December 10. 2023. 8:02

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A ‘stranger’ becomes Greek left boss, shakes political system

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In today’s news from the Capitals:


Analysts and political parties are still trying to understand how a 35-year-old US resident and businessman, previously unknown in Greece, managed to win the main opposition Syriza party’s leadership in what is described as a “metapolitics” phenomenon. Read more.



Germany eyes border checks with Poland, Czechia. Checks at Germany’s eastern border could be on the horizon, according to Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD/S&D) on Saturday, as the government gears up for a sharp crackdown on irregular migration in what will be another blow to the Schengen Area. Read more.



French diplomats, soldiers to leave Niger, says Macron. French diplomats and soldiers in Niger will return home by the end of the year, President Emmanuel Macron announced on Sunday – something he refused to do a few weeks ago – adding that the military cooperation between both nations has ended. Read more.



Austria’s centre-right switches to a ‘positive’ campaign to halt far-right. The far-right FPÖ’s continued dominance in opinion polls has resulted in a new conservative bid to entice voters towards the centre, with a campaign aiming to convince voters of how great their country is doing. Read more.



Dutch communities provide additional refugee shelter. Dutch communities are providing additional shelter for 1,200 refugees on short notice following a letter by State Secretary Erik Van der Burg (VVD/Renew) requesting measures to be taken as existing capacities are nearly exhausted. Read more.



Italy gets nurses from India instead of improving working conditions to fix shortage. The increasing need for health workers has led the government to ‘import’ staff from countries such as India and Cuba instead of proposing policies to fix the current issues in the system. Read more.



Thousands of right-wing activists march against Sánchez and ‘indignity’ of amnesty law. Tens of thousands of right-wing supporters marched against the ‘indignity’ of an amnesty law for those involved in the 2017 secessionist attempt in Catalonia, only a few days before the “doomed to fail” investiture debate of Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the leader of Partido Popular (PP/EPP). Read more.



Left coalition emerges in Czechia, plans to reject Green Deal. A joint candidate list of minor political left groupings is taking shape in Czechia ahead of the 2024 EU Parliament elections and they’ve got plans that include rejecting the European Green Deal. Read more.



Controversial refugee film causes a stir among Polish right-wing parties. The film ‘Green Border’ by Polish Director Agnieszka Holland – which was inspired by the refugee crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border – premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival and has so far been boycotted by the Polish right-wing, who consider the film to be anti-Polish. Read more.



Latest polls show possible deadlock in Slovak election. Neither frontrunner Smer, campaigning to end military aid to Ukraine, nor runner-up Progressive Slovakia have a clear path towards building a government after the snap elections next Saturday unless smaller parties break pre-election promises. Read more.



Hackers damage Bulgarian fact-checking site fighting Russian disinformation. Bulgaria’s most prominent fact-checking platform,, known for countering Russian disinformation, was subject to a cyber attack over the weekend, but there is currently no information on who is behind it, the management of the site told Read more.



Corruption scandal rocks Romania’s Social Democratic Party. Vaslui County Council President Dumitru Buzatu and his wife were expelled from the PSD party on Saturday after Buzatu was intercepted while receiving a bag containing approximately €250,000 from a businessman on Friday evening. Read more.



Vucic blames Kurti for police ambush, murder, monastery standoff in north. Serbian President Aleksander Vucic has blamed Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti for a serious chain of events on Sunday that left four dead, including one police officer, many behind bars, and a significant seizure of weapons and ammunition in the Serb-majority north of Kosovo. Read more.


  • EU: ​​Competitiveness Council (Internal market and industry) convenes to discuss design protection, standards on emissions or battery durability for motor vehicles, and more;
  • Culture ministers hold informal meeting in Cáceres, Spain; Agenda highlights include progress towards sustainable management of cultural heritage, universal access to culture, and more;
  • Commission Vice President Vĕra Jourová hosts Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Ilia Darchiashvili;
  • Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius participates in 9th EU-China Environnent Policy Dialogue; Meets Minister of Water Resources Li Guoying; Participates in 2nd EU-China Water Policy Dialogue, in Beijing;
  • Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides participates in 2nd trilogue on fees and charges payable to the European Medicines Agency;
  • Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson delivers keynote speech in high level dialogue on “Innovation for the energy transition”, in Bonn, Germany; Participates online in 6th Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting as part of the Tokyo Green Transformation (GX) Week;
  • Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) hosts monetary dialogue with ECB Chief Christine Lagarde;
  • France: Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Antonio Tajani on official visit;
  • India: Asia-Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference, co-hosted with US, takes place in New Delhi;
  • Uruguay: International conference on AI and democracy;
  • UN: Commission of Inquiry on the rights situation in Ukraine provides an update to the UN Human Rights Council;


[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara]

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A ‘stranger’ becomes Greek left boss, shakes political system

A ‘stranger’ becomes Greek left boss, shakes political system

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