- [Ticker] Swiss minister calls for referendum on EU relations (euobserver.com)
Switzerland should hold a new referendum to help define its new relationship with the EU, Swiss finance minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said on Wednesday.
- Seven EU Countries Support Lifting Sanctions on Russia (thetruenews.info)
A European diplomatic source close to the EU Council told TASS previously that foreign ministers of 28 EU member countries would not make any decisions on sanctions against Russia at their first meeting this year in Brussels on January 19. “Russia, of course, will be on the agenda of the Council (EU Council on Foreign Relations), but the specific issue of the sanctions – whether they should be cancelled, softened, renewed or not – will not be raised. The decision on sanctions should be taken in March,” he said.’
- Only A Real Energy Union Can Save EU Energy Market: Ex-EU Official (cleantechnica.com)
An “Energy Union” in Europe means that an EU-level organisation will balance the flows of electricity, not national transmission system operators. And it means the EU will ensure security of supply – not the national member states. That is the vision of Jean-Arnold Vinois, until recently Director in charge of the internal energy market at the European Commission and co-author of a groundbreaking report from Notre Europe (Jacques Delors Institute) on the Energy Union. As Brussels awaits the official version of the Energy Union from the Commission on 25 February, Vinois slams the current state of the European energy sector. The distribution system operators, he says, are ineffective, the generators are “dinosaurs”, almost no one is investing in R&D in energy, the decision to allow state aid to the nuclear project Hinkley Point C is “questionable” and the lack of solidarity EU countries show in regard to Putin is “sad”. He predicts IT companies may take over from the energy companies and the Chinese may blow away Alstom, Siemens and ABB.
- “Cheerful” Dutch Financier Becomes 4th ABN Amro Banker Suicide (ascendingstarseed.wordpress.com)
Following the deaths of 36 bankers last year, 2015 has got off to an inauspicious start with the reported suicide of Chris Van Eeghen – the 4th ABN Amro banker suicide in the last few years.
- Banker Suicide “Hit” Parade (ncrenegade.com)
- “Cheerful” Dutch Financier Becomes 4th ABN Amro Banker Suicide (theunhivedmind.com)
As Quotenet reports, the death of Van Eghen – the head of ABN’s corporate finance and capital markets -“startled” friends and colleagues as the 42-year-old “had a great reputation” at work, came from an “illustrious family,” and enjoyed national fame briefly as the boyfriend of a famous actress/model. As one colleague noted, “he was always cheerful, good mood, and apparently he had everything your heart desired. He never sat in the pit, never was down, so I was extremely surprised. I can not understand.”
- “Cheerful” Dutch Financier Becomes 4th ABN Amro Banker Suicide (blacklistednews.com)
Ostensibly a successful banker, coming from what was described as an illustrious family. Chris was also a familiar sight in Amsterdam’s nightlife scene and enjoyed national fame as possible new boyfriend of Tatjana Simic (a famous Croatian-Dutch model, singer, actress).
- Hamas should be removed from the EU’s terrorist list (worldbulletin.net)
The European Union will appeal against a court ruling that the Hamas should be removed from the bloc’s terrorist list, an EU official said on Monday.
“(The EU) Council has decided to appeal the judgement regarding Hamas remaining on the EU terrorist list,” EU spokeswoman Susanne Kiefer said on Twitter.
Foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement that the EU had decided to challenge last month’s decision by the EU’s General Court, the bloc’s second-highest tribunal, which she said had been made on procedural grounds.
As a result of the appeal, Hamas will remain on the EU’s terrorism list and its assets will remain frozen for now, pending a final judgment by the European Court of Justice.
An EU court ruled last month that Hamas should be removed from the terrorist list, saying the decision to include it was based on media reports not considered analysis.
The EU will challenge the General Court’s finding that the EU must provide evidence that Hamas remains a terrorist group when it updates its terror list as well as the argument that the EU cannot use evidence from the Internet, an EU official said.