World News

UK weather: Long-range forecast predicts 30C heatwave to BAKE Britain – new charts

And, after the UK was baked by hot temperatures towards the end of June, BBC Weather has predicted when another heatwave is most likely. BBC Weather’s long-range forecast states late July has the “greater chance” of a heatwave striking. The weather channel cites an example from last year which saw a UK record of 38.7C (101F) set in Cambridge on July 25, 2019.

The BBC long-range forecast states: “Deeper in July, a pattern change is expected.

“High pressure should build across the UK by the week of Monday 20th, and this should bring drier, calmer and warmer conditions more extensively, including to Northern Ireland and Scotland.

“For those looking for another heatwave, the latter part of the month has the greater chance of seeing one.

“Climatologically, late-July is indeed a favourable time for hot weather in the UK. In July 2019, after a few fairly mundane weeks of weather with temperatures mainly peaking in the low 20s Celsius, late-July entertained record-breaking heat.

“The UK’s highest temperature ever recorded was set at Cambridge Botanic Garden on 25th July 2019, with 38.7C.”

It comes as the latest weather charts claim temperatures are set to rocket above 30C as plumes of warm air push in from across Europe later this month.

The latest WxCharts weather maps show an area of high pressure is set to engulf large parts of the UK from the week beginning July 13 – with the south of England seeing the highest temperatures.

The long-range forecast for Monday, July 13 until Sunday, July 19 produced by shows the beginning of the week is set to see the best of the conditions will mercury set to exceed 30C.

Weather maps produced by WxCharts reveal the above-average temperatures will continue throughout the week with highs on Wednesday, July 15 of 25C in the south, 21C in Wales and 19C in the north.

The sweltering weather will persist into Thursday, July 16, with temperatures in London set to reach 28C in London, 19C in the north and 18C in Scotland.

The long-range forecast for the week states: “The hottest spell of the forecast period is expected to be at the beginning of this week, when temperatures have potential to exceed 30C, especially in the south-east.

“There is potential for a thundery breakdown, but confidence in this is low.
“A cloudier westerly type is forecast to set in by the end of the week, with temperatures mostly near normal.

“There is more uncertainty over whether the warm, sunny start to the week will extend to north-western Britain.”


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The barmy summer conditions are also forecast to continue into the following week.

Ahead of the warm and sunny spells, the UK is set for a prolonged period of showers and thunderstorms.

A band of torrential rain will move over the UK on Thursday evening with northern and western parts of Britain most affected.

On Friday temperatures will remain mild with highs of 20C in the south, 17C in Wales and 15C in the north.

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Putin warning: Russia’s leader MUST stay in power for his OWN safety

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Russia’s President is riding on the crest of a wave after almost four-fifths of his countrymen backed a package of constitutional reforms including one which will allow him to run for two more back-to-back terms, enabling him to stay in power until 2036. Officially, Mr Putin has insisted he has not yet made any decision about whether to stand again – but, Mathieu Boulegue, a Research Fellow, of Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, has little doubt he will do so.

Once he is out of power there are no guarantees for his own safety

Matthieu Boulegue

He told “Depending on the amount of protests in the next few weeks, I think it is a done deal – he has to stay in power.

“He either dies in power or becomes retired, ie somebody retires him.

“Once he is out of power there are no guarantees for his own safety.”

Mr Putin was increasingly isolated within the Kremlin, Mr Boulegue said.

He explained: “He is only consulted when there are tough calls to be made.

“The day to day management of Russia has been left to the perusal and supervision of other people.”

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Addressing the vote, which saw almost 78 percent of voters back the reforms, Mr Boulegue said: “It’s a vote of confidence for Putin and for the system.

“I think what Putin is trying to achieve now is, on the one hand, planting the seeds of his own survival, in the system that he has shaped for 20 years.

“When you are that far gone in the corridors of power you can only die in power.

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“It’s not like Putin is going to retire any time soon.

“Not least because he needs to make sure his own survival, physical survival as was as financial and economic survival is assured.

“When he has done that, he needs to make sure all the avenues are open for him to remain in power should he choose to do so.”

