Greece’s prime minister Alexis Tsipras listens in parliament to a speech  by his predecessor, Antonis Samaras, who was in Brussels this week, where he discussed the continuing Greek crisis with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. Photograph: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

Europe Letter: possibility of the country returning to full market funding seems fanciful

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis after a meeting with his Italian counterpart Pier Carlo Padoan in Rome yesterday. photograph: epa/angelo carconi. Photograph: Angelo Carconi/EPA

There will be ‘no agreements’ at Monday’s eurogroup meeting, says Dijsselbloem

A European Union flag flutters as the ancient Parthenon temple. Photograph:  Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Neither breakthrough nor breakdown reported as Greek debt talks rumble on

Photo  of an iPad showing the Google search engine home page. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Inquiry to focus on pricing policies transparency of search results

Greece’s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis arrives for a meeting with EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels yesterday. Photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Cash-strapped Athens facing €200 million interest repayment to IMF today

European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici presents the EU executive’s spring economic forecasts during a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

European Commission highlights Ireland’s recovery in its Spring statement

The low representation at plenary sessions in the second half of last year reflects the low attendance of two of Ireland’s 11 MEPs, Brian Crowley and Luke Ming Flanagan in the first six months of the Parliament. Photograph: EPA

Turnout of Republic’s representatives dropped almost 25% – one of lowest in the EU

Mainstays of modernism: Ezra Pound, the attorney John Quinn, Ford Maddox Ford and James Joyce in Pound’s Paris studio in 1923. Photograph from Joyce Images, by Bob Cato and Greg Vitiello with an introduction by Anthony Burgess (Norton, 1994)

The evolution of modernist literature was intimately bound up with the shock and devastation of the war

Commission to ‘fully assess’ Spring Statement in coming weeks

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis arriving for a cabinet meeting at the Greek parliament in Athens on Thursday. Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

Athens reconfigures its negotiation team as talks with creditor countries restart

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras’s pleas for leeway on their bailout programme have largely fallen on deaf ears so far. Photograph: Yiannis Kourtoglou/Reuters

‘One rule for us, another rule for others’ is not a sustainable way to run European Union

Under the terms of Ireland’s bailout, officials will undertake two post-programme surveillance missions each year until 75 per cent of Ireland’s bailout loans are repaid. Photograph: Getty Images

State’s ‘unquestionable’ ability to repay loans is only assessment issue, say Irish officials

A life jacket on a Member of the European Parliament’s desk  next to a leaflet with the slogan “I am a migrant” after a voting session including a vote on a report concerning the latest tragedies in the Mediterranean. Photograph: Reuters

Binding quota system recommended as European Parliament backs resolution

MEPs want to see labels on drinks setting out their calorific content in addition to their alcohol content. Alcoholic drinks that contain more than 1.2 per cent alcohol by volume are exempt from EU regulations on nutritional labelling that came into force in 2011 covering all food and soft drinks. Photograph: PA

Irish are the second-highest consumers of alcohol per capita in EU

Irish MEP Brian Hayes, who is one of the main negotiators on the package , said he believed a “balanced compromise” had been reached. Photo: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

New rules include obligation to value the assets of a fund each day

European commissioner  Dimitris Avramopoulos: “EU citizens expect us to trust each other, to share information and to work effectively together to co-ordinate concrete actions”

European Commission says close co-operation in fight against organised crime has already yielded results

All new models of cars and light vehicles are to be fitted with an electronic device that will alert emergency services in the event of a crash, under new laws agreed by the European Parliament  in Strasbourg.  Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

The device, to be brought in by 2018, will make a call in the event of an accident

EU economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici: confirmed  the commission had considered concerns raised by Ireland about the calculation of budget rules. Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

Flexibility decision to have political impact at EU debate level as well as in State

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis: appeared to offer some concessions ahead of yesterday’s meeting, which was attended by Minister Michael Noonan. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis

Greece must speed-up reforms to unlock any bailout cash, senior EU officials warn

Migrants on board of Italian Navy ship ‘Chimera’ before disembarking in the southern harbour of Salerno. Photograph: Ciro De Luca/Reuters

Many feel it took the sinking of a boat with 900 passengers to grab the world’s attention

Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel with British counterpart David Cameron and German chancellor Angela Merkel during the  EU leaders summit in response to the migrant crisis. Photograph: Reuters

Unfolding tragedy a wake-up call for EU to finally deal with immigration

Migrants are transported to the armed forces of Malta Maritime Squadron base at Haywharf in Valletta’s Marsamxett. Up to 900 people may have died in last Sunday’s disaster off the coast of Libya.  Photograph: Reuters

Naval Service vessel to take part in EU response to worsening Mediterranean crisis

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  arrives at the European Council headquarters for an extraordinary summit of EU leaders to deal on the migration crisis in the Mediterranean. Mr Kenny says the State will contribute a ship to rescue efforts in the region. Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

Enda Kenny says Republic will provide ‘fully equipped vessel’ at emergency EU summit

Migrants on board of Italian Navy ship ‘Chimera’ before disembarking in the southern harbour of Salerno. The catastrophe during the week may have pushed the issue of migration up the European political agenda, but finding a long-term, cohesive solution is likely to prove more difficult. Photograph: Ciro De Luca/Reuters

Europe’s response to the catastrophe is unlikely to be very radical

Alexis Tsipras met the head of Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom on Tuesday amid signs a commitment to building a joint pipeline between the Black Sea and Greece may be in the offing. Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

EU officials play down possibility of new Greek deal before the end of the month

Siofra  O’Leary will serve a nine-year term at the European Court of Human Rights. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

European Court of Human Rights appoints UCD and European University Institute graduate

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom gives a press briefing ahead of the TTIP negotiations. EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

The ninth round of negotiations on Transatlantic trade partnership begins in US

Migrants, who are trying to reach Greece, are rescued by members of the Greek Coast guard and locals near the coast of Rhodes. Photograph: Eurokinissi/Reuters

Ireland ready to aid in resettlement and funding in conflict zones, says Minister

A man carries a migrant woman as local residents and rescue workers help migrants after their boat sank off the island of Rhodes on Monday. Photograph: Argiris Mantikos/AFP/Getty

Head of European Council plays down expectation of quick fix

 European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini (C) holds one minute of silence prior to a Foreign Affairs council meeting of EU Ministers  in Luxembourg, on Monday. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Minister for Foreign Affairs says Ireland will possibly accept asylum-seekers from affected areas

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at a press conference in Rome after a ship packed with migrants capsized off the Libyan coast, 200km south of the Italian island of Lampedusa. Photograph: Angelo Carconi/EPA

Amnesty International calls on European governments to ‘face their responsibilities’ after 700 migrants feared drowned in Mediterr(...)

Rescued migrants after they disembark at Corigliano harbour, Italy, this week. Since April 10th alone, the Italian coast guard has rescued about 8,500 people. Photograph: Francesco Arena/EPA

Number of illegal migrants to Europe this year dwarfed figures for 2014

The IMF ruled out granting Greece permission to defer debt repayments. The fund’s managing director Christine Lagarde said that an advanced economy had never asked for a payment delay. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Yields on 10-year Greek debt rise to highest level in two years ahead of pivotal meeting

Ireland was ranked behind the UK, Austria and Lithuania, among others, but scored above the average of 31 per cent. Hungary and Cyprus ranked lowest in the survey. Photograph: Getty Images

Transparency International reviews guards against ‘undue influence’ in 19 EU states

European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager in Brussels, where the EU charged Google with abusing its dominant position as Europe’s top search engine. Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images

Preliminary findings show that internet giant promotes its own shopping service

German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Schauble accuses Tsipras government of destroying previous regime’s progress

German chancellor Angela Merkel, who along with her French counterpart François Hollande,  has been notably quiet in their public comments on the trade pact. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Irish interests remain divided as ninth round of negotiations begins

Tipperary-born Donal Ryan was one of 12 writers awarded the 2015 European Union Prize for Literature at the London Book Fair for his novel, The Spinning Heart. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Irish Heritage Trust wins Cultural Heritage prize for work on Fota House project

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras: his government’s   labour market, pension reform and  privatisation measures face troika scrutiny.  Photograph: Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images

Aim to settle core elements with creditors before finance ministers gather next week

Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s finance minister: Negotiations between Greece and its international creditors will resume in Brussels and Athens on Monday.

