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November 2018
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Ink Thrown At Gujarat Lawmaker Jignesh Mevani, Kanhaiya Kumar        Can't Stop Salary For Not Linking Bank Account To Aadhaar, Centre Told        Germany says will bar 18 Saudis over Khashoggi murder        Google best Search engine, we keep Safari safe: Tim Cook        Zverev shocks Djokovic to win ATP Finals        England finish second in Group, to face in-form India in semis        Fresh protest in Sabarimala        Rahul Gandhi Challenges PM Modi For Debate On Rafale Deal        New bill likely to be introduced in Parliament to rechristen names of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras High Courts        TM Krishna 'celebrates democracy' at Delhi concert        Death toll rises to 76 in California fire as Trump visits        Sri Lanka president Sirisena holds all-party meeting talks to end political crisis        Pankaj wins grand double, extends world title tally to 21        England win second Test against Sri Lanka by 57 runs        Smriti Mandhana becomes second-fastest Indian woman to reach 1000 T20I        It is quality of cricket rather than sledging that wins matches: Shastri on new Aussie approach        India in Australia: Kohli promises to not start arguments, only finish them        At Least Two Killed, Eight Injured In Blast In Karachi        Centre's New Move May Escalate Feud With RBI Ahead Of Board Meet: Report        'Gaja' crosses coast, rainfall pounds TN, 22 dead        
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International News
Merkel, Macron search for reforms to halt EU 'disintegration'
 
Meseberg (Germany), Jun 19 (AFP) German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted French President Emmanuel Macron today to hammer out reforms that can stop the "disintegration" of the European Union, torn by populist forces and deep discord over immigration.



The two leaders of Europe's biggest economies will seek to thrash out a compromise between Macron's bold vision for sweeping EU change and Germany's stance that is more cautious, especially when it comes to finance.

Merkel and Macron have both stressed that, as US President Donald Trump openly challenges the EU with a trade war and over security and climate policy, the bloc must learn to stand its ground on the world stage.

The ministerial retreat at Meseberg castle near Berlin aims to agree a joint Franco-German stance ahead of a key June 28-29 summit on the EU's post-Brexit future, at a time when populists and eurosceptics are rapidly gaining ground.

As outspoken pro-Europeans, Merkel and Macron both face harsh opposition from nationalist and right-wing populist forces at home, and in the governments of Italy, Austria and several eastern European countries.

Ahead of the meeting, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned that "Europe is in a process of disintegration. We see states that are turning inward, trying to find national solutions to problems that require European solutions.

"It is essential to propose a new European project on immigration, on economic issues, on financial issues to consolidate Europe in a world where you have the United States on one side, China on the other and we are trapped in the middle."

The question of how many migrants the bloc can absorb came back to the fore strongly when last week Italy and Malta both turned back a rescue vessel carrying 630 refugees, which was eventually accepted by Spain.

The move sparked a clash between France and Italy as immigration also triggered a domestic crisis for Merkel, a leader already weakened by her decision in 2015 to keep open German borders to a mass influx of more than one million refugees.

Merkel now faces a dangerous mutiny from her hardline Bavarian Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who has vowed to defy her and order police to shut German borders to most asylum seekers by early July absent an EU accord.

Merkel, arguing that the issue must be resolved at the EU level, has pledged to reach deals with transit and arrival countries in the narrow two-week window ending with the Brussels summit.

"Turning away migrants at our borders at the heart of Europe will lead to negative domino effects that could hurt Germany and put into question European unity," she has warned.

Trump chimed into the debate with a Twitter taunt yesterday, charging that "the people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition".

Merkel and Macron agree that overburdened Mediterranean countries need financial support or incentives, and that the EU's Frontex border force must receive more funding, while Paris also advocates the creation of asylum processing centres in Africa.

While migration looked to be the most urgent issue, a host of other tricky topics were on the agenda yesterday -- from eurozone finance and investment to common defence.

Macron last year outlined his vision for a stronger, more united Europe as a forceful reply to what was known as the National Front, a far-right party he defeated at the polls.

But he was long left waiting for a response from Berlin as Merkel, weakened by poor September election results, was occupied by half a year of arduous coalition talks. When she finally gave a reply several weeks ago, it fell short of many of Macron's core demands.

She dashed Macron's hopes for a joint eurozone finance minister and budget, mindful of German public fears that their tax money be squandered on what voters see as fiscal irresponsibility in southern EU states.

The Elysee Palace said yesterdya it hoped for "a substantial agreement" on reform of the common currency area, with a specific budget for a "safety net" to save banks in trouble.

Merkel has agreed on a common investment budget for the bloc, but says it should be worth several tens of billions of euros, not the hundreds of billions suggested by Macron.

Paris and Berlin are also discussing ways to turn the European Stability Mechanism into a more potent firefighter akin to a European IMF, and how to create greater defence cooperation.

Germany's Sueddeutsche daily praised the partnership, saying that "with unrest so rife across the EU, Europe can consider itself lucky if it is able to find any common ground at all".

"In an unhinged world, France and Germany should be grateful for the ties which still bind them.


Germany says will bar 18 Saudis over Khashoggi murder
Google best Search engine, we keep Safari safe: Tim Cook
Death toll rises to 76 in California fire as Trump visits
Sri Lanka president Sirisena holds all-party meeting talks to end political crisis
At Least Two Killed, Eight Injured In Blast In Karachi
US, China see rival visions for entwined Asia-Pacific region
Imran Khan to visit Malaysia next week; likely to seek monetary aid
US Vice President Mike Pence takes Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi to task over treatment of Rohingya
Sri Lankan Parliament passes no-trust vote against Rajapaksa
UK says Brexit deal 'almost within touching distance'
Trump criticises Macron again over European defence remarks
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Lankan parties move SC against Parliament dissolution by Prez Sirisena
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"Nationalism Betrayal Of Patriotism": Emmanuel Macron, Trump By His Side
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Journalists beware: After Bloomberg bots, AI news presenter debuts in China
Russia says it thwarted drone attacks at World Cup
Pak PM Imran Khan wishes Hindu community on Diwali
UK opens up armed forces recruitment to more Indians
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Vaikom Vijayalekshmi ties knot with Anoop
 Vaikom: Playback singer Vaikom Vijayalekshmi has tied knot with Anoop N. at Vaikom Mahadeva temple.  
Mohanlal's Odiyan: Official trailer launched
Mammootty narrates Odiyan's intro?
Sradha Kapoor as Saina Nehwal: First look poster is out.
KERALA NEWS
Sabarimala protests: Arrests up to 2061, Kerala HC warns police
 Thiruvananthapuram, OCT 27: As the number of people arrested for allegedly being involved in violent
Vijayan urges UAE Keralites to back salary challenge
Sabarimala row: Protests against SC verdict continue
Balabhaskar's wife Lakshmi shifted to ICU
NATIONAL NEWS
Ink Thrown At Gujarat Lawmaker Jignesh Mevani, Kanhaiya Kumar
 (Gwalior, Nov 19, 2018):A man on Monday threw ink at Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani and former JN
Can't Stop Salary For Not Linking Bank Account To Aadhaar, Centre Told
Rahul Gandhi Challenges PM Modi For Debate On Rafale Deal
New bill likely to be introduced in Parliament to rechristen names of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras High Courts
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