Thursday, May 30

European Investment Bank tough about after Brexit



Britain’s exit from the European Union will create difficulties for the European Investment Bank (EIB), a lender owned by EU governments, the bank’s president Werner Hoyer said on Saturday.

The EIB is also a central tool for an investment programme the European Commission estimated would generate 315 billion euros ($354 billion) of investment in the EU and which is set to be expanded.

When asked what will happen to the EIB when Britain, which is one of its major shareholders, leaves the EU, Hoyer told reporters in Bratislava: The United Kingdom is a big and important shareholder of the European Investment Bank and an important member state of the European Union. This is why it will be a difficult process, Hoyer said on entering a meeting of EU finance ministers.

We will have a few years of uncertainty ahead of us during which it won’t be clear what will happen to Great Britain and its relation with the European Union. And depending on this is of course the question of what the relation between Britain and the European Investment Bank will be.

Of the 243 billion euros of subscribed EIB capital, only 21 billion euros is paid in. The rest is callable, meaning it would only be paid in if necessary. Britain’s share of the 21 billion paid-in capital is 16 percent or 3.4 billion euros.

When Britain leaves the EU, a process which is to start early next year, it would have to take out this paid-in contribution as only EU member states can be in the EIB unless the EU decides to change its treaties.

Britain’s exit from the EU  or Brexit  would also remove the callable part of Britain’s shareholding in the EIB. But Britain’s withdrawal from the EIB might be agreed to be gradual, to ease its immediate impact on the bank, one EU official said.

Another option would be that other EU countries might want to make up for Britain’s shares to retain the EIB’s lending capacity. The issue has not been discussed yet as Brexit negotiations have not officially started, the official said.

An aerial view of the excavation site overseen by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology. (photo credit:COURTESY OF ANDREW SHIVA)

Archaeologists are scientifically proving the Jewish people’s connection to Jerusalem, defending the state of Israel in a way that no one but the IDF can, Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Dore Gold said Thursday night.

 Opening the 17th Annual Archaeological Conference, held at the ancient City of David National Park in the capital, Gold addressed “the international attempt to disengage Jerusalem from Jewish history.

Gold specifically focused on a UNESCO resolution adopted in April, which ignored Jewish ties to its holy religious site of the Temple Mount area in Jerusalem’s Old City. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all consider the Temple Mount to be a holy site, but the UNESCO Resolution referred to the area solely as al-Aksa Mosque/al-Haram al Sharif, except for two references to the Western Wall Plaza that were put in parenthesis.

 The text also referred to the plaza area by the Western Wall as al-Buraq Plaza and sparked Israeli outroar, at what Jerusalem slammed as an attempt by the UN to rewrite history.

 Gold referred ironically to the UNESCO acronym, which stands for The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, charging that instead of promoting any of those things, it instead promotes the distortion of history.

 He said Israel must understand why this is happening, and what it can do about it. Gold purported that political fire against Jerusalem is such a central part of the Palestinian diplomatic struggle, because they are aware of the strong historical connection of the Jewish people to the land.

 One cannot ignore the original document of the British Mandate which is binding in the eyes of international law. In that document…recognition has been giving to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine.therefore it is so important for those who want to throw mud at us, and delegitimize us, to try to disconnect this historical connection,he concluded.

 Gold also referred to British documentation of a Jewish majority in Jerusalem in 1863, and cited US jurist Stephen Schwebel’s finding after the Six Day War that Israel had “better title in Jerusalem than other claimants.

 Thus, Gold said that in the face of the accumulated evidence of the affinity of Jewish people to Jerusalem, anyone who wants to make life more difficult for Israel in the international arena, who wishes to negate our rights, to promote an agenda of delegitimization, must direct all their efforts on Jerusalem.

 The conference was held just two days after archaeologists announced that they had reconstructed floor tiles from Jerusalem’s Second Temple courtyard, for the first time since the destruction of the Temple at the hands of the Roman Empire 2,000 years ago.

 Our affinity to Jerusalem is a certain historical truth- not just a narrative, he said, explaining his dislike for the the term “narrative, which hints at a point of view rather than fact. Gold lauded the work of the archaeologists and said Israel must continue to present its truth to the world.

 Tonight we do this, and we will continue to do this next year he asserted, pointing out that 2017 will mark 100 years since the Balfour Declaration.