Germany’s Merkel, France’s Macron to meet ahead of crunch Brexit summit

Summary Sentiment Deep Analyze

PARIS/BRUSSELS: The European Union’s two most powerful leaders, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron, will meet just days before a crunch Brexit summit next week which Britain says is the last chance to secure an orderly departure from the bloc.

As the clock ticks down to the Oct. 31 departure date, Brexit descended into a public row between London and Brussels this week as both sides position for another delay followed by an election or an acrimonious divorce.

After a Downing Street source said a Brexit deal was essentially impossible because German Chancellor Merkel had made unacceptable demands, the EU accused Johnson of playing a “stupid blame game”.

Macron will meet Merkel at the Elysee Palace this coming Sunday to discuss European affairs ahead of the Oct. 17-18 EU summit and preparations for a Franco-German summit on Oct. 16, Macron’s office said.

EU diplomats, though, are skeptical about the chances of a deal. Most expect Johnson to be forced to accept a delay to Brexit – a step that could ultimately lead to either a disorderly exit or the reversal of the entire Brexit endeavor.

“There will be no rabbit-out-of-the-hat solutions,” one EU official told Reuters. “There will be more talks and more political contacts. But, for the time being, there is no breakthrough to be reported.”

Johnson has repeatedly cast the EU summit next week as the last chance for the EU to strike a deal or face the disruption of a no-deal Brexit that would divide the West, threaten the unity of the United Kingdom and roil financial markets.

A week ago, he proposed a possible solution to ensure the border between the British-ruled province of Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland does not become a backdoor into the EU’s single market and customs union.

The EU’s cool reaction to his proposals indicates that, short of an unexpected last-minute breakthrough, Johnson will have to decide whether to accept another delay or to go for a no-deal Brexit and get around a law demanding he extend.

JOHNSON’S BREXIT

The EU’s executive agreed on Wednesday with the assessment of the bloc’s Brexit negotiator that the British proposals did “not represent a satisfactory solution”, the bloc’s top budget official, Guenther Oettinger, said.

In the Brexit maelstrom where newspaper reports and contradictory tweets can send sterling into gyrations, EU officials denied a report in The Times that the bloc was preparing a major concession to Britain to secure a Brexit deal.

“Unfortunately, no bold new offer is coming from the EU side at this stage,” an EU official said, while stressing that the bloc was not closing the door to more talks with Britain.

Britain’s Brexit minister Steve Barclay was due to have lunch with EU chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, on Thursday “to check if there is any more flexibility on the UK side to head for a deal. For now, there seems to be none,” a diplomat said.

Behind the rhetoric, the Brexit finale will ultimately be decided by Merkel, Macron, Johnson, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar – all of whom say they want an orderly exit.

Johnson and Varadkar could meet later this week.

With chances of a deal receding, focus was turning back to British domestic politics where Johnson is under intense pressure from opponents to delay Brexit.

Anti-Brexit campaigners claimed victory after Scotland’s highest court decided on Wednesday to wait before ruling whether to force Johnson to seek a delay to Britain’s EU divorce date if he has not struck a deal in the next 10 days.

British government lawyers had told the court that Johnson accepted that he must carry out the requirements of the law demanding a delay, even though he has publicly rejected asking for any further extension.

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Original Text

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours. And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice. This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet. While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers. The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers.

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Original Text

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours. And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice. This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet. While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers. The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

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NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag.According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected.The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours.And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice.This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too.Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights.They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required.Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet.While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights.The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers.The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

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Original Text

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours. And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice. This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet. While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers. The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

Output

NEW DELHI: An inter-ministerial panel on fintech has suggested legislative changes be made to enable fixed deposits (FDs) and other financial instruments to be issued in dematerialised form as it is customer-friendly and secure.The Steering Committee headed by the economic affairs secretary also suggested that the department of financial services (DFS) and Reserve Bank of India may examine the suitability of virtual banking system in the Indian context.The panel, which submitted its report to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, said dematerialisation of financial instruments is customer-friendly given the wide reach of mobile technologies and also leads to disaster resilience and speedy recovery. the report said.Necessary suitable amendments to enable dematerialisation of financial instruments such as FDs and other deposits of the Post Offices, other forms of small savings certificates issued, Gold Deposit Certificates issued under GMS, Sovereign Gold Bonds, etc.may be undertaken, it said.Pending changes in laws and regulations that may be required to enable depositories to store all financial assets, the information pertaining to the assets may be stored in repositories so that consumers can access this information through a single window, it said.With regard to virtual banking, it said the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has recently issued guidelines for setting up virtual banks and is examining applications for virtual banking licences.The Committee recommends a thorough review of the PPI system with a view of considerably liberalising its use with adequate non-monetary limits safeguards to enable expansion of fintech, it said.It noted that there is an urgent need to reduce the costs of KYC to promote financial inclusion among the weaker sections.

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