Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Greek crisis overhangs EP plenary session

The plenary session of the European Parliament (EP) opened Monday against the worrying backdrop of the Greek debt crisis following Sunday's historic referendum which saw the country's voters reject the latest offer from creditors.
After the meeting on Monday between French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Elysee Palace, two emergency meetings will be convened in Brussels on Tuesday: a special European Summit and an emergency meeting of the Eurogroup. 

The President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker will not attend the three-hour debate to be held on Tuesday afternoon in Strasbourg, but they are expected to arrive in the French city on Wednesday.

Statements by the Council and the Commission on the conclusions of the EU summit of 25-26 June and the current situation in Greece have now been rescheduled for Wednesday morning. At the summit, EU heads of state also discussed ways to deal with the influx of migrants in the Mediterranean and the question of their relocation to Member States, an issue that seriously divides the Parliament.

Another sensitive issue on this week's EP agenda is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Parliament's recommendations to the Commission on the TTIP negotiations with the United States will be debated on Tuesday morning, before a vote on Wednesday.

At the June plenary session in Strasbourg, voting on a resolution on TTIP was postponed. EP President Martin Schulz adjourned a debate on the subject after just half an hour of a particularly stormy session, a dramatic turn of events that highlighted the divisions within EU trade policy.

At the opening of this week's session on Monday, Schulz led a minute's silence in memory of the 8,000 victims massacred in Srebrenica 20 years ago, during the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. "This act of genocide was one of the worst war crimes in Europe since World War II. It should never have happened, and our collective failure to prevent it shames us," Schulz said.

  Source:Xinhua - globaltimes.cn

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