01222017Sun
Last update: Sun, 22 Jan 2017 03pm

Europe

World - Europe

France says 'no punishment' over Brexit PARIS: France has no intention of "punishing" Britain over Brexit, the French foreign minister said Thursday in response to comments from his British counterpart Boris Johnson.Johnson said Wednesday he feared French President Francois Hollande wanted to inflict "punishment beatings" on Britain, comparing proposed trade tariffs to punishments meted out to prisoners who tried to escape in World War II movies.Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Johnson's claim was an attempt to divert attention from the potential consequences of leaving the European Union."This is not about 'punishing' the United Kingdom, that is not France's stance," Ayrault told reporters.Johnson's statement was a "smokescreen to allow those who supported Brexit to play down the impact on people, because they can clearly see the negative consequences", Ayrault added.France has been particularly critical of the post-Brexit British government, with Finance Minister Michel Sapin saying this week it appeared to be "improvising" and had no real plan ...

World - Europe

Italian PM: Italy will no longer be unreliable in fiscal terms BERLIN: Italy will no longer be unreliable in fiscal terms, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Wednesday, adding that he believed the period of austerity was over. Gentiloni was speaking at a conference hosted by the German Economy Ministry in Berlin. Copyright Reuters, 2017 ...

World - Europe

EU not hostile but sees very, very, very difficult Brexit talks STRASBOURG: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday he told Prime Minister Theresa May that EU negotiators were "not in a hostile mood" toward Britain but that Brexit talks would be "very, very, very" difficult. The EU chief executive told a news conference that he had spoken to May on Tuesday after she outlined her plans for leaving the European Union and welcomed the clarity she gave. He said EU negotiators would seek a ...

World - Europe

Merkel: May speech gave more clarity on British approach to Brexit BERLIN: The European Union has more clarity on how the British government will go into talks on leaving the bloc after Prime Minister Theresa May's speech on Tuesday but negotiations cannot start until London triggers the process, Angela Merkel said. "The speech made by British Prime Minister Theresa May has given us a clear impression of how Great Britain wants to proceed but nonetheless the negotiations will only start when the application has been made ...

World - Europe

Merkel welcomes May's Brexit 'clarity', vows European unity BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday welcomed the "clarity" provided by British Prime Minister Theresa May's speech laying out her plans for Brexit.After talks with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni in Berlin, the leader of Europe's top economy said that the remaining EU member states would enter into the negotiations with London with a united front.Merkel said that May's keenly anticipated address Tuesday had provided a "clear impression of how Britain wants to move ...

World - Europe

Merkel to face German voters on September 24 BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government on Wednesday set September 24 as the date for a general election, as she seeks a fourth term facing populist headwinds over a record migrant influx.The decision, adopted by Merkel's right-left coalition cabinet, must still be formally approved by President Joachim Gauck.But the announcement fires the starting gun for an election campaign that Merkel has said will be her toughest yet due to opposition to her liberal asylum policy.Merkel, ...

World - Europe

Italy's Tajani elected European Parliament president: officials STRASBOURG: Italian centre-right politician Antonio Tajani was elected the new president of the European Parliament on Tuesday after a final round of voting, officials said.Tajani, an ally of former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, got 351 votes while his socialist rival Gianni Pittella got 282, outgoing leader Martin Schulz said."I congratulate you warmly. I wish you good luck as you carry out your mandate," Schulz said as he shook hands with Tajani.European Council leader Donald Tusk ...