Brussels is investigating a showcase Chinese rail project that aims to extend Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative into the heart of Europe, potentially putting the EC at loggerheads with China. The commission’s probe is into a planned 350km high-speed railway between Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, and Budapest in Hungary. Source: FT
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Italy’s plans to bail out two regional banks pose a tough dilemma to European regulators, who are still considering whether Monte dei Paschi qualifies for state aid, three months after giving a preliminary green light. Source Reuters
Catalonia’s regional parliament, which is dominated by parties that want the region to break away from Spain, approved Wednesday a 2017 budget that includes funding for an independence referendum. Source The Local
Catalonia’s separatist government on Sunday again urged Spain’s central government to let it hold a legal referendum on independence like the one Scotland staged in 2014 with London’s approval. Source the Local