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Britain's anti-EU leader Farage denies expenses allegations

Eurosceptic UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said Tuesday he was considering legal action after a British newspaper reported that he faces an investigation over his EU expenses. Farage told the BBC that the "outrageous" allegations published by Rupert Murdoch's The Times were politically motivated ahead of European parliament elections on May 22. The Times reported that a former UKIP official had made a complaint to the European Union's anti-fraud office OLAF over allowances that Farage receives for his constituency office in Britain.

Support for eurosceptic UKIP hits 20%, Tories slip

Support for the eurosceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP) has spiked to 20 percent while Britain's ruling Conservatives have hit their lowest rating this year, according to a poll published Sunday. The ComRes survey for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror newspapers showed Nigel Farage's UKIP up four points since last month to achieve its highest ever result in a poll by the consultancy. Support for the Conservatives was down 3 percent at 29 percent, the poll showed.

Berlusconi ally arrested in Lebanon ahead of mafia ruling

An ex-senator friend of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was arrested on Saturday in Lebanon where he was on the run over charges of mafia ties, the Italian interior ministry announced. The news came the day after the anti-mafia prosecutor's office said a warrant for Marcello Dell'Utri had been issued on Tuesday but that he was "unreachable". Dell'Utri himself had issued a statement in which he did not reveal where he was but said that he had "no intention" of escaping arrest and was undergoing medical checks because of poor health.

Hungary's Orban retains two-thirds legislative majority

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban retained his controlling two-thirds majority in parliament following last week's election, a final ballot count revealed early Sunday, giving him free legislative rein for the next four years. "(Orban's ruling) Fidesz party won a two-thirds parliamentary majority at the April 6 election," a statement published by state news agency MTI read. The result was based on 99.99 percent of votes counted by the national election office, MTI said.

Hungary's Orban retains two-thirds parliament majority

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's party has retained its two-thirds majority in parliament, and with it the ability to change the constitution, according to a final tally of votes from last weekend's election published on Saturday. Close results in some constituencies had meant it was not clear whether the Fidesz party would reach the threshold of 133 of the 199 seats in parliament.

G7 to hold rescheduled summit in Brussels on June 4-5

Leaders of the Group of Seven industrial powers will meet in Brussels for two days from June 4, the European Council said Friday, after the meeting was moved from Russia due to the crisis in Ukraine. The meeting had been due to take place in the Russian ski resort of Sochi, but was rescheduled after the G7 leaders decided to exclude Russia from the summit over Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. "G7 leaders to meet in Brussels on 4-5 June 2014," the EU Council's press office said on Twitter.

Berlusconi ally on the run ahead of mafia ruling

An ex-senator friend of Italy's Silvio Berlusconi is on the run after police issued an arrest warrant for him and ahead of a ruling next week in which he faces a seven-year sentence for ties to the Sicilian Mafia. The anti-mafia prosecutor's office said Friday a warrant for Marcello Dell'Utri was issued on Tuesday and police have been searching for him since then. "He is unreachable," it said in a statement.

West Germany's Cold War ransoming of prisoners encouraged fraud: research

By Monica Raymunt BERLIN (Reuters) - Former West Germany's decision to buy the freedom of political prisoners in the communist East during the early years of the Cold War may have encouraged fake ransoms demands and more arrests, according to new research. Between 1963 and 1989, West Germany paid to free more than 33,000 political prisoners from the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in exchange for around 3 billion deutsche marks' worth of goods that the East badly needed such as food and petroleum.

Prosecutor, defense urge community service for Berlusconi

By Emilio Parodi MILAN (Reuters) - Both the prosecution and defence have asked a Milan court to order former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to serve a one-year sentence for tax fraud doing community service, judicial sources said on Thursday. The judge told reporters after the first day of hearings that the court would decide in 5-15 days what kind of punishment the center-right leader will receive.

UK's Cameron says rivals' views on Europe 'extremist'

By Kylie MacLellan and William James LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron described rival parties' views on the European Union as "extremist" on Thursday as he launched his bid to ward off a threat from an anti-EU party ahead of European Parliament elections. Polls show the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which campaigns for tighter immigration rules and to leave the EU, could win the most votes in next month's European vote, pushing Cameron's Conservatives into third place behind the opposition Labour Party.
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