Big power wants to withdraw NATO forces from Kosovo – EURACTIV.com
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In news from today’s capitals:
An anonymous big power is launching a request to withdraw the NATO Force in Kosovo (KFOR) and the United Nations Mission (UNMIK) from Kosovo, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said on Thursday, adding that he would ask the secretary NATO General Jens Stoltenberg to intervene. Find out more.
In other news, Serbia, Greece set to sign deal waiving roaming charges next week, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić announced Thursday. After
EU ministers seeking consensus on sustainable tourism. The Portuguese Secretary of State for Tourism hopes that a high-level forum on Friday 14 May will resolve “two major concerns”: the commitment of member states to sustainable tourism and the lines of funding for this transformation. After
Austrian Kurz will not resign as part of an anti-corruption probe. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has said he “will certainly not resign” despite an investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office for Economic Affairs and Corruption for allegedly giving false testimony to the parliament’s commission of inquiry. Read more.
France and New Zealand have been reviewing terror measures online since the Christchurch appeal. French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern are expected to co-host a summit Friday May 14 to review progress in tackling terrorist content online two years after the attack was broadcast live murderer of the Christchurch Mosque. EURACTIV France reports.
No freedom without COVID passport, says Minister of Health. Belgian Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said pre-pandemic freedoms could not be regained without a COVID-19 passport, or a variant thereof, according to Belga Press Agency. He also said that the COVID Safe Ticket mechanism announced by the Belgian government this week to allow the organization of future mass events will work on the same principle.
“I’m not interested in terminology […] but without such an instrument, it will not be possible to regain our freedom, ”said Vandenbroucke. However, a Belgian version of the digital health certificate is unlikely to be in place until the end of September. “But it will come,” he said. (Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)
Germany relaxes entry rules. As of Thursday, uniform national COVID-19 rules will apply to those returning from vacation and other people traveling to Germany. There are now no quarantine or testing requirements for those who have been fully vaccinated or recovered from the coronavirus, unless they come from an area with new, more contagious virus variants. Learn more about new federal government regulations here. (Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)
The government must give the broadcaster RTL more than 10 million euros per year. A new agreement between broadcaster RTL and the Luxembourg government will see the broadcaster receive more than 10 million euros per year from 2024 once their current deal expires, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said at a parliamentary committee meeting on Tuesday. The Prime Minister said the final cost of the new contract “cannot yet be quantified”, but that it “would certainly have an upward trend”. (Anne Damiani | EURACTIV.fr)
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
The Israeli ambassador accuses Irish politicians of spreading “hatred” towards the Jewish state. Israel’s Ambassador to Ireland Ophir Kariv accused some Irish politicians of directing hatred against the Jewish state in an outburst of emotion before a parliamentary committee on Thursday, the Irish time reported. Read more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
Report: The Finnish economy will grow but unresolved issues remain. Economic growth in Finland will accelerate in 2021, after which it will begin to normalize considerably, the finance ministry said in a report released on Wednesday. Read more.
In other news, Finnish parliament resumed debate on EU stimulus fund on Thursday evening at 8 p.m. after the debate which continued until Wednesday evening was suspended Thursday morning. Most of the speeches, which included excerpts from church hymns and the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, were delivered by Finnish party MPs who took turns delaying the vote, the news agency reported STT. The vote on the European package, which requires approval by a two-thirds majority of Finnish MPs, will likely take place next week. (Pekka Vanttinen | EURACTIV.com)
The Baltic countries are moving closer to connecting to the EU’s electricity grid, ending their dependence on Russia. On Thursday 13 May, three Baltic states in the EU took a big step forward towards access to the Union’s electricity grid, an initiative to end energy dependence on Russia dating back to l Soviet era. After.
Kerry in Rome: The climate crisis requires a “multiple approach”. “There is not one thing that can solve the climate crisis. We need a multi-faceted approach, ”said US special climate envoy John Kerry, who on Thursday met with Italian foreign and environmental ministers, as well as the CEOs of the country’s main energy companies. in Rome. Read more.
In other news, Former European Commission President Romano Prodi has joined a call for patent liberalization on COVID-19 vaccines. The call, coordinated by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, was supported by intellectuals, Nobel laureates and politicians, including former French President François Hollande and former Spanish Prime Minister José Luìs Zapatero.
According to Prodi, “Liberalization is necessary because the most developed countries have already expanded their production capacity, but the rest of the world is still completely uncovered in the face of the pandemic and must be helped. When dramatic and global events such as a pandemic occur, an exception to the fair and understandable regulation of intellectual property is necessary ”. (Daniele Lettig | EURACTIV.it)
Spain aims to boost the tourism sector affected by COVID with a new campaign. Spain’s Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto this week urged foreigners to start planning their Spain getaway now, stressing that conditions in the country allow for the resumption of international and domestic travel. Read more.
Large public projects under the control of the Greek Prime Minister. Greece’s major public projects will now come under the tutelage of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, according to a last-minute amendment to a bill that sparked a strong reaction from the opposition. After
Hungary launches vaccination certificate mobile app. Hungary launched a mobile application allowing holders to certify their vaccination status on Thursday May 13, although several users encountered problems using the tool, Telex reported.
The Polish right-wing opposition party opposes “vaccine passports”. The “green certificates” which will be introduced across the EU “will considerably hamper or even prevent tens of millions of people, including at least 10 million Polish citizens, from traveling to Europe”, Michał Wawer, lawyer and right-wing treasurer opposition party of the Confederation, said Thursday in the Polish parliament, the Sejm, at a conference. Read more.
Another controversy is the fourth Czech Minister of Health since the pandemic. Czech Republic’s new Health Minister Petr Arenberger, who took office on April 7, has been challenged to explain alleged substantial irregularities in his tax returns, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Thursday. . Read more.
Slovakia to support families in need. The government has decided to pay a one-off allowance of € 333 per child to families in need. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Bulgaria is aiming for collective immunity within about two months. Bulgaria can gain herd immunity to COVID-19 within 63 days if the current vaccination rate is maintained, government health adviser Nikolay Vitanov said on Thursday. Read more.
Croatia is successfully testing digital green certificates. Croatia is the first EU country to successfully test the digital green certificate system, Interior Minister Davor Božinović said at a government session on Thursday. Read more.
Romania announces its intention to ease restrictions. Romania will gradually lift restrictions, as the vaccination rate rises and the number of coronavirus infections declines across the country. From Saturday May 15, wearing masks outdoors will no longer be compulsory, except for markets and fairs, said President Klaus Iohannis. In addition, the night curfew will be lifted and stores will be able to resume their normal opening hours. After.
- France: Prime Minister Jean Castex will visit his hometown of Gers on Friday, where he will visit the vaccination centers there.
- Italy: US special climate envoy John Kerry to meet Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, while Catania preliminary inquest judge decides whether to indict former Northern League leader former interior minister , Matteo Salvini, on kidnapping charges for blocking the landing of an Italian navy ship. of 174 migrants for six days in 2019.
- Spain: FITUR, the second most important tourism and trade fair in the world, opens next week in Madrid in a “hybrid” format (50% digital) as the first major event organized in Spain since the start of the pandemic.
- Foreign ministers of Country V4 will meet on Friday in Łódź, Poland, to discuss foreign policy and summarize the group’s activities over the past 30 years.
- Poland: The Senate postponed the examination of the draft law on the recovery fund and the EU’s own resources until May 27.
- Slovenian President Borut Pahor will visit Serbia Friday.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Paula Kenny, Josie Le Blond]