EU’s Juncker To Undergo Surgery November 11

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker speaks during a debate on the future of Europe during a plenary session at the European Parliament on April 17, 2019 in Strasbourg, eastern France. FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP

 

The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will undergo surgery on November 11 to treat an aneurysm, members of his inner circle told AFP on Thursday.

The 64-year-old former Luxembourg premier had been due to retire on Friday from EU’s executive arm.

But that has been postponed until at least December, because his successor Ursula von der Leyen has failed to win parliamentary approval for her commission.

Juncker “will undergo surgery on November 11 to treat an aneurysm,” his spokeswoman said.

According to AFP’s sources, Juncker is suffering from an aortic aneurysm in his abdomen, or an AAA in medical parlance.

Juncker’s duties will be covered by commission vice president Frans Timmermans and the president expects to be back at work in time to attend the handover to Von der Leyen.

If untreated an AAA can rupture with potentially fatal consequences. It was not immediately clear how serious Juncker’s case was.

In August, Juncker cut short a vacation to undergo urgent surgery to have his gallbladder removed, and he has often shown signs of discomfort at public events.

Juncker has held Brussels’ top job for the past five years, despite recurring problems with back pain, but his commission has been winding down business in recent months.

He is not expected to make any big political decisions in the coming weeks, as the current commission is now just overseeing everyday business while von der Leyen’s team prepares to take over.

Von der Leyen, the former German defence minister, had hoped to make a fresh start from this week. But the European Parliament rejected three of her nominees for commission posts, leaving her in limbo until new ones are put forward and confirmed.

AFP

EU, UK Reach Brexit Deal

 

The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said Thursday that Brussels had come to an agreement with Britain on a Brexit withdrawal agreement to be presented to EU leaders.

“Where there is a will, there is a deal — we have one! It’s a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is testament to our commitment to find solutions,” Juncker tweeted.

“I recommend that EUCO endorses this deal,” he said, referring to the European Council of the leaders of member states that was to meet later Thursday.

READ ALSO: US House Condemns Troops Withdrawal From Syria

Affirming Junker’s statement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson also on Thursday announced what he said was a “great new deal” for Britain to leave the European Union, as leaders gathered in Brussels for talks.

“We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control,” he wrote on Twitter, calling on lawmakers in London to approve the agreement at a rare sitting of parliament on Saturday.

Bush Made Europe ‘Safer, More United’ Says EU’s Juncker

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker/ AFP

 

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker hailed US president George H.W. Bush on Saturday for the part he played in bringing unity and peace to Europe after the Cold War.

“I will never forget the role he played in making Europe a safer and more united place following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain,” Juncker said of Bush, who died on Friday aged 94.

Bush’s “calmness, leadership and close personal relationships with (German Chancellor) Helmut Kohl and (Soviet Russian leader) Mikhail Gorbachev were decisive in restoring peace and freedom back to so many people across our continent,” the former Luxembourg prime minister added.

“We Europeans will forever remember this,” Juncker said.

European Parliament president Antonio Tajani in a tweet said that “Europe has lost a champion of its freedom and unity during the Cold War.”

AFP

EU Renegotiations: Pathway Created After Talks – Cameron

EUBritish Prime Minister David Cameron says a pathway has been created for Britain to secure a deal to renegotiate its relationship with the EU.

The Prime Minister said “good progress” has been made at the EU Summit in Brussels but it would be tough to reach agreement at the next meeting in February.

He is facing opposition over his demand to stop EU migrants receiving in-work benefits for four years.

European Council President, Donald Tusk said it was a “make or break moment”.

France and Germany are among a number of countries that say any deal must safeguard the free movement of people. Mr Cameron is seeking changes on four issues.

The European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, has warned that all four of Mr Cameron’s demands are difficult, and intensive negotiations are needed before February.

Two Boats land At UK Base Akrotiri

Boats land at Akrotiri The UK’s Ministry of Defence says two boats carrying 140 migrants, including children, have landed at the RAF base at Akrotiri in Cyprus.

