Tag Archives: Macron

France recalls envoy from Ankara

Brussels, 24.10.2020 Paris said it was recalling its envoy to Ankara H.E.Hervé MAGRO for consultations after comments by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggesting French counterpart Emmanuel Macron needed a “mental health” treatment that quai d’Orsay condemned as unacceptable.

“What can one say about a head of state who treats millions of members from different faith groups this way: first of all, have mental checks,” Erdogan said in a televised address in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri.

“Macron’s statement that ‘Islam is in a crisis’ is an open provocation beyond disrespect,” Erdogan underlined.

President Macron described Islam as a religion “in crisis” worldwide and said the government would present a new law in December to strengthen one existing since 1905 that officially separated church and state in France. Macron also announced stricter oversight of schooling and better control over foreign funding of mosques.

France bans bird trap four decades after EU

France prohibits an archaic bird hunting technique four decades after the European Union ban. The country has suspended the use of glue traps, which conservationists say are especially cruel to animals and harmful the environment. The hunting technique involves coating branches with glue to trap songbirds, which are caged to attract prey birds that can then be killed.

Activists have condemned it as cruel to the animals and harmful to the environment, and such practices have been banned in all European Union countries except France, which created a workaround to allow hunters to continue to apply it bypassing the European ban.

This week, France said that it, too, was temporarily banning the practice — a move that follows mounting pressure from conservationists, a complaint to the European Court of Justice, and a threat from the European Union’s executive body in July that the country faced legal action if the glue traps were not banned within three months.

French environment minister, Barbara Pompili, described it “good news for the law and for biodiversity.” And Christophe Baticle, an anthropologist at the University of Picardy Jules Verne in northern France, named the move “symbolic.”

The suspension, issued by President Emmanuel Macron affects a minority of French hunters and applies only to the coming hunting season, pending a final decision from the European Court of Justice. And most people in the country disapprove of hunting, considering it cruel and outdated.

However the hunting lobby is a powerful political force in France. There are about 1.5 million registered hunters in the country, and they can form an influential voting bloc in rural areas. Mr. Macron has made efforts to attract their support since his election in 2017, including cutting the price of national hunting licenses in half, to 200 euros (about $240). About 5,000 hunters use glue traps to hunt birds, according to the French National Hunters’ Federation.

Willy Schraen, the head of the hunters’ federation, called the suspension “unacceptable.” “Let’s leave people alone,” he suggested in a television interview. “Why is this an issue to occupy Europe and our minister?” he questioned, referring to Ms. Pompili.

The hunting technique, known as glue-covered bird traps, is used to catch songbirds like thrushes and blackbirds. Conservationists explain that it not only is cruel to the trapped songbirds, but also threatens endangered species because the traps ensnare many kinds of birds.

The European Union moved to outlaw glue traps in a 1979 measure that prohibited “nonselective” hunting, but France influenced by hunting lobby then created a workaround by regulating how birds captured by mistake could be released.

EU leaders reached recovery&budget deal

«We have reached a deal on the recovery package and the European budget. These were, of course, difficult negotiations in very difficult times for all Europeans. A marathon which ended in success for all 27 member states, but especially for the people. This is a good deal. This is a strong deal. And most importantly, this is the right deal for Europe, right now» said Charles Michel, the president of the European Counil.

«And the decision that is made is not a virtual decision. It is a concrete decision that will have and must have a positive impact to ensure that we can look to the future with the determination to be up to this challenge » Michel concluded.

According to Dutch Prime Minister Rutte, who was seen by many as “Mister No” of the meeting, imposing reforms in exchange of grants, the Netherlands ultimately does not have to pay extra for the entire package that European leaders have agreed on.
The Dutch taxpayers will contribute €1.9 billion in membership fees, which €500 million less than during the previous financial period.

The Netherlands is also allowed to retain more customs income. That amounts to about two billion euros. Due to its favorable location, many goods are shipped via the port of Rotterdam and Dutch customs collect money there, because it is the external border of the European Union. Initially, the European Commission wanted to keep all this money itself, but now the Netherlands is allowed to let a large part of it flow into its own treasury.

