Fears of 'Windrush-type scandal' as EU citizen registration opens

KONFRONTASI-A government scheme designed to allow European citizens to continue living in the UK after Brexit was launched in public test phase on Monday, amid warnings that it could leave tens of thousands of people undocumented in years to come.

The 3.5 million citizens of the EU's 27 countries residing in the UK must go through an online application process to apply for "settled status" if they have lived in the UK for at least five years, or "pre-settled status" if they haven't reached that threshold.

European court orders release of Kurdish politician Demirtas

KONFRONTASI-The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that pre-detention of pro-Kurdish opposition politician Selahattin Demirtas was "unjustified", urging his release.

In Tuesday's judgment, the top human rights court accepted that Demirtas, who has been in jail since November 2016, had been detained on "reasonable suspicion" of having committed a criminal offence.

Europeans eye Russian expulsions over UK spy attack

KONFRONTASI-Several European governments moved closer on Friday to expelling Russian diplomats in a show of support for Britain, which ordered out 23 “undeclared intelligence agents” after a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy.

In a boost for Prime Minister Theresa May, the European Union as a whole agreed late on Thursday to pin the blame on Moscow for the attack, which a judge in England said may have left Sergei Skripal and his daughter brain damaged.

That hardened previous EU language on the issue as French President Emmanuel Macron and others helped May overcome hesitation on the part of some of Moscow’s friendlier states, some of whom questioned how definitive Britain’s evidence is.

In a symbolic move that displayed unity of purpose, the bloc also recalled the EU ambassador to Russia for consultations — a conventional form of diplomatic protest. A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said he regretted the move. The EU said the envoy was expected back in Brussels over the weekend.

And in a sign that nations were prepared to go further to punish Russia, which denies any involvement in the attack, several EU leaders said on Friday they were considering expelling diplomats.

“What we will now consider in the coming days is whether we want to take individual action relating to Russian diplomats in Ireland,” Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told reporters as he arrived at the second day of an EU summit in Brussels.

“So we would have to do a security assessment just like they (Britain) did ... We’re not going to randomly expel people.”

Britain has been pressing for coordinated action against Russia after the Skripals were found slumped on a bench in the English city of Salisbury on March 4 in what was the first known offensive use of a nerve toxin in Europe since World War Two.

Welcoming the solidarity she secured from a summit that moved on to discuss Brexit after May left on Friday morning, May told reporters: “The threat from Russia is one that respects no borders and I think it is clear that Russia is challenging the values we share as Europeans and it is right that we stand together in defense of those values.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Europeans were being drawn by London and Washington into an anti-Russian campaign.

Some British officials were pressing other countries to expel diplomats after London told 23 Russians to leave, a move followed by measures in Moscow, including the closure of Britain’s cultural center in St Petersburg.

But first May had to convince others to back a tough statement saying that the EU “agreed” with her government “that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible and that there is no plausible alternative explanation”.

Europe needs to rehabilitate extremists returning from Syria

KO0NFRONTASI-Europe needs to figure out ways to rehabilitate people returning from Syria who traveled to the Arab country to fight for Takfiri terrorist groups, a senior European Union official says.

EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove made the remark at the Mediterranean Dialogues, a conference on security in the Mediterranean region, in the Italian capital Rome on Friday.

Islamism: Salafism spreads as Europe fiddles

The jihadist attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French magazine known for lampooning Islam, has cast a glaring light on the growing problem of Muslim radicalization in Europe.

While there are millions of European Muslims who worship in peace and pose no threat whatsoever to others, increasing numbers of Muslims on the continent are embracing a radical form of Islam and its call to wage violent jihad against all nonbelievers for the sake of Allah.

Europe moves to restore funding to Greece after bailout vote

KONFRONTASI-Europe moved to re-open funding to Greece's stricken economy on Thursday after the parliament in Athens approved a new bailout program in a fractious vote that left the government without a majority.

The European Central Bank increased emergency funding for Greek lenders, although capital controls will have to remain to avoid a bank run when they reopen on Monday.

Europe refiners say ready for Iran oil imports

KONFRONTASI - European refiners are gearing up to resume crude oil purchases from Iran as hopes of a nuclear deal remain alive despite reports of serious differences, Bloomberg reported.

Italy’s Saras has told the news and market data provider that it would buy Iranian crude, with Spain’s Cepsa saying it would “definitely” consider resuming purchases.

Greece’s Hellenic Petroleum also welcomed the return of Iranian oil to the market as “positive for refiners”.

Europe in turmoil: Five years of Economic Crisis

AP- Greece’s admission in October 2009 that it had a huge black hole in its finances triggered five years of bailouts, market turmoil and protests
The eurozone crisis didn’t emerge from a clear blue sky five years ago. Greece’s economic problems were well known; in 2004, it admitted fudging its deficit figures to qualify for euro membership, and a year later Athens brought in an austerity budget to, it hoped, bring down borrowing.

Biotech crops in Europe could be ‘dead and buried’ if anti-GM groups Succeed

AP-t’s an unfashionable thing to admit, but sometimes what happens in the European Parliament really matters. This week, unnoticed by almost everyone, MEPs will consider proposals by the European commission and member states to overturn a ban on the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops in Europe. But it’s a step that could be undermined if anti-GM lobbyists get their way.