Mexico trade, Jungels victory, Macron charm

Jean-Claude Juncker, here at a 2017 conference at Luxembourg University, says trade should be a win-win process Maison Moderne/Jan Harion

Jean-Claude Juncker, here at a 2017 conference at Luxembourg University, says trade should be a win-win process Maison Moderne/Jan Harion

Juncker hails trade deal with Mexico, Bob Jungels tired after special win, Macron’s Trump meeting, Hungarians protest and Ronaldo’s Luxembourg holding. Delano’s breakfast briefing.

EU and Mexico open up trade

The European Commission on Saturday announced a new trade agreement between the EU and Mexico. Practically all trade in goods between the EU and Mexico will now be duty-free. The deal includes a comprehensive trade and sustainable development chapter that commits both parties to fulfil obligations under the Paris Agreement on climate change. And, says the statement, “it will also be the first EU trade agreement to tackle corruption in the private and public sectors.” Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the agreement showed a willingness on both sides for dialogue and compromise.  "Trade can and should be a win-win process,” he said. Agricultural exports from the EU are set to benefit the most, according to the Commission. But it also includes trade in financial services, transport, e-commerce, and telecommunications

Jungels wins classic

Luxembourg cycling champion Bob Jungels recorded the most prestigious victory of his career on Sunday when he won the classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège race. The win made headlines on the sports pages around the world. Cycling News said the manner of Jungels’ victory was “almost identical” fashion to the way Luxembourg’s most famous cyclist, Andy Schleck, won the race nine years ago. Jungels made his break 18 kilometres from the finish and managed to extend a big enough gap--up to one minute at one stage--to hold on and end the race 37 seconds clear of second placed Michael Woods. Jungels, who rides for Quick-Step Floors, said that he was tired, emotional and proud after the race. "Being so close to Luxembourg is something special too.”

Macron charms Trump in Fox interview

French president Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the United States this week has been the subject of much speculation. Many commentators see Macron as the EU leader de facto when it comes to dealing with Trump, a position underlined by the French president’s interview on Fox News on Sunday.  The Guardian was not alone in describing the interview, in which Macron said he and Trump were “probably the maverick of the systems on both sides”, as part of a charm offensive. Macron is hoping to convince Trump to reverse his intention to withdraw US from Syria, to stick with the Iran nuclear deal and to call off any threats of a transatlantic trade war. The two presidents will dine privately on Monday before an official meeting on Tuesday. Macron will also address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.

Hungarians protest Orbán victory

Tens of thousands of protestors called for freedom of the media at a rally in Budapest on Saturday. The blame government control over the media for the election victory of prime minister Viktor Orbán on 8 April. Reuters reports that the rally organisers claim that state media has been turned into Orbán’s “propaganda machine”.

Ronaldo has Lux holding

German magazine Der Spiegel reports that football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has operated a holding in Luxembourg and a trust in Jersey in 2015.  The magazine cites whistleblower platform Football Leaks with revelations that Ronaldo is the “sole beneficial owner" behind the structure that owns several hotels, and states that there seems to be no mention of the holding in the footballer’s 2015 tax declaration.