Europe

If Catalonia goes independent, these places could be next

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Catalonia might be the separatist region making headlines at the moment but Europe has many other separatist movements that are closely watching developments in northeastern… Holly Ellyatt  CNBC Separatist movements in Europe can range from small townships to entire regions and the motivations for wanting to go it alone are equally as diverse encompassing linguistic and cultural differences as well as economic and historical… While some separatist movements harbor dreams of gaining just a bit more autonomy from the national ... Read More »

Brexit Raises Questions About U.K. Sovereign Bases on Cyprus

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Cyprus and the U.K. will begin talks next week on the status of the two British sovereign bases on the eastern Mediterranean island after Brexit, Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said. By Georgios Georgiou and Paul Tugwell Bloomberg “It matters for Cyprus if it’s a hard or soft Brexit,” Kasoulides said in a telephone interview. Agreement between the U.K. and Cyprus on the status of the bases will be part of the withdrawal deal, Kasoulides said. The two sovereign bases, ... Read More »

Spain court quiz Catalan police officers in sedition case

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Spain’s National Court questioned on Oct. 6 two senior officers of Catalonia’s regional police force and the leaders of two pro-independence civic groups who have been placed under investigation for sedition. Hurriyet The case is linked to demonstrations Sept. 20-21 in Barcelona, when Spanish police arrested several Catalan government officials and raided offices in a crackdown on preparations for an Oct. 1 referendum on independence. Spanish authorities say the demonstrations hindered the Spanish police operation, and that Catalan police didn’t ... Read More »

Why Spain needs to negotiate with Catalonia

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There is a Spanish proverb that a difficult choice puts one between the sword and the wall (entre la espada y la pared) Ryan D Griffiths ABC Spain is currently facing such a choice with Catalonia Should it negotiate with Catalonia knowing that doing so may result in the secession of the region and set a precedent for others? Or should it continue to stand firm in the face of the independence demands while the tension builds, conflict continues, and ... Read More »

As Europe’s focus shifts to integration, the humanitarian refugee crisis is still not over

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Hellinikon Olympic Park looks like yet another derelict and forgotten space – sad but unsurprising, given how often Olympic venues fall into disrepair and abandonment. Gemma Nird Amanda Russell Beattie Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik Patrecja Rozbicka The Conversation But this baseball stadium on the outskirts of Athens is the site of a very different story. In 2015, the abandoned park – which had been built on the site of an old airport – was repurposed to house refugees entering Athens along with ... Read More »

British captain honoured for rescuing 907 refugees in Mediterranean

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Captain Jamie Wilson’s crew found two dead children during harrowing rescue operations A British sailor has been honoured for helping rescue more than 900 refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. Lizzie Dearden  The Independent  Jamie Wilson is the captain of a commercial ship that was checking a pipeline off the coast of Libya when it was drafted to rescue nine overcrowded migrant dinghies over a… Neither he nor his ship’s crew had any previous experience of search and rescue work but ... Read More »

Teacher who said ‘Don’t let children die’ will give birth in Turkish prison

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A one year, three month prison sentence handed down to Turkish teacher Ayşe Çelik, who called for an end to clashes between Kurdish militants and Turkish security forces in Diyarbakır during a TV program, was approved by a regional court of justice, Cumhuriyet reported on… Stockholm Center for Freedom According to the report Çelik, who said “Don’t let children die” during the “Beyaz Show” TV program, will give birth in prison as she is currently three months… On the night ... Read More »

Europe still hopeful to get Turkmen gas

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Turkmenistan, a hydrocarbon-rich Central Asian, is still hopeful to see its gas reach the European markets, while Brussels counties talks in this regard. Gulgiz Muradova AzerNews The EU is negotiating with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan over a Trans Caspian Pipeline System, said Anca Paduraru, EU Spokesperson for Energy Union projects. “Negotiations are on-going,” Paduraru said, when answering on progress of the talks. “The EU’s objective has not changed. To diversify the EU’s supplies, the Southern Gas Corridor aims to expand infrastructure ... Read More »

