Visegrad

Politics 30-07-2021

Slovak far-right backs anti-vaccination campaign

Hundreds of people came to Slovakia’s Presidential Palace to protest against the country’s vaccination campaign, COVID-19 restrictions, the government and the president, as well as the recently adopted law that favours those vaccinated. The protest is supported by the far-right...
Politics 30-07-2021

Prague streets make way for ‘vaccine bus’

Citizens of Prague and visitors to the Czech capital can now be vaccinated against COVID-19 without prior registration in a mobile vaccination centre known as the “vaccine bus” set up by the Prague City Hall. “The bus will stop at...
Politics 30-07-2021

Polish activists appeal to Kamala Harris on press freedom

Six Polish women, including politicians and social activists, have written a letter to US Vice-President Kamala Harris protesting against their government’s restrictions on press freedom, perceived by many to be designed against one broadcaster, TVN. The draft legislation in question...
Politics 29-07-2021

Slovakia’s health ministry says ​third wave is here

The third wave of the pandemic has already begun in Slovakia, the health ministry’s epidemiologist Martin Pavelka from the Institute of Health Analysis said on Wednesday, warning that the reproduction number has been above the critical value of one for...
Politics 29-07-2021

Hungary divided over controversial LGBTQI+ law

Hungarians are divided on the recent controversial LGBTQI+ law that prompted the European Commission to initiate legal action against Budapest, according to a survey by Medián, Telex reported via HVG. Almost half, or 47%, of the voting age population supported the law, saying...
Politics 29-07-2021

Czech government proposes extra paid leave for vaccinated

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Wednesday that he will propose to his government that all employees working in the state administration, including ministry employees, teachers or policemen, who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, would receive two extra days paid...
Politics 29-07-2021

Polish government to ease restrictions for those vaccinated

Poland’s government is to review easing coronavirus restrictions for those who have been vaccinated and is urging those who have yet to get the jab to do so, Gazeta Prawna reported.  Under the proposals, those who could show a vaccine certificate...
Politics 28-07-2021

Reporters Without Borders slam Slovak TV for sacking journalist

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) have expressed their support for “unjustly punished“ journalists who voiced internal criticism of a report linking a woman’s death to the COVID-19 vaccine, which was aired by the public-service broadcaster RTVS aired in March 2021. The...
Politics 28-07-2021

Polish government sets up fund to fight cybercrime

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has announced a new service will be created to deal exclusively with countering cyberthreats, in order to give the police instruments and access to the latest solutions in the fight against cybercrime. “Cybercrime is a...
Politics 28-07-2021

Czech Supreme Court abolishes mask obligation

The Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic ruled on Tuesday that the government’s measure obliging people to wear FFP2 masks in indoor areas is not justified. The court abolished the measure but the ruling will enter into force in...
Politics 27-07-2021

Nine of 14 Slovak MEPs found to be anti-authoritarian ‘hawks’

Most Slovak MEPs are consistently critical of Russia and China and supportive of EU foreign and disinformation policy, a new study by the Political Capital Institute that analyses voting patterns has found. “The spectre of authoritarian regimes is haunting Europe”,...
Politics 27-07-2021

Czechia wants to build a battery gigafactory

The Czech government approved on Monday a memorandum between the state and energy company ČEZ on a future gigafactory project, which would produce batteries for electric vehicles, at a €2 billion investment from the state budget. According to news site...
Politics 27-07-2021

Polish government mulling compulsory vaccination of healthcare workers

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki admitted on Monday that the government is considering obligatory COVID-19 vaccinations for healthcare workers. “If the fourth wave of the pandemic is a serious threat, we do not rule out further steps”, Morawiecki said. Poland’s...
Politics 26-07-2021

Slovakia’s coalition eases law amendment, favouring those vaccinated

Slovakia’s National Council approved an amendment, allowing vaccinated citizens to avoid restrictions if the epidemiological situation in the country worsens. Despite expert suggestions, the coalition softened the original demands, incorporating freedoms to the unvaccinated. The second largest government party, right-wing...
Politics 26-07-2021

Czechia launches vaccination campaign among homeless people

Czech non-profit organisations, led by The Salvation Army, have begun a campaign to vaccinate the country’s homeless population against COVID-19, a programme which began in mid-July and is now expanding to other Czech cities. “In the area of the capital...
Politics 26-07-2021

Polish embassy didn’t sign letter of support for Budapest Pride parade

The Polish Embassy in Hungary did not sign a letter of support for Saturday’s Budapest Pride parade, making Poland one of five countries from across the EU that did not express support for Hungary’s LGBTQI+ community. On Saturday, thousands of...
Politics 23-07-2021

US warns Warsaw over licence renewal of top private broadcaster

Future American investments in Poland could be jeopardised if Warsaw does not renew the licence of 24-hour news channel TVN24, US State Department Counselor Derek Chollet said on Thursday, referring to potential new Polish laws against its ownership by American media...
Politics 23-07-2021

Cars damaged in floods may endanger Slovak market

Slovakia’s car dealership market is worried that sellers from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, countries which import tens of thousands of cars to Slovakia each year, could be selling cars damaged by the floods, the TASR news agency reported. After the floods,...
Politics 23-07-2021

Firearm ownership rights embedded into Czech constitution

The Czech Senate this week approved the right to own weapons to defend oneself and others under legal conditions to be embedded in the constitution. This comes as a reaction to the EU’s tendency to regulate firearms acquisition and possession....
Politics 22-07-2021

Several Slovakian border crossings blocked due to protests

Protesters attempted on Wednesday to block multiple border crossings in protest against new COVID-19 measures announced last week by the government. Traffic jams were reported on a crossing Čunovo-Rajka to Hungary near the capital city Bratislava, where at least 50...
Politics 22-07-2021

Poland elects new ombudsman in rule of law standoff

Marcin Wiącek, lawyer and professor at the University of Warsaw, was elected by the Polish Senate to the post of ombudsman, with 93 votes in favour, none against and five abstentions. After the vote, Wiacek told journalists that it was...
Digital & Media 21-07-2021

Commission to look into Pegasus affair, Reynders says

The European Commission has decided to launch an investigation on the surveillance of EU journalists as the bloc reels from the Pegasus Project revelations released over the weekend that governments had used military spyware to intercept communications. “We are starting...
Politics 21-07-2021

EU Commission gives Poland deadline to comply with CJEU decisions

The EU executive has given Poland a 16 August deadline for it to comply with the order issued by the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) last week, which called on the country to freeze all actions by the disciplinary chamber...
21-07-2021

Pegasus scandal: Hungarian prosecutor investigating

The prosecutor general’s office is looking into the Israeli spy software that targeted Hungarian journalists, lawyers, politicians and businessmen, while the country’s data office is on leave, Telex reported on Tuesday. The Israeli cyber company NSO’s spyware programme Pegasus has been used...