Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon in EU commitment pledge
Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish government wanted Scotland to “play an active part” in the EU. Sturgeon has written to European foreign ministers to assure them that Scotland remained committed to the European Union.
Scotland’s deputy first minister said the country would work alongside the UK and the EU after a “positive” independence referendum result. She also expressed opposition to an in/out referendum on EU membership.
In the letter to foreign ministers, Ms Sturgeon highlighted the importance of the European market to Scotland’s economy and stressed that the Scottish government had “no intention” of leaving the EU. She argued: “The ability to trade within a single market of 500 million citizens is a central aspect of our strategy to stimulate growth by increasing international trade.”
Zeman Becomes Czech president
The Czech Republic held its first direct presidential election, and defying polls predicting they were neck and neck, the former Social Democrat prime minister Milos Zeman, 68, has won with over 55% of the vote.
Whereas his opponent polled heavily in Prague and other large urban centres, Zeman benefitted from strong support in the provinces. The result makes it likely that the Czechs will tack further towards the EU as the outgoing head of state Vaclav Klaus is a leading eurosceptic.
UEFA confirms 13-venue Euro 2020
The European Championships in 2020 will break new ground by being staged in 13 different venues across the continent, UEFA confirmed Friday. The 2020 tournament will mark the 60th anniversary of the first edition of Europe’s premier international competition.
UEFA president Michel Platini said: “The economic situation is difficult in Europe. Plus, countries that would never have had the chance to host the Euros will be able to participate in this festival of football. There’s also the idea of belonging to a European country. It’s a great way to mark the anniversary,” Platini also added that the tournament will return to its traditional format for 2024.