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  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • The Mission of Brunei Darussalam wrote an aide memoir to present its point of view. It starts by stressing that Islam is Brunei’s official religion and that “strong religious values with rich heritage of tradition and culture, form the very foundation of the unique Bruneian identity (…) which are important to be preserved.” The document continues by Brunei asserting its sovereignty and the right to enforce laws “reflecting our own cultural and religious values.”
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  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Spanish authorities report that 6.000 unaccompanied youths came into the country in 2018. Spain now has 12.500 under-age illegal migrants on register, the vast majority from Morocco, double the number of the previous year and it is expected to rise further throughout 2019. Thousands of them stray into the rest of Europe, looking for a residence permit: the number of official registered as having gone ‘missing’ is now 5.950.
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  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • The EU did give money to the EHT. But it did so through the European Research Council, not through the ESA as one would assume going on the information given. The EU provided about €34.3 million in funding (€14 million for the BlackHoleCam-project and another €30.3 for the RadioNet-project). A rather long list of other institutions providing funding suggests that the claim that it wouldn’t have happened without the EU is rather facetious.
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  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • “Unfortunately, the builders used “alternative” materials for some of the restoration giving the restored fortress wall and gate a ‘plastic’ look. Thus, the restoration of the Krakra Fortress has become notorious among Bulgaria’s archaeological restorations, with critics claiming that the EU money was likely embezzled by local politicians and/or construction entrepreneurs who used cheap plastic instead of proper materials.”
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  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • “The Commission’s actions involved a manipulation of the rules governing senior management appointments so as to convey the impression that the appointment procedures, in the case of Mr Selmayr, were applied correctly and that the outcome, in turn, was fair and correct. In fact, this was not the case and the entire affair, starting in January 2018, if not earlier, was arranged to ensure the appointment of Mr Selmayr as Secretary-General.”
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  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • “Italians have to take care of the poor regions of Italy. That means more work; less corruption; seriousness. We will help them as we always did. But don’t play this game of loading with responsibility the EU. A country is a country, a nation is a nation. Countries first, Europe second.”
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  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Because it wants to “match ambitions with resources” the EC says it will fund “new and pressing priorities”. Amongst those are research and innovation, young people (?), the digital economy (?), the pet peeve sustainability, border management, and security and defense. The EC believes this will “contribute to prosperity, sustainability and security in the future.”
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  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Dutch Newspaper De Telegraaf reports that the annual €13 billion shortfall is going to be compensated by raising the seven-year budget plan from €1000 billion to €1300 billion, amounting to a raise of €300 billion, from 1% of the EU’s GDP to 1.14%. Seven years without the Red Coats amounts to a budget shortfall of €91 billion. So one wonders how they’ll spend the surplus €209 billion this new seven-year budget plan entails. According to EU sources, €30 billion will be spent on “guarding the EU’s outer borders”. How the remaining €121 billion will be spent, is not yet clear.
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  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Maybe if the EU had offered any more information on how the “#EUbudget” made sure everyone in the EU had access to clean water, someone could say anything more substantial about the claim. But Monday-intern didn’t. Oh, well. Maybe they think that Monty Python sketch is some sort of bingo card and the EU has to claim everything on it at least once? The aqueduct? Check. Brought peace? Of course they did!
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