs the EU parliament’s nod and the ratification by national parliaments. She also noted that although changes are expected on both the recovery fund and Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 proposals, the “general construction will not be challenged”. EU leaders are set to meet in person on July 17 and 18 for an extraordinary EU summit, in a bid to reach an agreement before the summer break. On Thursday, the two leaders held virtual talks on how to get the bloc out of the crisis, as Germany assumed on July 1, the rotating EU Council Presidency. “It is a huge time pressure, but it is the crisis that sets the pace,” the Commission President said, pledging also her support to Germany’s “good steer” of the presidency.  
 

EPA-EFE/CHRISTIAN MARQUART / POOL EPA-EFE/CHRISTIAN MARQUART / POOL

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) speaks at a media conference in Berlin, 02 July 2020. Germany took over the rotating European Council Presidency for half a year on 01 July. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen (L, on screen) was connected to the media briefing by video conference. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Merkel, von der Leyen urge EU deal on recovery fund

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08523345 German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) speaks at a media conference in Berlin, 02 July 2020.

Print
Viber

Facebook

KMG style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Kazakhstan overfulfils OPEC+ oil production cut

By Kulpash Konyrova

Workers of Kazakhstan's state oil and gas company KazMunayGaz.
Linkedin

WhatsApp
Facebook
Viber

Print

Email

Twitter

The forecast for oil production including condensate in Kazakhstan for 2020 is 85.2 million tonnes. Therefore, the government allocated production quotas between fields in the country for the second half of the year. NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – In June, Kazakhstan fulfilled its obligations to reduce oil production under the OPEC+ agreement by 105%, Kazakhstan’s Energy Ministry said. With a decrease in production by 390,000 barrels per day from the level of production in November 2018 (1.709 million barrels per day, excluding condensate), the daily oil production in Kazakhstan should be 1.339 million barrels per day. Kazakhstan within the framework of OPEC+ assumed obligations in May, June and July of this year to reduce production by 390,000 barrels per day. “According to preliminary data, oil production excluding condensate in June of this year amounted to 5.3 million tonnes, or 1.297 million barrels per day. The level of fulfilment of obligations under the OPEC+ agreement in June amounted to 105%,” the ministry said. In May, Kazakhstan within the framework of OPEC+ fulfilled its obligations only by 71%, but intends to compensate for the shortage in August and September.

Linkedin

WhatsApp

Viber

Email

Facebook
Twitter

As the countries of Europe’s south are struggling to kick-start their economies and mitigate the economic aftermath of the unprecedented Coronavirus crisis, they have decided to suspend the EU law to salvage airlines. The two countries on Thursday received a letter of formal notice by EU’s Executive, due to the legislation they adopted, allowing airlines to offer vouchers instead of reimbursement for cancelled flights, with passengers forced to agree to this solution. The European Commission on Thursday decided to take further steps in the infringement procedure against Greece and Italy, for violating passenger rights amid the Coronavirus pandemic. For countries heavily relied on tourism, such as Greece and Italy, the pandemic was a major blow to their already-weak economies, with flights grounded for over than two months, due to a non-essential EU travel ban and lockdown measures.  
  However, under EU rules, passengers are entitled to a financial reimbursement, if the opt for that. The Coronavirus outbreak has led to severe disruptions in travelling, with airlines across the globe being on the edge of breakdown. Greece and Italy now have two months to reply and prove that they have rectified the shortcomings in their legal framework, otherwise the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion. When the Commission presented its travel guidelines, it encouraged carriers to make vouchers an “attractive” option for passengers who see their travel arrangements cancelled, stressing, however, that “passenger rights remain valid in the current unprecedented context and national measures to support the industry must not lower them”. The EU’s Executive move was part of a wider action against ten EU member-states that breached the Package Travel Directive, with Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece, France, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia, requested to comply with their obligations under EU law.

