Shady games over Czech president’s health

“According to the opinion of Central Military Hospital, President Miloš Zeman is currently not able to fulfil any work duties due to health reasons,” Vystrčil said during a press briefing, adding that the chance of the president's recovery in upcoming weeks is highly uncertain. [EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK]

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In today’s news from the Capitals:


After several days of uncertainty, the Czech public finally learnt part of the truth regarding the health issues of Czech President Miloš Zeman. Read more.



Janša says Slovenia not being stripped of EU dossiers. Prime Minister Janez Janša dismissed the statement by opposition Social Democrat (SD) leader Tanja Fajon that Slovenia is being stripped of dossiers that are part of its current EU Council presidency as he attended questions’ time with deputies in the National Assembly on Monday. Read more.



Maas: Moscow’s decision will prolong ‘ice age’ between Russia-NATO. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Monday criticised Russia’s announcement to withdraw its mission to NATO. Read more.



Belarussian and French ambassadors return home amid diplomatic tensions.  On Sunday, the French ambassador, Nicolas de Bouillane de Lacoste, returned to French soil after Minsk asked him to leave Belarus by Monday. Read more.



Firms to face new regime on environmental impact. Businesses in the UK will be required to disclose the impact of their activities on the environment under new rules to be introduced by ministers. Read more.



Decline in post-Brexit shipment of goods across Irish Sea. Lorry freight volumes moving across the Irish Sea between Britain and Ireland fell by one third in the first three quarters of 2021, the Irish Times reports. Read more.



Gains at both ends of the political spectrum in Estonia’s local elections. Parties representing the old political establishment held their ground in Estonian local elections on Sunday, but newcomers from the opposite ends of the political spectrum made significant gains. Read more.



Government accused of using COVID to control media. Greek politicians bickered on Monday over a decision of the conservative New Democracy government (EPP) to grant Greek media €40 million state funds to promote a COVID-19 prevention campaign. Read more.



Centre-left candidates overwhelmingly win Italian municipal elections. Voters in Rome and Turin, respectively the first and fourth biggest cities in the country, elected centre-left candidates as mayors in the second round of municipal elections. Read more.



Former ETA member Otegi: deadly violence ‘should never have happened’. The leader of a Basque nationalist party and former ETA member Arnaldo Otegi on Monday said the violence the Basque terrorist group used in its bid to attain independence “should never have happened.” Read more.



Portuguese minister: Government wants to influence fuel marketing margins. It is “necessary” that the government can “act on fuel marketing margins” to cope with price increases, despite not having “the capacity” to do so, Environment Minister, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, said on Monday. Read more.



Poland’s extreme far-right has a problem with its leader. A week after 200,000 people protested againstPolexit, the links between the far-right radical movement of Robert Bąkiewicz, which sought to disrupt the peaceful protests, and the ruling party are being revealed. Read more.



Several editors quit newspaper accused of government ties after cover-page scandal. The editor-in-chief and two additional editors quit Pesti Hírlap daily paper after accusations of biased coverage of opposition primaries, Telex reported via Read more.


Slovakia’s government working on reforming municipalities without them knowing. Slovakia’s interior ministry is, according to their own statement, working on a reform of public governance and municipalities, but local authorities have not been informed, EURACTIV Slovakia reports. Read more.



Bulgarian government under pressure to impose severe COVID-19 measures. This week, the Bulgarian government will impose stricter restrictive measures as it grapples with the fourth wave of the pandemic. The country is expected to introduce a mandatory green pass for a number of public places indoors and limit mass events. Read more.



Energy price increases, a major concern for Romania. The significant increase in energy prices is a major concern for Romania, given its impact on citizens, businesses, and vulnerable consumers, President Klaus Iohannis said in a videoconference with European Council President Charles Michel and other EU leaders on Monday (18 October). Read more.



Croatian Supreme Court President finally appointed. Radovan Dobronić, appointed Supreme Court president, was sworn in at the presence of parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Monday (18 October). Read more.



BiH Prosecutor’s Office forms case against Dodik. The State Prosecutor’s Office has made a case against the Serb member of BiH Presidency, Milorad Dodik, N1 has learnt. Read more.



North Macedonia`s opposition declares victory in first round of local elections. Opposition party VMRO-DPMNE has claimed victory in the first round of the country’s local elections held on Sunday. Read more.



Kosovo elects 17 mayors in first local election round. More than half of Kosovo’s 38 mayors will be decided in runoffs next month, following Sunday’s local elections. Read more.



Term starts for Albania`s unvaccinated students. University students in Albania headed back to their classrooms on Monday, late starting the new academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more.


  • EU: Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi holds press conference on the enlargement package / European Commission launches public consultation into reform of Stability Pact.
  • France: Polish PM addresses European Parliament amid rule of law clash.
  • Luxembourg: European affairs ministers meet.
  • Lithuania: Polish President Andrzej Duda gives press conference.
  • Greece: Leaders of Greece, Egypt, Cyprus meet in Athens / Human rights activists hold a press conference ahead of Beijing 2022 Olympic torch departure from Greece to China.
  • Romania: Parliament has scheduled committee hearings of proposed ministers in the Dacian Ciolos government. A confidence vote for the government is scheduled for Wednesday.
  • Croatia: EURACTIV’s partner, Jutarnji List to hold a conference “Opportunities of the European Green Deal.”


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

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