Mr Boulegue added: “It’s also about his legacy, what he wants to be remembered for, making Russia great again if you like.”

As such, the vote was a way of creating an “illusory sense of change”, he said.

Asked whether Mr Putin had a long-term plan for his country, Mr Boulegue said: “He has a long term plan for himself – when it comes to Russia I am not sure.”

His main strategy was to ensure Russia was respected, or at least feared, in the West, and to show to the Russian people that they were better off now than they were 20 years ago.

He added: “At the end of the day it’s a question of my world view is better than yours.

“When you ask Russians would you fare better in a world without rules they would tell you we already live in such a world, it’s survival of the fittest and it is a question of double-standards in Western democracy.”

Thanking voters for their support and trust yesterday, Mr Putin, 67, added: “We need stability and time to strengthen the country.”

Mr Putin’s approval rating stood at 60 percent last month, still high but hovering around just above a two-decade low in April, a poll by the Levada Center showed.

Opposition activists have called yesterday’s vote illegitimate and claimed it was designed to legalise a Putin presidency-for-life.

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World News

China orders COVID-19 testing to be ramped up – fears outbreak could explode across nation

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It comes after a study suggested a new strain of the illness had arrived in the capital and infected more than 300 people, since early June, and may have originally been imported from elsewhere in Asia. Local authorities have been ordered to put emergency response plans in place to help them rapidly expand nucleic test capacity, the National Health Commission said in guidance issued on its website. Nucleic acid test results must be delivered within six hours for patients at fever clinics and within a day for those who volunteer to be tested, according to the directive.

China today reported three new coronavirus cases in the mainland for July 1, compared with three cases a day earlier, the health authority said.

Two of the new infections were imported cases, the National Health Commission said in a statement, while Beijing reported one new case.

There were no new deaths. China also reported two new asymptomatic patients, one fewer than a day earlier.

As of July 1, mainland China had a total of 83,537 confirmed coronavirus cases, the NHC said.

China’s official death toll from the coronavirus remains at 4,634 – although the figure has been hotly disputed, with Liu Pei’en, whose father died at the beginning of February, believing the figure could be ten times higher.

A study, published by Harvard University researchers, suggested the strain which triggered fresh cases in Beijing could have originated in South or Southeast Asia.

The outbreak has raised concerns about China’s vulnerability to a “second wave”.

The virus found in Beijing cases is an imported strain of COVID-19, according to the China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Harvard study, published on the preprint website on Tuesday, is yet to be peer-reviewed.

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It took three of the SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences collected in Beijing last month and compared them to 7,643 samples worldwide.

The three genomes showed the greatest resemblance to cases in Europe from February to May, and to cases in South and Southeast Asia from May to June.

They were also similar to a small number of infections seen in China in March, suggesting the strain may have appeared first in China and then returned to the country three months later, the authors said.

The report explains: “As the most recent cases in these branches are almost exclusively from South(east) Asia, this could suggest that the new cases in Beijing were re-introduced by transmissions from South(east) Asia.”

The outbreak traced to Beijing’s huge Xinfadi wholesale market on June 11 infected 329 people within days.

Quarantine restrictions and large-scale testing of residents began soon after the first cases were identified.

China also required all shipments of imported meat to be tested for COVID-19 before they could leave its ports.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is believed to have originated in a market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year and has now infected more than 10 million people and killed more than 500,000 worldwide.

However, some studies suggest it could have been circulating much earlier after crossing the species barrier from horseshoe bats native not only to southwest China, but also Laos and Myanmar.

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Nicola Sturgeon mocked by Rees-Mogg for ‘modelling herself on Trump’ with latest threat

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It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in Parliament “there is no border between Scotland and England”. Ms Sturgeon said “she couldn’t rule out” quarantining visitors from other parts of the UK to control the number of coronavirus cases in Scotland.

She said in a St Andrews House briefing: “If we did see an ongoing divergence between infection rates and levels in Scotland and other parts of the UK, from a public health perspective, we would require to give consideration about how we mitigate that and guard against infection rates rising in Scotland as a result.”

