‘Summit of hope’ climate conference kicks off in Bonn
The COP23 international climate conference, which Tagesspiegel christened the “summit of hope,” kicks off in Bonn Monday. The timing is apt, given Germany’s environment agency called for a tax on all vehicles, according to Die Welt. Süddeutsche Zeitung focused on revelations from a mass leak, dubbed the Paradise Papers, of more than 13 million files revealing the offshore dealings of the global elite. The paper featured a report on links U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has with Russia.
Belgian papers focused on the ongoing Catalan independence saga. A Belgian court freed former regional President Carles Puigdemont and four of his ousted Cabinet ministers on Sunday. The five, who turned themselves in to Belgian police Sunday after Spain issued a European arrest warrant for them Friday, are forbidden from leaving Belgium without a judge’s permission, must stay at a verifiable address and must attend court within the next 15 days. “Carles Puigdemont freed by the Belgian judiciary,” French-speaking Le Soir wrote.
Dutch-speaking De Standaard reported on the escalating tension between Spain’s ruling Popular Party and Belgium’s Flemish nationalist N-VA party — allies in the European Peoples Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament — over Puigdemont, after Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said the Spanish government “went too far” in its handling of the Catalonia crisis. In response, Spanish EPP Vice President Esteban González Pons demanded Jambon “respect Spanish justice.”
“Puigdemont and his escaped former counselors turn themselves in in Belgium,” led El País. ABC led with “maneuvers to delay his [Puigdemont’s] return to Spain.” Pro-Catalan independence newspaper El Punt Avui reported: “Puigdemont and his counselors free in Belgium.”
The British press also featured reports on the Paradise Papers, with many focusing on reports the queen invested £10 million in offshore tax havens. “Queen’s cash invested in controversial retailer accused of exploiting the poor,” the Guardian reported. “Queen dragged into £10M offshore tax row,” led the Daily Mail. The Telegraph focused on the Westminster sexual harassment revelations: “Sex scandal will ‘clear out’ ministers.” The Financial Times reported on the arrests of numerous princes and business tycoons in Saudi Arabia. The tabloid Daily Express led with wild weather headed for the U.K.
Left-leaning Libération reported on “inclusive writing,” the movement to add more feminine cases to the French language (which risks putting French in “mortal danger,” according to the Académie Française, the French language gatekeeper.) Right-leaning Le Figaro took aim at left-wing politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon, arguing he is “out of his depth,” and “must admit his impotence in opposing” Macron’s policies.