• Italy defied the EC by sticking to a big-spending budget plan

      Italy defied the EC by sticking to a big-spending budget plan

      Italy's 5-Star Movement-League government of PM Giuseppe Conte has chosen not to back down in a tussle with the European Commission over its budget plan for 2019, ANSA reported. The Commission has given 3 weeks until Tuesday to Rome to significantly change the package, which sees Italy running a deficit of 2.4% of GDP next year, saying otherwise it may open an infringement procedure for failing to respect the Stability and Growth Pack.

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    • Downing Street: Draft Brexit deal with EU reached

      Downing Street: Draft Brexit deal with EU reached

      British and EU negotiators have reached a framework Brexit agreement that will be examined by the UK cabinet at an emergency meeting on Wednesday, PM Theresa May’s office announced. Downing Street says in a statement that the government will meet at 2:00pm (1400 GMT) on Wednesday to consider the draft agreement the negotiating teams have reached in Brussels, and to decide on next steps.

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    • Czech PM's political future hangs on a threat

      Czech PM's political future hangs on a threat

      Andrej Babis, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, is facing a potential political crisis after he has been accused of authorising the kidnapping of his son Andrej Babis Junior to stop him from testifying in alleged criminal fraud in his father’s business dealings. Andrej Babis Junior, who was under investigation along with his father for EU subsidy fraud, was quoted saying Seznam news site yesterday that associates of the PM had persuaded him last year to either “take an extended holiday” in Crimea or risk to be forcibly admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

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    • Bavarian leader Seehofer to step down as party chief

      Bavarian leader Seehofer to step down as party chief

      German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer confirmed on Monday he would step down as chief of Bavaria’s conservative CSU party, which is part of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition. Speaking with journalists in the eastern German city of Bautzen he said his resignation as party leader did not affect his office in the federal cabinet.

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    • Canadian medical cannabis firm invests in Europe

      Canadian medical cannabis firm invests in Europe

      Canadian firm Canopy Growth Corp., one of the world’s biggest medical cannabis companies, is planning on making a major investment in Europe worth of €100m. According to Pierre Debs, managing director at Canopy’s Spectrum Cannabis Europe division, the company's aim is to expand production in the EU over the next two years, by building two new production facilities, where it could grow hundreds of kilos of cannabis for medical use.

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    • EU wants a border in Irish Sea in case of no-deal Brexit

      EU wants a border in Irish Sea in case of no-deal Brexit

      British Prime Minister Theresa May is planning on economically dividing the UK, by leaving Northern Ireland stuck in an EU customs union and single market in case Brexit talks collapse, according to recently leaked letter, which was published in The Times newspaper. The document was sent to Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds, leader and deputy leader of the DUP.

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    • May in final attempt to clinch Brexit deal

      May in final attempt to clinch Brexit deal

      British PM Theresa May stepped up last week attempts to get European support for a draft Brexit deal as negotiations on securing a smooth divorce with the EU enter final stage, news wires reported. Less than five months before Britain is due to leave the EU, a deal is 95% done. But officials have repeatedly cautioned they are still haggling over the fate of the land border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland. May told her cabinet last Tuesday that more time was needed to clear the final hurdle and ensure no hard border emerges on the island of Ireland.

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    • Poland: Centrists edge in key mayoral races

      Poland: Centrists edge in key mayoral races

      Despite making major gains in provincial assemblies, Poland's populist ruling party suffered a sweeping defeat in municipal voting in a set of elections on 4 November, confirming that Poland is a nation ever more deeply divided between its liberal cities and its conservative countryside. In elections for local and regional offices around the country, the governing Law and Justice won just 4 of 107 mayoral races, down from the 11 it won four years ago.

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    • New weather alert Monday in four Italy's regions

      New weather alert Monday in four Italy's regions

      Thunderstorms caused 12 more storm deaths in Sicily at the weekend, bringing to 32 the Italy death toll since the extreme weather started battering the country 10 days ago, ANSA reported. Premier Giuseppe Conte announced €1bn in funding to fix "hydrogeological instability" across the length and breadth of Italy.

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    • New Caledonia narrowly rejects independence from France

      New Caledonia narrowly rejects independence from France

      Voters in New Caledonia rejected independence for the Pacific archipelago in a referendum on Sunday, the final results show. Some 56.4% of voters chose to remain under French rule, with turnout high at 80.%. The outcome came somewhat as a surprise, with earlier polls forecasting that 63-75% of New Caledonians would vote “no” in the referendum.

       

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