Investors cautious about Nordics’ NATO ‘grey period’

Several economic analysts have noted how Finland is perceived as a country with slightly higher risk during the “grey period” between the NATO application and actual membership.  [Shutterstock/DOERS]

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In today’s news from the Capitals:

Uncertainty around the NATO membership bids of Finland and Sweden currently blocked by Turkey has prompted international investors to practise caution when considering investments in both countries. As Ankara has started an “oriental bazaar”, tensions with Greece have also escalated, making the situation even more complex. Read more.

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EU INSTITUTIONS

EU to unveil plans for seizing Russian assets frozen by sanctions. The European Commission is set to unveil plans on Wednesday (25 May) which will make it easier to confiscate frozen assets linked to serious illegal activities and suspected criminals, including those evading EU sanctions against Russia, according to documents seen by EURACTIV.

THE HAGUE

Dutch coalition challenges EU ‘censorship’ of Russian media. A Dutch coalition filed a petition on Tuesday calling on the EU Court of Justice to look into the sanctions Brussels imposed on Russian state media like Russia Today and Sputnik. Read more.

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BERLIN

Germany’s election chief calls for poll rerun in capital. Germany’s federal election commissioner has argued that last September’s parliamentary elections should be repeated in six Berlin districts that have been plagued by mishaps around the polls. Read more.

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PARIS

France’s new foreign minister travels to Germany to reinforce Franco-German engine. France’s new Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, travelled to Germany on Tuesday to highlight the importance of the Franco-German relationship. Read more.

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VIENNA

Vienna sticks with masks despite countrywide rules loosening. Austria further relaxed COVID-19 measures on Tuesday, while Vienna chose to keep its obligation to wear FFP2 masks on public transport and in shops. Read more.


UK AND IRELAND

DUBLIN 

‘Up to London’ to find protocol solution, US lawmaker says in Dublin. Tensions around the Northern Ireland Protocol appear to be a “manufactured issue”, and it is now “up to London to help us all find a solution,” US Congressman Richard Neal told reporters in Dublin on Monday. Read more.

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LONDON

Johnson faces Gray day. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to face the verdict on lockdown-breaking parties on Wednesday, when Sue Gray, the senior civil servant tasked with investigating parties held at his Downing Street residence at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, is expected to deliver her final report. Read more.


NORDICS AND BALTICS

STOCKHOLM

Sweden’s vulnerable to receive 5th COVID jab. Sweden’s elderly and at-risk groups will receive a fifth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren announced at a press conference on Monday. Read more. 

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COPENHAGEN

Denmark to send Harpoon launchers, missiles to Ukraine. Denmark is contributing a Harpoon launcher and missiles to support Ukraine, said US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, after 20 countries pledged to send Ukraine fresh military aid in a virtual meeting on Monday. Read more. 


EUROPE’S SOUTH

MADRID

Spain well prepared to weather Russian gas shortage, says Sanchez. Spain is ready to cope with the impact of Russian gas shortages Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez told the Davos summit as part of a joint and coordinated “Mediterranean front” together with Italy, Portugal and Greece. Read more.

Spain reports most monkeypox cases among non-endemic countries. Spain has reported the most monkeypox cases among the 17 non-endemic nations outside Africa as of Tuesday. Read more.

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ROME

Authorities search home and newsroom of Mafia investigative journalist. The Italian District Anti-Mafia Directorate searched on Tuesday, the newsroom and home of the journalist who authored the report on the Capaci Mafia attack, TV anchor Sigfrido Ranucci announced on social media. Read more.

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LISBON

Portugal touts potential to reindustrialise Europe. Portugal has “unique conditions to be a great location platform” for the reindustrialisation of Europe due to its geographical position, security, focus on qualifications, and climate transition, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Tuesday. Read more.


VISEGRAD 

WARSAW

Polish company fails to deliver drones to Ukraine. Polish company Level 11 did not deliver 200 drones ordered by the Ukrainian forces despite receiving payment in advance, TVN24 TV station reports. Read more.

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BUDAPEST

Orbán amends constitution, proclaims state of emergency. On the day the new government took office, the ruling Fidesz-controlled Hungarian parliament amended the constitution allowing Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán to proclaim a state of emergency on the same day. Read more.

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PRAGUE

Czech EPP vice-president hopeful calls for leadership renewal. The European People’s Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament has lost its visibility, and its leadership needs to be renewed, Czech EU lawmaker Tomáš Zdechovský – who wants to run for vice-president of the EPP – told EURACTIV.cz ahead of next week’s EPP congress in Rotterdam. Read more.

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BRATISLAVA

Slovakia faces brain drain as many leave for Czechia. Two-thirds of young Slovaks aged 18-25 want or are already studying abroad due to the quality of education, with most of those who already left having picked neighbouring Czechia, a new survey has found. Read more.


NEWS FROM THE BALKANS

SARAJEVO 

Bosnian Serb leader calls for ‘peaceful break-up’. The Serb member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency has called for “a peaceful break-up” of the country, saying it had no future. Read more.

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SOFIA

Ukrainian refugee wave reaches peak in Bulgaria, says refugee agency chair. The number of Ukrainian refugees entering Bulgaria has reached its peak, Refugee Agency Chair Mariana Tosheva told state television BNT in an interview on Monday. Read more.

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BUCHAREST

Romanian air force resumes flights with MiG-21 LanceR following incidents. Romania’s air force resumed operations with the MiG-21 LanceR fighter jets, which were grounded almost six weeks ago following multiple incidents involving this aircraft. Read more.

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LJUBLJANA 

Slovenia confirms first monkeypox case. Slovenia registered its first monkeypox case after a man who came back from the Canary Islands tested positive for the disease but did not have to be hospitalised. Read more.

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BELGRADE 

Pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian symbolism clashes in downtown Belgrade. Activists spraypainted blue and yellow Ukrainian flags over Putin’s ‘Z’ symbols on several columns in the Bezistan passage in downtown Belgrade in protest at the war in Ukraine. Read more.

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PRISTINA

Police seize 10,000 cannabis plants in north Kosovo. A cannabis cultivation lab with over 10,000 plants ready for market, located in the Serb-majority North of the country, was seized by Kosovo police on Tuesday. Read more.

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TIRANA

Tourism season set to worsen Albania’s growing rubbish problem. Prime Minister Edi Rama brought in the army to clean up the coast ahead of what he said will be a bumper tourism season, adding that people need to clean up after themselves. However, problems remain with waste disposal as municipal collection is sporadic, and there are no government recycling facilities. Read more.


Agenda

  • EU: European Commission College meeting.
  • Germany: European Central Bank (ECB) biennial report on financial stability published.
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attends Women 7 (W7) Summit.
  • France: first trade of electricity on cable linking France and the UK through the Channel Tunnel.
  • Slovenia: Inauguration ceremony of new Prime Minister Robert Golob.
  • Romania: President Klaus Iohannis welcomes Charles, the Prince of Wales, at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

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[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Eleonora Vasques, Sofia Stuart Leeson]

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