It is believed to be the first time during the current Mediterranean migrant crisis that people have arrived on UK sovereign territory.

The base, on the south coast, has been used to launch British air strikes against Islamic State fighters in Iraq.

Unlike a number of Greek or Italian islands in the Mediterranean, European Union member Cyprus has not seen an influx of refugees.

Almost 600,000 migrants are estimated to have arrived in Europe so far this year.

EU Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker has called for an extraordinary summit of several EU and Balkan leaders on Sunday to discuss the migrant crisis.

In a statement on Wednesday, he said there was “a need for much greater co-operation, more extensive consultation and immediate operational action”.

A number of Iraqi Kurds landed at RAF Akrotiri in 1998 and still live in a second British base on Cyprus, Dhekelia, in former military accommodation.

They have tried to apply for asylum in the UK, but have been repeatedly turned down by the government.

Due to an historic agreement whereby refugees who landed at the British base were  handed over to Cypriot authorities, he said  it is unlikely they would be eligible to claim UK asylum, despite landing on what is considered British soil.

RAF Akrotiri is one of two British sovereign territories in Cyprus, which was a colony until 1960.

The huge military facility had been used to bomb Islamic State targets in northern Iraq since September 2014.

EU Plans To Accept 160,000 Migrants

migrantsEuropean countries have announced plans to accommodate as many as 160,000 migrants seeking asylum.

That plan of action has however been criticised by Germany, who claimed they can do more.

Germany’s Vice-Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, said thousands are estimated to arrive in Europe this year and when put together, the number of people expected in 2015, and 2016, will reach as high as 900,000.

On Wednesday, the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, announced plans to distribute 120,000 refugees from Greece, Italy and Hungary among member states, via binding quotas.

He described the plan as ‘a first step, if one wants to be polite.’

Thousands of migrants have been pouring in mainly from Syria, where a civil war has been ongoing for almost four years. And from Libya, which has been political unstable, since the death of Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011.

Earlier today, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, visited a home for refugees in Berlin.

Later, she said she hoped newcomers would integrate with the help of their children learning German in school.

Migrants Crisis: EU Set To Announce Plans To Tackle Wave

EU on migrants crisis The European Union on Wednesday said it is due to announce plans to tackle the migrant wave.

According to the European Commission President, Jean-claude Juncker, EU has thrown European policy into disarray.

Mr Juncker opened his speech saying it was “not a time to take fright”.

He was heckled by UK anti-European Union politician, Nigel Farage, but dismissed his comments as “worthless”.

Mr Juncker’s fresh migration proposals would expand upon quotas for the relocation of 40,000 migrants in Italy and Greece proposed in May. Though, governments only agreed to take 32,000.

The new plans for an extra 120,000 migrants would relocate 60 per cent of those now in Italy, Greece and Hungary to Germany, France and Spain, reports said.

The development came after a surge of thousands of mainly Syrian migrants pushed north through Europe in recent days.

Germany, which is the main destination for many migrants, supports quotas, but some EU countries oppose a compulsory system.

Also, Hungary had been warned to expect an additional 40,000 migrants by the end of next week.

The numbers distributed to each country would depend on GDP, population, unemployment rate and asylum applications already processed.

Based on the proposals, 120,000 additional asylum seekers would be distributed among EU nations, with binding quotas.

In all of these, the authorities are now reinforcing a border fence designed to keep migrants entering from Serbia and are toughening asylum laws.

Greek Bank Warns Of ‘Painful’ Euro And EU Exit

greekGreece’s Central Bank has warned for the first time that the country could be on a “painful course” to default and exit from both the eurozone and the European Union (EU).

This comes as the Greek Government and its international creditors blamed each other for failing to reach a deal over economic reforms.

The failure is holding up the release of 7.2 billion euros in bailout funds.

The Central Bank also warned that the country’s economic slowdown would accelerate without a deal.

The warning from the Central Bank follows comments from European Commission’s President, Jean-Claude Juncker, who had earlier accused the Greek Government of misleading voters.

The Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, also accused the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) of trying to “humiliate” his country.