EU leaders struggle to save deadlocked virus recovery summit

first_imgSquabbling EU leaders held a make-or-break dinner on Sunday to try to break three days of deadlock in talks over a huge coronavirus rescue package. EU Council President Charles Michel, the summit host, gathered the 27 leaders for dinner after a day of small group meetings that failed to yield a major breakthrough in the search for a deal.He made a last-ditch proposal for the 750-billion-euro ($860-billion) rescue deal aimed at bridging a gaping rift with a coalition of “Frugals” — the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Finland. The Frugals, led by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, have sought to slash the scale of the package of loans and grants that Brussels wants to help the countries hit hard by the epidemic. As fears rose that the summit would collapse without agreement, Michel suggested cutting the grant portion of the deal to 400 billion euros — down from his initial proposal of 500 billion — and raising the loan part to 350 billion, up from 250 billion.In a heartfelt speech over dinner, Michel reminded leaders of the devastating human cost of the pandemic — 600,000 dead including 200,000 in Europe — and urged them to come together to complete a “mission impossible”.”The question is this: are the 27 leaders, responsible for the people of Europe, capable of building European unity and trust?” Michel said, according to a copy of his remarks seen by AFP. “Or will we present the face of a weak Europe, undermined by mistrust?” Rule of law row Meanwhile, another stumbling block emerged when Hungary’s hardline premier Viktor Orban accused Rutte of waging a personal vendetta against him and his country — and vowed to prevent any agreement on efforts to tie EU spending to recipient countries’ respect for EU standards.The so-called “Rule of Law” measure — also opposed by Poland and Slovenia — could see Orban’s nationalist and increasingly authoritarian government lose out if fellow members judge his alleged assault on the free media and democratic norms breaks with European values.Both issues could thwart attempts to reach agreement at the summit, and that is even before the leaders — who began meeting on Friday and have finished after midnight for two nights running — get on to debating the draft of the seven-year, trillion-euro EU budget. Macron urged leaders to “take responsibility” as Europe grapples with a severe recession caused by the virus and its lockdowns, saying a deal could still be found, “but these compromises cannot be made at the cost of European ambition”.center_img Topics : Dogged frugals But a senior aide to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said they were only prepared to accept a maximum of 350 billion euros as grants in the package, and even this was subject to conditions.”It’s about the rebates, higher climate ambitions, and that we include a mechanism that makes so that countries will not be able to get money from the EU budget or this recovery package if they do not follow the principles of rule of law,” Paula Carvalho Olovsson told the TT news agency.At the start of what she said was probably the “decisive” third day of the extraordinary summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had said there were still many divisions among the leaders, and so it proved.The leaders sat down to their dinner around 7:20pm (1720 GMT), more than seven hours after they had been scheduled to restart their full round-table meeting of all 27.Round after round of small group meetings went on all day as Michel, aided by Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, tried to drag the frugals and the more indebted — and virus-ravaged — on board for a compromise, but progress was painfully slow.A European source said there were fresh clashes over the dinner table, as the frugals demanded massive hikes in the rebates they get on their EU contributions.Rutte also wants member states to retain the right to veto national economic plans by the likes of Italy and Spain, in order to oblige them to pursue reforms to borrowing and their labor and pensions markets — an effort that was angrily resisted by his Italian counterpart, Giuseppe Conte.last_img read more

Governor Wolf: Grant Brings Sandy Hook Promise to Over 70 Schools

first_img October 15, 2018 Education,  Press Release,  Public Safety,  Schools That Teach Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf announced today that $1 million has been awarded to Pennsylvania for over 70 schools to implement violence prevention programs through the Sandy Hook Promise, which was created after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.“Parents and students deserve to have confidence that our commonwealth’s classrooms are safe,” said Governor Wolf. “There are many approaches to preventing violence, and this funding builds on holistic efforts, including a $60 million investment from the state, to help schools and communities make our classrooms safe places for children to learn.”The funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s (USDOJ) Office of Justice Programs was awarded through the STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program and authorized by the STOP School Violence Act enacted in March 2018.The Pennsylvania Department of Education has been working with Sandy Hook Promise (SHP). The funding will be used to implement SHP’s Start With Hello and Say Something, which are among SHP’s Know the Signs programs aimed at empowering students. Start With Hello encourages and guides students in creating socially inclusive school communities, while Say Something trains students to recognize the signs and appropriately intervene when they identify someone as exhibiting behaviors that they may be a threat to themselves or others.Today’s announcement follows the release in August of the Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force created by Governor Wolf and the Auditor General Eugene DePasquale after the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The previously announced $60 million investment through the School Safety and Security Committee, as well as the existing Safe School Targeted Grants, are working together equip schools and communities with a range of the tools to prevent violence.“Pennsylvania schools are working to create environments where every student, staff member, and visitor feel valued and respected,” said Education Secretary Pedro Rivera. “This grant will empower students and spark an expansive grassroots effort to improve the climate in schools across the state.”The funding will allow SHP to provide training to more than 70 schools across the commonwealth.Schools receiving training include: Allentown City School DistrictBuilding 21 AllentownFrancis D Raub Middle SchoolHarrison-Morton Middle SchoolLouis E Dieruff High SchoolSouth Mountain Middle SchoolTrexler Middle SchoolWilliam Allen High SchoolBethlehem Area School DistrictBroughal Middle SchoolEast Hills Middle SchoolFreedom High SchoolLiberty High SchoolNitschmann Middle SchoolNortheast Middle SchoolBristol Township School DistrictArmstrong Middle SchoolBrookwood Elementary SchoolKeystone Elementary SchoolMill Creek Elementary SchoolRoosevelt Middle SchoolTruman Senior High SchoolClairton City School DistrictClairton Middle School/High SchoolErie City School DistrictCentral Career & Technical SchoolDiehl SchoolEast High SchoolHarding SchoolJoAnna Connell SchoolNorthwest PA Collegiate AcademyPfeiffer-Burleigh SchoolRoosevelt Middle SchoolStrong Vincent High SchoolWayne SchoolWoodrow Wilson Middle SchoolHarrisburg City School DistrictCamp Curtin AcademyCougar AcademyHarrisburg High SchoolHarrisburg HS – SciTech CampusMarshall Math Science AcademyRowland AcademyLebanon School DistrictLebanon Middle SchoolLebanon Senior High SchoolMonessen City School DistrictMonessen Middle SchoolMonessen Senior High SchoolReading School DistrictNortheast Middle SchoolNorthwest Middle SchoolReading Intermediate High SchoolReading Senior High SchoolSouthern Middle SchoolSouthwest Middle SchoolSoutheast Delco School DistrictDarby Township SchoolDelcroft SchoolHarris SchoolSharon Hill SchoolSusquehanna Community School DistrictSusquehanna Community Elementary SchoolSusquehanna Community Junior/Senior High SchoolUnion Area School DistrictUnion Area HSWoodland Hills School DistrictWoodland Hills AcademyWoodland Hills Intermediate SchoolWoodland Hills Junior/Senior High SchoolYork City School DistrictDavis SchoolDevers SchoolFerguson SchoolGoode SchoolHannah Penn Middle SchoolJackson SchoolMcKinley SchoolWilliam Penn Senior High SchoolChester Community Charter SchoolFirst Philadelphia Preparatory Charter SchoolKeystone Education Center Charter SchoolNew Day Charter SchoolLawrence County CTCJefferson County-DuBois AVTSFor more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit the Department of Education’s website at www.education.pa.gov or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Governor Wolf: Grant Brings Sandy Hook Promise to Over 70 Schoolslast_img read more