Germany and France seek EU sanctions on Russians over Navalny

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Germany and France urged their European Union partners on Monday to consider imposing sanctions on Russians suspected of poisoning Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent.

Berlin and Paris say they have not had a credible explanation from Moscow for what the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said was the presence of the banned Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok in his body.

Blow for EU as Apple wins fight against $15 billion tax order

LUXEMBOURG/DUBLIN (Reuters) - Apple scored a major win on Wednesday as Europe’s second-highest court rejected an EU order for the iPhone maker to pay 13 billion euros ($15 billion) in Irish back taxes, dealing a blow to the bloc’s attempts to crack down on sweetheart tax deals.

In its order four years ago, the European Commission said Apple benefited from illegal state aid via two Irish tax rulings that artificially reduced its tax burden for over two decades - to as low as 0.005% in 2014.

EIB pledges billions of euros to Greece in 2020 to assist economic recovery

ATHENS, Feb 15 (NNN-Xinhua) — The European Investment Bank (EIB) will channel billions of euros this year to Greece to assist the recovery of its economy, the lender’s president Werner Hoyer said.

Last year the EIB committed funds of 2 billion euros to credit lines for various projects in Greece, and the lender is about to sustain its contribution this year.

“We will not go below this level, as Greece has a high level of ambition,” Hoyer, who is on a two-day visit in Athens, at a press conference with Greece’s Minister of Rural Development and Food Makis Voridis.

Jailed Catalan leader was entitled to immunity as lawmaker: EU court

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - A Catalan leader jailed for his role in an independence referendum deemed illegal by Spain was entitled to immunity as member of the European Parliament despite not having being able to take up his seat, the EU’s highest court ruled on Thursday.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling in respect of Oriol Junqueras marks a likely boost for the Catalan separatist movement and potentially puts judicial authorities in Brussels and Madrid at loggerheads.

France loses diesel pollution fight in EU court

LUXEMBOURG, Oct 25 (NNN-AGENCIES) — The EU’s top court ruled on Thursday that France has persistently exceeded the threshold limit for nitrogen dioxide, a polluting gas from diesel motors that causes major health problems.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, referred the matter to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in May 2018 after almost a decade of warnings that went unaddressed.

EU approves sanctions framework for Nicaragua

LUXEMBOURG, Oct 15 (NNN-AGENCIES) — The European Union adopted a sanctions framework for Nicaragua over human rights abuses and repression in the Central American country under President Daniel Ortega.

The move, validated in a meeting of EU foreign ministers, does not immediately enact punishment on Nicaragua but allows targeted travel bans and asset freezes to be quickly imposed at a later stage.

EU’s Barnier says Brexit deal still possible this week

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — The European Union’s Brexit negotiator says a divorce deal with the United Kingdom is still possible this week but that the British government needs to come forward with a legal text.

Michel Barnier said ahead of a meeting with EU foreign ministers that the main challenge now is to turn British proposals on the complex issue of the border on the island of Ireland into something binding.

Barnier said Tuesday that it is “high time to turn good intentions into a legal text.”

Luxembourg: EU should give Turkey extra financial aid

29 Sep 2019; MEMO: Luxembourg’s foreign minister called on the EU on Saturday to provide further financial assistance to Turkey to support projects for Syrian refugees in the country.

Jean Asselborn told German daily Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung that Turkey has been shouldering an enormous burden by hosting more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees since the eruption of civil war in Syria in 2011.

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