AUSTRIA: Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci was barred yesterday from entering the country to attend an event marking the anniversary of last year’s failed coup in Turkey, the Foreign Ministry announced. The spokesman said that the event was “very big” and Mr Zeybekci’s visit represented a “danger for public order and security in Austria.” The decision mirrored a similar decision on Friday by the Netherlands, which barred Turkish Deputy PM Tugrul Turkes from a similar event.
Poroshenko delays Nato application
UKRAINE: President Petro Poroshenko announced yesterday that his country will focus on reforms and will not seek Nato membership for the time being.
Mr Poroshenko had been accused of wanting to turn the Crimean peninsula into a Nato base, but told Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg in Kiev yesterday that Ukraine would not be applying for membership “immediately,” preferring to “build a genuine programme of reforms” to meet requirements in the future.
Rights activist jailed for 2 years
BAHRAIN: Prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab was sentenced to two years in prison yesterday.
He was convicted of charges related to TV interviews he gave in which prosecutors allege he disseminated rumours and false news relating to the situation inside Bahrain.
He helped lead Bahrain’s 2011 Arab Spring protests, when tens of thousands of Shi’ites took to the streets to demand a greater say in government.
Macron plots bypass of democracy
FRANCE: The National Assembly began debating a special measure yesterday to make it easier and quicker for President Emmanuel Macron’s government to impose economic liberalisation.
The measure would allow the government to avoid lengthy and heated debate of Mr Macron’s hire-and-fire provisions by imposing change by presidential decree.