I sat down last weekend for a long chat with Alexander Mercouris of The Duran and Crypto Rich to discuss the rapidly evolving situation in Europe. Long time readers know that I’ve been handicapping the collapse of the European Union for years.

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NATO will increase the number of its forces at high readiness massively to over 300,000, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday.

© Reuters/JOHANNA GERON NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg gives news conference ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid, in Brussels

"We will transform the NATO response force and increase the number of our high readiness forces to well over 300,000," he told reporters ahead of a NATO summit in Madrid later this week in Madrid.

NATO's quick reaction force, the NATO response force, so far has some 40,000 troops.

Thousands of anti-NATO demonstrators rallied in Madrid on Sunday before a summit of the Western military alliance in the Spanish capital this week.

Demonstrators called for US-led NATO to be dissolved and for military bases maintained by the United States in Spain to be closed. Banners with the words “No to NATO, No to War, For Peace” were held as they marched through the city.

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This week, President Joe Biden is traveling to Europe for meetings with NATO and Group of Seven (G7) leaders. The White House has plans to use the summits to increase Western pressure on China.

 Ukraine has signed an agreement with the European Union on joining its LIFE Program, an international funding instrument for the environment and climate action, whose budget on environment protection projects for 2021-2027 amounts to 5.43 billion euros, Ukrainian media have reported with reference to the Environment Protection and Natural Resources Ministry.

Ukrainian Environment Protection Minister Ruslan Strilets and European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevicius signed the agreement.

As Italy's socio-economic conditions worsen by the day, the country is witnessing an endless number of protests and strikes.

On Friday, the Italian association of private construction and building technicians staged a protest against the government's decision to cancel the so-called SuperBonus scheme.

The measure - which granted homeowners access to a tax credit of up to 110% on the cost of upgrading their home - was introduced last year in an attempt to counter the nefarious effects on the economy of the Covid crisis.

Czechia has exhausted its stockpile of arms in helping Ukraine to defend itself following the invasion of Russian forces, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala revealed on Thursday.

On Friday Turkey lashed out at a series of positions the EU summit in Brussels took regarding territorial disputes with Greece in the Aegean and Mediterranean - specifically on drilling rights and Ankara's charge that Greece is "militarizing" its islands in violation of historic treaties, an accusation which the EU has not backed. This also as Turkey has been seething over Ukraine and Moldova so quickly being granted EU candidate status.

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A chorus of criticism from European leaders rung out on Friday to condemn the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In the hours after the U.S. Supreme Court made its ruling on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization which overturned the notion that there is a constitutional right to abortion set out in Roe v. Wade — despite America’s founding document making no mention of abortion — leaders from Europe rushed to condemn the decision that will hand back matters of abortion to the state level.