Tag Archives: Baltic States

Merkel Germany warned of the failure of the summit about EU recovery funds | Instant News

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders may not reach agreement on a coronavirus stimulus plan on Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said when marathon negotiations went into the third day and severity increased at the request of rich but thrifty countries.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a statement when she arrived for the first face-to-face EU summit since the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), in Brussels, Belgium July 19, 2020. Francisco Seco / Pool via REUTERS

Germany and France, the European Union’s power makers, are looking for an agreement on a 1.8 trillion euro ($ 2.06 trillion) economic recovery package to save bloc economies facing their worst recession since the Second World War.

After two tiring days of negotiations, a group of rich nations in the richer north led by the Netherlands no longer seemed to back down from demands for package cuts, underscoring the depth of the EU’s north-south separation.

“There are many good intentions, but also many positions. I will try my best but there will be no results, “Merkel said in Brussels when he arrived for the third day of talks.

On Saturday night, he and French President Emmanuel Macron left informal talks late that day early, refusing to accept that the level of free grants for the ailing economy in the package fell below 400 billion euros.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had previously accused the Netherlands and its allies Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Finland as “extortion”. Stockholm proposes to cut grants to 155 billion euros.


In their first face-to-face meeting since the spring break of the corona virus in Europe, leaders wearing face masks have framed the summit as a ‘make or break’ moment for nearly 70 years of European integration.

Failure to unite amid an unprecedented economic and health crisis will raise serious questions about the continuation of the bloc, officials and experts said.

Macron said there was a desire to compromise, but that should not deter “from the legitimate ambitions we need to have,” referring to the level of money available in the planned 750 billion euro recovery fund, which will be funded by money collected on the capital market.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who faces parliamentary elections in March 2021, was honest about the split with France and Germany on Saturday night.

“They were walking upset,” Rutte said of Merkel and Macron. “The big difference still exists,” he said.

While the Netherlands and its allies survived, other obstacles remained, not least because Britain’s departure from the EU meant that others had to add more money to cover the gap in the bloc’s shared cash.

Hungary, supported by Poland’s euro allies, has threatened to veto the package over a proposed new mechanism, supported by the Netherlands and most other EU countries, to freeze countries that violate democratic principles.

“There is a very different position,” Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis told reporters. “The Netherlands insists that the rule of law must be one of the conditions for providing funds.”

Additional reporting by Tom Sims in Frankfurt, Bart Meijer in Amsterdam, Jan Lopatka in Prague, Marine Strauss in Brussels, writing by Robin Emmott, edited by Alexandra Hudson


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Greece to test visitors from airports on the EU’s high-risk list | Instant News

ATHENS, May 30 (Reuters) – Greece said on Saturday that it would conduct a coronavirus test on visitors coming from airports deemed at high risk by European Union aviation safety agents EASA when opening the airport to tourism traffic on June 15.

EASA regularly updates the list of airports located in affected areas with a high risk of transmission of COVID-19 infection, which includes 13 in the United Kingdom, all in 22 U.S. states and airports in the Ile de France region around Paris: here

“If you are from an airport on the list of areas affected by EASA, then you will be tested on arrival,” the foreign ministry said in an announcement, adding that restrictions on movement would also apply.

“If the test results are negative, the passengers will quarantine for 7 days. If the test is positive, passengers are quarantined under supervision for 14 days. ”

Visitors coming from other regions will be randomly tested on arrival. Greece released the first list of 29 countries considered safe on Friday and said it would be reviewed before July 1, depending on the developing situation.

The Mediterranean country, which emerged from a decade-long debt crisis in late 2018, is heavily dependent on tourism – around 20% of its output – for its economic recovery.

The nationwide lockdown imposed in March helped Greece keep the spread of infection under just 3,000 cases, a relatively low number compared to elsewhere in the European Union. But that makes the tourism sector stall.

The Greek economy is seen contracting by up to 10% this year. (Reporting by Renee Maltezou; editing by Nick Macfie)


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Lithuanian capital holds ‘Mask Fashion Week’ amid a coronavirus pandemic | Instant News

VILNIUS, 5 May (Reuters) – The Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, is holding a special fashion week that matches the coronavirus this time – no catwalks, only billboards, and no fancy costumes on display, only face masks.

Twenty-one billboards are scattered around the UNESCO World Heritage city displaying photographs of men, women and children wearing masks as part of what is called the “Mask Fashion Week”.

All Lithuanians are required to wear masks outside as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus.

The design was chosen by a member of the local Facebook group ‘Mask Your Fashion’, launched by designer Julija Janus to share novel designs for masks and tips on how to make it at home.

“Masks are a good way to showcase your creativity, to express yourself. And it’s a good activity to do when you sit at home with children, “said the 50-year-old designer.

The billboard featured a mask sewn specially from scratch and a surgical mask with a design painted on it, he said.

Those depicted in the photos include local artists, musicians, people randomly selected from the street and even the mayor of Vilnius, Remigijus Simasius.

One model is Sandra Bruzaite, 23, who goes out in full costume dressed as a medieval plague doctor, which includes a beak of skin that is believed to protect from disease.

“When the current outbreak began, I wondered if anyone would try to take a walk with a medieval mask. Then a photographer offered me one, and that person turned out to be me, “Bruzaite told Reuters.

“Some people like it, some don’t. Some people approach me to give a compliment or selfie,” he added.

Lithuania closed most of the shops, restaurants and businesses facing customers on March 16 in lockouts put in place to help curb the spread of the virus. That began to ease some of the restrictions late last month when the number of infections dropped.

The Baltic State with 2.9 million people so far reported 1,423 cases of the corona virus, including 46 deaths. (Reporting by Andrius Sytas Editing by Gareth Jones)


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