With Greece facing a critical fortnight in its standoff with international lenders, discussions with officials from the ECB, Euro(...)

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and Russian president Vladimir Putin attend a signing ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow. Photograph: AFP Photo

Use of Moscow as bargaining chip likely to secure euro-zone leniency

British prime minister David Cameron arriving for an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels. He has committed to holding a referendum on EU membership by 2017

Europe’s dynamics face major change and the impact for Ireland is huge

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras gestures before his speech during a parliament session in Athens yesterday. Photograph: Reuters

EU Commission says constructive talks still under way in bid to break deadlock

EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström: has inherited one of the trickiest portfolios in Jean-Claude Juncker’s commission. PHOTOGRAPH: THIERRY CHARLIER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Cecilia Malmström has her work cut out trying to conclude the controversial TTIP deal

Demonstrators from Friends of the Earth Europe protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact in Brussels. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is in difficulties two years after discussions began

Candles at the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium high school in Haltern am See on Wednesday. Students and teachers at a small-town German high school broke out in ears when they realised that 16 class-mates and two teachers were on board an ill-fated Germanwings aircraft. Photograph: Reuters

Aircraft appears to have been intact on impact with mountains after steep decent

The loss of 72 German nationals, including 16 schoolchildren, on Germanwings flight 4U 9525 was one of the largest losses of life in a single incident in recent German history. Photograph: Getty Images

Europe letter: As Angela Merkel grappled with with Greece, attention turned to the Alps air disaster

Ulrich Wessel, principal of the Joseph-Koenig Gymnasium in Haltern, Germany, emerges from the school as mourners arrive to lay flowers and candles at a makeshift memorial to 16 students and two teachers from the school who were on a Germanwings flight that crashed in southern France. Photograph: Getty Images

Air crash deaths of 16 students shakes tranquil town to its core

Ulrich Wessel (centre), principal of the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium high school, and city mayor Bodo Klimpel speak at a press conference the day after 16 students and two teachers from Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium high school were among passengers on Germanwings flight 4U9525 that crashed on Tuesday in southern France. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Schools minister describes seeing faces of ‘enormous grief’ at Joseph-Koenig school

 Students leave candles in front of the Joseph-Koenig college in Haltern am See, Germany. Photograph: Rolf Vennenbernd/EPA

School which lost 16 students has become a focal point for a country’s collective grief

ECB president Mario Draghi arrives at a meeting of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, where he said the financial situation of Greece under the last government “was not the fault of the troika, not the fault of the ECB”. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Bank is exposed to equivalent of 65% of Greek GDP, says ECB president

Taoiseach Enda Kenny talks of tax cuts on the back of successful negotiations with the commission. Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

Taoiseach says current EU fiscal rules do not reflect strength of economy

Angela Merkel: made a specific reference to Ireland

Irish approach allows ownership of bailout reforms, says German chancellor

Greece’s prime minister Alexis Tsipras addressing a news conference during the EU summit in Brussels yesterday. Photograph: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Taoiseach pushes for further flexibility on fiscal rules at EU summit in Brussels

The EU’s high representative for foreign affairs Federica Mogherini speaking to  journalists as she arrives for the summit in Brussels yesterday. Photograph: AFP Photo/Thierry Charlier

EU leaders stop far short of endorsing civilian or military mission to Libya

Taoiseach  Enda Kenny arrives for the second day of the European Summit of Heads of States and governments at the EU Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Stephanie LeCocq/EPA.

Enda Kenny says fiscal rules should reflect ‘growing economic strength of the country’

(From left to right)  European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras, president of the European Council, Polish, Donald Tusk, secretary general of the  EU council Uwe Corsepius, ECB president Mario Draghi, French president Francois Hollande, German chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch finance minister and president of Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem sit at the start of a special roundtable meeting on the Greek financial crisis, on the sideline of an EU summit in Brussels,  on Thursday. Photograph: EPA

Analysis: constructive summit tone fails to mask growing frustration of European leaders

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras aid on Friday he was more optimistic after three hours of talks with leaders of Germany, France and European Union institutions on how Greece can secure further financing in exchange for reforms.  Photograph:  John Thysjohn/AFP/Getty Images

