Specialist Desk Editor, World Desk, London
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Sep 7, 2015

NATO plans Ukraine visit as Russia threatens trade embargo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine sought political support from NATO on Monday as talks with Russia in Brussels failed to bridge differences over a trade deal at the heart of east-west tensions and Kiev said Moscow was threatening a trade embargo against it.

In a day of meetings with EU and NATO officials, Ukraine’s foreign minister said the secretary general of the U.S-led NATO alliance would make his first visit to Ukraine this month, dismissing concerns it could worsen tensions with Moscow.

Sep 7, 2015

EU eyes new migrant quotas; reluctant countries can buy out

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union executive is preparing for a new clash over refugees with national governments, especially in eastern Europe, after officials gave details on Monday of how many it would ask each of them to accommodate.

The European Commission will propose national quotas to relocate 160,000 asylum-seekers arriving in Greece, Hungary and Italy, with Germany taking in more than 40,000 and France nearly 31,000. Countries that do not want to take part would be able to make financial contributions to buy their way out of the obligation on a temporary basis.

Sep 7, 2015

EU sets new quotas for states to take asylum-seekers: source

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU executive has drawn up a new set of national quotas under which Germany will take in more than 40,000 and France 30,000 of a total of 160,000 asylum-seekers it says should be relocated from Italy, Greece and Hungary, an EU source said on Monday.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is due to unveil new proposals on Wednesday. EU officials have said he will propose adding 120,000 people to be relocated on top of a group of 40,000 the Commission previously proposed relocating.

Sep 4, 2015

Juncker ready to push EU leaders to take migrant quotas

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker is preparing to defy national leaders over Europe’s migrant crisis with a new bid to force them to take in quotas of asylum-seekers – and four times as many of them than in a scheme they already rejected.

Senior EU officials, including Juncker’s deputy, confirmed various details on Friday of proposals the European Commission president plans to make next week in an annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament.

Sep 3, 2015

EU pushing to relocate many more migrants across bloc

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union officials are preparing to push EU governments to take in many more asylum-seekers from pressured frontier states, including Hungary, and seeking to overcome resistance to a quota system in eastern Europe.

As German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande gave backing on Thursday to the kind of scheme that EU leaders rejected in June, officials said the EU executive may propose expanding its plan by a factor of four to oblige states to take in 160,000 from Italy, Greece and Hungary.

Sep 3, 2015

It’s risky to come to Europe, Hungary’s PM tells migrants

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Refugees should not risk their children’s lives trying to reach Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday as he defended his tough approach to border control on the frontline of Europe’s migration crisis.

Orban, who also insisted Hungary did not want to accept Muslim refugees, was asked on a visit to Brussels about an image of a drowned Syrian child on a Turkish beach which has grabbed world attention this week and said that it was not a moral argument for opening Europe’s doors.

Sep 3, 2015

Don’t come to “fearful” Europe, Hungary’s PM tells migrants

BRUSSELS, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Refugees should not risk their
children’s lives trying to reach Europe, Hungarian Prime
Minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday as he defended his tough
approach to border control to senior EU officials in Brussels.

Saying “people in Europe are full of fear” due to leaders’
failure to agree on how to deal with the migration crisis, Orban
again rejected an EU proposal to share out quotas of refugees
among states and insisted Hungary would apply EU rules on
registering any asylum-seekers who made it past its new frontier
fence before it would let them continue journeys to Germany.

Sep 2, 2015

Schengen: Europe’s open borders in question

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The names Kos, Lampedusa, Hegyeshalom may go down in histories of Europe’s 2015 refugee crisis yet it is an obscure village in Luxembourg, far from the human drama, that is hogging headlines.

Schengen, on the vine-flanked Moselle where old enemies France and Germany meet, gave its name 30 years ago to the code which removed border controls between most European states. Now, feuding over who should shelter hundreds of thousands of people on the move seeking asylum has put “Schengen” under threat.

Sep 1, 2015

New EU migrant plans ready next week: Avramopoulos

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU executive will outline new plans next week to share out refugees across European states as well as to speed deportations of unwanted migrants, the 28-nation bloc’s migration commissioner said on Tuesday.

Dimitris Avramopoulos told Reuters that new EU systems for processing asylum claims in Italy, Greece and possibly Hungary could involve detaining those rejected until they return home, as European governments strain to balance obligations to provide refuge with hostility among the public to mass immigration.

Aug 31, 2015

Africa’s richest man, Nigeria’s Dangote, plans Zimbabwe cement plant

HARARE, Aug 31 (Reuters) – Africa’s richest man, Nigeria’s
Aliko Dangote, said on Monday he plans to open a $400 million
cement plant in Zimbabwe, a major boost for the southern African
country that is desperate for foreign investment.

The billionaire, whose business empire includes Dangote
Cement, also said that he aimed to invest in coal
mining and power generation in the country.

    • 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."
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