Czechia sees sharp drop in car production: Emerging Europe this week
Czech Passenger car production fell 11.4% year-on-year to 92,657 vehicles in January, posting its lowest result for that month since 2010 as chip shortages continued to weigh, the Association said on Thursday. Czech Automotive Industry (AutoSAP). . AutoSAP, however, said it expected the situation to stabilize in 2022 and show a rebound in full-year numbers.
The European Court of Justice rejected on Wednesday the complaints of Hungary and Poland against a law that ties EU funds to democratic standards. In a major step in the battle for the rule of law in the EU, the bloc’s top court has dismissed cases brought by Hungary and Poland ‘in their entirety’, confirming countries can be starved of funds of the EU when they do not respect democratic standards.
Hungary The ruling Fidesz party has taken a two-point lead this month over the united opposition in campaigning for the April 3 elections, according to an opinion poll by Zavecz Research and published Monday by the website. Telex information. For the first time since coming to power in a landslide victory in 2010, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will face a united front of opposition parties in legislative elections. The opposition alliance includes the Democratic Coalition, the Socialists, the Liberals and the formerly far-right and now centre-right Jobbik.
The National Bank of Poland (NBP) will do everything in its power to bring inflation down, its governor said in comments released Wednesday, after the CPI again hit its highest level in more than two decades. Poland’s central bank raised its main interest rate by 50 basis points to 2.75% in February, its highest level since 2013, and Glapinski signaled there was more tightening ahead. “The NBP will take all necessary measures for a sustainable reduction in inflation,” said Adam Glapinski, quoted by the tabloid Super Express.
Romania The grand coalition government will survive at least until the 2024 general election despite political differences and use its parliamentary majority to drive long-term reforms, one of its leaders said on Wednesday. The three-month-old government controls about 70% of the seats in the Legislative Assembly, but the left-wing Social Democrats and the centrist Liberals – former rivals – are at odds over tax plans, wage hikes and pensions as well as the scope of support measures for the energy surge. invoices.
The President of the European Parliament is preparing to initiate disciplinary proceedings against a Bulgarian nationalist lawmaker who appeared to give a Nazi salute as he left a plenum debate on the rule of law on Wednesday night. MEP Angel Dzhambazki from the right-wing European Conservatives and Reformists group said his raising his right arm as he left plenary was “an example of taking something out of context” and blasting it out of proportion.
Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian Forces on Thursday traded accusations of firing shells across the ceasefire line in eastern Ukraine, and Kiev said the incidents looked like a “provocation” at a time when the Russia has troops massed on the border. Moscow denies Western accusations that it is planning to invade its neighbor and said this week it was withdrawing some of the more than 100,000 troops it had sent to the region. The West disputes there was a significant withdrawal, and the United States has said thousands more troops are still arriving.
Belarus Authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko said he would meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday (February 18) to discuss “new activities” regarding joint military forces as the two countries hold military exercises together. Speaking during a visit to the Asipovitsky military proving ground on Thursday as joint drills were taking place, Lukashenko did not say whether Russian troops would start leaving his country after the drills, but stressed that “there is no need to create Russian military bases in Belarus”.
Azerbaijan Parliament is set to pass new religion laws that would give the state sweeping new powers over Islamic practice in the country. On Tuesday, parliament adopted at second reading amendments to the country’s “law on freedom of religious belief”. The new rules appear on track to pass a third reading and then be sent to President Ilham Aliyev for his signature. One of the main changes would be the way the country’s Muslim clerics are appointed. This authority would be given to the State Committee on Religious Associations and taken away from the Council of Caucasian Muslims.
Britain will double the size of its forces in Estonia as part of a NATO deployment and will send equipment, including tanks and armored fighting vehicles, to the country amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Estonia, once ruled from Moscow, has been a member of NATO since 2004, unlike Ukraine, which has seen Russia mass more than 100,000 Russian troops on its border. Britain already leads a NATO battle group in Estonia with 900 troops.
Lithuania The central bank has told the country’s banks to prepare for power cuts and cyberattacks as the standoff between Russia and Ukraine risks escalating into a military conflict, according to a document and two sources familiar with the matter. Loss of electricity and internet access are among “extreme but possible” scenarios that Lithuania’s central bank told financial firms to prepare for in a letter sent to them last week and seen by Reuters.
Serbia will hold snap elections on April 3, two years earlier, as President Aleksandar Vučić seeks to capitalize on his party’s high popularity after withstanding months of opposition protests. The main opposition parties will take part after boycotting the last general election, a move that kept them out of parliament and unable to influence decision-making. Polls show Vučić’s progressive party won the poll.
Albania The Constitutional Court has overturned Parliament’s impeachment of President Ilir Meta for allegedly inciting instability and showing bias ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections last year. The court said in a decision released late Wednesday that the evidence against Meta did not constitute “a serious violation of the Constitution,” which is a legal threshold for removing a sitting president. In June last year, Albanian lawmakers voted 104 to 7 to impeach Meta after a parliamentary inquiry found he violated 16 constitutional articles and incited violence.
Serbian Tennis player Novak Djokovic said this week that he would rather miss out on future tennis trophies than be forced into getting a Covid shot. Speaking to the BBC, he said missing competitions, such as the French Open, on his jab status was “the price I’m willing to pay”. The 20-time Grand Slam winner was deported from Australia last month after the government canceled his visa in a row due to his vaccination status.
The authorities in Montenegro rescued a lion cub that escaped from a private residence last month. The young feline was discovered Thursday in an unfinished house near the coastal village of Budva. The animal had been wandering near the Adriatic Sea resort for a month after fleeing its temporary home. “The little one was visibly exhausted and is now undergoing veterinary examinations,” said Bojan Basanovic, spokesman for the Agency for Nature and Environment Protection (EPA).
The son of Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov was nominated as the presidential candidate hours after the Central Election Commission launched the first stage of the country’s campaign in a snap presidential election. The decision to nominate Serdar Berdymukhammedov, 40, was taken at the congress of the ruling Democratic Party of Turkmenistan on Monday after election officials announced the opening of the nomination process for all three registered political parties in the tightly controlled nation of Turkmenistan. Central Asia. The early presidential election will take place on March 12. According to rights groups, Turkmenistan has never held free and fair elections since becoming an independent state after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Kazakh Economy Minister Alibek Quantyrov said his team suggested increasing the tax rate for cryptocurrency mining companies operating in Kazakhstan tenfold. Quantyrov said on Tuesday that the move was necessary to regulate all cryptocurrency mining companies in the Central Asian country, which consume electricity from both power generation companies and utility groups. unregulated energy supply. Oil-rich Kazakhstan has ranked among the world leaders in cryptocurrency mining in recent months. The country accounted for 18% of the cryptocurrency mined globally in August 2021.
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