Europe in a state of ballot boxes. 2019 will not give truce in the counting of votes. In the May elections to the European Parliament, seven more are added to national parliaments (plus Switzerland), six presidential parliaments (plus Ukraine and Macedonia) and, furthermore, the election processes for the president of the Commission and the members of the College of Commissioners, the President of the European Council, the new head of European Diplomacy and the President of the Central Bank.
The polls for the ballots to the European Parliament estimate an advantage of the European People’s Party over the Social Democrats. The new parties can add 43 seats.
Welcome to 2019, the year in which Europeans will live glued to the polls.
Romania at the wheel. The General Affairs Council takes note on Tuesday of the priorities of Romania in its first semester at the head of the EU. Economic convergence and the post-2020 CAP lead the list.
Mayotte under pressure. The claim of sovereignty from the Comoros on Mayotte resurfaces cyclically. The migratory pressure is one of the tactics of Azali Assoumani –the president comorense– to force Paris to negotiate. So far, the Hexagon has responded with millions of euros in aid to the Comoros, trying to buy the calm of a regime under the constant suspicion of corruption and openly authoritarian. The exploration of oil and gas deposits in the Mozambique Channel and the loitering of China and Saudi Arabia, strengthening relations with the Comoros, worry the Mayotenses.
Calm half in Réunion. Cruises return after the worst of the «yellow vests» crisis, but roadblocks and supply difficulties continue. The visit in November of the minister Annick Girardin, who announced measures to control prices on the island and appointed a delegate on competition in the markets of the overseas territories, has not stopped the protests.
Incentives for clean energy. The new Renewable Energy Directive allows specific incentives for the energy transition in the outermost regions. It was published on December 21. States have until 2021 to transpose it.
Azores leads the forum of parliaments. The president of the Azores Assembly, Ana Luís, assumes the Vice Presidency of the Conference of the Regional Legislative Assemblies of the EU, of which she has already been president in 2018.
Record of passports in Madeira. The expedition increases in 2018, driven by the return of emigrants to Venezuela and the Portuguese nationalization of Britons before Brexit.
Earthquake of 4.5 in Guadalupe. It was noted on Friday, January 4, on the island, with an epicenter located on the sea, 64 kilometers north of La Désirade, and 15 kilometers deep.
The poet of the Antillean negritude. The French National Assembly paid tribute to Aimé Césaire, poet of Martinique, one of the most outstanding exponents of the «poetry of blackness» in the Antilles. He was a deputy in the French Assembly.
Ireland will ask for extra help. If the Brexit is consummated without an agreement, Dublin warns that it will ask for hundreds of millions of euros in emergency aid for beef, milk and fish. Less funds to distribute among European regions.
Visegrad 2.0. Matteo Salvini meets this week with Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Warsaw. In the background, the formation of a new alliance of Eurosceptic States.
Profitable aquaculture. The pre-tax benefits of marine farms doubled between 2014 and 2016. Sales reached 4,900 million euros in 2016, according to the Economic Report on Aquaculture that the European Commission has just published. Spain (21%) and France (15%) lead the production. Canarias, Madeira and Azores are outstanding producers of seabass and sea bream.
Downward inflation. Inflation in the euro zone was 1.6% in December, compared to 1.9% in November, according to Eurostat.
CHART OF THE DAY
Guyana and La Réunion indicate the lowest death rates in the European Union for chronic diseases, according to Eurostat. ThIs chart shows the number of residents for each available hospital bed.
«That elasticity of our Diplomacy would be ridiculously laughable if it had no consequences for Department 101 of Mayotte and its French citizens. This tricolor confetti of the Indian Ocean, 375 square kilometers of French soil since 1841 (before Nice, Alsace or Lorraine), is a constant object of all Comorian desires. Whatever the will expressed again and again by the ballot box of the Mayotenses to remain French, Moroni claims Mayotte before the United Nations, and Azali [Assounami] also returns from Moscow and Beijing with his support in this claim. And this, given the total indifference (or with the complicity) of Paris, which is preparing to sign a new bilateral agreement with the Comoros and reward them with 150 million euros of bilateral aid at the expense of the French taxpayer. Our taxes thus finance the Comoros, while Mayotte has suffered the conquest of the Comorian population for twenty years.»
Estelle Youssouffa, «Le département de Mayotte ne sera pas sacrifié aux Comores pour du gaz», Mediapart, January 3, 2018.
With or without Brexit, London will remain in 2019 a capital «open to business, ideas and creativity». So congratulated the mayor Sadiq Khan the new year since his timeline:
Tonight's spectacular #LondonNYE fireworks showed that whatever the outcome of Brexit – #LondonIsOpen – to business, to talent, to ideas, to creativity – and why London really is the greatest city in the world.
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) January 1, 2019
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Wrote and edited today’s Brief Rup Alicia R. Mederos and V. Rodríguez Gago.
See you soon!