As recently as April, it was still expressing similar concerns. But on Wednesday, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said ‘it is clear that, due to the ongoing Greek crisis and given Olympic’s own very difficult financial situation, Olympic would be forced to leave the market soon in any event.’ EPA/SIMELA PANTZARTZI

A file photo dated 01 October 2009 shows an Olympic Air and an Aegean Airlines SA aircrafts in Athens international airport, Greece. The EU’s executive, the European Commission, had once before blocked the merger out of concerns that it would monopolize the aviation market in Greece. The European Union gave its blessing 09 October 2013 to the merger of Greece’s Aegean Airlines and its rival Olympic Air, saying that there would be no harm to competition since Olympic Air would have no choice but to shut down without the deal. EPA/SIMELA PANTZARTZI style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU launches legal action against Greece, Italy for violating passenger rights

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa03903011 (FILE) A file photo dated 01 October 2009 shows an Olympic Air and an Aegean Airlines SA aircrafts in Athens international airport, Greece.
Print

Email
WhatsApp
Venezuela will allow the European Union’s ambassador to remain in Caracas, the foreign ministry said on Thursday. The EU subjected the officials to financial sanctions, citing their actions against the democratic functioning of Venezuela’s National Assembly. The announcement comes after president Nicolas Maduro on Monday expelled the EU envoy, hours after the bloc announced sanctions against 11 Venezuelan officials loyal to the president. “Cooperation between both parties can facilitate the path of political dialogue”, the ministry said, adding that Venezuela’s foreign minister Jorge Arreaza and his EU counterpart Josep Borrell had spoken about the issue over the phone. Among the sanctioned officials is legislator Luis Parra, who was declared head of the assembly during a chaotic session on January 5 after troops blocked opposition leader Juan Guaido from entering the chamber.
Arreaza denounced on Monday that the United States plans a naval blockade against the country and warned that the Venezuelan Armed Forces are prepared to defend themselves. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Venezuela to allow EU ambassador to remain in Caracas

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08281844 Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza during a meeting with the diplomatic corps of different accredited countries in Caracas, Venezuela, 09 March 2020. EPA-EFE/Miguel Gutiérrez

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza during a meeting with the diplomatic corps of different accredited countries in Caracas, Venezuela, 09 March 2020. Arreaza denounced on Monday that the United States plans a naval blockade against the country and warned that the Venezuelan Armed Forces are prepared to defend themselves. EPA-EFE/Miguel Gutiérrez

Print

Facebook

Linkedin

Twitter

Viber

WhatsApp

Twitter

Viber
Linkedin
Law had quit the Demosisto party along with other prominent activists hours after China's approval of the national security law for Hong Kong. EPA-EFE/ALEX HOFFORD

Hong Kong Pro-democracy activist Nathan Law poses for photographers outside Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal shortly before his successful appeal hearing in Hong Kong, China, 06 February 2018 (reissued 03 July 2020). Law had quit the Demosisto party along with other prominent activists hours after China’s approval of the national security law for Hong Kong. EPA-EFE/ALEX HOFFORD According to media reports, on 02 July Law informed the press through a social media group that he had already left Hong Kong for an undisclosed location. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Noted Hong Kong pro-democracy activist flees

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08524070 (FILE) – Hong Kong Pro-democracy activist Nathan Law poses for photographers outside Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal shortly before his successful appeal hearing in Hong Kong, China, 06 February 2018 (reissued 03 July 2020). According to media reports, on 02 July Law informed the press through a social media group that he had already left Hong Kong for an undisclosed location.

Print

Facebook

Based on risk assessment, I shall not reveal too much about my personal whereabouts and situation now”, Law said in a message to journalists. Law used the phrase “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our Times”, which was chanted by huge crowds and has become a symbol of the pro-democracy protests.  In 2016, he argued that the former British colony must be allowed a referendum on its future. “I have already left Hong Kong and continue the advocacy work on the international level. After China’s parliament passed the law on Wednesday, Hong Kong police made more than 180 arrests for illegal assembly and other offences, including violations of the new law. The new law aims to tackle subversion, terrorism, separatism and collusion with foreign forces, with punishments of up to life in prison. Nathan Law, one of Hong Kong’s most prominent democracy activists, said Thursday he had fled overseas after the Chinese government imposed a security law on the city. He has said he does not want Hong Kong to become “just another Chinese city”. On Tuesday, Hong Kong’s government has announced that the slogan is illegal, because it “contains the indications of Hong Kong independence, or alienating Hong Kong from China, or changing its legal status, or subverting the state”. Law is a one-time student leader and local legislator who spent time in prison after 2014’s “Umbrella Protests”. Critics of the law say it effectively ends freedom of speech, and that it will be used to eliminate dissent and tighten Beijing’s control.

