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

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Spectre of coronavirus quarantine haunts Hungarian democracy

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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

Divided EU leaders meet on virus recovery plan Divided EU leaders meet on virus recovery plan
EU leaders are set to haggle on Thursday over a giant package to help their economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic, but bitter divisions...
Read More...

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

New round of EU-UK Brexit trade talks next week New round of EU-UK Brexit trade talks next week
British and European Union officials on Wednesday agreed to schedule three new rounds of post-Brexit trade talks, starting next week, after...
Read More...

EU to debate strategy to exit virus lockdown

EU to debate strategy to exit virus lockdown EU to debate strategy to exit virus lockdown
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

US warns Hungary on 'undue' rights restrictions over virus US warns Hungary on 'undue' rights restrictions over virus
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

Spectre of coronavirus quarantine haunts Hungarian democracy Spectre of coronavirus quarantine haunts Hungarian democracy
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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Greece's Parliament was sworn in Wednesday (July 17) after July 7 elections that saw a broad conservative victory end over four years of leftist rule.

The six-party Parliament will officially begin its functions after electing a Speaker on Thursday.

New Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' conservative government has made boosting sluggish growth a priority, powered by tax cuts and accompanied by privatisation deals.

The 51-year-old Harvard graduate and former McKinsey consultant has also pledged to create jobs and get rid of obstacles to business.

Mr Mitsotakis will outline his government's policies at the weekend before a vote of confidence late on Sunday.

His New Democracy party has 158 lawmakers in the 300-seat chamber.

The Greek debt agency said it had raised €2.5 billion (S$3.82 billion) in the sale, while the prime minister said the yield of 1.9 per cent was a "record low".

A previous seven-year sale in February 2018 had a yield of 3.5 per cent amid world market volatility.

Starting in 2020, Mr Mitsotakis has promised to cut a hated property tax called ENFIA - brought in by a previous New Democracy-led government during the economic crisis - by 30 per cent over two years.

REFORMS PACKAGE

He has also offered to reduce income tax thresholds and to gradually cut tax on business profits by 8 per cent.

But just hours after his July 7 victory, euro zone finance ministers warned the new government to stick to the country's strict public spending commitments.

"We must keep our commitments, this is the only way I know to gain credibility," said Eurogroup chief Mario Centeno.

On Tuesday, the euro zone's bailout fund director and a key EU official overseeing Greece's debt repayments, Mr Klaus Regling, suggested that tax cuts be coupled "with a broader tax base".

In a meeting with Regling later on Tuesday, Mr Mitsotakis "confirmed that Greece would respect fiscal targets", the prime minister's office said.

During the election campaign, Mr Mitsotakis said he would persuade Greece's creditors to accept the easing of targets with "a comprehensive reforms package".

The current framework negotiated with creditors by the previous leftist Syriza government holds Greece to a primary budget surplus of 3.5 per cent to 2022 - but the conservatives say that target stifles growth.

There are two fewer parties in Parliament than in the previous chamber, but two of them are new - Greek Solution, a nationalist party formed by TV salesman Kyriakos Velopoulos, and MeRA25, an anti-austerity party founded by maverick economist and Mr Tsipras's former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

"We are here to say a massive 'no' to whatever strengthens (Greece's debt burden)," Mr Varoufakis, whose party elected nine lawmakers, said before being sworn in on Wednesday.

In contrast, neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn was shut out of Parliament for the first time since 2012.

Golden Dawn, until recently Greece's third-ranking party, is in disarray amid an ongoing trial for the 2013 murder of an anti-fascist rapper, allegedly carried out with the knowledge of senior Golden Dawn members.afp

 

deneme