German chancellor says Greece must meet commitments before accessing EU money

Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Brussels yesterday: ‘If the [European] Commission comes forward with a new set of proposals we will engage with that constructively.’ Photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP Photo

State prepared to engage constructively with European Commission, says Taoiseach

Ukraine’s prime minister, Arseny Yatsenyuk, in Brussels yesterday after meeting European Council president Donald Tusk, who led calls for EU member states to commit to extending sanctions against Russia. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Merkel says Russian sanctions to be lifted only if Minsk deal implemented

Taoiseach Enda Kenny arrives for a meeting of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: EPA

Taoiseach warns ‘time is running out’ for Greece, who must face ‘political responsibilities’

In  opinion published on Thursday  Luxembourg Court states workers are entitled to a minimum rest periods, and Ireland’s decision to exclude training time from the calculation of doctors’ working time “encroaches on that minimum rest period”.

Court of Justice says Ireland failed to meet obligations under Working Time Directive

Greece prime minister Alexis Tsipras who will hold a meeting on the margins of the summit  with German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Francois Hollande, and the heads of the European Commission, European Council and European Central Bank. Photograph: EPA

Juncker is concerned at slow pace of progress on Greek crisis: ‘I’m still worried.’

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has tax avoidance as a policy priority. Photograph: Bloomberg.

Corporation tax battle set to flare after European Commission targets avoidance

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker: Has vowed to put corporate tax avoidance at the heart of his five-year tenure.  Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Devil in the detail when it comes to persuading states to share data on tax rulings

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis during a parliamentary session in Athens on Wednesday  during which prime minister Alexis Tsipras criticised EU lenders. Photograph: Yannis Kolesidis/EPA

Before two-day Brussels summit Alexis Tsipras demands lenders ‘stop unilateral actions’

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras speaking during a parliamentary session in Athens yesterday. Photograph: EPA/Yannis Kolesidis

Despite reprieve Athens must find new measures to satisfy creditors

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the European summit of heads of states and governments  in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Enda Kenny says ‘time is running out’ as bank outflows accelerate in Greece

Under the proposal announced on Wednesday, national tax authorities will be required to furnish a detailed description of the tax rulings, including the criteria used to determine advanced pricing arrangement. Photograph: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Countries would be obliged to share details of tax rulings

In the spirit of St Patrick’s Day: Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. Photograph: Gareth Easton/PA

From Brussels to Melbourne, St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in style across the globe

True colours: A man  cheers on parade participants as they make their way up Fifth Avenue during New York City’s St Patrick’s Day parade. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Festivities around the globe from New York and Sydney to Brussels and Hong Kong

Minister of State Dara Murphy has strongly defended Ireland’s record on data protection, pointing out that the IDPC has undertaken a number of “tough audits” of Facebook. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

‘One-stop shop’ to allow EU citizens file privacy complaints in country of residence

Speaking alongside Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras in Brussels, European President Jean-Claude Juncker saod: “This is not a time for division. This is the time for coming together.” Photograph: AFP/Getty

Varoufakis hints government might consider suspending campaign promises

Minister for Data Protection Dara Murphy has defended the State’s record on data protection ahead of an EU meeting on new regulation.  File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Minister for Data Protection speaks ahead of Brussels meeting on new EU legislation

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has always been in favour of  more integration of defence resources in the EU. Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

The idea of a European common defence is likely to gain short shrift

Dutch dairy farmer Nils den Besten at his farm in Brandwijk

A big milk producer, and one of Ireland’s biggest rivals, the Netherlands is looking to increase its output by 20%

Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s finance minister (centre) at  a news conference following a meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels, Belgium on Monday.  Greece will resume talks with its creditors this week. Photograph: Bloomberg

Minister for Finance wants scope for expansionary budget as EU finance ministers grant France, Italy and Belgium more time to meet(...)

