Top EU election candidates struggle to find differences

PARIS (Reuters) – The top two rival candidates to lead the European Commission struggled yesterday to find real policy differences in the first live television debate ahead of European Parliament elections next month.

Centre-right Jean-Claude Juncker and Social Democrat Martin Schulz – whose native languages are Luxembourgish and German – argued politely in French over the appropriate balance between budget austerity and investment to promote economic growth in a 50-minute debate on France 24 television.

But they agreed far more often than they disagreed in a pro-European consensus that may be exploited by anti-EU populists of the far right and hard left, who blame policies made in Brussels for the continent’s economic crisis and mass unemployment.

Juncker, 59, the veteran former Luxembourg prime minister and chairman of euro group finance ministers, stressed the need to maintain tight control of public finances and said he could see no grounds to give France more time to reduce its deficit.

“France has already had two extensions to its period of adjustment. A priori there is no obvious reason why it should get a third one,” he said, while noting that the European authorities would study France’s budget plans before deciding.

More in World News

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Democrats in disarray on eve of convention to nominate Clinton

PHILADELPHIA,  (Reuters) – The head of the Democratic Party resigned yesterday amid a furor over embarrassing leaked emails, hoping to head off a growing rebellion by Bernie Sanders supporters on the eve of the convention to nominate Hillary Clinton for the White House.

default placeholder

ASEAN deadlocked on South China Sea after Cambodia blocks statement

VIENTIANE,  (Reuters) – South-east Asian nations failed to find common ground on maritime disputes in the South China Sea yesterday after Cambodia stuck to its demand the group make no reference to an international court ruling against Beijing in a statement, diplomats said.

default placeholder

One dead, 12 injured in blast near Nuremberg, Germany -police

BERLIN,  (Reuters) – An explosion killed at least one person and injured 12 others near the German city of Nuremberg yesterday and authorities said it was believed to be intentional.

default placeholder

Islamic State claims responsibility for Kabul attack, 80 dead

KABUL (Reuters) – Twin explosions tore through a demonstration by members of Afghanistan’s mainly Shi’ite Hazara minority in Kabul yesterday, killing at least 80 people and wounding more than 230 in a suicide attack claimed by Islamic State.

default placeholder

Spy agencies struggle to spot threats from lone, mentally ill attackers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Recent attacks on civilians in the US and Europe have exposed a gap in the intelligence community’s efforts to track suspected extremists and prevent mass killings, a half dozen American, British and French counterterrorism officials told Reuters.

default placeholder

Turkey’s Erdogan shuts schools, charities in first state of emergency decree

ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan tightened his grip on Turkey yesterday, ordering the closure of thousands of private schools, charities and other institutions in his first decree since imposing a state of emergency after the failed military coup.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.



Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: