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2019 ends as it began, in political turmoil

2019 ends as it began, in political turmoil
Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By Stefan Grobe
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We look back at the week in Europe where MEPs called on the Maltese leader to resign immediately, protests took place in the Czech Republic and Poland. A tumultuous end to a rollercoaster year in EU politics. Our journalists sum it up in their words of the year.


This week was the last business week of the year, and two things happened:

A frantic last-ditch activity to get things on the record before the holiday season – and the gradual switching of members of the EU bubble into Christmas mode.

Politically, we saw some unfinished business that will probably keep us busy even next year.

For it's not all joy and happiness in Europe, as the leadership in some countries has been naughty and not nice, according to the European Parliament.

Let's hope for peace on earth – especially in Malta, the Czech Republic and Poland.

Strasbourg condensed...

MEPs called on Maltese Prime Minister to resign immediately over his handling of the investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. A large majority in the European parliament said it was deeply concerned about the integrity and credibility of the investigation into the death of the journalist.

Joseph Muscat needs to take heat, he neeeds to see that his party is completly isolated within the Socialist Group. He needs to see that his counterparts in the European Parliament will be telling him, if he has to see them, that he really needs to go. Because he is dragging the reputation further and further down into the mud. Malta is not Joseph Muscat.
Roberta Metsola
Maltese MEP, European People's Party

The Czech Prime Minister is also in the spotlight. Brussels declared a conflict of interest between his businesses and political role and Czech prosecutors reopened a case against him.

Andrej Babis is still under conflict of interest and at the same time he is participating in the negotiations of the multiannual financial framework which is basically the budget of the EU for the next seven years. So he is still the owner of a big company and can use his position to earn more money, and he is still participating.
Mikulás Peksa
Czech MEP, Group of the Greens/EFA

Poland also saw big protests as the supreme court warned that the Government plans to overhaul the justice system could force the country to leave the EU

Words of the Year

If you ask people about the highlights of the year, you get a lot of individual answers. As the saying goes, where you stand depends on where you sit – and where you come from.

We asked our own Brussels correspondents about their words of the year that would best describe what people were talking about in their respective countries. Find them here.

That's it for this week and this year. We at Euronews in Brussels thank you for being such a loyal audience, wishing you happy holidays and a happy new year.

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