Minister for Finance  Michael Noonan (left) and EU Commissioner in charge of Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Union, Pierre Moscovici  at the start of the Eurogroup meeting of Finance ministers at the EU council headquarters, in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Minister raises issue with Commission, citing the flexibility granted to France

Eurogroup president and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem speaks to journalists as he arrives for a Eurogroup finance ministers meeting at the European Council in Brussels. Photograph: Getty

Frustration over pace of negotiations between Athens and international lenders

Michael Noonan: Expected to intervene on the contentious issue of EU budget rules during the discussion. Photograph: The Irish Times

Frustration mounting about perceived leniency towards France over deficit

Eurogroup President and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem (R) speaks with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi during a meeting of Eurogroup finance ministers at EU headquarters in Brussels. European finance ministers urged Greece to stop wasting time in talks on its crucial bailout as debt-stricken Athens warned of a possible referendum if its reform plans are rejected.  (Photograph: AFP/Getty Images)

Tsipras urged to “stop wasting time” ahead of meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan at the start of the Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers at the EU council headquarters, in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

'I think what the figures show is the banks using the courts to get people to engage with them'

Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has ratcheted up the pressure on Greece’s lenders to accept Athens’s latest reform proposals. Photograph: Eric Vidal/Reuters

Athens signals referendum intention if international lenders reject reform plan

Yanis Varoufakis: Proposed new measures to unlock remaining bailout funds. Photograph: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

Yanis Varoufakis submits plan to euro group with measures including online gambling

Data mining: It’s hard to think of anything you can do these days – online or off – that doesn’t leave a trail of data crumbs

European institutions are in the process of replacing existing data rules from 1995 to ensure citizens are better protected

Across Europe citizens and governments are less enraptured with tech giants such as Google and Facebook. Photograph: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Revelations about phone-tapping and surveillance caused waves between EU and US

European Parliament president Martin Schulz has denounced the “repeated and arbitrary” denial of admission into Russia of Latvian MEP Sandra Kalniete. Photograph: Emanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

A single energy market for Europe is still decades away

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini arrives to attend a conference on Ebola on Tuesday in  Brussels. Leaders of Ebola-hit countries in west Africa attend an international conference in Brussels  to mobilise a final push to end the outbreak and ensure the delivery of nearly $5 billion in aid pledges. Photograph: AFP

Presidents of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea attending conference on Ebola

The European Commission has warned that Ireland must take “decisive policy action” to address macroeconomic imbalances in the economy. File photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Ireland must take ‘decisive policy action’ to address imbalances

Greece’s prime minister Alexis Tsipras: one of his major challenges will be maintaining political cohesion within his government over the next few months. Photograph: Kostas Tsipras/Bloomberg

PM Alexis Tsipras must keep party and public on side over next four months

European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis: confirmed Italy and Belgium would not be placed into ‘excessive deficit procedure’. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

More effort needed to bring deficit down, European Commission warns France

Athens’s proposals deemed ‘valid starting point’ for vote on loan extension

Inquiry chairman Ciarán Lynch welcomed the ECB’s offer of assistance but said it still wants to hear directly from Jean-Claude Trichet. Photograph: The Irish Times

Move follows intervention by Taoiseach over bank’s refusal to participate in investigation

The unknown soldier monument in Athens. Whether Syriza’s radically different approach of taking a more vocal stance against the troika will deliver more or less benefits for Greece than was achieved in Ireland remains to be seen in the coming months.

In essence, the country is being asked by its lenders to do what Ireland quietly did

List of reform measures Greece sent “is sufficiently comprehensive”

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said Europe and Greece had “turned a page” with the agreement. Photograph: Yves Herman

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said Europe and Greece had “turned a page” with the agreement

People line up to receive olives and bread distributed for free on Pnyx Hill, opposite the Acropolis in Athens yesterday. Photograph: EPA/Yannis Kolesidis

Greece to submit proposals on Tuesday as officials report progress in informal talks

Greek presidential guards in Athens. At issue again is the cohesion of the euro zone, and whether Germany, and a majority of the 19-member Eurogroup, are willing to countenance a Greek exit. Photograph: Reuters

Letter from Germany’s ‘five wise men’ says euro zone would be stronger without Greece

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis: the agreement averts a potential cash crunch in March that could have forced the country out of the currency area. Photograph: Eric Vidal/Reuters

Euro zone finance ministers back four-month extension of bailout

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has dismissed allegations by Fianna Fáil that Taoiseach Enda Kenny was economical with the truth when he claimed the Irish state had benefitted from €50 billion in savings from various debt agreements.

FF’s Michael McGrath says alleged €50bn savings largely due to longer loan maturities

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