Email

Email

EPA-EFE/MANUEL DE ALMEIDA

A TAP Air Portugal aircraft grounded at Humberto Delgado airport closed for passenger traffic as part of the exceptional traffic measures to combat the epidemiological situation of Covid-19, in Lisbon, Portugal, 09 April 2020 (reissued 02 July 2020). The granting of state support to TAP has been under discussion since the airline’s activity came to a standstill because of the coronavirus pandemic, with an agreed injection of up to 1,200 million euros. The granting of state support to TAP has been under discussion since the airline's activity came to a standstill because of the coronavirus pandemic, with an agreed injection of up to 1,200 million euros. EPA-EFE/MANUEL DE ALMEIDA style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Portuguese government raises its stake in national airline

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08524023 A TAP Air Portugal aircraft grounded at Humberto Delgado airport closed for passenger traffic as part of the exceptional traffic measures to combat the epidemiological situation of Covid-19, in Lisbon, Portugal, 09 April 2020 (reissued 02 July 2020).
Print

Viber

Twitter

In 2016 however, the government negotiated a 50% public stake in the company. The EU Commission recently granted Portugal a permission to inject €1.2 billion into the airline. Transport minister Pedro Nuno Santos earlier said that the airline brings about half of the tourists who arrive by air: “It would be a disaster if we lost TAP”, he said. The consortium of private investors kept 45% and the airline’s staff were sold 5% of the company. TAP has around 10,000 employees. It reported a loss of €395 million in the first quarter, but also had reported losses in the previous two years. The airline was privatised in 2015 following a national financial crisis. “The state will now play a key role in TAP”, finance minister Joao Leao said. Portugal said Thursday it is increasing its stake in its flag carrier airline, TAP Air Portugal, from 50% to 72.5% after negotiations with the company’s private shareholders.

Linkedin

Facebook

WhatsApp

Print

Twitter
WhatsApp

The Mig-21FL fighter jet that ushered the ‘Supersonic Era’ in Indian Air Force and serve the nation for the last 50 years, undertakes its last ceremonial flight at a ‘Phasing Out Ceremony,’ at Air Force Station, Kalaikunda. west of Calcutta on 11 December 2013. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>India green lights $2.4 bln deal for Russian combat jets

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa03986395 Four Mig-21FL (TYPE 77) fighter jets fly in formation during an air show at Air Force Station, Kalaikunda 200km. west of Calcutta on 11 December 2013. EPA/PIYAL ADHIKARY EPA/PIYAL ADHIKARY

Four Mig-21FL (TYPE 77) fighter jets fly in formation during an air show at Air Force Station, Kalaikunda 200km. The Mig-21FL fighter jet that ushered the 'Supersonic Era' in Indian Air Force and serve the nation for the last 50 years, undertakes its last ceremonial flight at a 'Phasing Out Ceremony,' at Air Force Station, Kalaikunda.
Email
Facebook

India’s government on Thursday green lighted the purchase of 33 Russian fighter jets and upgrades to another 59 planes. Last month, a physical fight broke out between the two sides with soldiers using batons and throwing stones, which resulted in India losing 20 soldiers. Over the last decade, India has also turned to the United States and Israel for high-tech arms transfers. It added that it will cost $2.43 billion. Last month, India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh visited Moscow and urged his hosts to speed up deliveries. The purchase comes as the country’s military is locked in a border stand-off with China. The defence ministry said the purchase of 21 MiG-29 planes and a dozen Su-30 jets, along with the upgrade of 59 other MiG-29s, was aimed at addressing the “long felt need of the Air Force to increase its fighter squadrons”. China and India have blamed each other for the clash.
Viber

Linkedin

Viber

Linkedin

Twitter
Print

Email

Facebook

WhatsApp
Hadzhiev spoke about the desire of Turkmenistan to join the organisation as an observer. Turkmenistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Vepa Hadzhiev attended the fifth session of an online consultative seminar on accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the press-service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan said on July 3. For this, according to the diplomat, a lot of preparatory work has been done in the country. Deputy Foreign Minister expects accession will help attract foreign investment and provide guarantees and transparency for investors.

