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Greek Debt Crisis: Government rejects draft proposals, referendum to be held on July 5

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The European Union (EU) on Sunday afternoon released the latest draft proposals offered to Greece but were later rejected by the Greek government, following Greek parliament’s approval of a referendum on them to be held next week.

“In the interest of transparency and for the information of the Greek people, the European Commission is publishing the latest proposals agreed among the three institutions,” EU’s executive body European Commission said in a statement.

The proposals have taken into account the Greek authorities’ proposals of June 8, 14, 22 and 25, as well as talks at political and technical level throughout the week, Xinhua reported citing the statement.

The proposals were provided to the Greek government on Friday, but the government “unilaterally” ended talks, according to the statement.

Late Friday night, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tripras called the proposals “blackmail” and vowed a refusal to the austerity measures. He called for a popular vote on the proposals on July 5.

On Saturday, the Eurogroup financial ministers held an emergency meeting but the Greek Financial Minister Yanis Varoufakis decided to leave midway. The other 18 ministers later accused Athens of breaking off negotiations and giving negative response to the proposals.

It was not the institutions but the Greek government that walked away from talks, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Saturday.

The group also rejected Greece’s request for an extension for July’s referendum, saying “the current financial assistance arrangement with Greece will expire on June 30”.

The Greek parliament approved the referendum in Athens late Saturday night.

The draft proposals outlined measures the creditors have urged Greece to adopt on– among others– fiscal policy, reform on pension, tax and value-added tax.

 

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Air Quality Still Needs Improvement: EU

:Air pollution is an invisible killer and we need to step up our efforts to address the causes."

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air pollution, Pollution, pollutants
In this Sept. 19, 2018 photo steam and cooling towers of a lignite power plant are reflected in a pond in Peitz, eastern Germany. VOA

The European Union’s environmental agency says air pollution is slowly improving across the continent but still exceeds the bloc’s limits and guidelines from the U.N. health agency.

The European Environment Agency on Monday issued its 2018 report on air quality and said emissions from road traffic, agriculture, energy production, industry and households are churning out pollutants like particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone.

Fireworks, air pollution
For newly born babies, each burst of firework is a “nightmare”

Agency head Hans Bruyninckx said: “Air pollution is an invisible killer and we need to step up our efforts to address the causes.”
He said Europe must “redouble its efforts to reduce emissions caused by transport, energy and agriculture and invest in making them cleaner and more sustainable.”

Also Read: No Definition Of Green Firecrackers, Probably Too Late To Put A Check: Environmentalists

The report was based on more than 2,500 monitoring stations across Europe in 2016, the latest available data. (VOA)