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ECJ rules Hungary limits on foreign-funded NGOs in breach of EU law

Judges at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have ruled that the Hungarian government is breaking E..

Judges at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have ruled that the Hungarian government is breaking EU law by restricting the financing of NGOs.

The court stated that ‘by imposing obligations of registration, declaration and publication on certain categories of civil society organisations directly or indirectly receiving support from abroad exceeding a certain threshold’ that Hungary had introduced ‘discriminatory and unjustified restrictions’. The ECJ ruled that Hungarian law violates both free movement of capital and fundamental rights.


Back in 2017, the government in Budapest adopted a law to freeze any funding to organisations of over 22,000 euros from outside Hungary, arguing that the money could be used for money laundering or the financing of terrorism.

The restrictions placed on NGO funding was seen as targeting billionaire philanthropist George Soros, and organisations like his Open Society Foundation that support Hungarian NGOs. The government claims these organisations work against the national interest.

Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations, welcomed the Courts decision, saying:

“This ruling will resonate throughout the European Union as an affirmation that civic engagement is a vital pillar of its democratic values.”

Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban has repeatedly accused donors like Soros, and court judgments by the ECJ, of meddling in the country’s political affairs.

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Air France to cut 7,580 jobs at French flagship carrier and regional unit Hop!

Issued on: 03/07/2020 – 20:16Modified: 03/07/2020 – 20:16

Air France confirmed plans to cut some 7..

Issued on: 03/07/2020 – 20:16Modified: 03/07/2020 – 20:16

Air France confirmed plans to cut some 7,500 jobs including 1,000 at sister airline Hop! on Friday, as staff protested over its response to the collapse in travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The French flag carrier, part of Franco-Dutch group Air France-KLM, said it had lost €15 million a day during the worst part of the crisis, which also saw its revenues plunge by 95 percent. It did not see traffic returning to 2019 levels before 2024.

As a result, Air France plans to cut 6,560 or 16 percent of jobs at the main airline by the end of 2022, more than 3,500 of which will come through natural departures, it said after union talks.

Another 1,020 jobs will go over the next three years at Hop!, representing 42 percent of staff at the regional carrier based in the coastal city of Nantes, which has also been hit by job cuts at plane manufacturer Airbus.

The French government – which granted Air France €7 billion ($7.9 billion) in aid, including state-backed loans, to help it to survive – has urged the airline to avoid compulsory layoffs, though it has conceded Air France is "on the edge”.

"A successful labour reorganisation is one where there are no forced departures," junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher told Sud Radio on Friday.

In its statement, Air France said it would give priority to voluntary departures, early retirement and staff mobility. It did not rule out compulsory redundancies, however.

The reconstruction plan will be presented at the end of July, together with a plan for the wider Air France-KLM Group.

This is not how I wanted to leave

Some 100 union members and employees, from cleaning staff to check-in assistants, demonstrated earlier outside the airline's base at Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris against plans to cut staff after receiving state aid to absorb the pandemic fallout.

Air France employees gather to protest a restructuring plan that includes thousands of job cuts in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis outside the French airline's headquarters in Roissy-en-France near Paris on July 3, 2020. The sign at right reads, "Not born to end up in the dumpster.” © Gonzalo Fuentes, Reuters

"It's scandalous. The government is putting in €7 billion and the compRead More – Source

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French court opens inquiry into former PM Philippe in handling of Covid crisis

Issued on: 03/07/2020 – 18:55Modified: 03/07/2020 – 18:55

A French court is opening an inquiry int..

Issued on: Modified:

A French court is opening an inquiry into former prime minister Édouard Philippe and two other ministers over their handling of the coronavirus crisis, a prosecutor said Friday.

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The inquiry, which is being opened after nine complaints filed against the ministers were deemed admissable, will be led by the Law Court of the Republic (CJR), which deals with claims of ministerial misconduct, said senior public prosecutor François Molins.

Along with Philippe, who was reRead More – Source

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Who is Jean Castex, Frances new prime minister?

Issued on: 03/07/2020 – 15:28Modified: 03/07/2020 – 15:36

French President Emmanuel Macron has nam..

Issued on: 03/07/2020 – 15:28Modified: 03/07/2020 – 15:36

French President Emmanuel Macron has named Jean Castex the country's new prime minister after the resignation of former PM Édouard Philippe's cabinet. Rather unknown to the public, Castex “comes from the mainstream right-wing party Les Républicains and is best known as "Monsieur Déconfinement" (Mr Post-lockdown) since April, when he was put in charge of organising Frances gradual exit from lockdown, something that has sRead More – Source

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