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Europe Briefing: 6 stories to know about today

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Europe Briefing: 6 stories to know about today

Europe Briefing: 6 stories to know about today
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1) Hungary versus the EU

Hungary's government will decide today whether to take legal steps to challenge a European Parliament ruling against the country. Last week MEPs voted to sanction Hungary for breaching EU rules on democracy, civil rights and corruption. The Article 7 procedure could ultimately lead to the suspension of the country's voting rights. However, some EU countries, such as Poland said that they would veto any sanctions against Hungary.

2) Missile that shot down MH17 belonged to Ukraine, claims Russia

Russia’s defense ministry said the missiles that shot down MH17 four years ago belonged to Ukraine, produced in 1986. The downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, killed all 298 people aboard. The aircraft was en route from the Netherlands to Malaysia on July 17, 2014, when it was shot down over the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, amid an ongoing war between Ukranian forces and Russian-backed separatists. On Monday, Russia’s Lte. Gen. Nikolay Parshin addressed the press, claiming the buk missile with the serial number 8868720, was shipped was produced at a military plant in Dolgoprudny in 1986.

3) US warns of Russian meddling in Macedonia vote

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Macedonia on Monday with a warning that Russia was attempting to meddle in a referendum, including spreading disinformation, to change the Balkan country’s name and open the door for it to join NATO. Macedonia has set Sept. 30 for a referendum on the government’s deal in June with neighbouring Greece to change its name to the Republic of North Macedonia which would largely clear the path for it to join NATO and the European Union.

4) Theresa May cautions: The alternative to my Brexit deal is no deal

British Prime Minister Theresa May has warned rebels in her party that the alternative to her potential Brexit deal with the EU is no deal. "I think that the alternative to that will be having no deal," May told BBC TV. The main sticking point in agreeing on a deal between Britain and the EU is the issue of ensuring there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic after Brexit. In a critical piece in The Telegraph today by former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, he warned: "If the Brexit negotiations continue on this path they will end, I am afraid, in a spectacular political car crash." The United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29.

5) Clashes continue as protestors attempt to save Hambach forest from razing

Tensions between police and thousands of protestors in the Hambach forest continue this week. The ancient forest, located near a coal pit, is slated for clearing by an energy company in October and the protestors, who identify themselves as “forest warriors” want to protect it from further coal mining. So far, there are dozens of illegal treehouses that have been built in the forest and authorities are struggling to clear the area since protestors have chained themselves to trees.

6) Macron faces criticism after telling a job seeker to find high-demand jobs

French president Emmanuel Macron just can’t seem to shake off his former investment banker image after he publicly told a job seeker to look for high-demand jobs. In a video post, the unidentified man told Macron he trained as a gardener but couldn’t seem to find a job in his field despite handing out numerous applications. In response, Macron said: “If you’re willing and motivated, in hotels, cafes and restaurants, construction, there’s not a single place I go where they don’t say they’re looking for people. Not one – it’s true!” Adding: “If I crossed the street I’d find you,” Macron said. The exchange raised the ire of Macron’s his political opponents, who called him “arrogant” and out of touch.