The Twists and Turns along China’s Belt and Road

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China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative could potentially transform relations with over 60 countries across Eurasia, Africa and beyond But to bring the concept to fruition, Beijing must overcome mammoth logistical obstacles, navigate fragile political situations and placate growing regional apprehension surrounding its ambitions. Michael Kovrig  ICG “The project of the century” is how Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi touted the Belt and Road Initiative to the world when addressing the UN General Assembly on 21 September. It was only ... Read More »

Catalan referendum: Riot police ‘fire rubber bullets’ at crowd as they block voters at besieged polling stations – latest news

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Police in riot gear fire rubber bullets at pro-independence activists 337 people were injured or bruised, according to Catalonian spokesperson Ballot boxes seized by police in referendum banned by Madrid Madrid appeals for “cooperation and respect” Spanish riot police fired rubber bullets and seized ballot boxes from polling stations in Catalonia on Sunday as thousands flooded the streets to vote in an independence referendum banned by Madrid.  Hannah Strange, in barcelona  James Badcock, in madrid  Helen Nianias  Telegraph As the vote officially opened, scenes of chaos ... Read More »

Israel denies Turkish remarks on involvement in Kurd vote

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Oct. 1 denied Turkish remarks of covert involvement in Iraqi Kurdistan’s recent independence vote, reiterating however his “sympathy” for the Kurdish people. Agence France-Presse Hurriyet On Sept. 30, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Israel’s intelligence agency played a role in the Sept. 25 referendum, citing as proof the waving of Israeli flags during celebrations for the overwhelming “yes” vote. “This shows one thing, that this administration [in northern Iraq] has a history with ... Read More »

Only a partitioned island will bring the dispute between Turkish and Greek Cypriots to an end

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In one of its worst strategic decisions ever, the European Union (sadly, with UK acquiescence) had agreed that Cyprus should join the EU on 1 May 2004, whether agreement had been reached with the Turkish Cypriots or not Jack Straw * Earlier this summer the 11th international effort to strike a deal between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots was rejected by the Greek-Cypriot government – as every previous one has been. Independent So, whatever its terms, will the next, and the ... Read More »

Brexit: Boris Johnson urges two-year transition time limit

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Theresa May is coming under fresh pressure over Brexit on the eve of the Conservative party conference Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has again intervened on Brexit, setting out four conditions he says are necessary. BBC Speaking to the Sun, Mr Johnson insisted any transition period after Britain leaves the EU should not last “a second more” than two years. Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Johnson’s position threatened a trade war with the EU, which could impact on jobs. The prime minister ... Read More »

The Who, Where, and When of Secession

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National self-determination, the principle that US President Woodrow Wilson put on the international agenda in 1918, is generally defined as the right of a people to form its own state. Joseph S. Nye Project Syndicate The independence referendums in Iraqi Kurdistan and Catalonia are the latest examples showing why that principle is so often difficult to apply. CAMBRIDGE – This week, Kurds in northern Iraq voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence for the country’s Kurdistan Region. With some 30 million ... Read More »

Turkey agrees to ‘only deal with Baghdad’ over oil exports

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In a major U-turn, Turkey has agreed to solely deal with the central Iraqi government over crude oil exports, following a contentious secession referendum held by Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, the Baghdad government says. PressTV The office of the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reported Ankara’s change of mode on Thursday, following a phone call between Abadi and his Turkish counterpart, Binali Yildirim. Yildirim “confirmed the support of his country on all decisions” taken by the Iraqi government, said the… ... Read More »

Monsanto banned from European parliament

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MEPs withdraw parliamentary access after the firm shunned a hearing into allegations that it unduly influenced studies into the safety of glyphosate used in its RoundUp weedkiller Arthur Nelsen The Guardian Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference. It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or ... Read More »