05312016Tue
Last update: Tue, 31 May 2016 05pm

Europe

World - Europe

Italian minister to quit over corruption scandal ROME: Italy's Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said he would step down on Friday after his ministry was embroiled in a corruption inquiry involving billions of euros in public works contracts. Lupi has faced mounting pressure to resign since Monday, when police arrested four people in a sweeping investigation into the sort of graft that has long undermined Italy's chronically stagnant economy. Lupi himself is not under investigation, but the links between the suspects and his ministry have raised an outcry and embarrassed Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Prosecutors are probing contracts worth 25 billion euros ($26.65 billion) for projects including a high-speed train line and Milan's Expo world fair. During an interview with RAI state TV on Thursday, Lupi said he "never had favours or received anything" while minister. He is scheduled to address parliament on Friday, after which he said he would formally resign "because when you are personally dragged ...

World - Europe

EU leaders in minute's silence for Tunis victims BRUSSELS: European Union leaders observed a minute's silence Thursday as they began a summit overshadowed by the deadly attack on a Tunis museum."I invite everyone to observe a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the terrible terrorist attack in Tunis," EU president Donald Tusk said at the opening of the meeting in Brussels.Twenty foreign tourists, many of them European, were among those killed in Wednesday's attack on the national museum claimed by the ...

World - Europe

UK's Osborne says no 'rollercoaster' ride in his budget plans LONDON: British finance minister George Osborne said on Thursday that his latest budget plans did not represent a "rollercoaster" ride, as described by the country's independent budget watchdog.Osborne said he did not plan to deepen his spending cuts if he remains in his job after May's elections, challenging claims from the main opposition Labour Party.The Office for Budget Responsibility said on Wednesday that the government's new budget statement implied a much sharper squeeze on real ...

World - Europe

UK troops start training mission in Ukraine: ministry LONDON: British troops have begun a training mission in Ukraine, helping government forces fighting pro-Russian separatists, the Ministry of Defence in London said on Thursday.The BBC reported that 35 personnel are in the southern city of Mykolaiv as part of a two-month mission, although the ministry spokeswoman declined to confirm the details."The first elements of the training package began in March... We have got troops out there training," she told AFP, adding: "The numbers will ...

World - Europe

German TV presenter admits faking Varoufakis middle-finger video BERLIN: A German TV presenter admitted on Wednesday to faking a video showing Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis giving the middle-finger gesture to Germany, after the politician vehemently contested its authenticity.Jan Bohermann, host of satirical programme "Neo Magazin Royale" on public broadcaster ZDF, said he had been waiting since Sunday for someone to ask him if he had faked the controversial footage, but no one had questioned him."Sorry Mr Varoufakis, we won't do it again," ...

World - Europe

Hollande vows France's 'solidarity' after Tunisia attacks PARIS: French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday expressed his country's "solidarity" with Tunisia after at least seven foreigners and a Tunisian national were killed in a brazen day-time attack.In a brief call with his Tunisian counterpart Beji Caid Essebsi, Hollande expressed "the solidarity of France with ... the Tunisian people in this very grave moment," a source close to Hollande's office said.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...

World - Europe

UK's Osborne woos voters with earlier end to austerity, faster growth LONDON: British finance minister George Osborne sought to court voters ahead of a May 7 election by pitching an earlier end to austerity, faster economic growth and lower taxes in future.In his last budget statement before May's national election, Osborne said Prime Minister David Cameron's government had saved Britain's economy and would bring down national debt earlier than planned with a 20 billion-pound sale of bank assets.Osborne aimed to blunt criticism from the opposition Labour ...