The EU member-states are striving for an agreement on the European Union’s top jobs by July 2, by the day of the new European Parliament constitution – in the attempt of avoiding an institutional crisis, the European diplomats say.
The diplomats doubt if the a deal can be reached at the Summit, pointing to a disagreement between Berlin and Paris over a German candidate Manfred Weber’s bid to take over the job of the President of the Commission later this year.
The five top executive positions are to be attributed to start a new political cycle.
European Council President Donald Tusk said that he was “cautiously optimistic” that EU leaders would agree on candidates to hold the bloc’s top jobs when they meet in Brussels on June 20.
“I remain cautiously optimistic, as those I have spoken to have expressed determination to decide swiftly. I hope we can make it on Thursday” Tusk said.
The top jobs include the successors for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU chief diplomat Federica Mogherini, the head of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt Mario Draghi, and Donald Tusk, the President of the EU Council.
Following an European election end May, the new European parliament is due to gather in Strasbourg for the first time on July 2 and should then elect its new president for 2019-24.
The leader of Germany’s conservatives made clear she expected Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party would quit Europe’s main center-right group –European People’s Party (EPP) – after he withdrew support for Manfred Weber (pictured) – the bloc’s candidate to head the European Commission.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, signaled that the anti-immigrant, hard-right Orban had crossed a river.
“With his behavior in the last few days and the meeting with (Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini), he has given a clear sign that he will leave,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer. At present Fidesz is suspended from EPP as a result of disagreement on various policies.
“Weber would have been good for us as president of the commission,” Orban said, “but he made the statement that not only does he not need the Hungarian votes but he doesn’t even want the Hungarian votes to become commission president.”
In March Weber told German broadcaster ZDF that he “would not accept the post” of Commission president if he had to depend on votes from Fidesz, Orban‘s party.
“That is such an offense to Hungary and the Hungarian voters,” Orban added.
Orban said he could no longer support Manfred Weber after he “insulted” Hungarians.
Greece urged crowds of illegal migrants who have gathered in the fields along the country’s northern border to return to their initial settlements, otherwise they could face sanctions. (Photo above: illustration).
Migrants equipped with smartphones started to arrive at a field next to a camp of Diavata near the border with Northern Macedonia on April 4.
By April 5 morning there were more than 100 tents pitched in the field, presumably provoked by spread via social media information of plans for an organized movement to cross Greece’s northwest land border with Albania in early April. There were children seen among migrants, who showed up next to the border.
In Athens, a group of some dozens of migrants squatted on the tracks of the capital’s main railway station shouting “Germany!” and “Open the borders.” Several more were at the station under heavy police presence.
Greek Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas appealed to the migrants at the border to return to the accommodation centers.
“It’s a lie that the borders will open,” he told Greek state television ERT. “In international treaties, there are obligations but there are also sanctions”.
Mr.Vitsas expressed hope that those who came to the border upon their own initiative would leave by night, without any risking further escalation.
Social media has already reported clashes between marching migrants and Greece police.
Venezuela government has declared the German ambassador persona non grata and ordered him to leave the country within 48 hours in aftermath of political crisis intensified.
The decision to expel Daniel Kriener who has been based in Caracas since 2018 became public via Venezuela’s foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, post in Twitter micro blog.
Arreaza said the decision was based on Daniel Kriener’s “repeated acts of interference in the country’s internal affairs”.
In a statement, Maduro’s administration accused Kriener and the German government of unlawful meddling in home affairs of Venezuela. Berlin recognizied Maduro’s rival Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate leader last month.
The EU says it hopes Venezuela will reconsider its expulsion of the German ambassador.
AMENDED: EU is committed to maintaining contacts with “Mister Maduro” government, the European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson said.
The face of war is changing dramatically as cyber and electronic attacks become increasingly commonplace, and so must our allies’ understanding of defense.
Of NATO 28’s member states, only five meet the goal – German defense spending is just 1,2% of GDP. President Trump has a point: NATO’s economics are clearly not working out, and this is undermining the alliance. But the crucial adjustment that is needed is not the amount of spending, but what it seeks to fund.
Lega economy wizard Claudio Borghi said that Italy should consider leaving the European Union if the bloc does not change radically following European elections. in May.
“I think that this is the last chance. If, after the European elections, the same mandarins led by Germany are the ones driving the economic, social and migratory policies, for the sole benefit of Germany and to our detriment, I’ll say we should leave,” Borghi said.
“We either manage to change it or we’ll have to come out“. The Lega MP said the EU project was a “failure” and “toxic for Italy”. “If the environment remains toxic, I’ll say let’s get out,” Borghi warned.
“We have no intention of leaving Europe, we want to change it, improve it, but not abandon it,” Salvini said in a texted statement, clarifying his position.
Joachim STARBATTY MEP (Germany, ECR) criticised Chancellor Merkel silence, while no-deal Brexit “catastrophe” is looming. It is impossible to leave under WTO rules, he said. “Nigel Farage is not an economist, he does not understand what he is talking about”. The deal is imperative MEP added, otherwise huge damages to economies are inevitable. “We have to talk about it“, he continued. “Our politicians are sitting on too “high horse”, STARBATTY concluded, calling them to abandon their claims of superiority, and come closer to real life.