EU nervous as tensions mount ahead of Catalan independence vote

As Catalonia’s independence referendum crisis deepens, EU officials are staying doggedly tight-lipped even as diplomats privately voice serious concern at a situation some regard as a challenge to fundamental European values. The Catalan government’s plans to hold a vote on October 1 in defiance of court orders ruling it illegal have triggered major protests in

German election becomes battle for third place in coalition

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is widely expected to secure a fourth term in office after Sunday’s general election. But with another round of coalition wrangling on the cards, the poll may yet offer a few surprises. Europe’s biggest nation heads to the polls on September 24, with surveys suggesting there is little doubt that “Mother”

French press review 22 September 2017

Peace has returned to northern Mali, according to Libération. Earlier this week in Bamako, a definitive ceasefire was agreed between former rebels seeking independence and various armed groups supporting the government. Clashes between the two sides have undermined the peace deal signed in Algiers in 2015. Observers say the next 15 days will be crucial,

Immigration an issue in Germany’s refugee haven

Sixty percent of the inhabitants of Offenbach, a town close to Frankfurt, are of foreign origin. The city has been praised as a model for integration, it has a longstanding tradition of receiving political and religious refugees and currently brings together a mosaic of 159 nationalities within its 130,000-strong population. But on the eve of