Etienne Schneider, Brigitte Macron, Xavier Bettel and the royal couple are shown around the world’s largest start-up incubator, Station F in Paris, by its founder Xavier Niel.
Photo: SIP / Jean-Christophe Verhaegen
Royals visit French start-up incubator, European elections date set, Juncker slammed over Putin congrats, EP wants Facebook explanation, Cinémathèque under bug attack. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
State visit continues
Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa continued their state visit to France on Tuesday, taking in a tour with Brigitte Macron of start-up incubator Station F. Located in 13th arrondissement of Paris, Station F is the world's largest startup facility. The royal couple were joined by prime minister Xavier Bettel and minister of the economy Etienne Schneider. More on the state visit in our noon briefing newsletter.
26 May confirmed for 2019 EP elections
European Parliament elections will take place on Sunday 26 May next year in Luxembourg. Confirmation of the date came on Tuesday by European affairs ministers, who decided to bring forward the traditional date of early June because it clashed with the Whitsun holiday. Member states will be permitted to hold elections between 23 and 26 May, but like many EU countries Luxembourg traditionally goes to the polls on a Sunday. The UK will not vote in the elections, as it will have exited the EU on 29 March 2019. That will reduce the number of seats in the parliament by 46. Luxembourg will vote for a total of 6 MEPs.
Junker criticised for Putin letter
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker faced a severe backlash on Tuesday following the release of his letter of congratulations to Vladimir Putin on his re-election as Russian president. Sections of the British media and conservative politicians in particular were angered by Juncker’s failure to mention the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Salisbury. But former Russian world chess champion turned opposition politician Gary Kasparov also slammed Juncker, calling his missive "another love letter from the free world to a brutal dictator in his 19th year”. In his letter, Juncker said that he had always argued that positive relations between the EU and Russia were crucial to security and that a common objective should be to re-establish a cooperative pan-European security order. “I hope that you will use your fourth term in office to pursue this goal” he concluded.
Zuckerberg invited to EP
Mark Zuckerberg could face a grilling by MEPs, as well as British members of parliament, after European Parliament president Antonio Tajani said that he had invited the Facebook founder and CEO to "clarify before the representatives of 500 million Europeans that personal data is not being used to manipulate democracy.” The company is facing a backlash over its apparent failure to stop a breach of data by Cambridge Analytica. Facebook’s stock fell 2.5 percent on Tuesday after a 6.8 percent drop on Monday.
Cinémathèque closes over bugs
One of Delano’s favourite cultural venues, the city’s Cinémathèque, has been forced to shut down following the discovery of a plague of bedbugs. The Ville de Luxembourg says the cinema will remain closed for around a month while a specialist sanitation firm uses high temperature methods to exterminate the bugs.