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Sat Dec 12, 2020, 08:47 AM

5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

Last edited Sat Dec 12, 2020, 09:55 AM - Edit history (1)

1. Boris Johnson snubbed by Merkel and Macron after requesting phone calls about Brexit deal

UK prime minister Boris Johnson tried to set up calls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron to discuss a Brexit deal but was rebuffed to present a united front, it has emerged.

Johnson attempted to arrange calls with the leaders of the European Union's two biggest economies on Monday ahead of his crunch talks over dinner with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels.

senior EU official confirmed that the request had been made but that the UK premier had been refused and told that all negotiations must be done through the European Commission.

Johnson's attempt to circumvent the Commission was roundly criticised in EU circles, even by key UK allies, including Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte.


2. EU breaks stalemate on €1.8tn seven-year budget and recovery fund

The EU’s unprecedented €1.8tn (£1.6tn) seven-year budget and coronavirus recovery fund has been unblocked after Hungary and Poland lifted their objections to a link between payments and maintaining the rule of law.

At a summit in Brussels, Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, and his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, backed a compromise tabled by Berlin after months of tensions and destabilising rows.


Hungary and Poland had refused to allow the disbursement of the budget – known as the multiannual financial framework – or the pandemic recovery fund, known as Next Generation EU.

They had claimed that a rule-of-law condition on the payment of funds, designed to be a block on corruption, was legally vague and could be used to punish Warsaw and Budapest over political differences ranging from attitudes to migration and the treatment of LGBTQI+ communities.


3. Minsk Residents Handed Prison Terms For Commemorating Killed Protester

Two Minsk residents have been sentenced to two-year prison terms each for writing "We Will Not Forget" with paint on a sidewalk near a subway station where a protester was killed by riot police in August.

The Frunze district court in two different hearings found 26-year-old Maksim Paulyushchyk and 25-year-old Uladzislau Hulis guilty of hooliganism and sentenced them the same day.

Paulyushchyk's codefendant, 25-year-old Maria Babovich, was also found guilty of hooliganism and sentenced to 18 months of a parole-like restriction known as "limitation of freedom."


Individuals sentenced to terms in open prisons in Belarus live in special dormitories and work at state companies, usually industrial facilities, as free people. Their movements after work are restricted and they must stay in the dormitories after 10 p.m.


4. Russia Summons Stalingrad Survivors In World War II 'Genocide' Probe

Russia has begun questioning witnesses to the monumental Battle of Stalingrad as part of a criminal investigation into what authorities term the "genocide" of Soviet citizens by invading Nazi forces in World War II.

Officials have cast a series of investigations into events that occurred in wartime more than 75 years ago as part of an effort to establish facts and pursue justice. But they have also indicated that the probes are part of a continuing push by President Vladimir Putin's government to enshrine a positive narrative of the country's history, and counter what it claims are efforts abroad to equate the Soviet Union's wartime role with that of Nazi Germany.

News of the summonses sent to Stalingrad witnesses was first reported by the independent newspaper Novaya gazeta. It cited the grandson of a 94-year-old man who was identified only as Vasily N. and lives in Volgograd, as the city of Stalingrad is now known, as saying that the family had received a letter on November 28 instructing Vasily N. to appear for questioning on December 1.


5. Austrian constitutional court rules headscarf ban in primary schools 'unconstitutional'

Austria's constitutional court struck down a law banning headscarfs in elementary schools on Friday.

The law had prohibited girls from wearing "ideological or religious clothing that is associated with covering the head until the end of the school year in which they turn 10."

In a statement released following the decision, the court said that equality and "freedom of thought, conscience and religion, establishes the state's religious and ideological neutrality."

The court said the legislature was required to treat various religious convictions equally. The law did not apply to the Jewish Kippa or to the turban worn by Sikh men.


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Reply 5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed (Original post)
rpannier Dec 2020 OP
NurseJackie Dec 2020 #1
rpannier Dec 2020 #2
malaise Dec 2020 #3

Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 08:55 AM

1. Great work. Thanks for sharing them.

Last edited Sat Dec 12, 2020, 10:27 AM - Edit history (1)

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Response to NurseJackie (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 09:56 AM

2. Thanks

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 09:58 AM

3. Thanks for these

So glad Europe is putting Johnson in his place - you want to leave - deal with the consequences.

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