Tag Archives: EU institutions

Italy’s Draghi accuses Erdogan of ‘dictator’, drawing criticism from Turkey | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi speaks during a joint press conference with Italy’s Minister of Economy and Minister of Labor and Social Policy after a Cabinet meeting in Rome, Italy, 19 March 2021. Alberto Pizzoli / Pool via REUTERS

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Thursday accused Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan of humiliating European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen this week and said it was important to be candid with “dictators”, drawing criticism from Ankara.

Von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel met Erdogan in Ankara on Tuesday. The Commission chairman was evidently taken aback when the two men sat down on the two prepared chairs, lowering him onto the adjacent sofa.

“I totally disagree with Erdogan’s behavior towards President von der Leyen. … I don’t think it is proper behavior and I am deeply sorry for the humiliation that von der Leyen has experienced, “Draghi told reporters.

“With this, just call them what they are – dictators – with whom one still has to coordinate, one has to be candid when expressing different views and opinions,” he added.

The Italian ambassador to Ankara was summoned to the foreign ministry over Draghi’s comments, Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency reported, and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu condemned the remarks.

“We strongly condemn the unacceptable populist discourse of Italian Prime Minister Draghi and his ugly and uncontrollable comments about our elected president,” Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter.

Earlier on Thursday, Cavusoglu said that seats at the meeting were arranged in line with the bloc’s demands and international protocol and that Turkey was being subjected to “unfair accusations”.

Reporting by Angelo Amante, Gavin Jones and Daren Butler in Istanbul; Edited by Crispian Balmer and Will Dunham


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Women under 60 years are at higher risk of experiencing rare freezing after receiving injection AstraZeneca – a German official | Instant News

BERLIN / ZURICH (Reuters) – An example of an extremely rare clotting condition in women under 60 who received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was 20 times higher than would normally be expected, said Christian Bogdan, a member of Germany’s vaccines committee, on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine seen in Doctor Claudia Schramm’s public practice as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Maintal, Germany, 24 March 2021. REUTERS / Kai Pfaffenbach

His comments came as the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and British medical regulators acknowledged a possible link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots and low blood platelet counts. The EMA conducted an in-depth review of 86 cases, including 18 deaths.

Most of these occurred in women, but with a total of 169 cases reported to the EMA after 34 million doses were administered, such cases appear to be extremely rare. In comparison, four out of 10,000 women will experience blood clots from using oral contraceptives.

Bogdan did not specify how many cases of blood clots with low blood platelet counts to expect in the normal population, but said the higher prevalence in one population group over the designated time period represented “a very clear risk signal”.

“We looked at how many cases occurred in the community as background events, and compared them with cases observed between four and 16 days after vaccination,” he told an online briefing.

“When you take that into account, then you achieve an observed to expected ratio … 20 (times higher) in women aged between 20 and 59 years,” she said.

The German committee recommended last week that people under 60 who have received one injection of AstraZeneca should get a second dose of another vaccine.

Health experts also said at the briefing, organized by the Science Media Center, that more research is needed to find what can predispose people to clotting with low blood platelet counts, as well as the exact mechanisms that lead to them.

One explanation, cited by members of the German vaccine committee on Wednesday, suggests the AstraZeneca vaccine is associated with the production of an unusual antibody that activates blood platelets and causes rare clots; other researchers are investigating the link to birth control pills.

Andreas Greinacher, a scientist from Germany’s Greifswald University whose team has linked antibodies to the rare clot, said his work showed that neither contraception nor a clotting factor mutation, called Factor V Leiden, played any role.

“Many people fear having one of the underlying prothombotic conditions such as hormonal contraceptive use or having Factor V Leiden, but all of these factors do not modulate the risk of these antibodies,” Greinacher told Reuters. “It’s not a game changer at all.”


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Exclusive: Germany wants to buy the Covid Sputnik vaccine if approved by the EU, sources said | Instant News

PHOTO FILE: File labeled “Coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V (COVID-19)”, March 24, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Photo File

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany will begin bilateral negotiations with Russia for the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, a source told Reuters on Wednesday, adding that any final deal is up to Russia providing the European Medicines Agency (EMA) with key data. .

The European Commission told EU member states’ health ministers on Wednesday that Brussels does not plan to initiate talks with Russia on an initial contract for Sputnik V as it does with other vaccine providers, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on condition of anonymity. .

That is why German Health Minister Jens Spahn announced during a virtual meeting that Germany would initiate preliminary negotiations with Russia on a bilateral agreement to secure a vaccine, the source added.

In initial talks, Germany would first like to determine how much Russia could deliver and when, the source said.

After all, Germany will only buy Russian vaccines once approved by the EMA and for this it is imperative that Russia provide the necessary data, the source added.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Bavarian prime minister said German territories would buy 2.5 million doses of the Sputnik vaccine if approved by the EMA.

Markus Soeder, prime minister of the wealthy southern German state, said the purchase would be made in July.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Written by Michael Nienaber; Edited by Paul Carrel and Kirsti Knolle


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The G20 does not discuss extending its debt framework to middle-income countries – the Italian presidency | Instant News

ROME, April 7 (Reuters) – Group of 20 finance chiefs did not discuss expanding the general framework on how to manage debt repayments of poor countries to include middle-income countries, Italian Economy Minister Daniele Franco said on Wednesday.

Italy holds the presidency of the G20 this year.

Speaking to reporters after finance ministers and central bankers met by video conference, Franco also said that the US proposal for a global minimum corporate tax rate was consistent with the work in progress in the G20.

An agreement on this is expected to be reached in July, when the G20 will meet in Venice, Franco said. (Reporting by Gavin Jones and Jan Strupczewski, editing by Angelo Amante)


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The G7 nations are pressing for an independent investigation into alleged rights violations in Tigray, Ethiopia | Instant News

Asmara, 11, holds her one-year-old younger brother Barakat on the doorstep of the classroom they now live in at the Tsehaye primary school, which has been turned into a temporary shelter for refugees due to conflict, in the city of Shire. , Tigray Region, Ethiopia, March 15, 2021. REUTERS / Baz Ratner

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States, Germany, France and other G7 nations on Friday called for an independent and transparent investigation into alleged human rights violations during the conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.

Ethiopia’s federal army ousted the former ruling regional party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), from the capital Mekelle in November.

Thousands of people died, hundreds of thousands were forced to flee and there is a shortage of food, water and medicine in the region. The government says most fighting has stopped but there are still isolated shooting incidents.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said last week Eritrea had agreed to withdraw troops it had sent during fighting into Ethiopian territory along their common border amid growing reports of human rights abuses. Eritrea has denied its troops joined the conflict.

The G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States as well as EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell expressed their concerns in a joint statement.

“All parties must exercise complete restraint, ensure the protection of civilians and respect human rights and international law,” they said.

“It is imperative that there is an independent, transparent and impartial investigation into the crimes reported and that those responsible for human rights violations are held accountable,” the ministers said.

They said the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray had to be swift, unconditional and verifiable and that a political process acceptable to all Ethiopians had to be established that led to credible elections and a process of national reconciliation.

Ethiopia’s foreign ministry said in March it was ready to work with international human rights experts to carry out investigations into alleged abuses.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Edited by Peter Graff


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