EURO 2016


Germans react with glee to England’s Iceland humiliation

Still upset by their British brothers voting for Brexit, Germans expressed an overwhelming sense of Schadenfreude at England's Euro 2016 exit.

Germans react with glee to England’s Iceland humiliation
Distraught England players after Iceland defeat. photo: DPA

God really does have a dark sense of humour.

Just days after the UK decided it would be stronger outside the European Union, the English national team was kicked out of Euro 2016 by Iceland. A country of 53 million was defeated by the 300,000 inhabitants of a freezing volcanic rock.

The irony was of course not lost on the people of Germany.

With their seemingly invincible national team already comfortably through to the quarterfinals of the tournament, people just couldn’t resist a little dig at the English.

Berlin Brit Ben Trott could hear the outpouring of vindictive joy from the bars of the capital through his flat window.

Berlin politician Christopher Lauer kicked things off by having a dig at Brexit leader Boris Johnson’s insistence that voting to leave the EU doesn’t mean that Britain has to leave any time soon.

But Lauer wasn’t done there. His next quip took aim at Brits north of Hadrian's Wall, who are desperately trying to prevent Brexit from applying to them.

Tanit Koch, the editor in chief of tabloid Bild, thought she’d get in on the act, making fun of the belief of many Brits that a referendum doesn’t have to be binding if you don’t like the result.

Another wit followed on a similar theme, asking at the end of the first half, when England were already 2-1 down, “are the English already collecting signatures so that the first half can be repeated?”

Left-wing columnist Sebastien Puschner, meanwhile, had a dig at England goalkeeper Joe Hart, who let a seemingly savable shot pass under his hands for the second Icelandic goal.

“Joe Hart, the David Cameron of goalkeepers,” he commented.

After a while, the avalanche of jokes was becoming too much for some to take.

“A suggestion for the common good,” wrote Sven Flohr. “You guys give me a euro for every Brexit joke and I’ll buy us Iceland with it.”


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‘It’s their loss’: Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

The UK is missing out by barring highly skilled Italian graduates from accessing a new work visa, Italy's universities minister said on Wednesday.

'It's their loss': Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

Universities and Research Minister Cristina Messa said she was disappointed by the UK’s decision not to allow any graduates of Italian universities access to its ‘High Potential Individual’ work permit.

“They’re losing a big slice of good graduates, who would provide as many high skills…it’s their loss,” Messa said in an interview with news agency Ansa, adding that Italy would petition the UK government to alter its list to include Italian institutions.

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“It’s a system that Britain obviously as a sovereign state can choose to implement, but we as a government can ask (them) to revise the university rankings,” she said.

The High Potential Individual visa, which launches on May 30th, is designed to bring highly skilled workers from the world’s top universities to the UK in order to compensate for its Brexit-induced labour shortage.

Successful applicants do not require a job offer to be allowed into the country but can apply for one after arriving, meaning potential employers won’t have to pay sponsorship fees.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome. Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP.

The visa is valid for two years for those with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and three years for PhD holders, with the possibility of moving into “other long-term employment routes” that will allow the individual to remain in the country long-term.

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Italy isn’t the only European country to have been snubbed by the list, which features a total of 37 global universities for the 2021 graduation year (the scheme is open to students who have graduated in the past five years, with a different list for each graduation year since 2016).

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL Switzerland, Paris Sciences et Lettres, the University of Munich, and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute are the sole European inclusions in the document, which mainly privileges US universities.

Produced by the UK’s Education Ministry, the list is reportedly based on three global rankings: Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Messa said she will request that the UK consider using ‘more up-to-date indicators’, without specifying which alternative system she had in mind.