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Dutch parliament rejects motion for EU referendum

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The Dutch House of Representatives has rejected by majority a motion by opposition leader Geert Wilders for a referendum on the country’s European Union (EU) membership.

“I say this to everyone: the Dutch deserve a referendum as well,” Wilders stated while advocating his motion in parliament in The Hague on Tuesday.

“The Dutch should also be able to rule in favour or against the departure of the Netherlands from the European Union and the restoration of our national sovereignty and independence,” Geert, leader of Party for Freedom (PVV) said.

Only 14 of the total of 150 MP’s supported the motion for a ‘Nexit’ referendum, the 12 members of Wilders anti-EU Party of Freedom PVV and two MP’s who had separated themselves from the PVV.

A Dutch EU referendum would be possible with the backing of a majority of parliament or if the prime minister would issue a referendum. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has already stated that he is against a referendum in general and also against the Netherlands leaving the EU.

“That would have major consequences for the Netherlands, our stability and the recovery of our prosperity,” Rutte reacted on the outcome of Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

“I am absolutely against it. It would not be in the Dutch interest.”

According to a poll by Dutch news show EenVandaag on June 25, 54 per cent of the Dutch people would like to have a referendum on whether the Netherlands should stay part of the EU. The same survey showed there would be no majority for a Nexit, with 48 per cent voting to leave the EU.

According to Dutch law, citizens of the Netherlands can only apply for an advisory referendum and such a referendum can only deal with laws or treaties already adopted but not entered into force yet. This was the case in April when a majority of the Dutch voted against the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement.

Wilders won’t give up on his Nexit message.

“My proposal for a Nexit referendum was rejected today,” he said, adding “But the Dutch get a second chance on March 15, 2017, the day of our next general elections.”

 

Europe

Belgian court ends extradition case against Catalan leader Puigdemont

The judge had declared the case to be “without merit” during an in-camera hearing.

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Carles Puigdemont

A Belgian court formally closed extradition proceedings against deposed Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont on Thursday.

Puigdemont and four of his deputies fled to Belgium in October to avoid charges of rebellion, sedition and misusing public money in relation to Catalonia’s independence bid. The Spanish Supreme Court withdrew the European arrest warrants last week.

The judge had declared the case to be “without merit” during an in-camera hearing, Paul Bekaert, Puigdemont’s Belgian lawyer, told AFP.

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Terror plot to assassinate British PM foiled: Report

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Theresa May

London, Dec 6 : British intelligence have reportedly foiled a plot by Islamic extremists to assassinate Prime Minister Theresa May, a media report said.

The disrupted plot against May included an explosive device that terrorists planned to detonate in front of May’s residence on 10 Downing Street, a Sky News report said.

“It is in essence an extreme Islamist suicide plot against Downing Street,” it said.

“Essentially police believe that the plan was to launch some sort of improvised explosive device at Downing Street and in the ensuing chaos attack and kill Theresa May, the Prime Minister,” the news report said.

The plot was just one in a number of planned attacks in 2017 that cops and British security services have been able to prevent, Sky said.

It was not clear on Tuesday night what stage the plot was in or if any suspects have been arrested.

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EU’s Mogherini meets with Tillerson, calls on US to stick with Iran nuclear deal

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File:Rex Tillerson Federica Mogherini 2017-02-09 03

The EU’s top diplomat says Washington’s decision to step away from a landmark nuclear deal would be counterproductive, and insisted that other disputes with Tehran should be tackled in other ways.

Federica Mogherini, who met with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Brussels on Tuesday, said that the EU attaches great importance to upholding the agreement. Scrapping the deal “would not put us in a better position to discuss all the rest, on the contrary,” Mogherini added.

Tillerson said that “Iran is carrying out a number of other destabilizing activities throughout the region” and called for joint action to counter it, AP reports.

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