But the leader of the House of Commons said it may not be a “bricks and mortar” structure in the vein of Hadrian’s Wall or US President Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico, but Ms Sturgeon wants a “metaphorical wall”.

During Business Questions on Thursday, Mr Rees-Mogg criticised Ms Sturgeon’s “shameful” remarks after SNP Commons business spokesman Tommy Sheppard said the Government is “led by someone who thinks the border does not exist”.

But Mr Rees-Mogg slated the SNP MP and added: “He mentions borders, and I noticed that Nicola Sturgeon wishes to have a wall – perhaps she is modelling herself on other leading political figures – between England and Scotland.

“But, as my right honourable friend the Prime Minister said, there is no border between England and Scotland and it was shameful to call for a border of that type of kind to be erected to stop people travelling freely between constituent parts of the United Kingdom.

“One never thought that Nicola Sturgeon would model herself on American political figures and want to build a wall – at least a metaphorical wall if not actually getting like Hadrian with the bricks and mortar.”

It comes after Scotland’s First Minister criticised the UK Government for failing to consult her ahead of announcing proposed changes to the quarantine regime.

The FM said she wanted to “take a bit of time to consider the public health impact” of the plan and the evidence underpinning it.

With the proposals expected to be set out on Friday, Mr Shapps clashed with a senior member of Ms Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party in the Commons.

Mr Shapps told SNP transport spokesman Gavin Newlands: “I’d appreciate his help in ensuring that air bridges can get going as quickly as possible.

“I’m very keen to get the devolved administrations, including the Scottish Government, on board so we can get this thing announced.”

As many as 75 countries could be exempted from the quarantine restrictions when the list is finally published.

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A Scottish Government spokesman, added: “To allow us to move out of lockdown, it is critical that we keep the transmission of the virus as low as possible, and that includes transmission from high to low-risk areas.

“Scotland has in place enhanced surveillance to identify those risks and has long-established powers, enhanced by recent coronavirus legislation, to manage them.

“We are having to take unprecedented steps to deal with the challenges that the pandemic brings.

“As we hopefully suppress the virus further, we will continue to consider any measures that might be necessary to protect against the risk of imported cases of the virus.”

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Sturgeon Island battle: Islanders seek their own path out of coronavirus lockdown

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Hospitality firms like hotels and B&Bs will reopen to customers on July 15 in Scotland, though other places like caravan parks with no shared facilities will be able to open earlier. But islanders are fearing a second wave of COVID-19 could occur once tourism reopens up in Scotland as well as hosting major events.

Statistics from VisitScotland show tourists from other parts of the UK made around 12 million visits north of the border in 2018, two weeks of which would be roughly 461,000 visitors.

The Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA) also said in their Visitor Trends Report indicated that more than 30 million visits were made to 232 Scottish attractions in 2018/19.

Hector Macleod, chair of the Western Isles third sector interface, raised fears that Western Isles could become “challenged” once tourism starts up again.

He added to a recent government panel: “The island communities are in a different place.

“We are opening the islands up to transport and tourism in the middle of July and in conversation with public health officials we may be at the end of July into August, challenged first at this time.”

Cllr Uisdean Robertson, Transport spokesman at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) said some people in the islands want to carry on lockdown.

He added: “There’s a genuine fear because of the demographics of course and there’s the people that worry about the state of our economy.”

The council’s leader Roddie Mackay, added that people have “fear” from “increased exposure” once ferry services increase to the islands.

Meanwhile, on the Isle of Arran off the coast of Ayrshire, their Economic Recovery Group (ARG) wants to limit tourists to people staying multiple nights.

The group say they want to limit Social distancing and “no day visitors” for the time being.

Meanwhile, on Shetland, the famous Up Helly Aa fire festival was axed over fears mass numbers could bring chaos to the island.

In a statement, the Up Helly Aa Committee said the unanimous decision followed consultation with key partners.

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It said: “The nature of Up Helly Aa, the numbers involved and the potential of large numbers of visitors to the isles are all risks that were taken into account.

“The festival going ahead in its current format would be difficult with any restrictions in place and with uncertainty surrounding what guidance would be in place in January, there was no guarantee the festival could happen at all.

