The President of Poland is a “liar” and his wife is a “witch”, according the head of Radio Maryja, a controversial Catholic, nationalist broadcaster which is normally intensely supportive of the governing right-wing coalition.
The US and the EU last week rewrote a draft resolution on the future status of the disputed province of Kosovo to omit the promise of independence if further negotiations with Serbia end in deadlock. The new draft would be a watered-down version of the previous one and instead of automatic independence would only include a promise to review the situation after more talks.
Example of EU integration too personal for someA film submitted to YouTube by the EU showing sex scenes from European films last week proved much more popular with YouTube users than with the continent’s rightwing politicians.Going under the title Film Lovers Will Love This, the short features 44 seconds of 18 European couples, both straight and gay, getting it on and then climaxing with the slogan “Let’s come together”, before adding “Millions of cinema lovers enjoy European films…every year.” The film has received over two million hits to date.
Minister of Defence Imre
Szekeres appeared to be snubbed on a visit to Moscow last week when his Russian counterpart
Anatoly Serdyukov claimed he was too busy to meet him. Szekeres later said that
the visit was unofficial and that he had known in advance that Serdyukov could
not meet him.
threatens to get really cross next year with Bulgaria
European Commission last week reprimanded the EU’s newest members Bulgaria and Romania for doing too little to
combat corruption and organised crime, but chose not to impose any sanctions on
the two states.
reports are a reality check. They show how the Bulgarian and Romanian
governments are tackling judicial reform, corruption and organised crime,” the
President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said last week.
Barroso added that there now needs to be more emphasis on implementing laws
rather than just passing them.
corruption is still one point of weakness. Both governments are aware of this,”
Franco Frattini, the Italian Commissioner for Justice and Home said at a press
conference shortly after the Commission adopted the six-monthly progress
reports on both countries.
Despite the Commission’s reluctance to impose any
kind of punishment beyond the reprimands in the progress reports published last
week, it stated that it might if there were still problems next year.
Suspected Russian spy released
was forced to release a suspected Russian spy in a military technology
case last Thursday after the United Nations decided that he had
diplomatic immunity. The alleged secret agent, named in the Austrian
media as Vladimir V. Vozhzhov, was arrested in Gmunden near Salzburg in
Upper Austria on 11 June. The Russian was suspected of attempting to
obtain technical details of the Franco-German military helicopter
project Eurocopter Tiger.
Kurt Waldheim dead at 88
UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, whose time as Austrian President
was beset with allegations of complicity in Nazi crimes during the
Second World War, died last Thursday aged 88. Following several decades
as an Austrian diplomat, he served two full terms as Secretary General
of the UN between 1972 and 1981. The allegations about his wartime
activities did not surface during his stint at the top of the UN
despite his being a figure of worldwide significance.
US-Russian relations coolThere were several bouts of verbal sparring between the US and Russia in the run up to last week’s G8 summit in Germany, with some commentators predicting the outbreak of a new Cold War, but in the end it appeared to be all smiles in Heiligendamm. Tensions appeared to ease over the US missile shield and a decision on Kosovo was delayed to have another shot at a negotiated solution.
Lugovoy: I am innocent of murderAndrey Lugovoy, the man British prosecutors want to try for the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, last week accused the British secret service of being responsible for the killing. When challenged to prove the accusation, he claimed that he had evidence but declined to produce it.