The biggest stories this week
Eurozone agrees to €7 billion “bridge” fund for Greece
Eurozone ministers have agreed to give Greece a seven billion euro “bridge” fund to help Greece until a bailout is approved. This fund will help Greek banks reopen to the public after being closed for nearly three weeks. This is expected to be voted through the European Commission on Friday and voted on in the EU Council. Talks of a fund began on Wednesday when Greece passed tough austerity reforms that evening. The agreement was that the EU will provide a bailout fund as long as Greece passes reforms that will increase taxes and curbs pensions by Wednesday.
This fund is paving the way for the EU to provide a full bailout fund worth over eighty-six billion euros. Germany’s parliament is due to vote on it on Friday.
Theresa May Calls for Tougher Work Restrictions for Foreign Students
Foreign students are to be banned from working during their studies and sent home upon the completion of their studies under new rules unveiled by Theresa May, the Home Secretary. These rules are said to crack down on visa fraud in the UK and only apply to non-EU students. Last year, 121,000 non-EU students came into the UK but only 51,000 left, leaving a total influx of 70,000 so Mrs. May is using this as justification for stricter rules. She argues that this will stop immigrants using colleges as a “back door to a British visa” and has stopped 870 “bogus colleges” from accepting non-EU students. Additionally, students applying for jobs will be required to return to their home country in order to apply for jobs. In addition to travel costs, this rule makes it more difficult for students to get hired because transitioning from a Tier 4 student visa to a Tier 2 work visa is more straight forward and has less red tape.
This plan will be proposed to MPs next week.
Critics note that this proposal is neglecting the UK in money and talent from highly skilled immigrants who obtain degrees in the country. Moreover, Labour has criticised this plan, stating that foreign students bring in billions of pounds to the country. On average, foreign students pay double or even triple the amount of tuition fees than UK and EU students.
Iran Nuclear Deal
This week marked the end of a twenty months of negotiation when Iran came to an agreement with the P5+1 on nuclear energy. The states involved were the US, France, China, Russia and Germany who agreed to lift “crippling” sanctions in return for the 98% decrease in uranium stockpile. These countries sought to heavily decrease Iran’s nuclear production and ensure that they do not have the capacity to create a bomb in less than a year’s time but Iran states that they have a right to nuclear energy and argue that it is for peaceful purposes only.
Iran is being singled out because, for 18 years, it has been hiding its clandestine uranium enrichment program which is a violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Additionally, Iran has stated that it believes Israel should not exist so Israel believes that Iran will use nuclear weapons on the country. Moreover, Saudi Arabia believes that coming to a deal with Iran will strengthen them economically and militarily.