Specialist Desk Editor, World Desk, London
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Apr 24, 2015

Shocked by drowned migrants, Europe restores rescue mission

BRUSSELS/ROME (Reuters) – Four days after up to 900 desperate people drowned trying to reach Europe from Libya, EU leaders agreed on Thursday to triple its naval search mission in the Mediterranean, restoring its funding to last year’s level.

Critics called it a face-saving operation that did not go far enough to emulate an Italian rescue mission abandoned six months ago for want of EU support. And divisions remained over longer-term proposals, ranging from dealing with people smugglers and African migrant camps to how to redistribute asylum-seekers around 28 nations where anti-immigrant parties are on the rise.

Apr 23, 2015

EU leaders to pledge rescue for migrants, but no fix for problem

BRUSSELS/ROME (Reuters) – European Union leaders will effectively reverse a cutback in rescue operations the Mediterranean on Thursday to try to prevent record numbers of people drowning as they try to flee war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

But an emergency EU summit in Brussels, called after up to 900 went down on a single boat on Sunday, will do little else beyond laying out options, including attacks on smugglers and holding camps for migrants, on which the 28 states are divided.

Apr 22, 2015

EU leaders to boost rescue operations after migrant boat disaster

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders, under pressure to act to stop more migrants dying in the Mediterranean, will agree at a crisis summit on Thursday to boost search and rescue operations and step up the fight against traffickers.

Public outrage over the death of up to 900 migrants last Sunday when their boat sank on its way to Europe from Libya has led EU governments to reverse last year’s decision to scale down search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

Apr 22, 2015

EU charges Russia’s Gazprom, alleging price gouging

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union launched a legal attack on Gazprom (GAZP.MM: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday, stoking tension with Moscow as it accused the Russian gas giant of overcharging buyers in Eastern Europe and hindering competition.

The EU’s new antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, who a week ago announced a similar market abuse prosecution against U.S. tech giant Google (GOOGL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said state-controlled Gazprom was using its continued dominance in Moscow’s old Soviet client states to hike prices by as much as 40 percent over the norm.

Apr 20, 2015

Migrant deaths may shame Europe over Mediterranean moat

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The outrage Europe’s leaders face over the deaths of hundreds of refugees trying to reach its shores may force a shift in a policy critics decry as letting people drown to deter others in desperate need.

The moat that the Mediterranean forms between Fortress Europe and less fortunate neighbors may become slightly less forbidding, even if the focus will still be to discourage the crossing in ways other than raising the risk of dying at sea.

Apr 20, 2015

Analysis – Migrant deaths may shame Europe over Mediterranean moat

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The outrage Europe’s leaders face over the deaths of hundreds of refugees trying to reach its shores may force a shift in a policy critics decry as letting people drown to deter others in desperate need.

The moat that the Mediterranean forms between Fortress Europe and less fortunate neighbours may become slightly less forbidding, even if the focus will still be to discourage the crossing in ways other than raising the risk of dying at sea.

Apr 17, 2015

Home from Brussels, Hill assures Britons EU is close to them

LONDON (Reuters) – European Union policymakers are much more favorable to British interests and ideas than many Britons think, Prime Minister David Cameron’s nominee to the EU executive told an audience from the City of London on Friday.

Three weeks before an election in which Cameron has tried to fend off Eurosceptics by promising a referendum on leaving the EU if voters return him to power, Jonathan Hill, EU financial services commissioner, said he had been struck since arriving in Brussels how much common ground there was with London.

Apr 17, 2015

EU’s British finance chief woos London capital market leaders

LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) – European Union plans to help
markets raise more funds for the economy play to London’s
strengths as a global trading centre, the bloc’s financial
services chief Jonathan Hill told leading bankers and dealers on
Friday.

In his first speech to London’s financial community since
his appointment to the European Commission last November, the
former Conservative minister went out of his way to praise
London for its ability to innovate and adapt to change.

Apr 16, 2015

EU accuses Google of hurting consumers, competitors in Web search case

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union accused Google Inc on Wednesday of cheating consumers and competitors by distorting Web search results to favor its own shopping service, after a five-year investigation that could change the rules for business online.

It also started another antitrust investigation into the Android mobile operating system, a key element in Google’s strategy to maintain revenues from online advertising as people switch from Web browser searches to smartphone apps.

Apr 16, 2015

After charging Google, EU antitrust chief declares independence

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Google boss Eric Schmidt might have missed it in the uproar over the EU’s antitrust charges against the U.S. tech giant, but European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager wants to congratulate him.

It was a throwaway line in an hour-long press conference in Brussels as Vestager moved dramatically against Google a day ahead of her first big working visit to the United States. The EU accused Google of abusing its dominance of Internet searches to push its own products.

    • About Alastair

      "Editor for political and general news across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In 21 years with Reuters, have reported widely on conflict, elections, society, economics, culture and sport from postings in Paris, Moscow, Berlin, London, Baghdad and Jerusalem."
      Joined Reuters:
      1990
      Languages:
      English, French, Russian, German, Italian
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