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Cyprus rakes in billions selling EU citizenship

Cyprus is at the centre of controversy surrounding the issuing of EU passports to wealthy foreigners, reports Emma Beswick According to UK newspaper, The Guardian, Cyprus received over 4 billion euros since 2013 by granting “golden visas” to the super rich, in exchange for cash. Applicants have to invest 2 million euros in property, or 2.5 million euros in companies …

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Ghana’s new Ambassador to Germany states her mission

The Ambassador of Ghana to the Federal Republic of Germany, Her Excellency Mrs Gina Ama Blay, presented her letter of credence to His Excellency Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s President, at Schloss Bellevue on 29 August 2017 in Berlin. To mark the occasion, a reception attended by many dignitaries was held at Maritim Hotel. It was a colourful occasion since most …

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Ambassador Udo kick-starts new era in Nigerian-Belgian relations

Collins Nweke, Belgian politician of Nigerian origin, writes on the expected changes in bilateral relations between Nigeria and Belgium as the new Nigerian ambassador to Brussels assumes office. Nigeria and Belgium have a 56-year diplomatic relations. When the new Ambassador of Nigeria to Belgium presented her Letters of Credence to His Majesty, Phillipe I, King of the Belgians today, Wednesday …

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Spain’s Muslims demonstrate against terrorism following Barcelona attack

Hundreds of Muslims gathered just meters away from where the Barcelona terror attack of last Thursday took place to protest against Islamic-inspired violence. Spain was hit by its worst terrorist attack in more than a decade on 17 August, when a van driver rammed into dozens of people enjoying a sunny afternoon on one of Barcelona’s most famous thoroughfares, killing …

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Visa-free travel for EU visitors to UK after Brexit

Britain is reportedly planning to allow visa-free travel to the country for people from the European Union after Brexit. There has been no official announcement but British media, quoting unnamed government sources, say visitors won’t face any new constraints. However, people who want to work, study or settle in the UK will need to comply with future migration rules once …

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France passes law to clean up its politics

French parliament overwhelmingly backed a new law on Wednesday to clean up politics, a campaign promise of President Emmanuel Macron following a string of scandals. A total of 412 lawmakers backed the bill, which will notably scrap cash handouts for lawmakers to spend on areas and NGOs of their choice. Parliament had last week already voted through aspects of the …

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740,000 Africans and descendants live in Germany – Federal Statistics Office

The population of people of African origin in Germany has nearly doubled in only five years, according to new figures published on Tuesday by the Federal Statistics Office. Moreover, the number of people with an immigrant background in the country reached a new high of 18.6 million in 2016, an increase of 8.5 per cent compared to the previous year. …

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Kenyans to pray in 6 German cities for peaceful elections

The Kenyan Diaspora and well-wishers of the East African country will gather in six German cities on Saturday, 5 August for Amani Kenya-Open Air Prayers for Peace and Unity.  According to the organizers, the event, which will hold in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich and Wurzburg, is to show solidarity with their compatriots at home who will go the polls …

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EU extends migrant-rescue mission in the Mediterranean

Operation Sophia, the European Union migrant-rescue mission in the Mediterranean Sea, has been extended and will now run until 31 December 2018. EU leaders reached the agreement in Brussels on Tuesday (25 July) after Italy withdrew its veto. The extension was expected to be agreed upon last Monday but Italy, discontent with other EU member states’ efforts on the migrant …

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‘You belong here,’ Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel tells Germany’s Turks

Germany’s Turkish diaspora has been assured that it is part of the fabric of the nation despite difficult relations between Berlin and Ankara. A letter by Germany’s foreign minister has been published in a newspaper. Less than 48 hours after announcing a major shift in policy towards Turkey, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Saturday sought to calm fears among …

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How African migrants are turning the tide for refugees in Germany

There’s hardly anyone more qualified to help migrants and refugees new to Germany than former newcomers themselves. This is the premise of AfricanTide, an organization that runs a refugee shelter and multiple programs for migrants and refugees in Dortmund, Germany. Mara Bierbach reports. On a small white desk by the window, two little boys are slowly but enthusiastically assembling a …

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Nigerian Diaspora Italy elects new executive council

The Italy Chapter of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE) has elected a new executive council. At the end of a hotly-contested vote in Rome on Saturday (15 July), Dr Akuwudike Lawrence Ibekwe emerged Chairman and Mr Godwin Obaseki, Vice Chairman. Other officials elected at the annual general meeting of NIDO Italy are Mr Fidel O’Neil Wilson (General Secretary), …

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One-third of Bavarians want independence from Germany – poll

Almost one third of the respondents in Bavaria, one of the country’s 16 federal states, say they want independence from Germany, according to a new poll published on Sunday (16 July). Thirty-two per cent of Bavarians agreed with the statement that their “state should be independent from Germany,” a survey conducted by the YouGov market research company for the popular …

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New fees for non-EU students could hurt German universities, say critics

Two states are set to introduce new fees specifically for students from outside the EU. But while local governments are eager to bring in the added revenues, critics say the price hikes could in fact hurt their universities. The southwest state of Baden-Württemberg is bringing in new fees for non-EU students this winter semester 2017-18, while Germany’s most populous state …

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Only 18 per cent of migrants come to Europe for economic reasons – report

Less than 20 per cent of migrants who reach Europe left their home countries for economic reasons, according to a report released by Middlesex University. The majority of migrants who reach European coasts are fleeing wars, violence and persecution. The report “Mapping Refugee Reception in the Mediterranean” is the first in the research project EVI-MED at Middlesex University, funded by …

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Belgian ban on Muslim full-face veil is legal – European Court

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has upheld Belgium’s ban on the Islamic full-face veil, rejecting a legal challenge by two Muslim women wearing the niqab. The court sitting in Strasbourg, France, ruled on Tuesday (11 July) that the 2011 Belgian law banning clothing that partly or totally covers the face was not discriminatory and did not violate the …

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