Tag Archives: Europe

Germany’s senior conservatives will discuss the choice of a candidate for chancellor | Instant News

BERLIN, April 11 (Reuters) – The two contenders vying for chancellor in Germany’s ruling conservative coalition in September elections will meet leading members of parliament on Sunday as pressure grows for decisions on who should run.

Armin Laschet, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) leader, fell behind Markus Soeder, chairman of her Bavarian twin party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), in opinion polls but enjoys the support of some of the country’s powerful prime ministers.

Usually the leaders of the two parties, who make up the parliamentary bloc, decide who will run, but several lawmakers are demanding to vote this time.

The outcome of Sunday’s talks, which are also expected to cover other issues, is unclear. Although participants can decide who will run for themselves, they can also agree on a process or schedule for selecting candidates.

Laschet, 60, a centrist widely seen as a candidate for Merkel’s continuity but who has clashed with him over coronavirus restrictions, has made it clear he wants a candidacy.

Soeder, 54, an astute political operator who has sided with Merkel during the pandemic, has not officially said he wants the role, saying his place is in Bavaria. No CSU leader has ever been chancellor of Germany.

Many conservatives are nervous about competing in the September 26 election without Merkel, which has led them to four wins. He has ruled out running for a fifth term and has not said which of the two candidates he wants.

The conservative bloc has slumped to around 27% in polls, partly due to increasingly chaotic management of the pandemic. In the 2017 election, he won nearly 33%.

Laschet and Soeder said a decision would be reached by the end of May, but many conservatives wanted to end the uncertainty before that.

Volker Bouffier, Hessen state premier, called for a decision next week, while Ralph Brinkhaus, chairman of the parliamentary party, gave them two weeks.

“I attach great importance to this happening immediately. There is no deadlock until Pentecost, “Brinkhaus told the Funke media group.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has been nominated as chancellor by the Social Democrats, while the Greens plan to announce their candidate on April 19.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Edited by Mike Harrison


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The Swiss watchdog asked Credit Suisse about the risk of Greensill -SonntagsZeitung | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: Swiss bank Credit Suisse logo seen at its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland March 24, 2021. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann // Photo File / Photo File

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss chief financial regulator FINMA questioned Credit Suisse over the risks involved with now-bankrupt financial firm Greensill Capital “months” before the bank was forced to close $ 10 billion in funds such as for Greensill, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported Sunday.

Alongside formal discussions at a technical level between the bank and FINMA, chief supervisor Mark Branson privately discussed the risks with Credit Suisse Chairman Urs Rohner and Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein who walked out during a meeting on an undetermined date, the newspaper reported, citing information in his possession. . obtained.

FINMA declined to comment. Credit Suisse also declined to comment.

Switzerland’s second largest bank has staggered from its exposure to the collapse first of Greensill Capital and then Archegos Capital Management within a month.

Credit Suisse’s asset management unit was forced last month to close $ 10 billion in supply chain financial funds invested in bonds issued by Greensill after the British company lost credit insurance coverage shortly before filing for bankruptcy. The bank has suspended the fund manager and replaced the head of its asset management unit.

The massive loss to US investment fund Archegos this month also prompted Credit Suisse to replace its head of investment and compliance and risk banking after saying it would book first-quarter expenses of $ 4.7 billion from its exposure to affected companies.

Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Edited by Rachel Armstrong and Susan Fenton


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Australian portrait photographer June Newton has died aged 97 | Instant News

Australian photographer and actress June Newton – also known by the pseudonym Alice Springs – has died aged 97

BERLIN – Australian photographer and actress June Newton – also known by the pseudonym Alice Springs – has died at the age of 97, the Helmut Newton Foundation said in Berlin on Saturday.

Newton, who was also the wife of the late photographer Helmut Newton, died Friday at his home in Monte Carlo. The cause of death was not stated.

“We mourn the loss of this extraordinary person and internationally recognized photographer,” wrote the foundation on its website.

Newton, who was born June Browne in Melbourne, Australia in 1923, trained as an actor and frequently performs under his stage name June Brunell, the foundation said.

In 1947, he met Helmut Newton, a German-Jewish photographer who had fled the Nazis and had recently set up a photo studio in Melbourne. They married a year later and were together until 83-year-old Helmut Newton died in a car accident in Los Angeles in 2004.

In 1970, after moving to Paris with her husband, Newton began her own career as a photographer under the pseudonym Alice Springs and soon became a famous artist focusing on portraits.

“Alice Springs does more than just document the appearance of anonymous celebrities and contemporaries; he captures their charisma, their aura, “the foundation said, describing its work. “His eyes for people are mostly concentrated on people’s faces.”

The couple has had several shows around the world. In 1978, he had his first solo portrait exhibition in Amsterdam, followed by other international shows.

“The list of artists, actors and musicians portrayed by Alice Springs over the past 40 years reads like anyone from the international cultural scene on both sides of the Atlantic,” the foundation said. “Many portraits are magazine assignments from Paris to Los Angeles; others come from personal initiative. “

In 1981, the couple moved to Monte Carlo. After her husband died, Newton opened The Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin, which her husband founded several months before his death. Until his death, he was president of the museum, which has been an important location for contemporary photographic performances.


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Explanation: What’s behind the latest unrest in Northern Ireland? | Instant News

Young people have thrown bricks, fireworks and petrol bombs at police and burned hijacked cars and buses during a week of violence in the streets. Police responded with rubber bullets and water cannons.

The streets were calmer on Friday night, as community leaders asked for calm after the death of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, 99 years old. But a small group of youths pelted police with objects and set fire to cars during the sporadic outbreak in Belfast.

The chaotic scenes have evoked the memory of decades of the Catholic-Protestant conflict, known as The Troubles. The 1998 peace deal ended large-scale violence but did not resolve deep-rooted tensions in Northern Ireland.

A glimpse of the backdrop of the new violence:


Geographically, is a part of Ireland. Politically, it’s part of Great Britain.

Ireland, long dominated by its larger neighbors, broke free some 100 years ago after centuries of colonization and uneasy unity. Twenty-six of its 32 counties are independent states with a Roman Catholic majority. The six counties in the north, which have a Protestant majority, remain British.

Northern Ireland’s Catholic minority experiences discrimination in employment, housing, and other areas of the Protestant-run state. In the 1960s, the Catholic civil rights movement demanded change, but faced a strong response from the government and police. Some people, both Catholic and Protestant, formed armed groups that escalated the violence by bombing and shooting.

The British Army was deployed in 1969, initially to keep the peace. The situation deteriorated into conflict between the militant republican Ireland who wanted to unite with the south, loyalist paramilitaries trying to keep Northern Ireland into Britain, and British troops.

During the three decades of conflict more than 3,600 people, most of them civilians, died in bombings and shootings. Most of these were in Northern Ireland, although the Irish Republican Army also detonated bombs in London and other British cities.


In the 1990s, after secret talks and with the help of diplomatic efforts by Ireland, Britain and the United States, the fighters reached a peace agreement. The 1998 Good Friday deal saw paramilitaries lay down their weapons and establish a Catholic-Protestant power-sharing government for Northern Ireland. The question of Northern Ireland’s final status was postponed: it would remain with Britain as long as it was the wish of the majority, but a future referendum on reunification was not ruled out.

While the peace has largely persisted, small groups of the Irish Republican Army have carried out occasional attacks on security forces, and there has been sectarian street violence.

Politically, power-sharing arrangements have had times of success and failure. The Belfast administration collapsed in January 2017 due to a failed green energy project. It remained suspended for more than two years amid a rift between British trade unions and Irish nationalist parties over cultural and political issues, including the status of the Irish language. The Northern Irish government returns to work in early 2020, but there is still deep mistrust on both sides.


Northern Ireland has been called the problem child of Brexit, Britain’s divorce from the European Union. As the only part of the UK that has borders with the European Union country, Ireland, it is the toughest issue to resolve after Britain voted narrowly in 2016 to leave the 27-nation bloc.

Ireland’s open borders, where people and goods flow freely, underpin the peace process, allowing people in Northern Ireland to feel at home in Ireland and Great Britain.

The UK Conservative government’s insistence on a tough Brexit that takes the country out of the EU economic order means the creation of new barriers and trade checks. Both the UK and the EU agree that the border should not be in Ireland because of the risks this will pose to the peace process. The alternative is to place it, metaphorically, in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of Great Britain.

The arrangement has worried British union members, who say it weakens Northern Ireland’s place in Britain and could increase calls for Irish reunification.


The violence was mostly in Protestant areas in and around Belfast and Northern Ireland’s second city, London, although the disturbance had spread to Catholic circles.

Britain left the EU’s economic arms on December 31, and new trade arrangements quickly irked Northern Irish union members who wanted to stay in the UK. Initial trade disruptions, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, left several supermarket shelves empty, sparking alarms. Border staff temporarily withdrew from a Northern Irish port in February after threatening graffiti appeared to target port workers.

There is anger that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, long insisting there will be no new checks on trade as a result of Brexit, has underestimated the scale of change wrought by leaving the EU. Some British loyalist communities in Northern Ireland feel their identity is under threat.

Many loyalists believe that, de facto, Northern Ireland is no longer part of Britain as it used to be, Ulster University politics professor Henry Patterson told Sky News.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standards staff; other content was generated automatically from syndicated feeds.)


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The Italian economy is seen growing 4.1% this year, said the business lobby | Instant News

ROME (Reuters) – The virus-hit Italian economy is forecast to grow 4.1% this year and 4.2% in 2022 in an “uncertain ascent from a deep abyss”, the country’s business lobby Confindustria said on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: People walk past closed bars and restaurants as Rome became a ‘red zone’, locked in as the country struggles to reduce coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections, in Rome, Italy, March 15, 2021. REUTERS / Yara Nardi

Italy’s economy shrank to a post-war record of 8.9% last year, and Confindustria said even forecasts for “historically high” growth would not offset last year’s losses.

“By the end of 2022, the economy can hardly bridge the gap opened in 2020 by the pandemic,” said Confindustria while announcing its latest economic forecasts.

The national business association warned, however, that its forecasts are based on expectations for advancement of vaccinations in Italy and across Europe, and are dependent on the coronavirus being “contained in an efficient manner”.

“Given (this) large uncertainty, the risks associated with GDP (gross domestic product) forecasts are high, both on the upside and the downside,” the report added.

The group said it had cut its initial growth forecast for Italy, published in October, by 0.7 percentage points for this year due to weaker-than-expected growth in the last quarter of 2020 and the first three months of 2021.

It said it saw Italy’s deficit at 7.8% of GDP this year and at 4.8% in 2022. The increase in government spending to support the economy pushed the country’s deficit to 9.5% of GDP at the end of last year.

Italy has recorded more than 113,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the outbreak first emerged in February last year, the world’s seventh highest.

Mario Draghi’s government expects GDP to increase by 4.1% this year and 4.3% in 2022, three sources close to the matter told Reuters in March.

The official Rome estimate, made by the previous government in January, predicts a deficit-to-GDP ratio of 8.8% this year, based on an economic growth forecast of 6%.

New deficit and debt targets, along with multi-year GDP growth forecasts, to be published in the Treasury’s Economic and Financial Document, are expected to be approved next week.

The European Commission, International Monetary Fund and Bank of Italy are currently seeing Italy’s growth below 4% this year and next.

Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Edited by Helen Popper


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