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Bulgaria plots to help Turkey join the EU in defiant stand against Brussels

Ivan Sirakov, Bulgaria’s ambassador to Austria, put the nation on a collision course with the EU as he said stopping the talks is “not in the EU’s interest” but Turkey “must be open and honest”. Mr Sirakov used his speech in Vienna to assure Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo that “Europe would not be complete without them”. He said: “The Western Balkans are very important for the security and wellbeing of Europe.” Mr Sirakov added “we need Turkey for this process”. Talks between the EU and Turkey are…

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EU flagpole FALLS on stage during Euro Council conference narrowly missing deputy leader

In what might be interpreted as a bad omen by those fearing for the EU’s future, the large pole-mounted flag collapsed and hit the ground just inches from where Mr Strache was standing. The vice chancellor, who is also the leader of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPO), joked afterwards: “Today I saved and intercepted the EU.” He helped raise the bloc’s flag again before walking off smiling. The FPO formed a coalition with the conservative People’s Party (OVP) after elections in Austria in December last year. The country became the…

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‘There is an offer!’ Austrian leader celebrates as Tusk calls on UK to REVERSE Brexit

Sebastian Kurz has said he was pleased with the EU’s offer the UK could cancel Brexit and remain a member of the bloc.  In a speech to MEPs, head of the European Council Donald Tusk said: “If the UK Government sticks to its decision to leave, Brexit will become a reality with all its negative consequences in March next year.  “Unless there is a change of heart among our British friends.” President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker also said: “Tusk said our door still remains open and I hope…

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Brussels SHOCK: Switzerland preparing to END EU free movement with Brexit-style referendum

The nationalist Swiss People’s party (SVP) has received the go-ahead to collect signatures for a vote on a constitutional change that would make Swiss politicians solely responsible for immigration policy. The SVP, led by billionaire businessman Christoph Blocher, is fiercely opposed to the free movement of people but its proposal to ditch the border deal is opposed by Switzerland’s other main parties. Social Democrat politician Eric Nussbaumer said: “It’s acceptance would be Switzerland’s Brexit.”  The party now has 18 months to collect 100,000 signatures and the proposal will then be…

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Sport 

Roger Federer vs Aljaz Bedene LIVE: Latest Australian Open score as Federer takes lead

GETTY Roger Federer vs Aljaz Bedene live from the Australian Open Federer is a heavy favourite to end this fortnight in Melbourne as champion once again, following on from his 2017 triumph when he beat Rafael Nadal in an epic five-set final. Last year, the Swiss was not perfect in his first round. He faced Austria’s Jurgen Melzer, who had been forced to qualify for the tournament, but lost the second set in an unexpected wobble. But that match came after six months out and he was understandably rusty. This…

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Czech election latest: Zeman plots to hold on to presidency against pro-EU Drahos

GETTY Milos Zeman’s re-election would come as a blow to the EU The opponents are gearing up for an election run-off on January 26 and 27 in a battle which is already being compared to that fought between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the United States Presidential Election in 2016. The leader of the Party of Civic Rights, Mr Zeman, a 73-year-old who has courted the far-right in rejecting migrants from Muslim countries while pursuing warmer relations with Russia and China, was elected President of the Czech Republic in…

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Emmanuel Macron accused of DISREGARDING French values with his diplomatic strategies

Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, the former leader of left-wing French Socialist (PS) party, said a string of controversial state visits were raising eyebrows. French President Mr Macron has invited hardline leaders, including Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Austria’s Sebastian Kurz, to the Elysée Palace in Paris. And Mr Macron was condemned for failing to comment on Donald Trump’s description of Haiti, El Salvador and African as “s***holes”. Mr Cambadélis told French radio station Radio J: “There’s obviously a problem: France, which the outside world sees through the eyes of Mr Macron, is…

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‘Don’t Let Nazis Govern!’ Protestors call on Europe to BOYCOTT Austria’s new government

Around 20,000 gathered in the capital against the new coalition government which includes the far-right Freedom Party (FPO), which was founded by former Nazis. Some protesters carried placards reading “Never Again”, while others chanted slogans such as “Refugees should stay, drive out the Nazis.” Austrian police said around 1,000 officers were on duty at the peaceful event, which was attended by a diverse range of people from students to pensioners, with the latter dubbing themselves Grannies Against The Right. With Austria set to take up the EU presidency for the…

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Macron DITCHING Merkel? French president forges alliance with Austria amid Germany crisis

Mr Kurz was in Paris on Friday, in his first bilateral foreign visit since taking office in December. At a joint press conference, he and Mr Macron hailed their common views on a variety of European issues and vowed to work together to reform the bloc. Ordinarily the French president would turn to Germany for this support, however Angela Merkel has had her mind on coalition negotiations since September, and had less time for Europe. In particular, Mr Macron made significant overtures to Austria on the subject of immigration.  Mr…

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Austria sparks EU FURY with plan to slash benefits for foreign children

The country’s coalition government led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, along with Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache said they would press ahead with the cost-cutting drive, and are adamant it does not break EU rules banning discrimination. Mr Kurz believes the move could save about €114 million. The move though has been met with condemnation from other European Union countries. MEP Romana Tomc, the former state secretary and candidate for the Slovenian presidential election, said the proposal was “unacceptable”. She said: “Austria is turning children from EU citizens into first and…

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