Brexit’s eleventh hour, Polish mayor stabbed and Macron's letter: Europe briefing

Brexit’s eleventh hour, Polish mayor stabbed and Macron's letter: Europe briefing
Copyright Reuters
Copyright Reuters
By Alice Cuddy
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We take a look at the biggest stories from across Europe that you need to know about today.

1. Polish mayor in ‘very serious condition’ after being stabbed on stage


A Polish mayor is in a critical condition after being stabbed on Sunday evening by a man who burst onto the stage he was speaking on during a national charity event.

Pawel Adamowicz, mayor of the city of Gdansk, was attending the finale of the annual Great Orchestra of Christmas charity event when he was attacked.

Television footage showed the attacker screaming that "Adamowicz is dead" because his former party, Civic Platform, which held power from 2007 to 2015, had purportedly tortured him when he was in prison.

Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski said the 53-year-old was in hospital in a “very serious condition”.

Click on the player above for footage of the incident and witness testimony.

2. May seeks support as Brexit vote nears

British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to make a statement to parliament this afternoon, ahead of a vote in parliament on Tuesday on whether to back her EU withdrawal deal.

May’s statement, which is expected at 3.30pm GMT (4.30pm CET), is set to focus on new assurances from the EU about the Irish backstop.

READ MORE: What is in Theresa May’s Brexit deal and why is it so unpopular?

The European Union issued a letter to the British government on Monday morning, outlining its aims regarding the Irish backstop — the most contentious part of the Brexit deal.

However, senior sources in Brussels told Euronews they were not confident that it would be enough to close the deal in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Euronews’ Tadhg Enright brings us the latest on the Brexit debate in the video below.

3. Macron pens letter to French people aimed at pacifying ‘gilets jaunes’ protests

In a 2,300-word letter to the French people, President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday launched a three-month national debate that he hopes will appease the “gilets jaunes” (yellow vests) protesters.

Macron says his ’Great Debate' is aimed at transforming the anger behind weeks of national protests into a blueprint for future policies.

READ: Emmanuel Macron's letter to the French people

"For me, there is no banned issue. We won't agree on everything, which is normal in a democracy. But at least we'll show we're a people who are not afraid of talking, exchanging, debating," he wrote.

Euronews’ Paris correspondent Annelise Borges breaks down what is in the letter and what effect it may have.

4. Greece's Tsipras calls confidence vote amid FYR Macedonia dispute

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced on Sunday that he will call a confidence vote in the government after his coalition partner quit over a long-standing name dispute with neighbouring country, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Parliament will open the confidence debate on Tuesday, with the vote expected on Wednesday night, a parliamentary official said.


READ MORE: Greece and FYR Macedonia name dispute — the controversial feud explained

Panos Kammenos, whose Independent Greeks party props up Tsipras minority government, announced his resignation on Sunday morning after a meeting with Tspiras.

“The Macedonia name issue...doesn't allow me not to sacrifice the minister's chair," he said.

Euronews Athens correspondent Fay Doulgkeri has the latest.

5. Bolivia extradites former communist militant to Italy

Italian former leftist guerrilla and convicted murderer Cesare Battisti is being extradited to Italy following his arrest in Bolivia.


He landed Rome’s Ciampino Airport today.


Battisti faces life in prison in his home country, where he was convicted of four murders committed in the 1970s. He escaped from prison in 1981 and lived in France before fleeing to Brazil to avoid being extradited.

Journalist Paolo Manzo spoke to Euronews’ Good Morning Europe about his meeting with Battisti.

7. Rome authorities in row with Church over Trevi Fountain coins

A dispute has broken out between the mayor of Rome and the Roman Catholic Church over what should happen to money thrown into the famous Trevi Fountain.


Millions of people visit the fountain every year to throw a coin with their right hand over their left shoulder for good luck — an act that is also said to ensure that you'll one day return to Rome.

Traditionally the money goes to a Catholic charity for the poor and homeless called Caritas. But in a city with crumbling infrastructure, the local government has a new purpose in mind for all those coins.

Euronews correspondent Claudio Lavanga has the full story.

8. German skiers killed in avalanche at Austrian ski resort

Three German skiers were found dead and a fourth remains missing after they were swept away in an avalanche near the Austrian ski resort of Lech am Arlberg, police said on Sunday.

Avalanche warning levels for the Austrian Alps have increased over the past week.


Mountain guide Stuart Macdonald spoke to Good Morning Europe about the danger.

“Any time you get a large amount of fresh snowfall, you’re going to get a higher level of avalanche risk,” he said.

Get more of his expert insight in the video below.

You can follow our live news coverage every weekday from 6am-12pm in the blog below:

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