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 article ‘No clear winner in US presidential vote as race zooms in on swing states‘ written by Alexandra Brzozowski and Sarah Lawton as part of the 2020 US Election Special coverage.
The European news you deserve to read. Welcome to The Capitals by EURACTIV.
In today’s news from the Capitals:
Record €56 billion loss for Spanish tourism. The number of tourists traveling to Spain in September only just surpassed the 1 million-mark, marking a 87.1% drop compared to the same period last year. Tourist spending therefore did not even reach €1 billion that month, meaning it dropped 90% compared to 2019, official figures revealed on Tuesday. Read more.
Eurogroup excludes additional EU stimulus against second virus wave. Eurozone finance ministers said late on Tuesday that Europe “is now better equipped” to address the COVID-19 crisis and ruled out new joint measures to tackle the second wave of the virus. Read the full story here.
Merz clearly favoured among Christian Democrat youth. The CDU’s former parliamentary leader Friedrich Merz is doing well among young conservative voters in the race for party leadership and is far ahead of his two competitors, North Rhine-Westphalian leader Armin Laschet and MP Norbert Röttgen, according to a poll conducted among members of the party’s youth wing, also known as Junge Union (JU). Read more.
French government advises against buying from e-commerce giants. French Prime Minister Jean Castex, who’s government ordered the closure of small non-food stores as the country entered a second lockdown last week, told people to “delay” their Christmas shopping rather than order products online via major foreign websites. Read more.
Financial support for the Brussels culture sector. From Tuesday, people working in the culture sector can apply for a new grant, as the Brussels government extended the support measures for the sector, Brussels employment office Acitris announced.
The cultural sector had already been able to apply for support last summer, which benefited 1,572 workers for a total amount of more than €1.5 million. More than 240 organisations also received aid, in total €492,000. (Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)
Vienna terror attack leads to 14 arrests as manhunt continues. After gunmen opened fire across six locations in central Vienna, police have so far arrested 14 suspects, all peers of one of the shooters who died during the incident. However, the possibility of a second attacker on the run cannot be ruled out, said Interior Minister Karl Nehammer. Read more.
UK AND IRELAND
UK unprepared for Brexit, think tank warns. UK government authorities and businesses will not be prepared for life outside the EU’s single market regardless of whether talks on a post-Brexit trade deal are successful, the Institute for Government (IfG) think tank said on Tuesday.
“Even if the UK civil service has the necessary resources to do so, the devolved administrations, local authorities, and businesses may well be overwhelmed,” a report argued. Read more.
Ross warning on EU-US data transfers. “Severe economic consequences” could be in store for the future of digital trade between Europe and the US, should the two parties not be able to find a way forward in building a functioning transatlantic data transfer accord, US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross, has said. Read more.
Finnish tax administration reveals highest earners, again. Finland’s tax administration published on Tuesday its annual list of people that earned more than €100,000 last year, taking into account both earned and capital income. The listing suggests that a political career may lead to fame but not to fortune. Read more.
Italy adopts ‘light lockdown’ similar to German model. The new measures due to be enforced with the new decree are modelled after the German ‘light lockdown’ measures, said Health undersecretary Sandra Zampa. Read more.
Former Greek Commissioner runs for OECD. Former EU Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou has announced her candidacy for Secretary-General of the OECD. Greeks believe that the experienced politician has chances to take the post as it’s the first time that the country presents a candidature for the OECD. Read more.
Poland’s agriculture ministry pledges help to tradesmen. Sellers of flowers and candles suffered heavy losses as a result of the government’s decision to shut down all cemeteries for All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days. Read more.
Czech commitment to join the eurozone ‘disputable’. While the Czech National Bank and the Czech government consider the eurozone to be “unstable” despite being economically possible, public support for the country to join the eurozone remains low according to the Czech National Bank. Read more.
Orbán declares extraordinary legal order. The Hungarian government declared a state of danger, like the one it imposed in spring, from midnight on Tuesday as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Hungarian hospitals are expected to reach full capacity by mid-December amid a worsening public health situation.
Other measures include making mask-wearing mandatory at indoor events, closing clubs, free parking and introducing a curfew between midnight and 5am. (Vlagyiszlav Makszimov | EURACTIV.com)
Slovak link to Vienna attacks. A Slovak citizen is among those who were wounded after gunmen fired into crowds in central Vienna on Monday, Slovakia’s foreign ministry confirmed on Tuesday. As reported by Austrian media, one of the attackers had allegedly tried to purchase ammunition in Slovakia over the summer, yet according to sources of Dennik N, he was not successful.
Vienna is a mere 60 km away from the Slovak capital. In the wake of the attack, some politicians, both in coalition and opposition, quickly felt the need to warn against immigration. (Zuzana Gabrižová | EURACTIV.sk)
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Bulgaria is not ready to say ‘yes’ to North Macedonia. Bulgaria still intends to block the start of the EU-Macedonia membership talks because of the “non-recognition of the historical truth” by the authorities in Skopje. However, there has been some progress in the negotiations. Read more.
Omissions in money laundering prevention will not be tolerated. Effective mechanisms must be put in place in the Croatian banking system to prevent money laundering, and any omissions in that regard will not be tolerated, Croatian National Bank (HNB) Governor Boris Vujčić told a press conference on Tuesday. Read more.
Janša’s failed attempt to fire TV boss. Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša’s failed attempt to dismiss director-general of the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija Igor Kadunc shows that the governing coalition might not be as firm as it seems, according to the Dnevnik newspaper.
This is because the PM wanted to put all public media under his control, so this is a failure. At the same time, the so-called “Constitution Arch” coalition of opposition parties is in talks with governing coalition partner DeSUS, urging them to leave the alliance. (Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)
Russia ratifies free trade agreement between EAEU, Serbia. The upper house of the Russian parliament ratified on Tuesday a free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Serbia. Read more.
Condemnation of Vienna terrorist attack. “I condemn the terrorist attack against human lives, freedoms and civilisation values in the strongest terms. It is our permanent obligation to fight terrorism and to oppose ideologies of evil, regardless of who stands behind them,” BiH’s presidency chairman Šefik Džaferović wrote in his message to Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.
BiH’s Islamic Community deplored the terrorist attack in Vienna, as well as the attack aimed at the university campus in Kabul, which killed at least 20 students on Monday. (Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)
Two tons of marijuana seized. Montenegrin police seized about two tonnes of marijuana in a truck with Albanian license plates in Podgorica. “An international investigation is underway with the Albanian police and the police of the European Union,” the Montenegrin police said. (Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)
[Edited by Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Sam Morgan]