The East European countires from Visegrad Four group, namely Poland and Hungary, declared their victory, refusing the claims of Dutch Prime minister to conntect grants reception to reforms obligations. “…We have also protected our national pride. We have successfully refused all attempts that would have tied access to EU funds to “rule of law criteria” wrote press-person of Hungarian goverenment on his Twitter blog.

Following the tradition of the Council meetings all the leaders declared “victory” – French President Macron delcared the day of the deal “historical“.

A massive recovery plan is adopted: a common loan to respond to the crisis in a united manner and invest in our future. We never did! France has relentlessly carried this ambition” Macron wrote on his Twitter blog.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union leaders had come to a “good conclusion” after a €1.8 trillion budget for next sever years and coronavirus recovery fund were finally agreed on after days of talks.

However not everyone was impressed by the results of the four days marathon talks. “A hardworking garbage collector is being cheated by Prime Minister Rutte. The Italians and Spaniards do get their money. Hundreds of billions in loans and gifts.
Paid by the garbage collector and the rest of the Netherlands. Vote #Rutte away!
” wrote Dutch Member of the Parliament Geert Wilders.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is “very satisfied”, because he gets €82 billion in “gifts – from our money – while Italians are three times richer than the Dutch“, Wilders continues, explaining they “hardly pay tax there”, and Dutch people are going to pay for them, because of Mark Rutte “weak knees“.

Next to political opponents the criticism of the deal came from the youth, who blamed the leaders the absence of ambition in support of Digital Europe, Horizon, Just Transition Fund (JTF) for vulnérable European. territories, suffering from climate change, European Neighbourhood policy (ENP ) and those who thought that with the Brexit the “era of rebates is finally over”.

Macron hosts Normandy Summit

The meeting in “Normandy format” concerning Donbass conflict will take place in Paris on December 9 in Élysée Palace, hosted by President Macron, and will include Russian President Putin, Ukrainian President Zelensky, and German Chancellor Merkel. The name of the event is a reference to 2014 peace talks, initiated by President Hollande on the margin of ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Negotiations in Paris will focus on the implementation of the 2014-15 Minsk peace agreement, which provided for an immediate ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, the withdrawal of heavy weapons, and an effective truce, putting an end to casualties among military and civilians.

Since Zelensky’s election victory in April an exchange of 70 prisoners, the withdrawal of the troops from three small areas on the front line, and the return of Ukrainian warships seized by Russian coast guards.

Vladimir Putin had conceded “cautious optimism” on the issue of the break-away Russian-speaking regions of Lugansk and Donetsk, both proclaiming their independence in aftermath of the coup d’état in Kiev, when democratically elected Ukranian President Yanukouvych was overthrown and field the country.

Earlier in the week Zelensky indicated that he initially wanted the Paris talks to focus on three points: a new exchange of prisoners, the implementation of a durable ceasefire, and the dismantling of any armed group “illegally” in Ukrainian territory – implicitly referring to Russian-speaking militia in Donetsk and Lugansk.

Moscow’s priority, in contrast, is to create condition for the elections in the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, moving to the point “8” of the Minsk Agreements, guaranteeing de-centralisation of power, and permanent Special status of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. People of Donbass been also insisting on their linguistic rights, peoples militia, and border trade with Russia.

Macron and Merkel share the goal of reviving peace process, which is the only active armed conflict in Europe, which has caused more than 13,000 deaths since it occurred in 2014. Tomorrow’s gathering will be the first meeting between Putin and Zelensky, who was elected upon promise to resolve the Donbass conflict, and establish lasting peace in East of Ukraine.

Trump expects fair defence cost-sharing

The United States wants a “strong Europe” and is willing to help its ally, but Europe must be fair when in sharing the defence burden, U.S. President Donald Trump said during his visit to France devoted to commemoration of the First World War.

We want a strong Europe, it’s very important to us and whichever way we can do it the best and more efficient would be something we both want,” Trump announced in his remarks after warm welcome of  President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

While explaining what meant in his  tweet about feeling insulted by Macron’s comments that Europe should reduce its dependence on the United States for security, Trump said: “We want to help Europe but it has to be fair. Right now the burden sharing has been largely on the United States.

Around 70 world leaders are gathering in Paris for events marking the Armistice that ended World War One, which was signed 100 years ago this Sunday.