01192017Thu
Last update: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 05am

Europe

World - Europe

Spain will work to defend rights of its citizens in wake of Brexit MADRID: Spain will work to defend the rights of its citizens in the wake of Britain's exit from the European Union, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Thursday in a joint press conference with his Irish counterpart Enda Kenny."Spain and Ireland will work to protect our interests, defend the rights of our citizens and maintain the best possible relationship with the United Kingdom," Rajoy said.Tens of thousands of Spaniards live in Britain and the country is one of the most popular destinations for young Spaniards seeking work abroad. Negotiations betweeen Spain and Britain over Brexit will be done as part of the EU bloc of 27 countries.The press conference was given as part of an official visit to Madrid by Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Copyright Reuters, 2017 ...

World - Europe

Syrian ceasefire largely holding, aid not going in: UN GENEVA: The ceasefire in the Syria war is holding for the most part but humanitarian aid is still not getting through to besieged areas where food is running out, the UN envoy said on Thursday.Envoy Staffan de Mistura voiced concern that 23 buses and Syrian drivers used in recent evacuations were being stopped from leaving the villages of Foua and Kefraya in Idlib province by armed groups. He called for them to be allowed to ...

World - Europe

Germany to return new asylum seekers to Greece from March BERLIN: Germany will begin returning asylum seekers to Greece from mid-March, an interior ministry spokesman told AFP Thursday, essentially lifting a five-year suspension on such transfers because of poor conditions there.Under the EU's so-called Dublin rules, would-be refugees must file for asylum in the first member-state of the bloc they enter, often the Mediterranean nations of Greece and Italy. If asylum seekers have travelled on to other EU nations, they are to be returned to ...

World - Europe

German migrant arrivals down sharply as Merkel faces polls BERLIN: Germany said on Wednesday that migrant arrivals dropped by two-thirds in 2016 from the previous year's record high, providing relief for Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of this year's elections.Merkel had taken heavy criticism after her open-door policy aimed at desperate Syrian refugees brought 890,000 asylum seekers to Europe's biggest economy in 2015, contributing to the rise of an anti-migrant movement.But last year that figure dropped back sharply, to 280,000 arrivals the government said, largely ...

World - Europe

EU's Juncker says hopes Cyprus reunification talks will succeed VALLETTA: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday that talks between the two sides of the ethnically divided Cyprus represented the "very last chance" to reunite the island, and hoped they would succeed. The Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders sit down to reunification talks in Geneva this week, although both have sought to temper hopes of a swift breakthrough.Juncker said the current talks were the "very last chance" to reunite the island. "It's risky, ...

World - Europe

EU approves Maltese support for Delimara gas and power energy project BRUSSELS: The European Commission said on Wednesday it had approved Maltese plans to pay Electrogas Malta, operator of the Delimara plant, for providing energy to the electricity company Enemalta. The Commission said it had concluded that Electrogas Malta will not be overcompensated for the services it will provide. The Delimara gas and power energy project comprises the development of a floating liquid natural gas storage unit and a new combined cycle gas fired power plant. ...

World - Europe

Italian PM undergoes surgery on blood vessel ROME: Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has undergone emergency surgery on a blocked blood vessel after feeling unwell on his return from a visit to Paris, aides said Wednesday.The surgery was successful and Gentiloni, 62, is well and awake, the officials said, adding that he was likely to remain in hospital for a few days."We exchanged messages this morning and I am sure that he will be back at work very soon," junior minister Benedetto ...