Green and conservative candidates team up to defeat Orbán

Karácsony also said they would like to govern together after 2022, with one as prime minister and the other as second-in-command, but they would have to agree on various matters. [EPA-EFE/Balazs Mohai]

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.

Before you start reading today’s edition of the Capitals, feel free to have a look at the leak ahead of the Western Balkans summit ‘EU leaders to restate enlargement commitment but envisage no timeline’, by Alexandra Brzozowski and Vlagyiszlav Makszimov.


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The European news you deserve to read. Welcome to The Capitals by EURACTIV.


In today’s news from the Capitals:

BUDAPEST

Budapest’s Green mayor Gergely Karácsony and Independent conservative Péter Márki-Zay said they would work together during opposition primaries and next year’s parliamentary polls in hopes of governing together, they announced on Monday, Telex reported. Read more.

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BERLIN

Nord Stream 2 begins testing gas flows. As Europe faces a gas price crunch and prospects of a long, dark winter lie ahead, the first stretch of Nord Stream 2 is being filled with gas in preparation for late-stage tests. If all goes well in the trial, gas could begin flowing later this year. Read more.

Leaks begin as German coalition talks continue. After several days of silence on the content or mood of early negotiations to form a coalition government, the Conservative CDU/CDU has reportedly leaked statements made on Sunday. Read more.

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PARIS

France hopes to become world leader in green hydrogen. “I believe we have the capacity to be the world leader in green hydrogen,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced on 30 September at the last meeting of the National Hydrogen Council. Read more.

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VIENNA

Kurz supports quick EU accession for Western Balkans. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called on the EU to give Balkan states a real prospect for accession ahead of the EU-Western Balkans summit in Brdo on Tuesday. He also said he would support Slovenia’s proposal to admit them to the EU by 2030. Read more.


UK AND IRELAND

LONDON

UK electricity green by 2035, says Johnson. All UK electricity will come from clean energy sources by 2035, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday (4 October).

Speaking in Manchester, where his governing Conservative party is meeting for its annual conference, Johnson told reporters that “we can do for our entire energy production by 2035 what we’re doing with internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030”. The government is set to ban the sale of petrol and diesel-powered cars after 2030. (Benjamin Fox | EURACTIV.com)

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DUBLIN

Pandora Papers reveal Ireland used as ‘de facto offshore location’. Ireland is used as a “de facto offshore location” for businesses and individuals based in eastern Europe and central Asia, according to Pandora Papers, which saw the leak of millions of documents of financial data, the Irish Times reported. Read more.


EUROPE’S SOUTH

ATHENS

North Macedonia’s President to make historic visit to Athens. President of North Macedonia, Stevo Pentarovski, will pay a two-day official visit to Greece on Tuesday and Wednesday following an invitation by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou. Both sides have described the upcoming meeting as historic. Read more.

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ROME

Centre-left candidates set to win first round of municipal polls in Milan, Naples and Bologna. After polls closed in dozens of Italian towns on Monday at 3pm, the first projections are predicting wins for most centre-left mayoral candidates – including in the country’s financial centre, Milan. Read more.

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MADRID

Italian court suspends Puigdemont hearings pending ECJ ruling. The Sassari Court of Appeal on Monday suspended proceedings on the extradition to Spain of former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont until a European court rules on the pro-independence leader’s immunity, his lawyer in Italy, Agostinangelo Marras, said. Read more.

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LISBON

Three Portuguese politicians named in Pandora Papers. Manuel Pinho, Nuno Morais Sarmento and Vitalino Canas are three Portuguese politicians with “financial secrets” identified in the massive “Pandora Papers” leak of financial documents, according to the news portal, Expresso. Read more.


VISEGRAD

WARSAW

Whereabouts of migrants pushed back into Belarus still unknown. The whereabouts of the 20 migrants, including eight children, who were pushed back into Belarus on 28 September after they had first been escorted to a temporary refuge in Poland’s eastern town of Michałowo, remains unknown. Read more.

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PRAGUE

Czech police to check PM’s offshore activities. Czech police will look into the case of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who, according to Sunday’s massive leak of financial papers known as the Pandora Papers, secretly bought a French chateau through offshore companies. Read more.

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BRATISLAVA

Pandora Papers feature over 40 Slovaks. The massive leak of financial papers known as the Pandora Papers features more than 40 Slovaks, including criminals wanted by the police, real estate developers, and people on the American sanctions list. Read more.


