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Before you start reading today’s edition of Les Capitales, do not hesitate to consult the article Greece fumes as Washington loses interest in the EastMed pipeline, by Sarantis Michalopoulos.
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In today’s news from the Capitals:
DDue to technical complications, registration of compulsory vaccines will only be possible in April, two months later than planned by the Austrian government. Meanwhile, experts question the effectiveness of mandatory vaccinations. Read more.
EU foreign ministers will discuss measures in Kazakhstan. EU foreign ministers this week will discuss possible measures to respond to the crackdown on anti-government protests in Kazakhstan over the past week, a French minister said on Sunday. Read more.
The former right-wing vice-president abandons Pécresse to join Zemmour. Guillaume Peltier, former vice-president of the right-wing Les Républicains party, announced that he would join the far-right presidential candidate Éric Zemmour on Sunday. is the only candidate “capable of beating Emmanuel Macron”. Read more.
German government parties are dragging their feet on compulsory vaccine voting. The two biggest parties in the German governing coalition – Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens – are in no rush to call for a parliamentary vote on compulsory vaccination although they both support it . Read more.
The Dutch government is sworn in with a focus on the climate. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s fourth consecutive coalition government will be sworn in on Monday, a record 10 months after the election, with pledges to spend heavily on climate change and the coronavirus. Read more.
Thousands of people protest against COVID-19 rules in Brussels. Several thousand protesters marched in Brussels on Sunday to oppose anti-coronavirus regulations, as European governments draw up stricter rules in the face of the omicron wave.
There was no repeat of the violence that had marred previous larger protests in the Belgian capital, although police intervened to surround a small group that had approached EU headquarters. Belgium requires residents to present a Covid certificate to enter bars, restaurants and cultural events, and there have been several recent protests. (EURACTIV.com)
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
Ireland offers vaccines to all children aged 5 to 11. Ireland began offering COVID-19 vaccines to all children in the 5-11 age group on Sunday. Read more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
PM Marin: Finland “will not be blackmailed” by Russia. Ahead of the talks between the United States and Russia, Finland reiterates its right to maintain and strengthen its security and foreign policy without “blackmail” from third parties. Read more.
Swedish Prime Minister and security services criticized for cleanliness on deportation list. Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has come under fire after a cleaning lady hired for her house in Nacka was found to be under an eviction order. Swedish security services have come under heavy criticism for the incident. Read more.
Italy expects a sharp increase in preventable unvaccinated deaths. “In the next 30 days, at the current rate, we will have 2,500 deaths among the unvaccinated, deaths that could have been prevented”, P.Professor Sergio Abrignani, immunologist and member of the scientific technical committee of the Ministry of Health, told Radio 24 on Sunday.
“That’s why I keep saying that not vaccinating is like riding a motorcycle at breakneck speed without a helmet,” he added. Read more.
Spanish study: Unvaccinated people 20 times more likely to die from COVID-19. According to a Spanish study, unvaccinated people aged 60 to 79 are 20 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those vaccinated against it, reported EURACTIV partner EFE. Read more.
The ruling party in Poland is preparing to part ways with its coalition partner in order to get money from the EU. The ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) is considering a split from its junior eurosceptic coalition partner Solidarity Poland. The party hopes this will help break the deadlock between the government and the European Commission over money from the Next Generation EU fund, several media outlets, including major Gazeta Wyborcza Daily, reported on Sunday. Read more.
Czech ambassador reprimanded for supporting Beijing Olympics. The Beijing Winter Olympics sparked the first diplomatic clash between the new Czech government and pro-chinese President Miloš Zeman. As the current ruling cabinet criticizes China’s hosting of the Games, the president asked the Czech ambassador to China to express his support. Read more.
Hungarian producers expect pork prices to skyrocket. Rising costs in 2021 will likely force pork producers to raise prices in 2022, said Tamás Éder, president of the Hungarian Meat Industry Association. Information, according to Telex. Read more.
Migrant social workers from Slovakia and Romania have been discriminated against in Austria. Thousands of migrant care workers in Austria, mostly from Slovakia and Romania, work excessively long hours with “shocking” wages and are often subjected to various forms of discrimination and abuse, Amnesty International revealed in a report. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Prominent Bulgarian investigative journalist threatened with assassination. Western special service warned Bulgarian investigative journalist Atanas Chobanov the imminent threat of an assassination attempt on Bulgarian territory. Read more.
Vaccination will not be compulsory in Romania, said the Minister of Health. Vaccination against COVID-19 remains very important, but it should not be mandatory in Romania, said Health Minister Akexandru Rafila. Read more.
Electricity price for the Croatian government 58% above plan. Ethe electricity consumption of the government, parliament and the president’s office is 58% more expensive than expected, while sSome bids submitted for the supply of electricity and gas are 130% higher than expected, the daily Večernji List reported. Read more.
Slovenia imposes stricter entry conditions, shorter quarantine periods. Slovenia has decided to tighten entry requirements from Monday as the wave of Omicron-induced COVID infections continues to increase. Yet this reduced the length of the quarantine for fear that too many people would be absent from work. Read more.
The Serbian Olympic Committee is involved in the Djokovic debacle. the Serbian Olympic Committee President Božidar Maljković sent a letter to his Australian counterpart John Coates on Sunday in which he strongly protested against the treatment of tennis No.1 Novak Djokovic. Read more.
Serbs are blocking main roads in protest against the possible opening of a lithium mine. Some of Serbia’s main roads were blocked on Saturday in protest against the possible opening of a lithium mine in western Serbia, as part of Rio Tinto’s Jadar project. Read more.
Dodik: The Republika Srpska is a state. Further steps will be taken to strengthen the Republika Srpska (RS), a Serbian entity, Milorad Dodik, Serbian member of the Tripartite Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, announced during the official two-day ceremony of the so-called “RS National Day”. Read more.
The parties exchange blame after the storming of the opposition seat. After his own members stormed the Democratic Party headquarters on Saturday, Prime Minister Edi Rama reacted to the opposition party’s internal conflict by calling the belligerent leaders “clowns” and “political corpses”. Read more.
Kovacevski and Petkov could overcome the obstacles. Prime Minister-designate Dimitar Kovacevski has said he intends build a concrete and friendly relationship with the new Bulgarian Prime Minister, Kiril Petkov, who announced his visit to the country on January 18. Read more.
Montenegro is likely to complete all reforms for EU membership by 2025. Montenegro should follow its internal reform plan as it has a real chance to meet all its obligations by 2025 and prepare for EU membership, said the chief negotiator for EU membership. EU, Zorka Kordić. Read more.
Familiar face named new US Ambassador to Pristina. Jeff Hovenier, who is part of the “Biden package” of diplomats with experience in the region, was appointed US Ambassador to Pristina and is expected to initiate solutions to unresolved issues in the region. Read more.
- EU / France: Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis is traveling to Paris for the conference on EU-Africa trade relations organized by the French Presidency of the Council of the EU.
- US and Russia control arms, Ukraine talks in Geneva / NATO-Ukraine Commission meets in Brussels.
- Germany: German Finance Minister Christian Lindner and Eurogroup leader Paschal Donohoe meet in Berlin.
- Netherlands: The quadripartite coalition government led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte is sworn in.
- Italy: / Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio receives his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock / New Covid restrictions, the vaccination card comes into force.
- Bulgaria: The National Security Advisory Council will discuss Bulgaria’s veto on the European integration of North Macedonia.
- Croatia: Defense Minister Mario Banožić on an official visit to Poland.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor]