Tag Archives: European Union

Northern Ireland launches the first COVID-19 tracking application in the UK | Instant News


DUBLIN (Reuters) – Northern Ireland on Friday launched the first COVID-19 tracking application in the UK, and the first that can also track users in another country, Ireland, who has been in contact with someone who has the disease.

The COVID Tracker Ireland application, which is used to track the contact of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), is displayed on mobile phones, because it is accommodated for illustrated photos in Galway, Ireland, 30 July 2020. REUTERS / Clodagh Kilcoyne / Illustration

NearForm developers, who hope the application will become a blueprint eventually synchronize across Europe, launch a similar application in Ireland on July 8, and cases can now be traced across the island’s open border with two separate health services.

NearForm’s technical director Colm Harte said the technical approach he used in developing StopCovid NI would work with applications throughout the UK and that could be applied throughout Europe if countries agreed on how to share and store data.

The Scottish devolution government announced on Friday that tracking applications are under development using the same software as Ireland and are also being built by NearForm.

It will be available in the fall.

“This can definitely be done, technically it can be done because more and more countries are turning to Apple and the Google API (application programming interface),” Harte told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“I think that will happen. I do not know when but countries throughout Europe are aware that there are more people starting to travel now, this is a problem that must be resolved. ”

USER DOOR IS PUBLISHED

The UK moved to the same Apple and Google model last month when it disposed of locally made models originally scheduled for May.

NearForm, based in the coastal city of Tramore in southern Ireland, is building a Pennsylvania contact tracking application and is in discussions with other states and governments after the successful Irish launch, Harte said.

Nearly 1.5 million people, or 37% of the population of the Republic of Ireland over the age of 15, have downloaded the Irish application since July 8 and 137 users have been warned through the application that they have made close contact with confirmed cases.

Ireland has one of the lowest infection rates in Europe in recent weeks with an average of around 20 per day to surge on Thursday. Northern Ireland has the same low level with no related deaths reported since July 12.

NearForm’s Harte said that if one application can destroy multiple transmission chains, it will be successful.

“You can enter into a conversation about how much needs to be disconnected before it is considered truly successful, but the aim is to break the transmission chain. Once it does that, it has an impact, “he said.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Gareth Jones and Andrew Cawthorne

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Brexit talks will continue until October, Britain said – world news | Instant News


Britain and the European Union have agreed to continue discussing free trade agreements until October 2, UK chief negotiator David Frost said on Friday.

“The round of negotiations will take place in August and September, unless agreed otherwise between the parties,” according to a document posted by Frost on Twitter.

Round 7 on August 17-21 in Brussels, round 8 on September 7-11 in London and round 9 on September 28-October 2.

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The ruling 5 star in Italy asked the government to bid for Borsa Italiana | Instant News


ROME (Reuters) – MPs from the Italian 5-star ruling party said they would ask the Roman government to submit an offer to exchange Milan shares after the London Stock Exchange (LSE) (LSE.L) said on Friday it may sell in part or in whole.

LSE said it had begun “exploratory discussions” that could result in the sale of Borsa Italian or MTS, an Italian bond trading platform, to help get the planned $ 27 billion data and analytic takeover approved by the Refinitiv analytic group in Europe.

“We have submitted a resolution … to make the government take every initiative needed to set a competitive bid to bring Borsa Italiana back under domestic control and prevent any group divisions,” 5-star lawmaker Davide Zanichelli said in a statement.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Valentina Za; editing by Giselda Vagnoni

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Italy’s GDP dropped 12.4% unprecedented in the second quarter, but better than analysts had feared | Instant News


ROME, (Reuters) – Italy’s economy shrank 12.4% in the second quarter from the previous three months, preliminary data showed on Friday, due to dipping activity during the coronavirus pandemic, but the decline was less severe than many analysts had predicted.

FILE PHOTOS: People wearing protective masks are seen at a supermarket in Posillipo, near Naples, Italy, March 10, 2020. REUTERS / Ciro De Luca

The quarterly slump in gross domestic product (GDP) in the eurozone’s third-largest economy was “unprecedented”, the ISTAT national statistics bureau said.

On a year-on-year basis, second quarter GDP dropped 17.3%, ISTAT said.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters forecast a 15.0% quarter-on-quarter contraction and an 18.7% year-on-year decline.

All segments of the economy suffer, said ISTAT, without giving details.

ISTAT also revised its reading down for the first three months of 2020 to provide a quarterly decline of 5.4% and a 5.5% decline compared to the same period last year. These were previously given respectively 5.3% and 5.4%.

Italy has been one of the hardest hit countries in Europe by Covid-19, recording more than 35,000 deaths since its transmission was revealed at the end of February. Seeking to stop the spread, the government introduced rigid restrictions on trade and travel on March 9, forcing most businesses to close.

The locking has gradually subsided since May 4 and most of the economy is still sick.

Italy’s official estimate is for a full-year GDP contraction of 8% this year, although Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said this might need to be revised lower. The Italian bank expects 9.5% negative growth and the European Commission expects the economy to contract 11.2% – the sharpest decline in the 27-nation bloc.

Spain reported earlier on Friday that its GDP contracted 18.5% in the second quarter from the previous three-month period, while in France GDP fell 13.8% and in Germany it fell 10.1%.

The Italian government has announced measures worth 75 billion euros ($ 89.18 billion) to help companies and families overcome the crisis and said it would present an additional 25 billion euro stimulus package in early August.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer

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Italy’s GDP dropped 12.4% unprecedented in Q2, but better than analysts had feared | Instant News


ROME, July 31 (Reuters) – Italy’s economy shrank 12.4% in the second quarter from the previous three months, preliminary data showed on Friday, due to dipping activity during the coronavirus pandemic, but the decline was less severe than many analysts had predicted.

The quarterly slump in gross domestic product (GDP) in the eurozone’s third-largest economy was “unprecedented”, the ISTAT national statistics bureau said.

On a year-on-year basis, second quarter GDP dropped 17.3%, ISTAT said.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters forecast a 15.0% quarter-on-quarter contraction and an 18.7% year-on-year decline.

All segments of the economy suffer, said ISTAT, without giving details.

ISTAT also revised its reading down for the first three months of 2020 to provide a quarterly decline of 5.4% and a 5.5% decline compared to the same period last year. These were previously given respectively 5.3% and 5.4%.

Italy has been one of the hardest hit countries in Europe by Covid-19, recording more than 35,000 deaths since its transmission was revealed at the end of February. Seeking to stop the spread, the government introduced rigid restrictions on trade and travel on March 9, forcing most businesses to close.

The locking has gradually subsided since May 4 and most of the economy is still sick.

Italy’s official estimate is for a full-year GDP contraction of 8% this year, although Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said this might need to be revised lower. The Italian bank expects 9.5% negative growth and the European Commission expects the economy to contract 11.2% – the sharpest decline in the 27-nation bloc.

Spain reported earlier on Friday that its GDP contracted 18.5% in the second quarter from the previous three-month period, while in France GDP fell 13.8% and in Germany it fell 10.1%.

The Italian government has announced measures worth 75 billion euros ($ 89.18 billion) to help companies and families overcome the crisis and said it would present an additional 25 billion euro stimulus package in early August.

ISTAT provides the following details:

Q2 2020 Q1 2020 Q4 2019 T / Q (percent change) -12.4 -5.4r -0.2 Y / Y (percent change) -17.3 -5.5r 0.1

r = revised

Keywords: ITALY ECONOMY / GDP

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Hungary gets Germany’s first Leopard-2 tank | Instant News


COLOGNE, Germany – Hungarian troops have taken delivery of four Leopard-2 tanks used to start weapons training when the Kraus-Maffei Wegmann manufacturer works on state orders from 44 new tanks.

The Hungarian government ordered the equipment at the end of 2018 as part of an effort to replace its Soviet era weapons. The Leopard 2 tank in its latest configuration, dubbed 2A7 +, is scheduled to replace the Russian-made T-72.

A total of 12 leopards older than the 2A4 variant are part of an agreement to ensure the Hungarian army can train before the new dispatch, scheduled for 2023.

“Hungary is modernizing its ground forces with Germany as a strategic partner,” German Defense Minister Thomas Silberhorn was quoted as saying in a defense ministry statement. This acquisition will ensure interoperability between Hungarian and German forces and strengthen the defense capabilities of the European Union and NATO, he added.

Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer recently visited Hungary, led by right-wing Prime Minister Victor Orban, and praised defense cooperation between the two countries. His ministry later called the government’s increasing authoritarian just by saying that the challenges in dealing with the country were “somewhat sociopolitical” in essence.

The recent weapons contract with Hungary, which also includes howitzers and other heavy equipment, was reported to be worth around $ 2 billion, making the country the largest German weapons customer at the time.

The government’s anti-democratic movement – the threat to free press and independent justice, for example – has put Budapest on a collision course with the European Union, even though the pact has not meaningfully held its members to account.

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Can Germany now unite the European team? | Timothy Garton Ash | Opinion | Instant News


One day, I had a dream. I dreamed that I was sitting on the beach in the summer of 2030 and looked back on how German has saved Europe.

The German Chancellor has brokered a European recovery package after the Covid-19 crisis in 2020, with grants and large loans to help the crisis-hit southern European economy, by utilizing joint European loans. It has maintained constructive relations between the European Union and post-Brexit Britain, helped Polish and Hungarian citizens to defend liberal democracy, confused Vladimir Putin seriously committed to a common European energy policy, used the power of EU arrangements to curb Facebook, formed a joint strategy towards China and make a major world example of Europe’s new green agreement.

All this is done by Germany working as “first among equals” with other European countries, while partnering with the US and other democracies around the world. In realizing this ambitious agenda, he maintains a civilized and consensual political style and the support of his own people. What an achievement for Germany and Germany Europe in the early 2030s. What a contrast to the early 1930s.

My daydream was triggered by € 1.8tn (£ 1.6tn), a seven-year European Union budget and recovery agreement mediated by German chancellor Angela Merkel, along with President Emmanuel Macron and European Union institutional leaders, at a marathon summit earlier this month. The door to this breakthrough was opened by a major change in the position of Germany, accepting the need for fiscal solidarity. A year ago I was desperate for so many big changes that came from the big coalition government in Berlin that I was debate that the only way to get important reforms in Europe is to run that government. History proves me wrong in the way history has the habit of proving everyone wrong – through totally unexpected developments.

With what Hegel called the artifice of reason in history, the long overdue German shift was triggered by a previously unknown Asian virus and the decision of German constitutional court. The first even made it clear to the skeptical German public that South European countries were suffering from the disaster that no one could say was their own fault, and therefore deserved economic solidarity. Finally, firing warning shots over the bow of the European Central Bank, making it clear that everything cannot be left to the bank’s monetary policy. Fiscal response throughout Europe is also needed. Exactly as I dare hope in comments earlier this year, Merkel had taken the opportunity with both hands. Take your hat off for him.

But there are also long-term developments that support my hopeful dreams. Berlin now has a critical mass of politicians, officials, journalists, thinkers and foundations who think hard about what a European strategy should be – and not just for the current German president in the EU. If the black-green coalition government (CDU / CSU-Green) emerges from the general election next fall, it will only strengthen Europe’s commitment. In a recent survey in the European Union about surveys of foreign policy professionals, 97% of them asked the word Germany is the most influential country in the EU and 82% identifies it as the “most contacted” country. In Europe, Germany is an indispensable country.

However, awakened from my reverie by the cold rain, something always provided by the British summer, I saw two great difficulties on the road ahead. Since Germany’s first unification, a century and a half ago, the country has grappled with the problem that Kurt-Georg Kiesinger, a federal chancellor in the 1960s, called “critical measure”. His almost close, former US foreign minister Henry Kissinger, put it neater: “Too big for Europe, too small for the world”. The Kissinger formulation is very brilliant but not exact. Germany is too big to be another European country, but not big enough to be a hegemon even in Europe, let alone in the world.

So however wise the German strategy is, it cannot be realized without a set of international partners. The giant challenges of climate change and the rise of China’s authoritarian superpower – leading to the early 21st century world like what Wilhelmine experienced in Germany until the early 20th century Europe – cannot be overcome unless you have the United States under President Joe Biden who returns to internationalism constructive. , and the strategic involvement of forces such as Australia, Japan and India. The European problem itself cannot be solved without active involvement not only from France and Spain but also from Italy (understandably busy with its own internal problems), Poland (currently peddling anti-German ancient lines), the Netherlands and others. For foreign and security policy, Europe also needs British influence – which is a big strategic reason for Merkel to try to broker a Brexit agreement that I believe can still be done this fall.

Another unknown is German public opinion. On that face, there seems to be a solid pro-European international consensus in German society. But below that, there are some worrying trends. The outside world has always been wary of the possibility of a revival of a greater German tendency, but what is more prevalent is still a greater Swiss tendency: leave us alone to be rich and free. German stereotypes about southern Europeans in the Eurozone begging for virtuous and hardworking Europeans did not just disappear. The way election support is soaring for the German Nationalist Alliance (AfD) xenophobia after the refugee crisis is an alarming sign. So well documented report right wing sympathy in military and security services. And contemporary German society has not gone through exams in difficult times at home.

Becomes criticized by Donald Trump as “mischievous” must be annoying, but the emotional extremism of Germany’s alienation from the United States goes far beyond highly rational anti-Trumpism. Real ideological and geopolitical myopia is deeply revealed findings Körber’s recent poll of which only 37% of Germans think having close relations with the US is more important for Germany than having close ties with China, while 36% surprisingly says it is more important to continue with China and 13% other aid equality.

Germany cannot simply juggle the necessary international partners, but this is something that is in its own hands. As the former leading German ambassador to China, Volker Stanzel, had debateForeign policy can no longer be left to the elite. It needs to be anchored in a much broader process of education and democratic debate. That is all the more true because, because of the “critical size” of the country and the shadows of its past, the international role that needs to be understood and supported by the German public is historically unusual, difficult, and carefully balanced. For Germany it can never be a prancing hegemon, only a solid and skilled football midfielder that brings the whole team together – and doesn’t even get a round of applause to score. But sometimes the midfielder is a true hero of the team.

