07272016Wed
Last update: Wed, 27 Jul 2016 02am

Europe

World - Europe

Preparing for Brexit: UK faces monumental task LONDON: While British politicians have spent the month since the EU referendum in a whirl of resignations, recriminations and political backstabbings, civil servants have been quietly beginning the mammoth task of implementing Brexit.Unpicking 43 years of EU laws and regulations and forging new alliances outside the 28-nation bloc arguably represents the biggest challenge for Whitehall -- as the civil service is collectively known -- since World War II.- What is the strategy?Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to implement the June 23 referendum vote to leave the EU -- but what this means in practice is not yet clear.In talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande this week she said she would not launch the formal two-year exit process before the end of this year, to give the government time to formulate its position.It will be up to the civil service to draw up options in ...

World - Europe

Erdogan's mass appeal saved him on coup night ISTANBUL: More than his security forces, what saved Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the night of the coup attempt was the extraordinary devotion the charismatic strongman inspires among his followers.In the tense hours when rebel troops attacked with fighter jets and tanks, and commandos were closing in on him, Erdogan called directly on the Turkish people to resist the mutineers.Using the social media he previously despised, and sometimes blocked, he mobilised the citizens who ...

World - Europe

EU approves Monsanto, Bayer genetically modified soybeans BRUSSELS: The European Commission on Friday approved imports of Monsanto's Roundup Ready 2 Xtend genetically modified soybeans, opening up an important export market for North American soybeans and easing their global rollout. The decision removes a hurdle for Monsanto in its dealings with farmers and grain traders, who have to keep track of whether crops with new biotech traits have approval in major overseas markets. It follows a Chinese approval for imports of the soybeans ...

World - Europe

Germany stresses NATO commitment to allies after Trump comments BERLIN: Germany on Friday stressed its promise to protect its NATO allies after White House hopeful Donald Trump called the commitment into question."The German government is fundamentally committed to Article Five of the NATO treaty. That is the central promise of solidarity within the alliance," Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters when asked about Trump's remarks."Collective defence according to Article Five is and remains the main duty of NATO," Seibert added, noting that ...

World - Europe

Greece lowers voting age to 17 ATHENS: Greek lawmakers voted Thursday to amend electoral law to lower the voting age by a year to 17 and eventually eliminate a 50-seat bonus for the winning party.While the drop in voting age will take effect in the next election, the seat bonus will only be scrapped in two elections from now.This was because the leftist government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was unable to muster on Thursday the required support of two thirds ...

World - Europe

EU securities watchdog fines Fitch 1.38mn euros PARIS: The European Union's securities watchdog fined Fitch Rating agency 1.38 million euros ($1.52 million) Thursday for breaking the bloc's credit ratings regulations.The European Securities and Markets Authority said that senior analysts at Fitch has passed on information to senior figures at a parent company before the information was public.The ratings agency also did not give Slovenia the minimum 12 hours to respond to a sovereign rating downgrade before announcing the move."ESMA found certain senior ...

World - Europe

France committed to leading Israel-Palestine talks: Hollande PARIS: French President Francois Hollande told Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas in Paris on Thursday that his country is committed to leading international efforts to help secure peace between Israel and the Palestinians.Hollande confirmed "France's commitment to building on the momentum created" on June 3, when Paris hosted senior diplomats to work towards organising an international conference to reboot talks by the end of the year.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016 ...