Specialist Desk Editor, World Desk, London
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May 8, 2015

So, Mr Cameron, how can we help? EU seeks to avert Brexit

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union reacted to David Cameron’s re-election on Friday by offering early talks on reform of the bloc and saying it was open to changes that would produce a “fair deal” for Britain.

But while few in Brussels or other European capitals would relish a British exit after a referendum he has promised by 2017, the EU executive was quick to warn the prime minister not to push his luck and seek to revise treaties on free migration.

May 7, 2015

Greece defies euro zone on pension, labor reform

ATHENS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece defied its international creditors on Thursday by sticking to “red lines” on pension and labor market reforms and urging lenders to give ground, dimming prospects of progress next week toward securing desperately needed financial aid.

Despite efforts by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to coax leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras into moving on two key conditions for releasing EU/IMF bailout funds, the Greek government spokesman said lenders could not expect Athens to make all the concessions for a deal.

May 6, 2015

“Team Juncker” ham for cameras to push EU digital market

BRUSSELS, May 6 (Reuters) – Can a bunch of greying
politicians in Brussels really get with it and give Europe a
revolutionary open market in digital technology?

Jean-Claude Juncker and other EU executives poked fun at
their own generation in an online video posted on Twitter on
Wednesday to try and convince younger Europeans that they can.

Apr 30, 2015

U.S. firms lead EU lobbying league

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. companies, including tech rivals Microsoft (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Google (GOOGL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), were among leading spenders on corporate lobbying in Brussels last year, a Reuters review of new data showed (table below).

Companies had until Thursday to update public entries in the European Union’s newly revamped Transparency Register following a tightening of rules in January that obliges firms to register if they want to meet EU commissioners and senior staff.

Apr 30, 2015

Belgian Mertens dies after collapsing on pitch

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgium under-21 international Gregory Mertens died on Thursday, three days after collapsing with heart failure during a match, a spokesman for his club, Lokeren, said.

The 24-year-old defender had been in a coma since going into cardiac arrest early in a reserve team game on Monday.

Apr 30, 2015

Soccer-Belgian Mertens dies after collapsing on pitch

BRUSSELS, April 30 (Reuters) – Belgium under-21 international Gregory Mertens died on Thursday, three days after collapsing with heart failure during a match, a spokesman for his club, Lokeren, said.

The 24-year-old defender had been in a coma since going into cardiac arrest early in a reserve team game on Monday.

Apr 24, 2015

EU rescue ships head for Libya, as migrants die also in Balkans

BRUSSELS/SKOPJE, April 24 (Reuters) – British and German
warships made ready to sail for waters off Libya as Europe
ramped up rescue operations in the Mediterranean after up to 900
desperate migrants drowned last weekend on a boat heading for
Italy.

Yet hours after European Union leaders agreed in Brussels on
Thursday to treble funding for EU maritime missions and pledged
more ships and aircraft, 14 clandestine migrants were killed
when a train ploughed into dozens of Somalis and Afghans making
their way in darkness along a rail track in a Macedonian gorge.

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.

    • 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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