Visegrad

Politics 01-12-2021

Polish government introduces ‘anti-inflation shield’

Poles will soon benefit from tax cuts and see a reduction in fuel prices as part of the so-called “anti-inflation shield”, the government announced on Tuesday. “Today we have started to implement the assumptions regarding the anti-inflation shield. It is...
Politics 01-12-2021

Fidesz presses ahead with holding referendum claimed homophobic by critics

On Tuesday the legislative voted for holding, likely on the same day as parliamentary elections next spring, what the ruling Fidesz calls a “child protection” referendum, widely considered to be targeting the LGBTQI community, Telex reported via national press agency MTI. The parliamentary...
Politics 01-12-2021

Future Czech EU Minister concerned about situation in Hungary

With the change in the Czech government, Budapest could lose Prague’s backing in its disputes with the EU over the rule of law. Czechia’s likely next EU Affairs Minister, former university rector and member of the Czech Senate Mikuláš Bek...
Politics 30-11-2021

Slovak government greenlights construction of country’s biggest solar park

The government has announced that a solar park will be built by the state nuclear energy company of Slovakia next to the nuclear power plant Jaslovenské Bohunice. The solar power plant will be 105 hectares big, will cost approximately €60 million,...
Politics 30-11-2021

Fidesz agrees with claim opposition is a ‘security threat’

Chief ruling party Fidesz spokesperson agreed with the speaker of the Hungarian parliament’s speech, in which the latter called Hungary’s opposition the ‘most dangerous national security threat’, during Monday’s legislative sitting, Telex reported. Parliament Speaker László Kövér said in a speech to...
Politics 30-11-2021

Polish president can’t imagine making COVID-19 jab mandatory

“I cannot imagine making the vaccination against COVID-19 compulsory in Poland,” said President Andrzej Duda on Monday, adding that it is necessary to approach the vaccination issue “as wisely as possible”, weigh “all the pros and cons” and get vaccinated....
Politics 30-11-2021

Czech president: Visegrad should make vaccines mandatory

Czech President Miloš Zeman called on Visegrad countries to follow the Austrian example and make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for everyone. “We should think about mandatory vaccination as Austria did because it seems like the only way to end the COVID...
Politics 29-11-2021

Slovak progressives pushing for ‘climate cheque’ to compensate for green transition

The liberal Progressive Slovakia party has proposed a new system of compensation to work towards the transition to a carbon-neutral economy and combat rising energy prices. The ‘climate cheque’ would give a certain amount of revenue from the European emission trading...
Politics 29-11-2021

Fidesz speaker to secret services: opposition is biggest threat to national security

László Kövér, speaker of the Hungarian parliament, said in a speech to the country’s intelligence community in February 2020 that the opposition was the biggest threat to the country’s national security, Telex reported based on audiotapes leaked to Direkt36. Addressing the current and former...
Politics 29-11-2021

In EU, Czechia most resilient to foreign influence, Bulgaria most vulnerable

Czechia is the EU country most resilient to malign foreign influence while Bulgaria is the most vulnerable, the Globsec’s Vulnerability Index 2021 has found. “Czech resilience stems from the willingness of political elites to name Russian and Chinese interference as a...
Politics 26-11-2021

Environmental damage investigation closed, no punishment for Orban-ally

The investigation into the environmental damage caused by a billionaire close to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will not be pursued further, prosecutor general Péter Polt’s reply to opposition MP Bernadette Szél revealed on Thursday, Telex reported. The Viresol factory, co-owned...
Politics 26-11-2021

Visegrad in the spotlight as EU lawmakers call to outlaw gender-based violence

The European Parliament has called on Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria to immediately ratify the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women. In Visegrad countries, the convention remains a tricky political issue, mainly because of disinformation...
Politics 25-11-2021

Hungarian prosecutor-general denies wrongdoing despite EU court ruling

Hungary’s prosecutor general has denied violating EU rules despite a European Court of Justice ruling finding his actions unlawful on Tuesday, Telex reported. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in the case of Csaba Vasvári, a judge at the Pest...
Politics 25-11-2021

Budapest-based research institute suspected of spying for China

CEE-China Institute, a research institute based in Budapest, is suspected of spying on the Central and Eastern European region. The institute acts as an independent research organisation, but is allegedly gathering information for the Chinese government. “The problem is that,...
Politics 25-11-2021

Half of Poles consider EU institutions ‘too weak’ over rule of law conflict

“EU institutions react too late and too weak in response to the EU law violations by governments”, according to 48% of Poles, a new poll of the Institute of Public Affairs (ISP) has found. Only 22% of those surveyed disagreed...
Politics 25-11-2021

Slovak police’s advice against rape: Women should not ‘provoke’ men

Women should avoid dark places after sunset and parties with alcohol and drugs because those can “spark violent behaviour”, the Slovak police’s recommendations for preventing rape published on its official website state. Women also should not “give mixed sexual signals...
Politics 24-11-2021

Lockdown on the horizon for Slovakia after president’s emotional appeal

Slovak president Zuzana Čaputová urged the ruling coalition to quickly pass a measure to impose a total lockdown in an impassioned plea after visiting a COVID-19 hospital ward in Bratislava on Tuesday. “We need to stop spreading conspiracy theories about...
Politics 24-11-2021

Polish PM: EU dependence on Russia will increase with Nord Stream 2

Europe’s dependence on Russian gas will increase once controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline becomes operational, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday after a meeting with his Croatian counterpart Andrej Plenković in Zagreb. Moreover, the Polish PM hinted at a broader...
Politics 24-11-2021

Polish economy: Euro the most expensive in 12 years

Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki tried to defend the free fall of Poland’s currency as he announced a possible intervention to stabilise the situation. The central bank’s euro exchange rate is the highest in 12 years at 4.72. “We will do...
Politics 24-11-2021

Budapest skips Eastern vaccines, EU joint procurement in new jab haul

Hungary will not participate in the EU’s joint procurement scheme but will also forgo ordering Russian or Chinese vaccines in its next order. “It was a wise and responsible decision by the government not to participate in the second round...
Politics 24-11-2021

Czech intelligence: activity of Iranian agents has increased in Europe

“In the last years, after a few quiet decades, we can again observe an increase in the activities of Iranian special services in Europe as well as their growing aggression mainly against opposition to the regime in exile,” the Czech...
Politics 23-11-2021

Slovakia lagging behind EU in digitalisation

Slovakia came 22nd in this year’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) published yearly by the European Commission, meaning its ranking did not change compared with 2020, EURACTIV Slovakia reported. The Commission concluded that Slovakia made only limited progress in digitalisation. The country profile...
Politics 23-11-2021

Pilot-journalist targeted with spyware purchased by Hungarian secret service

A former TV reporter and pilots phone number appears in the leaked database of more than 50,000 phone numbers selected by the Israeli NSO Group’s clients, the Hungarian government, for Pegasus surveillance, Telex reported via Direkt36. After learning about investigative stories detailing...
Politics 23-11-2021

Petition for mandatory vaccination launched in Czechia

Czech scientist Peter Šeba from the Academic of Science has launched an online petition for mandatory vaccination. After a few days, it gained around 2,500 signatures and sparked a debate about this sensitive issue. So far, the Czech government has...