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Macron wants to create a new European community, and the EU is considering renegotiating treaties



French President Emmanuel Macron has called for a new “European political community” that would include countries like Ukraine that want to join the European Union (EU) but whose accession process could take years. Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also want to remove the requirement for unanimity in EU decisions on issues such as defense or foreign policy; thus, they advocated a revision of the organization’s treaties.

The head of the French state proposed at the end of the conference on the future of Europe in the European Parliament to create a “European political community” as “a new space for political cooperation, security, cooperation in the field of energy, the movement of people” and, “in particular, youth.” It would be designed primarily for countries that, having ceased to be “under the yoke of the Soviet Union”, are now liberal democracies.

For Macron, this would be the most appropriate formula for deepening rapprochement between the EU and Ukraine, without neglecting the rigor required by the latter’s accession to the Union. “The EU cannot be the only means of restructuring the European continent in the short term,” the French leader warned.

“Ukraine, thanks to its courage and its struggle, is already a member of our family. She is a member at heart,” Macron continued. “But even if tomorrow he is given the status of a candidate [a aderir à UE], we are all well aware that this process will take several years, and to be honest, several decades. This is reality,” he said.

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Relations with Russia “without the spirit of revenge”

Despite condemning Russia’s “untold crimes” in Ukraine, the French president has once again taken a constructive stance towards Vladimir Putin’s government, in contrast to the position of strength favored by the US from the start of the invasion.

“We are not at war with Russia,” Macron recalled, while confirming his intention to continue supporting the Ukrainians. When peace returns, he said, it will be necessary to “create a new security balance” in Europe, resisting the Russians’ desire to “humiliate” or the “spirit of vengeance.”

“In the past, these feelings have already ravaged the ways of the world too much,” he said, referring to the Treaty of Versailles signed in 1919. In the document under consideration, Germany was blamed for the First World War, forcing the country to pay large reparations. the victors and contributed to the emergence of discontent among the Germans, which would have contributed to the rise of the Nazis.

More European integration

Emmanuel Macron has also advocated amending European treaties: “It’s clear, we will have to reform our texts,” he said in his first public speech since re-election.

“One of the ways of this reform is to convene a convention to revise the treaty. This is the proposal of the European Parliament, which I support,” the French President stressed.

A few minutes earlier, Ursula von der Leyen had already stressed in her speech the need for these reforms. The leader of the Commission assured that she was ready to “amend treaties if necessary”, thus placing herself alongside Macron and Mario Draghi, the Italian prime minister who went to the European Parliament last week to defend that the EU should deepen integration of member states in the direction of “pragmatic federalism”.

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One of the goals of Macron, von der Leyen and Draghi is to end the obligation of member states to take unanimous decisions on issues such as foreign policy, defense or taxation. On the table is the possibility of making only a qualified majority necessary to discuss the above issues.

PS preview “live discussion”; “Costa didn’t applaud,” Rangel says.

PS MEP Pedro Silva Pereira told JN that the “new institutional architecture of European integration” announced by Macron “will undoubtedly be the subject of lively discussion in the near future.” PSD’s Paulo Rangel recalled that the idea was “not new”.

The social democratic parliamentarian said that even before Brexit, the EU is discussing the division of member states into three circles according to the degree of integration; the latter will include countries that are not yet members of the Union. However, the creation of a new organization is a new nuance, he admitted.

Asked about the implications of a possible treaty renegotiation, Silva Pereira acknowledged that it could mean “greater integration” in Europe. “The main point is the issue of blocking decision-making processes based on the rule of unanimity, which many want to develop into a qualified majority,” he explained.

“We know that there is resistance in the Council from several countries,” the socialist said, although he believes that “the most important thing is to find a way so that the EU can make more effective decisions. The Lisbon Treaty, which also makes decision-making processes more flexible,” he stressed.

J. N. Rangel made a curious observation, only possible because during the Strasbourg session he himself was sitting only “six or seven rows” from the prime minister: when Macron and von der Leyen talked about canceling the EU treaties, António Costa clap once.” The Prime Minister’s position may indicate some reservations on the part of the PS on this issue, the MEP believes.

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Rangel said the EU currently has “residual” defense or health powers. However, he said he was aware that “big member states” such as Germany, France or Italy would “apply strong pressure” to get the reform implemented. He warned that the fact that unanimity is needed to end unanimity could create barriers to change.

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“These Nazis don’t speak Russian. It encourages barbarism”: an analysis of José Milhazes and Nuno Rogueiro



In their usual analysis of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in Jornal da Noite, SIC columnists José Milhazes and Nuno Rogueiro highlight the withdrawal of troops from Severodonetsk, Lavrov’s statement, and the statement of a Russian neo-Nazi group.

Nuno Rogueiro reports that the soldiers who have already begun to leave Severodonetsk are heading to Lisichansk, the only point in the Luhansk region, which is still controlled by the Ukrainians.

“The withdrawal began yesterday [quinta-feira]continues, apparently without casualties. They managed to get out without being surrounded or captured,” he says.

If in Lugansk the Ukrainians practically no longer offer resistance, then in Kherson they may find themselves in a “situation of superiority” over Russian forces, Nuno Rogueiro believes.

Ukrainian troops came close to Kherson, a port city in the south of the country. Although they have not yet entered, and contrary to what is happening in the Donbass, the ratio of Ukrainian and Russian forces is “1.5 to 1,” the SIC observer explains.

“Ukrainians have a situation of equality or even superiority here,” says Nuno Rogueiro.

José Milhazes highlights Lavrov’s speech, accusing the head of Russian diplomacy of “putting his feet on his hands.”

“Firstly, this suggests that Ukraine’s accession to the European Union does not carry anything fundamental. It goes on to say that the EU and NATO are preparing for war with Russia. Then they look for examples from World War II, compare the EU and NATO with Hitler“, He says.

This is another reference from Russia to the Nazis, but there is a group “which the Russians don’t talk about”Milhazes says.

“There is a Russian neo-Nazi group that has been fighting in the Donbas since 2015, and today a statement spread within the organization itself became known. They admit that during the fighting they commit “stupid things”, and if they do “stupid things”, they must eliminate witnesses who saw what they were doing. Civilians This is nothing but the encouragement of barbarism,” he concludes.

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Bank of Portugal sees risk of falling house prices | Bank of Portugal



After four months of war in Ukraine and at a time when inflation reaches its highest level in decades, Banco de Portugal (BdP) is raising the tone of its financial stability risk warnings. Among the main risks now is the possibility of a “significant correction in market prices for residential real estate”, a scenario that, if confirmed, could have a direct impact on banks’ balance sheets.

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World’s largest bacteria found in Caribbean swamps



Scientists have discovered the world’s largest bacterium in a Caribbean swamp, which, unlike most, is not microscopic and can be seen with the naked eye, according to Science magazine.

The thin white thread, about the size of a human eyelash, is “by far the largest bacteria known to date,” said Jean-Marie Folland, a marine biologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and co-author of the paper citing the discovery. made.

Olivier Gros, a co-author and biologist at the University of the French West Indies and Guyana, discovered the first specimen of this bacterium, named Thiomargarita magnifica, or “magnificent sulfur pearl,” clinging to underwater leaves in the Guadeloupe archipelago in the Caribbean. Sea, 2009

The scientist did not immediately determine that this is a bacterium, due to its surprisingly large size, since these bacteria reach an average length of 0.9 centimeters.

Only more recent genetic analyzes have shown that the organism is a single bacterial cell.

“This is an incredible discovery. It raises the question of how many of these giant bacteria exist in the world and reminds us not to underestimate bacteria,” said Petra Levin, a microbiologist at the University of Washington who was not involved in the study. .

Olivier Gros also found bacteria attached to oyster shells, rocks and glass bottles in the marshes of Guadeloupe.

Scientists haven’t been able to grow it in the lab yet, but researchers say the cell has an unusual structure for bacteria.

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The principal difference is that it has a large central compartment, or vacuole (a cavity in cellular protoplasm), which allows some cellular functions to be carried out in this controlled environment rather than in the entire cell.

“The acquisition of this large central vacuole definitely helps the cell bypass the physical limitations (…) of cell size,” said Manuel Campos, a biologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research who was not involved in the study.

The researchers also noted that they are not sure why the bacterium is so large, but co-author Jean-Marie Folland suggested that it may be an adaptation to help it avoid being eaten by smaller organisms.

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