Cyprus ranks fifth among top 10 EU stories in 2018
Cyprus ranked fifth among Europe’s top ten news stories of the year compiled by EUObserver, an independent online newspaper reporting on the EU with correspondents in all 28 member states.
In 2018 - the final full year of the Juncker Commission, ahead of next year’s stormylooking European elections - was ultimately dominated by three issues: Brexit, migration, and the increasingly “illiberal” policies of some eastern member states, most notably Poland and Hungary.
“With all three issues interlinked and unresolved, they look like setting the agenda for the May 2019 European Parliament election. With the far-right formally in power-sharing governments in Rome and in Vienna, and autocratic and nationalist regimes entrenched in Warsaw and Budapest, it looks like being a bumpy year for whoever the next European Commission president may be,” said the EUObserver.
Although more attention went on Hungary and Poland, the EU’s soft underbelly of corruption, passport-selling, assassinations and dodgy oligarchs in Malta and Cyprus did not escape Andrew Rettman’s attention.
Under the title “Cyprus: Russia’s weak link?” Rettman’s “nearly 4,000 word expose of the Cypriot banking sector and its Russian links reads like a John le Carre thriller” notes the online newspaper.
“(Cyprus) Its lax attitude to suspicious Russian money posed a threat to other countries’ banks in the single market and created hazards for European democracy, experts said,” read the article.
Last on the list, at number scandal of former Commission 10, is the
President José Manuel Barroso having secret and undocumented meetings with current commissioners, despite now working as a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs.
In at number 9 is the scandal of MEPs receiving so-called ‘expenses’ which are, in fact, a monthly lump sum paid, no questions asked, no receipts needed, no underspend required to be repaid.
Number 8 is the notable recruitment of former British Chancellor George Osborne from Black Rock and the EUR 2.1 trln spent on the pan-European pension fund.
Seventh best story of the year is the “antiSemitic” campaign of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban against George Soros and his threats to the European Parliament: “Accept me or I will create a populist, antiimmigrant party.”
In at number 6 is the publication of Kerte Deebeff’s book, “Why the War Comes”, and the EUObserver Report on the Achilles’ heel of the EU, air traffic safety.
At No 3, the news of how Morocco lobbies the EU for its Western Sahara claim.
Number two on the list is occupied by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ‘torture chambers’.
Topping the list is the European Commission’s Secretary General slips up to disclose the EU commissioners’ private mobile phone numbers in a photo of his promotion.
EUObserver’s “eagle-eyed Nikolaj Nielsen spotted that Martin Selmayr had accidentally left the entire list of EU commissioners’ private mobile phone numbers visible, quickly making this story go viral and our most-read story of 2018. Not a good first day in the office”.