‘Cow kiss challenge’: Austria tells people to shun charity dare | World news | The Guardian

The Austrian government has warned internet users to shun an online cow-kissing challenge, calling it a dangerous nuisance.

A Swiss app called Castl launched the KuhKussChallenge (“Cow Kiss Challenge”) on Wednesday, encouraging users in Switzerland and other German-speaking countries to kiss cows – “with or without tongues” – to raise money for charity.

The Austrian agriculture minister, Elisabeth Köstinger, said in a statement on Thursday: “Pastures and meadows are not petting zoos – actions like these could have serious consequences.” She also warned that cows could become aggressive when defending their calves.

Balancing the activities of tourists and cattle farmers is a sensitive topic in Austria’s mountain regions, with both being key pillars of the region’s economy. Hiking Austria

In February, a court in the Tyrol region caused uproar after ordering a farmer to pay €490,000 (£427,000) in compensation to the widower of a woman who was trampled to death by a herd of his cows in 2014.

Source: ‘Cow kiss challenge’: Austria tells people to shun charity dare | World news | The Guardian

Austrian far-right leader filmed offering public contracts for campaign support – POLITICO

The leader of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party H. C. Strache FPÖ has been filmed offering to trade public contracts for campaign support, German media reported Friday.

The revelations could bring Austria’s government to breaking point amid growing tensions between the far-right party and its coalition partner, the Austrian People’s Party of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

The secretly recorded footage of Heinz-Christian Strache, Austria’s vice chancellor and leader of the Freedom Party (FPÖ), was taken on the Spanish island of Ibiza before the Austrian election in 2017, according to Der Spiegel and Süddeutsche Zeitung, which obtained the video from an unnamed source.

It shows Strache, alongside fellow FPÖ politician Johann Gudenus, speaking to a woman claiming to be a wealthy Russian citizen who said she wanted to invest in Austria, apparently with money of dubious origin.

The encounter, which lasted six hours, appeared to be a trap for Strache, according to Der Spiegel and Süddeutsche.

The woman offered to buy a 50 percent stake in Austria’s Kronen-Zeitung newspaper and switch it to a pro-FPÖ line. In turn, Strache said he could award her public contracts.

If the alleged Russian helped the FPÖ succeed, Strache said in the video, “she should found a company like Strabag,” a major Austrian construction company. He added: “She will then get all the state contracts that Strabag gets now.”

Source: Austrian far-right leader filmed offering public contracts for campaign support – POLITICO

Get ready to vote in the European elections (video) | News | European Parliament

The next elections for the European Parliament take place in May 2019: are you ready to cast your vote?

Source: Get ready to vote in the European elections (video) | News | European Parliament

The next elections for the European Parliament take place in May 2019: are you ready to cast your vote?

All EU citizens aged 18 and over – 16 in some countries – will be able to choose who represents them in the Parliament for the next five years.

Make sure you register to vote. You can vote in your home country, or if you live elsewhere in the EU, you can vote there. It’s up to you. Find out more by watching our video.

European Elections 2019

In May, hundreds of millions of citizens will elect a new European Parliament. EU citizens will carefully evaluate candidates and programmes, before making choices that will shape the future of our continent and our role in the world for years to come. The European Union, a unique, shared project underpinned by peaceful cooperation, is under threat from forces who wish to destroy what we have achieved together.

This is in contrast with recent surveys indicating a growing favourable opinion towards the EU. 48% of European citizens believe that “their voice counts in the EU”. Despite differences among Member States, this represents an overall 10% point increase over the last ten years.

However, much work must still be done.

We have to change Europe and make it more effective by answering citizens’ concerns and building upon what we have already achieved.

Over the next few months, in particular, our citizens will scrutinise how and what the European Union is doing to protect them, create new opportunities and project a strong European Union abroad. They will expect answers to concerns regarding migration flows, security, the environment and jobs. We must work hard to ensure that our citizens are aware of the results MEPs are delivering every day, like asylum reform, working more closely with Africa, fighting terrorism, anti-dumping measures to protect European jobs, holding web giants to account or protecting private data.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/elections-press-kit

ESMA launches third EU-wide CCP stress test exercise

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today published the framework for its third EU-wide Central Counterparties (CCPs) stress test, marking the launch of its latest CCP stress test exercise. ESMA, as mandated under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), initiates and coordinates this exercise to assess the resilience and safety of European CCPs to adverse market developments and to identify any potential shortcomings.

For this third CCP stress test, ESMA has further developed its framework, adding a new component to the exercise on concentration risk, in addition to assessments on credit and liquidity risks. This new component will be used to assess the impact of liquidation costs for concentrated positions. 

Source and details

Eurozone – Inflation steigt über die EZB-Schwelle

Ändert die EZB jetzt ihre Zinspolitik in der Eurozone?
Die Teuerung in der Eurozone hat im Juli weiter angezogen.
Die Inflationsrate stieg auf 2,1 Prozent, wie das europäische Statistikamt Eurostat heute mitteilte. Das ist der höchste Stand seit Dezember 2012.

Die Zielmarke der Europäischen Zentralbank (EZB) von mittelfristig knapp zwei Prozent wird damit erstmals seit Januar 2013 wieder überschritten.

Der Preisauftrieb hat eine Rate von 2,0 Prozent erreicht.
Im Juli müssen Verbraucher bereits deutlich mehr Geld für Energie, Nahrung und Genussmittel ausgeben als im Vorjahr.

The History of the European Centralbank