Switzerland wants EU referendum to clarify its position in Europe

Swiss President Doris Leuthard has said a referendum would help clarify the country’s position on its relationship with the European Union.

Tensions between Switzerland and the EU have increased in recent days after the EU granted Swiss stock exchanges access to EU markets for only one year. The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation (called MiFID II/MiFIR), will come into force on January 3. Swiss officials slammed the decision to allow access for only a year, calling it discriminatory, and threatened to retaliate.

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Farage asks for an investigation over Soros influence

Brexit architect Nigel Farage has slammed George Soros over his alleged backing of the European project. Farage, speaking at the European Parliament, said the billionaire’s influence in Brussels and Strasbourg was ‘really extraordinary’.

Nigel Farage says while Russia is accused of funding Britain’s ‘Leave’ campaign, financier George Soros’ recent $18 billion donation to pro-EU charity Open Society has escaped scrutiny. “This is where the real international political collusion is,” Farage says.

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Brexit negotiations urge delay for "no sufficient progress", Juncker says

EU taxpayers should not be made to pay for the U.K.’s decision to leave the bloc, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the European Parliament on Tuesday, adding that there had not yet been “sufficient progress” in the negotiations.

In a short speech to open the Parliament’s plenary debate on Brexit in Strasbourg, Juncker emphasized his intention to stick to the bloc’s hard lines on key divorce issues. “The taxpayers of the EU27 should not pay for the British decision,” he told MEPs.

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Bank on Nature: first loan signed in Brussels

The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have announced the first loan agreement backed by the Natural Capital Financing Facility.

The € 6 million loan agreement with Rewilding Europe Capital is expected to provide support for over 30 nature-focused businesses across Europe. Rewilding Europe Capital is Europe’s first conservation and rewilding enterprise financing facility.
With this first project an ambitious new initiative to protect biodiversity and support climate adaptation in Europe has become reality. The Bank on Nature Initiative builds on the Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF), an established financing partnership between the European Commission and the European Investment Bank supporting nature and climate adaptation projects through tailored loans and investments, backed by an EU guarantee. It recognises and fosters the business case for investing in natural capital for biodiversity and climate change adaptation purposes.

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Theresa May scheduled Brexit on 27th March

British prime minister Theresa May will trigger article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal notification of the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the European Union, on March 29th, a spokesman for the British leader said on Monday.
More than 40 years after the UK joined the EU and nine months since it voted to quit it, Britain’s envoy to the bloc, Tim Barrow, informed EU President Donald Tusk on Monday of her plan to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the mechanism for quitting that has never been used.

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EU Parliament revised gun law, will affect Swiss citizens

Controls on firearms in the European Union would be tightened under legislation approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday. The new rules would require member states to check whether deactivated weapons have been rendered permanently unusable. Such weapons are used legally on film sets or in theatre productions. The deactivated weapons must also be registered.

The directive also applies stricter controls to firearms designed to fire blanks. The European Commission had proposed to reform the firearms directive in November 2015 in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

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