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EU needs 'more robust' China strategy: Foreign policy chief

EU needs 'more robust' China strategy: Foreign policy chief EU needs 'more robust' China strategy: Foreign policy chief
The European Union must adopt a "more robust" strategy to deal with an increasingly assertive China, the bloc's foreign policy chief said Monday...
Read More...

IMF approves $2.77 bn emergency virus loan for Egypt

IMF approves $2.77 bn emergency virus loan for Egypt IMF approves $2.77 bn emergency virus loan for Egypt
The IMF board approved $2.77 billion in emergency aid for Egypt on Monday, to help the country deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic,...
Read More...

EU to reassure Balkan hopefuls they are not forgotten

EU to reassure Balkan hopefuls they are not forgotten EU to reassure Balkan hopefuls they are not forgotten
With the coronavirus crisis hardening Europe's borders and draining the continent's resources, Brussels is trying to reassure its Balkan neighbours...
Read More...

Divided EU leaders meet on virus recovery plan

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EU leaders are set to haggle on Thursday over a giant package to help their economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic, but bitter divisions...
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Thousands of Israelis demonstrate to 'let democracy win'

Thousands of Israelis demonstrate to 'let democracy win' Thousands of Israelis demonstrate to 'let democracy win'
Thousands of Israelis demonstrated Sunday in Tel Aviv to warn against what they said was a threat to democracy from ongoing coalition talks...
Read More...

New round of EU-UK Brexit trade talks next week

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British and European Union officials on Wednesday agreed to schedule three new rounds of post-Brexit trade talks, starting next week, after...
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EU to debate strategy to exit virus lockdown

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The European Commission will on Wednesday consider how to craft a plan to ease the bloc out of a virus lockdown that has dealt a body blow...
Read More...

US warns Hungary on 'undue' rights restrictions over virus

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The United States on Wednesday warned Hungary against restricting human rights and press freedom after parliament gave nationalist leader Viktor...
Read More...

Spectre of coronavirus quarantine haunts Hungarian democracy

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A "dictatorship" at the heart of the EU? A draft law to grant anti-coronavirus emergency measures set for adoption by Budapest has alarmed...
Read More...

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Belgium became the latest European country to close its borders to contain the coronavirus Friday, shutting them to all but freight and travellers deemed to be on essential

business. Interior minister Pieter De Crem said the decision had been taken after "intensive contacts" with Belgium's neighbours, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Belgians still abroad will be allowed to return, but other travellers will need to prove a visit is necessary in a key field such as national security, health care or working for the European Union.

Several European countries have sealed their borders or imposed tougher controls in recent days, despite EU officials -- based in Belgium -- urging them to focus on a coordinated response.

Queues of trucks build up from time-to-time at once free-flowing border crossings, leading to fears that the single market will suffer greater damage than that caused by the virus alone.

But border controls are a matter for member state governments and, with Europe now the epicentre of a global epidemic, many EU capitals have privileged control over frictionless trade.

Belgium's restrictions were progressively installed from Friday afternoon at airports, ports and international railway stations, including the terminal in Brussels used by the cross-Channel Eurostar.

- Talk of miracles -

Eurostar trains to Britain and the Thalys service to France and the Netherlands will continue to run, De Crem said, but travellers would need to produce paperwork to demonstrate their trip was essential.

Even within Belgium, "non-essential" journeys -- including visits to second homes -- will be banned, and professional trips must be justified by employers' letters or travellers will face fines of up to 4,000 euros.

Schools, bars and restaurants have already been closed for a week and tight control on opening hours for private businesses went into effect on Wednesday and will last until at least April 5.

"The message is 'Stay at home'," De Crem said. "Keep your distance from one another. One-and-a-half metres can work miracles, if we can still talk of miracles in these times we are living in."AFP

Belgium, a country of 11.4 million, has recorded 2,257 cases of the novel coronavirus that was first detected in China in December. So far 37 patients have died and the infection rate is still accelerating.

deneme