The Capitals brings you the latest news from across Europe, through on-the-ground reporting by EURACTIV’s media network. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.
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In today’s news from the Capitals:
Germany’s gas supply is running at alert level, with government predictions suggesting a tough winter ahead, leading to an even tougher choice- keep supplying European countries or keep gas for citizens. Read more.
EU SPECIAL REPORT
Croatia aims for speedy post-COVID recovery this summer despite inflation. Returning to complete normalcy after the pandemic shock will be challenging as inflation causes additional headaches. However, stakeholders insist that the situation in Croatia is improving quickly, and the government is decisive in taking advantage of the momentum. Read more.
Right-wing Les Républicains divided over opposition strategy. The right-wing Les Républicains party is divided over their opposition strategy as President Emmanuel Macron urged political groups to “govern and legislate differently” in a speech on Wednesday. Read more.
Austria scraps compulsory COVID-19 vaccination scheme. The Austrian government scrapped the only mandatory vaccination scheme in the EU, citing the changed circumstances with the now dominant Omicron variant. Read more.
NORDICS AND BALTICS
Harassment accusations rattle Finnish parliament, media. A sexual harassment row broke out in Finland’s parliament on Thursday, causing ripples throughout politics and society. Read more.
Finnish MP resigns from party parliamentary group. Wille Rydman, an MP for the liberal-conservative National Coalition Party, resigned from the party parliamentary group “until further notice” after Helsingin Sanomat had published an investigation on Sunday claiming that Rydman had used his political status to lure young and underage women. Rydman has denied accusations, and the police have not pressed charges. (Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)
Former Danish liberal minister launches new right-wing party. Controversial former Integration minister Inger Støjberg created a new political party on Thursday, over a year after leaving the Liberal party due to a scandal. Read more.
EU relocation mechanism ‘historical result’, says Italian minister. The temporary solidarity mechanism agreed by EU countries is a historical result, Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said in Rome during the National Conference on Cooperation for Development on Wednesday. Read more.
Majority of Spanish left-wing parties now support NATO. There is increased support from leftist parties, who had opposed the military alliance, in Spain’s participation in the defensive pact ahead of next week’s NATO summit in Madrid, a survey by a Spanish think tank revealed on Thursday. Read more.
Portuguese utility to invest €1.5 billion in offshore wind farms. Portuguese utility company EDP will invest around €1.5 billion in offshore wind energy through Ocean Winds, representing up to 17 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity in the ocean, the CEO announced on Thursday. Read more.
American woman in Malta to travel to Spain for abortion. An American woman on holiday in Malta who was refused an abortion due to a blanket ban, despite being in the middle of a miscarriage with her life in danger, is finally to be medically evacuated to Spain, where the procedure will take place. Read more.
Polish parliament rejects abortion bill. A bill to legalise abortion has been rejected by right-wing MPs, making Poland one of the few European countries with very strict abortion laws. Read more.
Famine looms over Africa, warns Czech agriculture minister. If the EU does not help countries in northern Africa, food shortages, famine, and another refugee crisis could be triggered, Czech Agriculture Minister Zdeněk Nekula warns. Read more.
Slovakia second-worst in EU funds absorption after Croatia. Slovakia ranked second to last in the absorption of EU funds in the 2014-2020 programming period only beaten by Croatia, the National Bank of Slovakia says. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Ex-PM proposes Euro-Atlantic coalition in Bulgaria. The country should be ruled by a new Euro-Atlantic coalition, GERB leader Boyko Borissov said shortly after apologising to resigned Prime Minister Kiril Petkov for calling him a “coward” on Wednesday. Read more.
Albania to tax income from cryptocurrency trading by 2023. Albania is set to start taxing income derived from cryptocurrency as of 2023, according to a new draft law on income tax, as the country hopes to pass a raft of laws and bylaws by the end of the year. Read more.
- EU: European Council, Euro Summit.
- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen participates in the European Council meeting.
- Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni participates in the Confindustria Young entrepreneurs convention.
- Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton meets with the German former-president of the Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble.
- Germany: German government hosts conference on the global food crisis.
- Spain/Portugal: Ryanair Spain and Portugal employees called to strike.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Eleonora Vasques, Sofia Stuart Leeson]