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The paper clip

19.02.2013 / 09:59 CET
A round-up of the international press on Tuesday, 19 February.

Italians will go to the polls next week in parliamentary elections. Corriere della Sera writes that a large number of voters – five million – are still undecided. La Repubblica reports on a televised debate last night. La Libre Belgique looks at one of the wild cards in the field, the party formed by the comedian Beppe Grillo.

The European Union has softened its arms embargo on Syria, France's Le Monde writes. At the request of the United Kingdom, an amendment has been made to allow “non-lethal support” to be increased. France's Le Figaro looks at the “dirty war of kidnappings” in Syria.

A United Nations investigator has told the UK's Guardian that the time has come for Bashar Assad and other Syrian leaders to face charges of murder and torture at the International Criminal Court.

The Guardian looks at UK Prime Minister David Cameron's championing of the British arms industry, calling him the “chief arms tout”.

The European Union has eased sanctions on Zimbabwe, removing about one-fifth of the individuals on its blacklist. The Wall Street Journal is among the papers with a report. Belgium tried unsuccessfully to persuade other EU countries to remove a diamond-mining company from the blacklist.

A van of diamonds was yesterday set alight at Brussels airport, La Libre Belgique reports.

The EU yesterday formally launched a mission to train the Malian army. The Dutch daily Volksrant has a report. “Mali: what we must get right before world's attention falls elsewhere” is the headline of a commentary in the Guardian.

A commentator in the Financial Times argues that the financial crisis in Cyprus offers hopes for a re-unification of the island. Europe's leaders can tell the Greek Cypriots, in a friendly but firm way, that aid requires progress on a diplomatic settlement, he argues. 

The Financial Times looks at a decision by the European Parliament to support a cap on bankers' bonuses. The European Parliament's victory is a sign of more danger ahead and of Britain's limited power to block EU developments in a strategic sector, the paper writes.

Romania's Jurnalul National has a précis of Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta's assessment of the horse-meat scandal. We dodged a bullet, is one conclusion; another is that it is customary in Europe to blame eastern ‘paupers'. No one comes out of this looking good, he said.

Lidové noviny looks at the cost of the election campaigns run by ten of the candidates for the Czech presidency. The victor, Miloš Zeman, spent one-third of the 232 million koruna (€9.1m) used in the campaign.

Ha'aretz looks at Israel's ‘Iron Dome' air-defence system and concludes that it cannot protect Israeli communities around the Gaza Strip.

La Stampa writes that a strong showing by Beppe Grillo, a comedian, in Sunday's election in Italy could complicate the quest for a workable majority.

The European Court of Human Rights will rule today whether a Lesbian has the right to adopt her partner's child, writes Die Presse.

Ivica Dacic, Serbia's prime minister, and Hashim Thaci, his counterpart from Kosovo, meet for a fifth round of talks in Brussels today, writes Danas.

Jelko Kacin, the European Parliament's rapporteur for the Western Balkans, tells Nezavisne novine that the unsettled situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the biggest problem in the region.

Carla Del Ponte, a prominent member of a United Nations investigation panel into war crimes in Syria, has called on the international community to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court, writes L'Orient-Le Jour, published in Beirut.

The New York Times reports on a secretive unit of China's armed forces that is thought to be behind cyberattacks against the US.

© 2014 European Voice. All rights reserved.

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