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The biggest stories in politics

from Pan European Networks

The following stories all appeared on our website:

paneuropeannetworks.com

ICELAND NAMES ACTING

PRIME MINISTER

T

he deputy leader of the Progressive Party,

Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, has been named

as Iceland’s acting prime minister after the

party’s chairman, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson,

resigned following the Panama Papers scandal.

Gunnlaugsson stepped down as prime minister following documents

leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. The documents

have raised questions over the former Icelandic prime minister’s tax

affairs, specifically the sale of assets to his wife for a minimal $1

(~€0.87). The two bought offshore company Wintris in 2007, but

Gunnlaugsson did not declare an interest when he entered parliament

in 2009.

Gunnlaugsson has said that he

did not break any laws, but the

leaked information sparked a

massive protest in Iceland

earlier this week, calling for the

prime minister’s resignation.

Although Gunnlaugsson had

initially refused calls to resign, mounting pressure from opposition

parties caused him to ask President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson to dissolve

parliament and call an early election.

However, the former prime minister also took to social media to

complain about the pressure that was aimed at him, and suggested

that he did not wish to resign, but felt he had been forced to do so.

Johannsson, the acting prime minister, also currently serves as the

minister for agriculture and fisheries.

7 April 2016

SERIES OF EXPLOSIONS

ROCK BRUSSELS

A

series of explosions have hit an airport and

a metro station close to EU institutions in

Brussels, Belgium.

At least one person has been confirmed dead and several more injured

after a double explosion hit a departure hall and runway at Zaventem airport

at around 08:00 CET.

Belgian news agency Belga has reported that shots were fired and shouting

in Arabic heard before the blasts. The cause is not yet clear.

All operations have been suspended and the building evacuated, according

to the airport. It will remain closed until further notice.

Some 90 minutes later, a thirdexplosion struck Maalbeek metro station in

central Brussels. The entire metro system has since been closed. It is not yet

known how many people have

been affected by the blast.

The explosions follow the

arrest of Salah Abdeslam on

Friday. Abdelslam is suspected

of involvement in the

November terror attacks in

Paris which left 130 people

dead. Police had been on high

alert for any retaliatory attacks.

The government has now set the alert level to maximum. Maalbeek metro

station is situated less than 0.5km from the Berlaymont building, which

houses the headquarters of the European Commission. Other EU buildings

are also located nearby.

Zaventem airport is located northeast of Brussels city centre.

22 March 2016

© Christophe Cunen-Classens,EU-delegasjonen

The first months of 2016 have once again seen terrorists shake Europe to the core. On 22

March, three suicide bombers struck multiple locations across Brussels. Two explosions

took place in the check-in area of the main terminal at Brussels’s Zaventem airport, whilst

a third blast hit the Maalbeek metro station, not far from the headquarters of the

European Commission.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has set 23 June as the date when the electorate will

decide whether their country should stay in or leave the EU. The referendum follows late

night talks with national leaders in Brussels, which resulted in the UK leader announcing

he had secured “special status” for the island country “in a reformed Europe”.

Europe has also been affected by the revelations in the Panama Papers scandal, leading

to the resignation of Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has unveiled a series of steps that it will take to

fully restore the Schengen Area by the end of the year.

Pan European Networks: Government

18

www.paneuropeannetworks.com

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©AndrewNash