Croatia says it won’t do dirty work of EU migration – EURACTIV.com
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In today’s news from the Capitals:
Europe is not prepared for a new wave of migrants, said Croatian Interior Minister Davor Božinović, dismissing claims that Croatian police are doing Europe’s dirty work. Read more.
Left-wing MEP: Slovenian Prime Minister Janša is a “coward”. Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša has been described as a “coward” by a left-wing MEP because he does not dare to be asked questions by European lawmakers about the rule of law in his country. Read more.
Germany ends Afghanistan deployment with large tattoo. Given Germany’s complicated history with foreign military interventions, its engagement in the intervention in Afghanistan in 2002 and the nearly 20 years abroad that followed were surprising. Read more.
Minister of Finance: “France 2030” will help create “tens of thousands of jobs”. Asked to comment on the investment plan presented Tuesday by President Emmanuel Macron, the Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire promised that it would generate 45 billion euros in additional wealth and thousands of jobs. Read more.
The Austrian opposition launches a commission of inquiry into the corruption of the ÖVP. Opposition parties reached an agreement on Wednesday to launch a parliamentary commission of inquiry to examine corruption within the conservative ÖVP party. The move comes after anti-corruption authorities began investigating former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz over corruption allegations. Read more.
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
Work at the UN for disgraced Hancock. Former Health Minister Matt Hancock was given a role to the United Nations as a special representative, just months after being forced to resign in shame for breaking social distancing rules by kissing a colleague.
Hancock’s new role, which is unpaid and will see him remain an MP, will be that of “United Nations Special Representative on Financial Innovation and Climate Change for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa”. Despite a mixed record in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UN Secretary-General Vera Songwe praised Hancock for the pace of the UK’s vaccination program. (Benjamin Renard | EURACTIV.com)
NORDIC AND BALTIC
Finnish logging companies inspected for alleged violations of EU antitrust rules. The European Commission is inspecting several Finnish forestry companies to determine whether any have pursued cartels or other restrictive business practices. Read more.
A Dane suspected of killing five people with a bow and arrows in Norway. A 37-year-old Danish citizen is suspected of killing five people in a bow and arrow attack in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg in a rare massacre in Norway, police said. Read more.
Greece and Egypt sign an agreement on a “mega” electric cable. Greece and Egypt are expected to sign a preliminary agreement on Thursday for the construction of a large electric cable connecting the two countries. This will be the first such agreement between Europe and Africa in the south-eastern Mediterranean. Read more.
Italian workers without a health card will not be fired or paid. A new decree signed by Prime Minister Mario Draghi provides new details on the COVID-19 health cards that will be mandatory for all workers in the public and private sectors in Italy from Friday, October 15. Anyone who has been vaccinated, recently recovered from COVID, or has tested negative within the previous 48 hours is eligible for the pass. Read more.
The Spanish “social” budget for 2022 begins its last parliamentary trip. Finance Minister María Jesús Montero on Wednesday presented the draft budget for 2022, an initiative that set in motion the parliamentary journey of the second budget of the government coalition, formed by the Socialist Party (PSOE) and the left Unidas Podemos (United We Can). Read the full story.
A possible defeat of the 2022 budget would “very likely” lead to a general election. President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa warned on Wednesday (October 13) that a possible defeat of the state budget for 2022 would “most likely” lead to the dissolution of parliament and early elections. Read more.
A major Czech electricity company has closed its doors due to soaring gas prices. Bohemia Energy, one of the largest energy suppliers in Czechia, announced an immediate shutdown due to soaring prices for natural gas and electricity. The company supplies energy to around 900,000 customers. Read more.
The Hungarian government decides to lock the controversial prosecutor behind a two-thirds majority. The country’s attorney general, a post currently held by a figure often accused of pro-government bias, could only be removed from office with a two-thirds parliamentary majority, proposed a new bill on Wednesday submitted by the minister of Justice Judit Varga. Read more.
Slovakia to avoid the energy crisis in Ukraine. Ukraine risks being cut off from Russian gas supplies, which could lead to a new energy crisis. The European Commission wishes to guarantee it stable supplies in the future, with the help of Slovakia, by increasing the capacity of reverse gas flow and by supplying to Ukraine. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
SOFIA | SKOPJE
Macedonian Bulgarians call on Sofia to be firm with Skopje. Bulgarian Macedonian organizations have called on Bulgaria not to abandon its firm stance on North Macedonia and allow it to start EU membership negotiations once issues of equality, language and story will have been resolved. Read more.
Prime Minister-designate Ciolos holds inconclusive coalition talks with party leaders. Prime Minister-designate Dacian Ciolos on Wednesday met the leaders of the parties that could form the next government coalition. Read more.
BELGRADE | PRISTINA
Vucic: Serbia will restrict Pristina if the EU fails to do so. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said Wednesday, during the meeting with the Kosovo Serbs in Raška, that he had told the EU’s special representative for the Belgrade-Pristina negotiations, Miroslav Lajčak, “to hold back Pristina, and s ‘they are not able – we will hold them back. Read more.
Croatian and Bosnian leaders agree that the country is going through its worst crisis since the end of the war. Dragan Čović, leader of the largest Croatian party HDZ BiH, and Bakir Izetbegović, leader of the largest Bosnian Democratic Action Party (SDA), discussed changes to the country’s electoral law without reaching an agreement. Read more.
Montenegro’s public debt is expected to fall for the first time since independence. Public debt, excluding deposits and municipal debt, stood at 4.05 billion euros at the end of August, or 87.37% of GDP, according to preliminary data from the Ministry of Finance and Social Protection. Read more.
US diplomat calls on Albanian prosecutors to investigate massive citizen data breach. US Ambassador to Albania Yuri Kim called on prosecutors to investigate any breaches of citizens’ privacy following the massive release of personal data ahead of the April general election. Read more.
- EU: European Parliament questions ECB Supervisory Board Chairman Andrea Enria / EU Chief Diplomat Josep Borrell meets officials in Washington for the first time since President Joe Biden took office / Le Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski delivers an opening speech at the Farm to Fork conference in Brussels.
- France: Prime Minister Jean Castex will participate in an interministerial committee on Europe, dedicated to Justice and Home Affairs.
- Belgium: Preliminary hearing for alleged accomplices in the November 2015 attacks in Paris.
- Austria: The President of the European Commission von der Leyen receives the new Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg.
- Italy: Commissioner Vera Jourová meets Italian representatives in Rome on Thursday and Friday.
- Czechia: Health risk council to discuss growing number of covid-19 cases, health ministry to present new strategy.
- Romania: The interim government holds its weekly meeting. The approval of an EIB loan of 305 million euros for a regional hospital is on the agenda.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor]