October 18. 2021. 4:46

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More deaths at Polish-Belarusian border


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In today’s news from the Capitals:

WARSAW

Three people died at the Polish-Belarusian border on Saturday, while a fourth died on Sunday, Polish border guards confirmed. They had all frozen to death, they added. Read more.

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EU PRESIDENCY

Minister urges Frontex to help member states, third countries. The situation on the EU’s border with Belarus was high on the agenda as the management board of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) started a two-day meeting in Slovenia on Tuesday. Read more.

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PARIS

AUKUS sub snub fuels ‘growing feeling of broken relationship’. As EU diplomats are currently discussing whether to cancel or postpone an upcoming EU-US summit on technology and trade over the AUKUS deal, French officials insist this is not about a lost bilateral arms contract, but about a ‘broken’ relationship between allies. Read more.

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BERLIN

Laschet now needs to rely on Merkel’s explicit support ahead of elections. As the German conservatives continue to poll at historic lows, chancellor hopeful Armin Laschet is betting on support from outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel backing him publicly in her legacy constituency in the North-East of Germany. Read more.

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VIENNA

Afghanistan tops Austrian government’s agenda. The Austrian government launched two events in Washington and Vienna on Tuesday to discuss the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and potential challenges concerning migration and security. Read more.


UK AND IRELAND

LONDON

Romanian MEP demands EU investigation into UK profiling claims. A Romanian MEP has called on the European Commission to intervene following the release of data suggesting that UK border officials could be conducting racial profiling against Romanian and other east Europeans states. Read more.

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DUBLIN

Ireland refuses to commit to global minimum corporate tax plan. Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin has declined to take a concrete stance on whether the country will maintain its 12.5% corporate tax rate amid growing pressure to join an Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) plan for a minimum global corporate tax rate of 15%. Read more.


NORDICS AND BALTICS

HELSINKI

Finland’s purchase of new fighter jets could get political. The choice between five bidders offering 64 fighter planes to replace Finland’s current Hornet fleet at a €9.4 billion price tag has become increasingly political for the government after Australia scrapped a submarine order with Paris in favour of a deal with Washington and London. Read more.

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VILNIUS

Lithuania says throw away Chinese phones with censorship software. Lithuania’s Defense Ministry recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities. Read more.


EUROPE’S SOUTH

ROME

Far-right MEP Francesca Donato leaves Salvini’s Lega. Eurosceptic MEP Francesca Donato has resigned from Matteo Salvini’s far-right Lega party after the latter backed a string of COVID-19 measures, including last week’s decision making the health pass mandatory for all workers. Read more.

Three out of 10 Italian entrepreneurs unaware of Italy’s recovery plan. Three in ten Italian entrepreneurs have little or no idea what the national recovery and resilience plan set by PM Mario Draghi’s government stands for although the deadline to submit projects for funding is looming, a survey published by market research institute Format Research has found. The survey canvassed 900 Italian managers and entrepreneurs. Read more.

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MADRID

Stars seem to align for Spanish economy after disastrous 2020. The Spanish economy appears to be recovering faster than expected, and after a disastrous 2020, stars are finally seeming to align with national and international institutions predicting a robust growth of the Iberian country’s GDP in 2022 and 2023. Read the full story.

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ATHENS

Mayors of Athens and Istanbul seek bottom-up solutions. The mayors of Athens and Istanbul said they believe they can build bridges of communication, friendship and mutual understanding and proceed together to solve growing problems facing Greece and Turkey. Read more.


VISEGRAD

BRATISLAVA

Slovak health ministry silent over Sputnik’s third dose. The health ministry announced that the 20,000 people who received the Sputnik vaccine in Slovakia will be given Pfizer as a third dose. However, the ministry did not respond to EURACTIV’s question of whether it had received specific instructions from the Sputnik producer about the third dose. Read more.

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PRAGUE

Czechia asks Commission to rethink new emissions standards for cars. Upcoming Euro 7 emission standards regulation for all petrol and diesel vehicles “seems to be almost impossible to implement”, Czech Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlíček complained in a letter to the European Commission. Read more.

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BUDAPEST

Hungarian photo-journalist investigating luxury trips of government elite targeted by spyware. The cell analysis of photojournalist Dániel Németh revealed that his devices had been targeted by Israeli spyware this summer while exposing the government elite’s trips, Telex reported. Read more.


NEWS FROM THE BALKANS

SOFIA

Sofia wants EU to take its side in dispute with Skopje. Bulgaria expects effective actions from EU institutions to promote the values ​​of democracy and respect for human rights in the Republic of North Macedonia, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said during his meeting on Tuesday with EU Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi. The meeting was not followed by a media briefing and Várhelyi left for Skopje later the same day. Read more.

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ZAGREB

100,000 suffer from dementia in Croatia with most having Alzheimer’s. An estimated 100,000 people in Croatia suffer from dementia, and 70% of them have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, doctor Ninoslav Mimica told national news agendcy Hina on the occasion of World Alzheimer’s Day on Tuesday. Dr Mimica emphasised that the lives of 250,000 people and their families are affected by the consequences of the disease and called for a national strategy against dementia to be adopted. Read more.

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LJUBLJANA

Centre-left opposition finalises deal on post-election cooperation. Four Slovenian centre-left opposition parties have finalised an agreement on cooperation after the election as they attempt to form a more united leftist bloc to challenge Prime Minister Janez Janša’s Democrats (SDS). Read more.

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BELGRADE

Former Serbian PM: Vucic’s politics responsible for everything now happening in Kosovo. The replacement of the status-neutral “KS” Kosovo license plates in North Kosovo was part of the agreement that Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić signed with the Albanians five years ago, and the current situation is a result of Vucic’s politics, former Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Živković said on Tuesday. Read more.

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SARAJEVO | ZAGREB

Croat president Milanovic meets leaders in efforts to help define electoral law in BiH. Croatian President Zoran Milanović met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, mainly to discuss the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the president told Croatian TV. Read more.


AGENDA:

  • Slovenia/EU: Informal meeting of EU transport and energy ministers at Brdo pri Kranju to discuss two proposals from the ‘Fit for 55’ package / EU unveils new rules for insurance industry.
  • France: President Emmanuel Macron to participate in a Council of ministers and a Defence Council Wednesday before meeting Defence Chief Thierry Burkhard.
  • Spain: Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to intervene at the UN General Assembly in New York.
  • Czech Republic: Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to visit the Hungarian-Serbian border crossing Röszke to see local security management.
  • Croatia: MPs to discuss electricity bill drafting transition to clean energy and transposing 2019 EU directive on common rules for the internal market in electricity.

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[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Zoran Radosavljevic]