But the Scottish Tories say the sector needs more support before it reopens next month.

Jackson Carlaw MSP, Scottish Conservative Leader, said: “Even by the most cautious of estimates Scotland’s tourist industry stands to lose millions of pounds and hundreds of thousands of customers. That’s because the SNP Government is refusing to open up the tourism and hospitality industry in line with the rest of the UK.

“The damage happens now financially, but also for the future too – these are people who would have come to Scotland but are now being made available to competitors.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also wants VAT to be cut to 15 percent for six months.

The calls have been backed by Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael, who said: “In the Northern Isles and across Scotland, local hotels, B&Bs and tourist attractions play a vital role in our communities.

“The seasonal nature of tourism means that many businesses will not have the income to avoid closing down after the support packages end.

“With most of the summer already gone and many people still anxious about travel, these businesses face the prospect of ‘three winters in a row”.

The Scottish Government has been approached for comment.

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World News

‘Stop the talks, Boris!’ Britons FURIOUS as ‘panicking’ Angela Merkel issues warning to PM

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Mrs Merkel is urging EU negotiator Michel Barnier to play hardball by demanding “more realism” from the UK. Speaking today, Mrs Merkel’s ambassador in Brussels, Michael Clauss, said the German Chancellor was pushing for concessions from Mr Johnson to make it easier for her to convince fellow European Union leaders to back a compromise.

However, Facebook users posting on’s page were unconvinced.

Bob Crowley commented: “The economy is pants at the moment.

“Now is the time to walk away, as it will only get better from there, WTO is the only way, ditch this corrupt bunch.”

Ian Howard agreed, posting: “Stop the talks Boris! The EU wishes to hobble the UK to prevent further implosion.

“Whole idea of getting out is so we are NOT covered by EU rulings!”

Terry Good said: “Who is this Angela Merkel that she thinks she is in charge?

“Boris, tell her to go and look after the people she is supposed to be helping, not to interfere in something that does not concern her, okay???”

Pat Patrick added: “I think we all remember when Cameron went cap in hand, before the referendum, to ask her for concessions.

“He was sent packing and the rest is history. Now she is asking for the UK to give a little.

“Well her words are too little, too late.”

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Meanwhile Charlie Port suggested Mrs Merkel was motivated by self-interest.

He explained: “She is running scared! 

“As it’s clear that Germany will have to pick-up the bill in future.”

“Also if she can’t get a deal then there are going to be other countries that will leave and her dream of a German Dominated Europe will be over.”

Similarly, Graham Everett urged: “Boris don’t give in. Germany is now panicking because of their car industry and other company’s that sell into the UK.

“They are in a massive recession. We have them on the run.

“The French need our fish so sell it to them at market rates.”

Speaking about the talks today, Mrs Merkel told the German Parliament: “Progress in talks is, to put it cautiously, very limited.

“We have agreed with Britain to speed up the talks in order to seal a deal in the autumn that must be ratified by the end of the year.”

However, she admitted Germany and the EU “must be prepared for the possibility that a deal doesn’t materialise”.

The UK negotiators have been in crunch meetings with their EU counterparts all week, after both sides agreed to intensify discussions.

They met this week face to face for the first time in months due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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Priti Patel warns ‘furious’ China to ‘reflect on actions’ as nations watch with ‘horror’

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Up to three million residents in Hong Kong could be eligible to live, work or study in the UK following the implementation of a new law from China. The controversial legislation has sparked fury among the international community, and the UK in particular, as it appears to violate the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. Home Secretary Priti Patel stuck by the Government’s decision to green light the policy to offer UK citizenship, when Times Radio’s John Pienaar pointed out that it would make Beijing “furious”.

Ms Patel told him: “We’ve been clear and we’ve said this quite publicly over a period of time.

“To be quite frank, I think the real issue will be very much with Beijing.

“They themselves will have to reflect on their own actions and conduct.

“It won’t just be the United Kingdom responding.”

She continued: “As I’ve said, other nations are watching what is going on with a degree of horror, I think it’s fair to say.

