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BREAKING NEWS

Europe briefing: seven stories to know about today

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Europe briefing: seven stories to know about today
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1. Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro rejects Europe's call for elections

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has rejected calls from Europe to hold fresh elections to decide on the country's leader.

The calls came as opposition Juan Guaido, who was declared interim president by Venezuela's National Assembly last week, stepped up his appeal to the military to turn its back on the leftist government.

With neither side backing down, Euronews spoke to journalist Hector Estepa for the latest from Caracas.

2. Spanish taxi drivers create roadblock in Madrid for eighth day of protests against ride-sharing apps

Stationary taxis created a roadblock on a busy street of Madrid on Monday in protest against ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Cabify.

Police attempted to evict the vehicles on the city's Paseo de la Castellana as the protest moved into its eighth day.

An estimated 2,000 taxi drivers took part in the demonstration on Sunday | read more

3. Russian authorities recover artwork stolen during gallery open hours in Moscow

An "artnapper" has been caught on camera casually stealing a painting worth 12 million roubles (€162,000) during a busy exhibition in Moscow on Sunday.

The piece, a 1908 landscape depicting an area of the Crimean Peninsula, was recovered by Russian authorities in a Moscow suburb just hours after the theft.

A 31-year-old suspect has been arrested. | read more

4. UK parliament prepares for vote on amendments to Theresa May's Brexit deal

British MPs are preparing for tomorrow's vote on a number of amendments to UK Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal.

The amendments — some of which would be legally binding if passed — seek in various ways to exert control over Brexit, and could have a decisive influence over the process. The UK is due to leave the EU on March 29.

The vote follows the historic defeat of May's draft deal earlier this month. | read more

5. Rare red panda goes AWOL from Belfast Zoo

Belfast city council has asked residents of Glengormley to remain vigilant after a red panda escaped from the city zoo on Monday morning.

The panda, while not aggressive by nature, can become defensive if cornered, Northern Ireland's police service said in a statement, so "please do not approach or attempt to capture this animal," it added.

An investigation is underway to find the rogue critter. | read more

6. France dismisses attacks by Italy's Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio

French President Emmanuel Macron has dismissed incendiary comments made by Italy's two deputy prime ministers in the past week.

Luigi Di Maio triggered the latest spat, when he accused France of exploiting African countries and exacerbating the migrant crisis. Matteo Salvini deepened the argument after urging French people to not support Macron's party in the European elections later this year.

"I won't answer, that's what they're waiting for. So good luck to them, enjoy the agitation, enjoy the ride, as far as I'm concerned, I speak to President Conte," Macron told reporters on Sunday. | read more

7. European banks begin process to phase out issuing of €500 note

Europe's national central banks began the process of phasing out the €500 note on Monday as 17 of the 19 banks ceased issuing the tender.

The remaining two banks will stop issuing the notes in April 2019 "in order to ensure a smooth transition," according to a statement from the European Central Bank.

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