EPA-EFE/SALVATORE DI NOLFI/FILE PICTURE EPA-EFE/SALVATORE DI NOLFI

The WTO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Turkmenistan wants to become WTO observer to attract investment

By New Europe online/KB

epa07905375 Brazilian Roberto Azevedo (R), Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Adebola Williams (L), CEO of Red for Africa, arrive for the opening of the inaugural session panel of the WTO Forum Public ‘Trading Forward’, at the WTO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, 08 October 2019.

Viber
Linkedin

Email

Edouard Philippe, the mayor of Le Havre, on 15 May was announced to serve as Prime Minister in the cabinet of new French President Emmanuel Macron, who was inaugurated as the 25th President of the French Republic the day before, on 14 May 2017. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>France’s prime minister resigns

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa05966284 Newly-appointed French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (L) arrives to attend the official handover ceremony together with his predecessor Bernard Cazeneuve (unseen) in Paris, France, 15 May 2017. Edouard Philippe, the mayor of Le Havre, on 15 May was announced to serve as Prime Minister in the cabinet of new French President Emmanuel Macron, who was inaugurated as the 25th President of the French Republic the day before, on 14 May 2017. EPA/JULIEN DE ROSA

Newly-appointed French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (L) arrives to attend the official handover ceremony together with his predecessor Bernard Cazeneuve (unseen) in Paris, France, 15 May 2017. EPA/JULIEN DE ROSA
WhatsApp

Facebook
Print

Twitter

Castex has played a key role in the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The first round was held two days before the government declared a lockdown on March 17. France on Sunday held the second round of municipal elections postponed by the coronavirus crisis. “Mr Edouard Philippe has today handed his resignation from the government to the president of the republic who has accepted it. French prime minister Edouard Philippe has resigned after heading president Emmanuel Macron’s government for three years. The ruling party had poor local election results, but Philippe won a large victory in his hometown of Le Havre where he was running for mayor, capturing 58.8% of the vote. Macron named centre-right mayor Jean Castex as Philippe’s replacement. He will remain, with other members of the government, to deal with current matters until the nomination of a new government”, an Elysee statement said. The resignation comes as part of a government reshuffle.

Linkedin

WhatsApp
Viber
Nord Stream gas pipeline inspection. GAZPROM/FILE PICTURE

Response offers shield, not sword style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU aim: Keep US from imposing more Nord Stream 2 sanctions

By Kostis Geropoulos
Energy & Russian Affairs Editor, New Europe

The intelligent Inline Inspection Tool is removed from the pipeline in Lubmin, Germany. The internal inspection tool is designed to detect any sign of corrosion, the internal dimensions of the pipeline, its precise position, size and coordinates, and the exact run of the pipelines curves. It was inserted into the PIG trap at the start of the pipelines in Portovaya, Russia, and launched into the pipelines.