NEWS FROM THE BALKANS

BUCHAREST

Romanian political parties prepare for a no-confidence vote. PSD, USR and AUR, the three parties that support the censure motion against Prime Minister Florin Citu have enough MPs between them to dismiss the government but doing so will result in an intensified political crisis. Read more.

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LJUBLJANA 

Slovenian government to restrict movement during EU-Western Balkans summit. The Slovenian government has decided to restrict movement in the capital Ljubljana, the lakeside resort of Bled, and around the Brdo pri Kranju conference centre during the EU-Western Balkans summit amid fears that protesters might disrupt what is seen as the apex of the Slovenian EU presidency. Read more.

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SOFIA

Bulgarian MEP files case against the state. The European Court of Human Rights has decided to prioritise journalist and MEP Elena Yoncheva of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats against the Bulgarian government. She accused them of launching a money laundering case against her to repress and discredit her work, Yoncheva’s lawyer Mihail Ekimdzhiev told EURACTIV Bulgaria. Read more.

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ZAGREB

Protesters rally against mandatory vaccinations at Croatia’s biggest hospital. About 50 protesters booed Health Minister Vili Beroš outside Croatia’s largest hospital, KBC Zagreb hospital, on Monday morning. He was there to comment on the introduction of mandatory EU digital COVID certificates for healthcare and welfare workers. Read more.

Journalists condemn ‘scandalous’ lawsuit against Croatian news sites. The Croatian Journalists Association (HND) described as ‘scandalous’ businessman Josip Stojanović Jolly’s lawsuit against the news portals Telegram.hr, Šibenik In, Šibenik News and Šibenski Portal. He is seeking 6.2 million kuna (€820.000) in damages for their reporting which he claims caused damage to his reputation.

“This is intimidation, aimed at preventing us from doing our job,” said Telegram.hr editor Jelena Valentić an assessment supported by Šibenski Portal editor Ksenija Bilan, who recalled numerous cases when business magnates tried to exert influence on local media outlets. (Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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BELGRADE 

Pandora Papers shows Serbian finance minister owned 24 apartments in Bulgaria. Finance Minister Siniša Mali owned two dozen luxury apartments on the Bulgarian seaside. The Serbian KRIK Crime and Corruption Reporting Network made the revelation after its journalists received the documents via the Pandora Papers leak. Read more.

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SARAJEVO | BELGRADE

Serbian PM in BiH, but not in Sarajevo: Building highways is more important than official visits. Upon arrival on a one-day visit to BiH, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić reiterated that there is no cooling of relations between the two countries but remarked that building a highway to Sarajevo was more important for relations between both countries than her and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić’s visit to Sarajevo. Read more.

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SKOPJE

Russia declares North Macedonia’s diplomat persona non grata. The Russian foreign ministry has declared a Macedonian diplomat as persona non grata and expelled them from their role in the Macedonian embassy in Moscow and the country. Read more.

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PRISTINA

Kosovo implements Brussels brokered license plate agreement. Kosovo has started to implement the agreement signed with Serbia in Brussels on 30 September, providing reciprocal treatment of state symbols on cars licensed in both countries. Read more.

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TIRANA

Albanian prime minister warns of increasing energy prices driven by crisis. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama warned on Sunday (3 September) of rising fuel and energy prices that will bring about “shocking consequences” for Albanians during the winter. Read more.


AGENDA

  • Slovenia/EU: EU leaders will gather for an informal dinner at Brdo pri Kranju to discuss ties with China and US
  • Germany: CDU-CSU holds exploratory talks with Greens in a bid to form the government.
  • France: EU Commission proposes short-term measures to counter high energy prices in Strasbourg / Unions call national strike over pay and jobs.
  • Luxembourg: Eurogroup meetings and the EU’s finance ministers meet.
  • Netherlands: EMA holds a press conference on Covid booster vaccines.
  • Sweden: Nobel Physics Prize to be announced.
  • Estonia: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visits Tallinn connected to the recovery plan.
  • Italy: IMF chief Georgieva gives a speech ahead of annual meeting.
  • Portugal: The government to discuss the first draft of the national budget.
  • Romania: Government led by Florin Citu faces no-confidence vote in parliament.
  • Croatia: A round-table discussion is held on the possibilities of financing the economy through capital markets and alternative investment funds and the role of institutional investors in economic development.

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[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor]

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