The League presented a motion of no confidence in Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in the Senate on August 9 after the party’s leader the Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, said that the ruling majority no longer exists and called for early elections.
According to the motion there were too many disagreement within the government, including the approach to Turin-Lyon high-speed rail link project: the 270-kilometer way would include a 58-km tunnel under the Alps mountain range, one of the longest tunnels in the world. Trains will run at an average speed of 220 km/h.
At present the EUR25 billion project is at risk due to the conflicting positions of the two parties backing the Italian government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, which has been in power since June 2018.
While the League is in favor of the project, though some officials raised concerns that Italy should rethink its financial obligation. The anti-establishment Five Star Movement is against major public works projects in general, believing they can be breeding grounds for corruption.
“Too many “no” are bad for Italy, which needs to grow and, therefore, to have new elections soon,” the League said. “Those who waste time, and it is to detriment of the country and they are only thinking about their positions”.
A present thet Lega party is polling ahead of all other Italian parties at 38%.
Giuseppe Conte, the non-affiliated professor of private law, appointed by both parties to serve as the country’s Prime minister, said that Salvini must justify to parliament why he is calling for a new vote.
Italy Deputy Prime minister Matteo Salvini has expressed his concern about the election by the European Parliament of Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president.
“We saw a president of the European Commission indicated by Merkel and backed by Macron, Renzi and Berlusconi and the 5-Stars, leaning very far to the left on some issues like economic growth and border control, we are concerned,” Salvini said.
“She passed by nine votes, it’s as if in Italy there was a PD-FI-M5S government, what change does she represent? “I’m proud of the coherence and loyalty shown by the MEPs of the League (in not voting for her” he added.
Today the Foreign Affairs Council started with a discussion on current affairs, allowing ministers to review pressing issues on the international agenda.
The Ministers are expected to include into discussion the situation in Sudan, Ethiopia and Venezuela. Ministers are also supposed to discuss Turkey‘s current illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean off Cyprus shore.
Federica Mogherini will debrief ministers on the EU-Ukraine summit on 8 July and the EU-G5 Sahel ministerial meeting.
The meeting started by Mogherini, the EU top diplomat literally greeting with open arms disgraced Josep Borrell, incumbent Spanish Foreign minister, who is put forward by the EU Council as a candidate to “heir” her job. Borrell is a former president of the European Parliament, he has been forced into resignation over his last EU top job in a scandal of conflict of interests, ending in abandoning his post of the President of the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. While leading the prestigious EU scientific establishment, he was receiving EUR300 000 year salary for promotion of interests of Spanish energy company Abengoa.
“Delighted to welcome von der Leyen with open arms to the European Commission today. A true European, we are on the same page when it comes to speaking up for interests” wrote incumbent president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in his Twitter micro blog.
Von der Leyen appeared as a “surprise” candidate, after leading candidate Manfred Weber was rejected by the Eastern European member-states. Her candidacy for the Commission president was endorsed by all EU leaders apart from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who abstained because her domestic coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD), refused to support her candidacy.
If endorsed by the European Parliament, von der Leyen would become the first woman to ascend the European Union’s top post.
There was a word that Juncker was not impressed by choice of Martin Weber for top job, however he never opposed him publicly.
EU leaders suspended Sunday Summit after 20 hours marathon talks failing to produce an agreement on who should be appointed for the bloc’s top jobs, prompting criticism from French President Emmanuel Macron who said Europe’s indecisiveness was damaging its image abroad. (Image above: arrivals).
The failure to reach consensus during 20 hours long night owl negotiations reflected the fragmentation of the bloc’s politics, occurring after the European elections, leaving both center right and left substantially weaker.
President Macron, who left the Council premises shortly after the talks were suspended till Tuesday morning, labeled the breakdown a “failure” though he added an agreement could still be found.
Eastern European countries had strongly objected the candidates, proposed by Macron, and the leaders of Germany and Spain to attribute presidency of the European Commission to Dutch Socialist Fran Timmermans. His candidacy did not inspire Italian either.
President Emmanuel Macron’s candidate to lead a new centrist alliance in the European Parliament Nathalie Loiseau said on she was pulling out of the race, in a defiance to French government influence in the parliamenEt.
Nathalie Loiseau was quoted by Belgian newspapers disparaging allies in Renew Europe, formed by Macron’s party and the liberal ALDE, and adding she intends a sweeping overhaul of the group, the third biggest in the European Parliament.
Loiseau was quoted in Le Soir calling ALDE’s longtime leader Guy Verhofstadt “an old git with pent-up frustrations” and branding the conservative European People’s party candidate for Commission president an “ectoplasm”.
Loiseau described the comments, made during an off-record briefing to journalists in Brussels, as “pure fiction” but their leak damaged her credibility just as competition for the leadership intensified. And according to her own words she preferred to renounce her ambition to lead the group.
“Presidential elections took place in the Republic of Kazakhstan on 9 June 2019 with Kassym-Jomart Tokayev voted into his first term as President. According to the preliminary findings of the internationally-recognised OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission, the election offered an important moment for potential political reforms, but it was tarnished by clear violations of fundamental freedoms as well as pressure on critical voices. There were widespread detentions of peaceful protesters on election day” reads the text of the European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson statement.
“Overall, the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission recognised that elections were administered efficiently by the Central Electoral Commission, but significant irregularities were observed across the country, including cases of ballot box stuffing, group voting and series of identical signatures on voter lists. The count was also negatively assessed in more than half of observations.
“In the light of the shortcomings reported by the OSCE/ODIHR Mission, we expect Kazakhstan to address these violations, as well as the controlled legal and political electoral framework, as they run counter to the country’s OSCE commitments and international obligations. In the framework of our Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Kazakhstan, the European Union stands ready to further support reforms to strengthen the promotion and protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights, the respect for democratic principles, the rule of law and good governance.”
“We look forward to working with the new President in this regard, as well as to advance EU-Kazakhstan relations more broadly.”