Europe's South

Politics 30-07-2021

Italian prisons face overcrowding, suicide problems

Italian prisons had a “real crowding rate” of 113% in June 2021, with 53,637 people occupying the approximately 47,000 places actually available, according to the annual report of prisoners’ rights association Antigone presented on Thursday. The suicide count has also...
Politics 30-07-2021

Spain leads vaccination campaign, economy growth forecast

In Spain, more than 26 million people or 55% of the population, are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, positioning the country ahead of some of the world’s leading economies such as the US, Germany and France. “I will give you...
Politics 30-07-2021

Greek islands face lockdowns – Portugal’s nightlife closed until October

Portuguese bars and nightclubs will remain closed until October, after which they can reopen for customers presenting a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or equivalent, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Thursday. Meanwhile in Greece, several islands face the risk of local...
Politics 29-07-2021

Portuguese government to review legislation against racism

Portugal has said it will review its anti-racism laws, including those concerning fines and sanctions, the government announced in its national plan against racism published on Wednesday. In the National Plan to Combat Racism and Discrimination 2021-2025 – Portugal against...
Politics 29-07-2021

Greece says Turkey continues to block returns of illegal migrants

Greece made on Wednesday a new request to the EU Commission and FRONTEX for the immediate return to Turkey of 1,908 rejected asylum seekers living on the Aegean islands. Athens says Turkey has been blocking the returns of people not...
Politics 29-07-2021

Salvini’s Lega joins protests against COVID certificate

Several Italian lawmakers from right-wing nationalist Lega party – but not its leader Matteo Salvini – joined protests against the government’s decision to make a COVID-19 certificate a requirement to enter cinemas, bars and gyms from 6 August. The protests...
Politics 28-07-2021

Greece tells Turkey it hasn’t given up self-defence right

Greece will never give up the right to defend itself, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday amid a fresh spat between Athens and Ankara in the eastern Mediterranean. “Every bit of Greek territory, mainland or island, and every Greek...
Politics 27-07-2021

Madeira to keep curfew even if revoked at national level, says governor

The Portuguese island of Madeira will maintain its curfew even if the mainland government decides otherwise following its meeting of the national drug authority to discuss the epidemiological situation on Tuesday, the president of the regional government has insisted. “I...
Politics 27-07-2021

Fires continue in Sardinia, destroying farms

Wild fires have been devastating the Montiferru region of central-western Sardinia for the last three days, burning 20,000 hectares of land, destroying several farms and forcing thousands of people to flee. Following a devastating weekend, the situation appears to have...
Politics 27-07-2021

MEP: A far-right faction ‘pulls the strings’ in Greek government

Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and the foreign affairs ministry are locked in a blame game over the last-minute cancellation of an award to be presented to a humanitarian worker who rescued migrants from the sea, with leftist MEP Stelios Kouloglou...
Climate change 27-07-2021

Fires torch thousands of hectares of land in Spain

Thousands of hectares have been destroyed due to forest fires since last Saturday in Spain, prompting a "critical situation" in Catalonia, where people have been evacuated as the blazes advance. EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported on Monday 
Politics 26-07-2021

More than 50% of Italians fully vaccinated

30 million Italians or 56% of the population have completed vaccination against COVID-19, based on data updated on Sunday. However, there are 4.8 million over 50s and 2.7 million young people between the ages of 12 and 19 who have...
Politics 26-07-2021

Greece cancels award of honoured refugee rescuer

The last-minute cancellation of an award to be presented to Iasonas Apostolopoulos, a humanitarian worker who rescued migrants from the sea, at a ceremony for the anniversary of the restoration of Greece’s democracy has triggered strong reactions in Athens. Press...
Politics 23-07-2021

Draghi: Anti-vaccine is ‘appeal to die’

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has said that people pushing anti-vaccine messages are spreading a deadly appeal. “The appeal not to get vaccinated is an appeal to die, basically. You don’t get vaccinated, you get sick, you die. Or you...
Politics 23-07-2021

Greece opens door to mandatory general vaccination

The conservative Greek government (New Democracy, EPP) has opened the door to obligatory vaccination for all, by allowing the health minister to expand the categories of professions in which compulsory vaccination may be imposed. The new powers granted to health...
Politics 22-07-2021

Portugal aims to vaccinate 570,000 children by mid-September

Portugal aims to vaccinate 570,000 12-17-year-olds between 14 August to 19 September, Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced on Wednesday. Speaking at the opening of the state of the nation debate in parliament, which marks the close of the second legislative session, Costa...
Politics 22-07-2021

Prodi was spied on by Moroccan secret services

The former Italian prime minister and former European Commission chief, Romano Prodi, was allegedly spied on by the secret services of Morocco using the Israeli Pegasus software, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. Prodi was reportedly targeted due to his appointment as...
Coronavirus 22-07-2021

Spain votes to end obligatory outdoor face mask rule

The end of the obligation to wear face masks outdoors in Spain when social distancing is practicable, as decreed on 26 June by the government, was approved by parliament on Wednesday, EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported.
Politics 21-07-2021

Commission: Pandemic increased risk of corruption in Italy

Freedom of the press, lack of independence of the judiciary and the management of migrants: The European Commission in its second EU-wide rule of law report released on Tuesday stated that during the COVID-19 pandemic, “the risk of corruption in...
Politics 21-07-2021

Portuguese PM predicts herd immunity by summer’s end

Portugal should reach group immunity by the end of the summer, Prime Minister António Costa said on Tuesday, adding that this creates “a very important moment for confidence and total liberation of society.” At the ceremony to sign four investment...
Politics 21-07-2021

Cyprus urges world to talk tougher to Turkey’s Erdogan

If the world does not react to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s regional provocations in Cyprus and beyond, he will be encouraged to continue in a destabilising way that undermines US interests, Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said on Tuesday....
Coronavirus 21-07-2021

Spain fully vaccinates half the population

Just over half of Spain’s population, or 24.4 million people, are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the health ministry. EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported.
Politics 20-07-2021

Report: Italy sees work-related injuries drop, deaths rise

Fewer work-related injuries were recorded in Italy last year, mainly due to people being forced to work from home during the pandemic, while deaths at work increased, also due to the pandemic, according to the annual report of the National...
Economy & Jobs 20-07-2021

Brussels approves €1 bn fund for pandemic-hit Spanish firms

The European Commission approved on Monday Spain’s proposal to set up a €1 billion recapitalisation fund to help the recovery of Spanish companies affected by the pandemic, EURACTIV’s partner EUROEFE reported.