“Other countries will feel equally the same and very strongly too.”

The Times Radio host also grilled the Home Secretary over how this new policy “squared” with her long-term ambition of bringing down the levels of immigration in the UK.

Ms Patel insisted it was all about the controls present around borders and the Government’s long-term immigration policy.

She said: “This isn’t about targets at all.

“First and foremost, we are going to end free movement and the bill we just passed through Parliament does that.

“We’re making fundamental changes, and we’re speaking very clearly about the quality of the people we allow into our country.”

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The ultimate interpretation of China’s national security law is decided by the political party in Beijing.

Beijing and the Hong Kong Government have said that Hong Kong’s traditional freedoms (of speech, of assembly, of protest) will be protected.

However, today already saw police arresting protesters under the broad applications of the law.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has accused China of a “clear and serious breach” of the joint declaration signed with the UK.

He pledged the UK Government would “honour” its commitment to the citizens of the former British colony.

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Brexit breakthrough: Huge sign deal between UK and EU is not too far away

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Brexit trade talks between the UK and the European Union intensified on Monday as face-to-face discussions resumed for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest round of trade talks will continue until Friday, where the UK’s Brexit negotiator David Frost will showdown with his EU counterpart Michel Barnier.

The clearest sign a breakthrough is about to be made has emerged following reports Mr Barnier is being considered for a top role in Emmanuel Macron’s cabinet re-shuffle, amid a disastrous showing at the second round of local elections in France.

A potential new role for the French politician also follows on from the news over the weekend coming out of Downing Street, that Mr Frost will replace Sir Mark Sedwill as national security adviser.

According to French Daily newspaper Ouest-France, Mr Barnier is being considered as a replacement for Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

On Sunday, Mr Philippe was elected Mayor of the northern port city of Le Havre.

The French constitution allows him to appoint someone else to act as mayor while he remains Prime Minister.

Alex Pigman Brussels-based reporter for the AFP news agency wrote on Twitter: “Barnier is among those rumoured to be under consideration to take over as Prime Minister in Paris.”

Asked about Mr Philippe’s future, a source close to the French President said: “What follows will be enshrined in continuity.”

Emmanuel Macron is under mounting pressure to make changes after suffering loses in the second round of local elections.

Mr Macron’s La République En Marche party failed to win in any big city, leaving the under-fire President without control over a major local authority.

The resurgent Green party and its left-wing allies made significant gains after receiving the support of major cities including Lyon, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Besançon.

As Brexit talks reach a crucial stage Mr Barnier said the EU would “make the most” of the intensified process over the coming weeks and months.

The Brussels chief added the bloc remains “calm and united in its principles and values”.

Meanwhile, Downing Street has reaffirmed the UK’s stance and warned Boris Johnson is prepared to walk away from a trade deal after Angela Merkel ramped up no deal preparations.


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Mrs Merkel told the German parliament that although talks between the UK and EU were intensifying the EU “must be prepared” for the possibility that a deal will not be reached.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We believe that there is a free trade agreement to be reached but we have also been very clear that we will be prepared for either eventuality at the end of the year.

“Whether that be a free trade agreement or having a trading relationship based on the same terms that Australia currently has.”

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UK flood warning: Part of country on alert – Flooding MAPPED

Just days after seeing highs of 33C, temperatures are expected to drop below average for the time of year as the UK returns to the on and off rain of earlier in June. Issued this afternoon, England’s Environment Agency has a warning out for the Lake District, in particular the area around Keswick Campsite, which sits on the north edge of the water.

The Government’s Flood Information Service reports: “The level of Derwentwater remains high as a result of the heavy rain that fell over the weekend.

“Consequently, there is flooding to low lying areas bordering the shores of Derwentwater and the frontage of the Keswick Camping and Caravan Club Site.

“The level of Derwentwater is slowly falling, but is still high.

“Please avoid using low lying footpaths which may be flooded. This message will be updated as the situation changes.”


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The Government has three levels of flood warning – Prepare, Act, and Survive.

This particular flood warning comes under Act – which the Environment Agency advises anyone in the area to turn off gas, electricity and water, move belongings and pets upstairs, and moving vehicles to higher ground.

Unfortunately the weekend isn’t set to bring sunnier skies, with drizzle and heavy rain forecasted in some parts.

Despite this, the Met Office has reported a low risk of flooding across England and Wales for the rest of the week and weekend.

The report reads: “Local flooding from surface water is possible but not expected in parts of the south and central England on Thursday.

“Local flooding from surface water and rivers is possible in parts of Yorkshire, and possible but not expected elsewhere in parts of the north of England and Wales on Friday and Saturday.

“Properties may flood and there may be travel disruption.”

Weather over the rest of the week and weekend is expected to be bright in parts but unfortunately there will still be showers across the UK.

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The Met Office reports for Thursday, July 2: “Cloudy across central parts with rain gradually dying out.

“Sunny spells with scattered heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms across southern areas. Mostly dry across northern areas.”

Some brighter weather will be seen in the south of England during the weekend, with a mixed bag forecast for elsewhere.

The Met Office report reads: “Dry and bright in the south Friday, cloudy elsewhere with rain, heavy in places.

“Generally cloudy with rain at times Saturday.

“Rain spreading southeastwards Sunday, sunny spells and showers following.”

High pressure is expected to arrive on British shores next week, meaning some relief from wet a dreary days.

Temperatures are expected to remain the same with some warmer spells and clearer skies all around.

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Merkel and Macron warned plans to brace for major struggle to save EU after coronavirus

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Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron last month joined forces once again to put forward a proposed €500 billion recovery fund to help the European Union recover from the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme sparked the dissent of thriftier member states who have lamented the suggestion they would have to contribute extra money to save worst-affected member states from the economic brink. But while in the past Berlin and Paris have been known to deliver through their alliance, Chancellor Merkel and President Macron have been warned the rescue fund could prove to be a harder project to sell.

German Greens MEP Reinhard Bütikofer told Euronews: “Without taking the other most important capital on board, nothing much is going to be delivered.

“I would still not believe that the French and the Germans on their own could provide enough leadership for the EU but without Paris and Berlin, nothing ever materialises.”

Angela Merkel is expected to be at the centre of negotiations on the recovery fund now Germany has taken over the presidency of the European Council for the next six months.

Chancellor Merkel met with President Macron on Monday to discuss joint plans to win over the support of the so-called Frugal Four, a group of economically conservative member states opposed to their proposal.

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Mr Macron insisted the fund must be agreed in July as he warned Europe is facing its “moment of truth” against widespread recession.

The proposal would see the EU27 pool their debt together but Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria and Denmark have voiced their opposition to supporting more indebted southern states like Italy and Spain.

But with Mrs Merkel at the helm of the Council at the height of the crisis some experts believe a deal could ultimately be brokered.

Constanze Stelzenmüller of the Brookings Institute said the experience the Chancellor matured in over 15 years in power as well as her deep-rooted knowledge of European affairs could help her win over the opposition.

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Ms Stelzenmüller said: “Her experience, her knowledge of the other European leaders, her psychological understanding of what they want and need and her empathy; particularly for smaller countries and the newer Eastern European countries are really important as a prerequisite for being able to broker a consensus on managing the pandemic, a historic economic crisis and what is also an institutional crisis both at nation-state level and at European level.”

She added: “Her most immediate challenge still is convincing the so-called frugal four countries that they should accept her and Macron’s European recovery plan which includes common European bonds.”

Speaking ahead of the presidency’s start, Chancellor Merkel acknowledged the “high expectations” Germany is facing as she committed to equipping the EU with the best tools to survive through the crisis.


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Mrs Merkel said: “We are aware of the fact that there are high expectations of Germany’s presidency

“We want to live up to these expectations by striving for all of us to come out of the crisis unharmed and for Europe to be prepared for the future.

“Only together can we succeed in living our European values and defending them against others: democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”

According to the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, many among the EU27 agree that the “severity of this crisis justifies an ambitious common response”, and that an agreement is needed soon.

EU Council President Charles Michel insisted last week that they will try to “accelerate the negotiations to have an efficient meeting in July”.

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