Timothy Garton Ash is a Guardian columnist

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China warns Britain: You have no future if you try to put China aside | Instant News


LONDON (Reuters) – The Chinese ambassador to London frankly warned Britain on Thursday that they have no future if they try to separate themselves from the communist state.

“It’s hard to imagine a ‘Global Britain’ that bypasses or excludes China, separating from China means separating from opportunities, separating from growth and separating from the future,” Chinese ambassador to London Liu Xiaoming told reporters.

He said Britain would “pay the price” if it wanted to treat China as a hostile country.

Reported by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton

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Matteo Salvini: Will the Italian right-wing leader lose his parliamentary immunity? | Instant News


The Italian senator today chose whether right-wing League leader Matteo Salvini should be stripped of his parliamentary immunity so he could be tried for allegedly illegally holding migrants at sea.

The former deputy prime minister made headlines last year when he refused to let dozens of migrants get off the rescue ship stranded in the Mediterranean.

Salvini is known for his hardline stance on immigration matters, but losing his immunity could be a major setback in his political career.

This will open the way for new courts that could put him at risk of 15 years in prison. Salvini will already be tried in a separate but similar case.

Prosecutors in the Sicilian city of Palermo accused Salvini of abusing his power as interior minister in August 2019 to prevent the Spanish Open Arms NGO from anchoring in Lampedusa. The rescue ship was stranded at sea for nearly three weeks with more than 150 migrants in it.

“Defending Italy is not a crime,” Salvini said on Wednesday. “I am proud of it, I will do it again, and I will do it again.”

He insisted on the decision to stop migrants from getting off the ship until an agreement was reached with European Union countries to take them to a collective agreement within the government.

It was the same defense that Salvini used in another trial, where he was accused of blocking migrants from getting off the Italian coast guard ship “Gregoretti” last July.

In February, the Senate chose to release Salvini from parliamentary immunity in the case. The preliminary hearing has been postponed three times due to the coronavirus pandemic and is now scheduled to take place in Sicily on October 3.

The opposition opposition party, Liga, remains the most popular party in Italy, but the party has slipped in the polls. A Demopolis survey this week found that it had dropped more than 11 points a year, from holding 37 percent of voting intentions to 25.4 percent.

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EU air leaders, airlines urge Canada to restore safe travel | Instant News



MONTREAL (Reuters) – Executives of European airlines and airports urged the Canadian government this week to allow a “safe travel restoration” between Canada and Europe, adding industry pressure on Ottawa to that it remove the coronavirus restrictions that have discouraged international air travel. FILE PHOTO: A passenger wears a mask which is now mandatory as a ‘Healthy Airport’ initiative is launched to travel, taking into account social distancing protocols to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to the Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 23, 2020. REUTERS / Carlos Osorio In a letter dated July 27, senior executives from nearly a dozen European airlines and airports warned that “since de many countries in the EU (European Union) and Switzerland require reciprocity to restore access, Canada’s entry restrictions and quarantine requirements become problematic. The contents of the letter, sent to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other government ministers, have been reviewed by Reuters. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) air trade group has also called on Ottawa to replace quarantine restrictions with multi-pronged measures, including testing, to reduce the transmission of travel. “We urge the Canadian government to remove general travel restrictions for travelers from countries whose successful control of COVID-19 has significantly reduced risks to Canada,” the IATA CEO said Wednesday , Alexandre de Juniac. The EU has taken steps in recent weeks to ease travel conditions both internally and for citizens of some other countries, including Canada, although Britain has reintroduced a quarantine this week. 14 days for arrivals from Spain. Canada’s borders are closed to all non-citizens except essential workers. Canadians entering the country from abroad must self-isolate for two weeks. Trudeau has rejected repeated calls by Air Canada to ease air travel restrictions in some countries. Experts say Canada is reluctant to ease restrictions on European travelers while maintaining strict rules against citizens of the United States, the country’s largest trading partner, where cases of the coronavirus are on the rise. The July 27 letter was signed by executives from Air France-KLM and the German group Lufthansa, among others. The Trudeau office and Air France-KLM were not immediately available for comment. “Canada should seek to remove restrictions on travel to European Union and Swiss nationals and allow safe, prudent and sensible restoration of travel between two major trading partners,” the leaders said in the letter. . The leaders stressed that the EU and Switzerland are “safe jurisdictions”, with many countries having lower infection rates than Canada. “Canada has made tremendous progress during the pandemic, but it cannot remain isolated forever. Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal; Additional reporting by Laurence Frost in Paris and Steve Scherer in Ottawa; Edited by Paul Simao and Bernadette Baum Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. .



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