Western Europe

Politics 23-10-2020

Lockdown or no lockdown in Belgium?

With rising infections rates, health experts and politicians are torn whether to return the country into a full lockdown as in spring or continue targeted partial measures. The confusion comes as more and more health experts have spoken out in...
Politics 23-10-2020

In France, 38 additional departments under curfew

“The progression of the pandemic leads us to extend curfew measures to 38 new departments and one overseas area,” Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Thursday as the country recorded 41,622 new COVID-19 cases within the past 24 hours –...
Politics 23-10-2020

COVID-19 situation in Germany ‘very serious’

As Germany logged more than 11,000 new daily COVID-19 infections on Wednesday – 5,000 more than the spring peak – the president of Germany’s government agency and research institute responsible for disease control and prevention, Lothar Wieler, said “the situation...
Politics 22-10-2020

More COVID-19 curfews to come in France

Several French departments will fall into the “high alert” category and will have to impose curfews following the press conference on Thursday afternoon where Prime Minister Jean Castex and Health Minister Olivier Véran are set to announce the new measures....
Politics 22-10-2020

German health minister tests positive for COVID-19

Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday (21 October). He has gone into self-isolation and currently is only displaying cold-like symptoms, according to a statement from the ministry’s spokesperson. Photos showed that Spahn took...
Politics 21-10-2020

Property speculation addressed in Luxembourg’s 2021 budget

Property income held by specialised investment funds will be 20% taxable under new tax measures included in the 2021 budget, Luxembourgish Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna announced. This new taxation will also apply to other types of funds owning real estate,...
Politics 21-10-2020

Coalition talks for Viennese government started

After the social democrats’ landslide victory in the Viennese elections last week, current and future mayor Michael Ludwig has to now choose a junior coalition partner. Talks have already started with the Greens and the liberal NEOS, who are thought...
Politics 21-10-2020

Belgium postpones non-essential hospital work

Belgium will need to postpone all non-essential hospital procedures to deal with a surge in COVID-19 infections, health minister Frank Vandenbroucke told lawmakers on Tuesday, days after warning of a COVID-19 “tsunami” hitting the country. Health authorities decided on Monday...
Politics 21-10-2020

France’s record EU budget contribution

In the framework of the first reading of the 2021 finance bill, France’s National Assembly adopted a forecast amount of €26.86 billion for its contribution to the EU budget of 2021, which, compared to 2020, is a €5.4 billion increase....
Politics 21-10-2020

German municipalities prevented taking in refugees

German municipalities renewed their call for a rapid admission of refugees from Greek camps, especially from Moria, which burned to the ground last month. But while a number of cities and municipalities have expressed readiness to take in refugees for...
20-10-2020

No right to telework in Luxembourg

Luxembourg’s government says it does not intend, for the time being, to give employees a “right to telework”, after MPs at the Cercle Cité on Monday (19 October) discussed a petition signed by 5,842 people calling for the “right to...
20-10-2020

Austria announces stricter national COVID-19 measures

As new daily coronavirus infections continue to rise, Austria will adopt new nationwide measures, the government announced on Monday (19 October). Non-professional meetings in public spaces will be limited to a maximum of six adults indoors and twelve outdoors. If...
20-10-2020

2021 budget to create 330 extra intelligence service jobs in France

The government’s 2021 budget will create an additional 330 jobs for the country’s intelligence services, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told the National Assembly on Monday (19 October), a few days after the assassination of history and geography professor Samuel Paty...
20-10-2020

Bundestag wants more power in determining COVID-19 rules

The Bundestag should have more say when it comes to new coronavirus restrictions, according to MPs from the liberal FDP, the Greens, leftist party Die Linke, and some grand coalition MPs. They have criticised Chancellor Angela Merkel’s approach to addressing...
20-10-2020

Belgium: No COVID-19 symptoms, no test?

Belgium’s health ministers are set to adjust the COVID-19 test strategy in a bid to reduce long waiting times. According to the new system, those with no symptoms will no longer be tested, even if they had contact with a...
19-10-2020

PARIS – National tribute

Major demonstrations were held throughout France on Sunday to pay tribute to Samuel Paty, a teacher who was assassinated on Friday after showing his students caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, an incident which President Emmanuel Macron described as an “Islamist...
Politics 19-10-2020

Continued concern over growing coronavirus numbers

Germany reached a new high for single-day coronavirus case numbers on Friday (16 October) with more than 8,000. Across the country, politicians are considering new measures to combat the exponential spread of the virus and encouraging people to stay home...
19-10-2020

Belgium goes into partial lockdown

Belgium is set to tighten its COVID-19 measures with new rules coming into effect on Monday (19 October), after the country recorded rising coronavirus infections and hospital admissions. According to the announcement made by Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo...
Politics 16-10-2020

Government officials under investigation for COVID-19 (mis)management

The homes and offices of Health Minister Olivier Véran and Health Director-General Jerome Salomon were searched Thursday morning as part of an investigation into the government’s management of the COVID-19 health crisis, initiated in early July by the court in...
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