EU’s Michel slams ‘acts of war’ against planet in call for climate action

European Council president stresses need for 'transparency and loyalty' in transatlantic relations.

EU’s Michel slams ‘acts of war’ against planet in call for climate action

NEW YORK — European Council President Charles Michel slammed what he called “acts of war against our environment” that have led to climate change, calling for a “peace treaty with our planet.”

“We have tortured our planet, abused our natural resources, we have committed acts of war against our environment. And now nature is fighting back, bringing us back to our senses,” Michel told the U.N. General Assembly in New York. “No one can say ‘I didn’t know.’ For decades, scientists have sounded the alarm but their warnings fell on deaf ears.”

He added: “It’s time for humans to sign an armistice with nature, a peace treaty with our planet … It’s time for us to transform the world, just as the previous generation did after the last world war.”

In order to create a fairer and safer world, Michel called for “cooperation rather than confrontation, solidarity rather than isolation, transparency not secrecy, and we want loyalty, honoring our word when our word is given.”

Michel’s remarks about transparency and loyalty echoed strong criticism he made earlier this week about the U.S. regarding a new strategic tie-up Washington agreed with the U.K. and Australia in the Indo-Pacific. U.S. President Joe Biden has sought to patch up relations since then, conceding after a call with French President Emmanuel Macron that Washington should have consulted Paris about the pact, which scuppered a submarine deal the French had with Canberra.  

“The elementary principles for an alliance are loyalty and transparency,” Michel told reporters on Monday, adding: “We are observing a clear lack of transparency and loyalty.” 

In his speech Thursday, Michel noted that the EU is the leading investor in the Indo-Pacific and an important trade partner there. He also stressed the EU’s push for “strategic autonomy” in security and defense, “to be less dependent, to shore up our positive influence and also to strengthen our Atlantic alliance. This is an alliance which is anchored in our democratic values and it is a staunch pillar of our security and stability in the world.”

Michel added: “Stronger allies make for a stronger alliance in transparency and loyalty.” 

Source : Politico EU More   

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Carles Puigdemont freed after arrest in Italy

Ex-Catalan leader was arrested in Sardinia on Thursday.

Carles Puigdemont freed after arrest in Italy

ROME — A judge in Sardinia has ordered the release of former Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont after his arrest on Thursday, but ruled that he must remain on the island.

Puigdemont was detained at the airport when he arrived to take part in a Catalan cultural festival and meet Sardinian separatists, and spent the night in custody.

Puigdemont first fled Spain in 2017 to go into self-exile in Belgium following the region’s failed bid for independence, which Spanish courts had declared unconstitutional. Belgian courts have since blocked the extradition of him and other former Catalan leaders for charges they face in Spain over the independence push.

Upon arrival in Italy, Puigdemont was arrested under a new European arrest warrant issued by the Spanish Supreme Court in October 2019, which was then suspended by a Belgian judge in January 2020.

A court in Sassari on Friday ruled that there was no reason to keep Puigdemont in custody, but ordered that he stay in Sardinia while the question of his extradition was settled, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. 

Puigdemont, now an MEP, was stripped of his European parliamentary immunity in March. He went to the Court of Justice of the EU in an attempt to have the lifting of his immunity suspended, but his request was rejected in July, leaving him open to prosecution and possible extradition to Spain. His lawyer said Friday that they would appeal in a bid to get his parliamentary immunity back.

The former Catalan leader’s release followed protests outside the court and calls from politicians of all stripes for his release.  

Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right League, said: “We have trouble arresting Italian delinquents and we arrest parliamentarians from other nations?” adding that he “hoped Italy would not carry out vendettas or justice at the request of other countries.”

Senator Roberto Rampi of the leftist Democrats said: “I find it beyond any logic to arrest an MEP in office. He must be immediately released.”

Source : Politico EU More   

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