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 Editor’s Take written by Sarantis Michalopoulos.
Commission: Avoid Greek drama with Recovery Fund first tranche. There is a political order from the leadership of the European Commission to grant Greece the first tranche of the Recovery Fund, the EU’s coronavirus recovery fund, even though the necessary reforms have not been carried out, EURACTIV was informed. Read more.
The European news you deserve to read. Welcome to The Capitals by EURACTIV.
In today’s news from the Capitals:
Slovak industry groups have demanded compensation for high energy prices, particularly from the environmental fund established by the environment ministry to support sustainable development. However, the environment ministry responded by saying the fund “is not an ATM”, EURACTIV Slovakia reported. Read more.
EU Parliament’s Renew in turmoil over group’s next leader. The announcement by Dutch EU lawmaker Sophie In’t Veld that she wants to run for president of Renew Europe has triggered reactions in the centrist political group, as the French, the biggest delegation within the group with 23 lawmakers, seem to have other plans. Read more.
EU leaders caught in either-or argument over European defence strategy. Amid disunity over the way forward on European defence, EU leaders discussed on Tuesday night whether the bloc should enhance its capacity to act independently and/or strenghten its partnership with NATO, but with no clear result. Read more.
More leaks after Conservatives, Greens hold coalition talks. Direct quotes from Tuesday’s early negotiations on a coalition agreement between the Conservative CDU/CSU and the Greens were leaked to Bild within hours of the meeting starting. This comes after the Conservatives had reportedly leaked statements following their meeting with the liberal FDP on Sunday. Read more.
Disgruntled French citizens call on government to preserve their spending power. Thousands of citizens took to the streets across the country on Tuesday, calling on the government to increase salaries and control prices as more people feel the pinch from the enduring health crisis, increased inflation, and rising energy prices. Read more.
UK AND IRELAND
Anglo-French fishing row returns. The Anglo-French row over fishing rights in the Channel has restarted with the French government warning that all bilateral agreements with the UK could be at risk.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex has accused the UK of not respecting its commitments on fishing set out in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which entered into force in January. At the heart of the row is the decision by the UK to grant 12 licences out of 47 bids for smaller vessels to fish in its territorial waters. “Britain does not respect its own signature,” Castex told French MPs.
However, Brexit minister David Frost insisted on Tuesday (5 September) that the Westminster government had approved 98% of the applications made by EU vessels to fish in UK waters. (Benjamin Fox | EURACTIV.com)
Ireland launches ‘climate-heavy’ decade-long spending plan. The Irish government has launched its National Development Plan (NDP), detailing €165 billion in spending from now until 2030, with climate targets a feature throughout. Read more.
Abstention triumphs in Italy’s municipal elections. The overall turnout in Italy’s municipal elections held on Sunday and Monday was 54.69%, a 7.44% drop compared to elections in 2016. Read more.
Spain’s coalition government agrees to new housing law. The Spanish coalition government announced Tuesday an agreement on the national budget for 2022 after complex negotiations to unlock the new Housing Law (Ley de Vivienda), the main point of friction between the two members of the executive. Read more.
Portugal’s over-65s to soon get COVID-19 booster shots. The third COVID-19 vaccine will start being administered to people aged over 65 from 11 October, the Assistant Secretary of State and Health, António Lacerda Sales, has announced. “We will start with the most vulnerable groups, namely the residential care facilities for the elderly, the group over 80 years old, and then we will go in a decreasing manner until the group equal to or greater than 65 years, as was done in the first phase of vaccination,” he said.
Portugal is already administering an additional dose to immunosuppressed patients. (Célia Paulo | Lusa.pt)
Vaccinated Greeks to have more ‘privileges’ as COVID-19 death toll steadily increases. Health Minister Thanos Plevris is expected to announce new benefits for vaccinated people, government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou has confirmed. According to information leaked Monday night, this would include no longer being bound by existing restrictions. The country is on the verge of passing 15,000 COVID-19 related deaths since the start of the pandemic. Read more.
Turow case deadlock: Regional leaders ask for action. The Czech-Polish dispute over coal-mine Turów is deadlocked. “Now we do not see any sense in further negotiations with Czechia over the Turów mine because they have no positive effect,” said Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz. Read more.
Dobrev shoots down hopes of joint primaries bid. One of the opposition’s prime ministerial candidates has rejected the idea of a joint candidacy, leaving the capital’s Green leader Gergely Karácsony and independent conservative Péter Márki-Zay, who joined forces on Monday, no choice but to withdraw, Telex reported. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Diplomatic offensive in Brdo to lift Bulgarian veto on Skopje. European leaders organised two meetings between Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev and North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev within a few hours in Brdo on Wednesday, the Bulgarian presidency has announced. Read more.
Croatia supports proposal to tax multinational companies. Croatia supports the current proposal to tax multinational companies to achieve greater tax fairness, Finance Minister Zdravko Marić has said. Read more.
ZAGREB | BELGRADE
Croatian PM: Serbian textbooks negating existence of Croatian language outrageous. The political leadership of Croats in Serbia have condemned the denial of the Croatian language in grammar books for eighth-graders. Read more.
Court overturns government decision not to appoint EU delegated prosecutors. The Administrative Court has sided with the two prosecutors picked to represent Slovenia in the European Public Prosecutor’s Office as it overturned a government decision to annul the selection procedure. Read more.
Sweden echoes support for Albania’s EU accession. Ann Linde, Sweden’s foreign minister and OSCE’s chairperson-in-office, has voiced her support for Albania’s accession to the EU during her visit to Tirana on Tuesday. Read more.
- EU/Slovenia: The Slovenian EU presidency hosts the EU-Western Balkans summit.
- Germany: Health minister Spahn, RKI chief Wieler holds press conference on COVID-19 and flu vaccine.
- Luxembourg: EU environment ministers meet.
- UK: Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives keynote speech at Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
- Sweden: Nobel Chemistry Prize to be announced.
- Poland: Belarus opposition leader Svetalana Tikhanovskaya visits Warsaw.
- Czechia: The European Parliament will debate Pandora Papers, including the case of Czech PM Andrej Babiš.
- Croatia-Spain: Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will pay an official visit to Croatia as the first Spanish PM to visit the country since Croatian independence.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor]