Tag Archives: European Union

EU court dismisses Hungary, Slovak case against taking refugees

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – The European Union’s top court dismissed complaints on Wednesday by Slovakia and Hungary about EU migration policy, upholding Brussels’ right to force member states to take in asylum seekers.

In the latest twist to a divisive dispute that broke out two years ago when over a million migrants poured across the Mediterranean, the European Court of Justice found that the EU was entitled to order national governments to take in quotas of mainly Syrian refugees relocated from Italy and Greece.

Continue reading EU court dismisses Hungary, Slovak case against taking refugees

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Germany summons N. Korean representative amidst missile launch threats

Germany has summoned North Korea’s emissary for talks in Berlin while Switzerland has offered to play a mediating role in the crisis. Tensions have risen dramatically after Pyongyang staged its largest nuclear test yet.

After North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test to date, Germany’s Foreign Office called for a meeting with Pyongyang’s representative in Berlin on Monday afternoon.

Continue reading Germany summons N. Korean representative amidst missile launch threats

Rally in Hungary to Support Reporter Claiming Govt Assault

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Several hundred people rallied Saturday outside an office of Hungary’s governing Fidesz party after a journalist said she was assaulted at a party meeting by a government official.

Julia Halasz, a reporter with the 444.hu news site, said a meeting organizer took away her cellphone and dragged her down several flights of steps and out of a school by the arm while she was covering a Fidesz public forum.

Economy Minister Mihaly Varga and Defense Minister Istvan Simicsko spoke at Thursday’s forum promoting the government’s “Let’s Stop Brussels” campaign, which claims the European Union wants Hungary to raise taxes and energy prices and take in large numbers of migrants.

Halasz said Laszlo Szabo, who is also in charge of the government office arranging celebrations and remembrances, accused her of making a video during the forum, which she denied, and erased several photographs she took with her mobile phone.

Halasz reported the alleged assault to police, while Fidesz said it would file its own report, claiming libel.

Fidesz denied her claims, saying she failed to follow press rules at the meeting, disrupted the forum and argued loudly with audience members.

“It’s very frightening that they attack me just because I work for a medium which the government can’t influence,” Halasz told The Associated Press. “I have witnesses who can corroborate that none of their accusations are true.”

Participants at Saturday’s rally in Budapest shouted slogans in support of press freedom.

Since Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s return to power in 2010, his allies have greatly increased their ownership of newspapers, broadcasters and online media, turning the outlets into unquestioning supporters of the government. Hungary’s state media is also under strict political control.

The government has “clearly turned public service media into a tool of government propaganda,” media analyst Agnes Urban said at the rally.

Russian Court Sentences Crimean Tatar To 12 Years In Prison

A Russian court has sentenced a Crimean Tatar man to 12 years in prison, drawing swift condemnation from Ukraine for what Kyiv called a politically motivated ruling.

Lawyers for Ruslan Zeytullayev said that in an April 26 verdict, a military court in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don convicted their client of establishing a cell of the Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir in Crimea.

Continue reading Russian Court Sentences Crimean Tatar To 12 Years In Prison

Europol investigating 5,000 organized crime groups

Some 5,000 organized crime groups are active in Europe, with more than one-third of the rings involved in illicit drug trade, the EU law enforcement agency Europol said in a large-scale report Thursday.

Drug trade generates 24 billion euros (25 billion dollars) in profits every year.

The groups are also engaged in counterfeiting currency, migrant smuggling, arms trafficking and an array of cybercrime, including child sexual exploitation and bank fraud.

Continue reading Europol investigating 5,000 organized crime groups

EU threatens UK with astronomical £500BILLION Brexit DIVORCE BILL

THE EUROPEAN Parliament’s top Brexit negotiator has said Britain could face a £500billion (€600bn) Brexit divorce bill – ten times the figure initially expected.

Late last year it was widely reported Eurocrats were planning on slapping the UK with a £50billion (€60billion) exit bill as punishment for voting to abandon Brussels in the June referendum.

The EU defended the demand as it argued Britain had unpaid budget commitments, pension liabilities and loan guarantees to honour.

Continue reading EU threatens UK with astronomical £500BILLION Brexit DIVORCE BILL

Hungary’s Orban: Migrant crisis is German, not European problem

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban insisted Thursday the migrant crisis was a German problem, not a European one as he defended his government’s handling of thousands of refugees flooding into his country.

“The problem is not a European problem, the problem is a German problem,” Orban told a press conference with European Parliament President Martin Schulz in Brussels.

“Nobody wants to stay in Hungary, neither in Slovakia, nor Poland, nor Estonia. All want to go to Germany. Our job is just to register them.”

Orban’s comments came as hundreds of refugees and migrants stormed a train at Budapest’s reopened main international railway station, which has become a flashpoint for people trying to head to western Europe via Hungary.

“We have clear cut regulations at the European level. German Chancellor (Angela Merkel) … said yesterday that nobody could leave Hungary without being registered,” he added.

“If the German chancellor insists that we register them, we will, it is a must.”

Orban has taken a consistently hard line on the migrant crisis engulfing Europe, refusing to accept an EU plan for compulsory quotas for asylum seekers and building a razor wire fence along the border with Serbia in a bid to halt the influx.

Syrian refugees and migrants walk along a railway line as they try to cross from Serbia into Hungary...

Syrian refugees and migrants walk along a railway line as they try to cross from Serbia into Hungary near Horgos, on September 1, 2015

The fence has done little to stem the flow and Hungary remains a key arrival point for tens of thousands of migrants entering the European Union, with some 50,000 arriving in the country in August alone.

Orban was due to hold talks with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and with EU president Donald Tusk, who warned earlier Thursday that divisions between EU member states threatened to scupper efforts to find a common response.

Schulz also warned that the 28 member states had to act as one.

“The European idea is of solidarity; what we see at the moment is egoism and to my mind, this is a real threat to the EU,” he said.

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