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Geopolitics

Belgian Politician To Britain: You Snub EU, We Europeans Stop Speaking English

A Belgian M.P. in the European Parliament is so livid over David Cameron’s E.U. treaty veto that he is refusing even to speak the English language. Another accused the British Prime minister Tuesday of selling out to London bankers.

Former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt, now a member of the European Parliament
Former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt, now a member of the European Parliament


*NEWSBITES

British Prime Minister David Cameron's recent veto of changes to the E.U. treaty has generated some seriously bad blood among E.U. politicans, one of whom – former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt – has gone so far as to boycott the English language.

Rather than address the Strasbourg-based European Parliament in English, as he normally would have done, Verhofstadt chose instead Tuesday to stick with his native Flemish. "Today, I shall be speaking my mother tongue. English is out of style," said Verhofstadt, who heads the Parliament's Liberal faction.

Verhofstadt is not the only E.U. politician still fuming over Cameron's veto. Martin Schulz, leader of the Social Democrats in the European Parliament, accused the British prime minister of using the veto to ensure there would be no further regulation of "London City speculators."

"Fortunately, other leaders didn't let themselves be blackmailed like that," Schulz said. He also expressed agreement with the conservative European People's Party leader, Joseph Daul, that the issue of the British rebate – a rebate on the UK contribution to the E.U. budget – should be reviewed.

"Why should we accommodate them?" Daul, a Frenchman, asked. The rebate was hammered out in 1984 by then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Others, however, remain cautiously optimistic that Britain's break from Europe will only be temporary. The UK will "come back to the table to save face," said Luxembourg's Viviane Reding, a European Commission vice-president. "The British need us more than we need the British."

Read the full story in German by Florian Eder

Photo - Europaportalen.se

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Why I Fled: Meet The Russian Men Choosing Exile Over Putin's War

After Vladimir Putin announced a national military draft, thousands of men are fleeing the country. Independent Russian news platform Vazhnye Istorii spoke to three men at risk of conscription who've already fled.

A mobilized man says goodbye to his daughter in Yekaterinburg.

Vazhnye Istorii

A mix of panic, violence and soul-searching has followed Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement of a partial mobilization of 300,000 men to fight the increasingly difficult “special operation” in Ukraine.

Soon after the announcement, protests were reported in Moscow and around the country, with at least 2,000 people being detained during the past several days. It is still unclear how successful these protests will be.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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More notably, the mobilization decree also prompted more than 260,000 men of conscription age to leave left the country. Observers believe that number will continue to grow, especially as long as the borders stay open. Almost all men aged 18-65 are eligible, but some professions, including banking and the media, are exempt.

Vazhnye Istorii, an independent Russian investigative news platform based in Latvia, spoke to three of the many thousands who have chosen to flee the country.

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