Print
Twitter
Email
Facebook
This is bad for the economy, for employment and European prosperity,” he claimed. follow on twitter @energyinsider “Over 120 companies from over 12 European countries could become directly affected. On July 1, a hearing about sanctions against Nord Stream 2 took place in the German Parliament where MPs, government representatives and external speakers unanimously rejected the threats of sanctions. According to the Oxford energy expert, these statements aim at discouraging the US from adopting additional sanctions legislation and demonstrating that a European response will follow if such legislation, endangering European companies, is adopted. Furthermore, it might want to maintain a high moral ground by not resorting to the US tactics i.e. ‘when they go low, we go high’ etcetera,” she said. Washington has pushed the purchase of US LNG and some European countries have already committed to buying US volumes. “Germany has always been overwhelmingly in favour of Nord Stream 2, and such support is bipartisan and cuts across party lines. The European aim is to ensure that its companies are not hurt by any new US sanctions legislation and that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline construction is finalised, she said. Nord Stream 2 EU representative Sebastian Sass reminded the EU has always opposed extraterritorial sanctions by third countries as a breach of international law. With this in mind, it is not at all surprising that Germany vows to defend Nord Stream 2, particularly as US has clearly demonstrated that it intends to use all means to make finalisation of Nord Stream 2 construction as difficult and as delayed as possible,” Yafimava said. “I think counter-sanctions are unlikely, first of all because it is difficult to see how such measures would protect the European companies involved in Nord Stream 2 while also could expose other European companies to potential retaliation by the US,” Yafimava said. He argued that it is not just a question about Nord Stream 2, it is a question of European sovereignty. “The exact form of such response is hard to predict, but I think it is more likely to be a shield rather than a sword, meaning that it is more likely to be of protective/defensive, rather than offensive, nature. She added that, notably, Nord Stream-2 will strengthen flexibility and competitiveness of Russian gas in Europe. Asked how would this affect US liquified natural gas (LNG), which is seen as an effort to reduce reliance on Russia, Yafimava said US LNG will continue to be bought as long as it remains available and competitive. Germany, which has assumed the EU presidency from 1 July, has been calling for an EU-wide response, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying extraterritorial sanctions are not consistent with her understanding of the law, and Borrell, the head of European External Action Service (EEAS), saying the European Commission makes preparations for a mechanism strengthening resilience against extra-territorial sanctions, Yafimava said. The European Union is reportedly considering counter sanctions against the US if the latter targets European companies over the controversial Nord Stream-2 pipeline from Russia to Germany. Companies, citizens and investors that comply with all applicable laws in Europe must have legal certainty and be able trust the rule of law, Sass argued. “We welcome that the EU continuously reiterates its opposition against extraterritorial sanctions also in the context of Nord Stream 2, as expressed for example by High Representative (Josep) Borrell in his statements last Thursday, in February 2020 and by former Commission President (Jean-Claude) Juncker already in 2017,” Sass said. “Also, given that the EU has repeatedly stated it considers extra-territorial sanctions illegal, it is unlikely to resort to similar measures vis-à-vis the US companies. Some critics of US efforts to stop Nord Stream 2 have claimed the sanctions seem driven by American efforts to promote its own liquefied natural gas in Europe. Some Members of the European Parliament have asked for actions to defend European companies and countermeasures, including purchases US LNG, against sanctions. “This does not concern only Nord Stream 2, but it applies also to this project,” he told New Europe on July 2. The EU Blocking Statute and Instex / Special Purpose Vehicle come to mind and provide foundations for such a response,” Yafimava said. However, Yafimava noted that US pressure has not caused a knee-jerk reaction from Germany. Katja Yafimava, a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), told New Europe on July 2 the latest draft US Nord Stream 2 sanctions legislation – Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Clarification Act (PEESCA) – is likely to catalyse a response from Europe.

Viber

Twitter
Print
Email
Linkedin
WhatsApp

style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>ENI, BP, Total make new gas East Med discovery offshore Egypt

By New Europe Online/KG

An oil rig at the Zohr field offshore Egypt. ENI/FILE PICTURE

Facebook

The new discovery is located in 22 metres of water depth, 11 kilometres from the coast and 12 kilometres North-West from the Nooros field and about 1 kilometre west of the Baltim South West field, both already in production, ENI said. The well will be tested for production. The well discovered a single 152 metres thick gas column within the Messinian age sandstones of the Abu Madi formation with excellent petrophysical properties. The discovery of Bashrush further extends to the west the gas potential of the Abu Madi formation reservoirs discovered and produced from the so-called Great Nooros Area. According to ENI, the discovery of Bashrush demonstrates the significant gas and condensate potential of the Messinian formations in this sector of the Egyptian Offshore shallow waters. ENI, together with its partners BP and Total, in coordination with the Egyptian Petroleum Sector, will begin screening the development options of this new discovery, with the aim of “fast tracking” production through synergies with the area’s existing infrastructures. Italian energy major ENI, who is the Operator of the Block, BP and France’s Total as Contractor members have successfully drilled the first exploration well in the North El Hammad license, in the conventional Egyptian waters of the Nile Delta, on the prospect called Bashrush, ENI said on July 1. In parallel with the development activities associated with this new discovery, ENI will continue to explore the Great Nooros Area with the drilling, this year, of another exploration well called Nidoco NW-1 DIR, located in the Abu Madi West concession.