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Politics 23-12-2021

Personal data including salaries of over 600,000 Albanians leaked

The personal data, including the name and salary of some 637,138 Albanian citizens, was leaked in the second significant data breach of the year. The Prosecutor’s Office of Tirana is currently investigating the leak of what appears to be sensitive...
Politics 23-12-2021

Legality of hydropower plants called into question following North Macedonia state audit

Serious violations in the issuance of concessions for small hydropower plants, which calls into question the plants’ legality were found in a North Macedonia State Audit Office report published Monday. The report confirms that the national development strategies for energy...
Politics 23-12-2021

Discrimination in BiH still alive, says appellant in 12-year-old ECHR case

Discrimination has “not been eliminated” in Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to Dervo Sejdić, president of the Roman information centre Kali Sara, and appellant in the Sejdić-Finci case at the European Court of Human Rights 12 years ago. “I am very proud and at...
Politics 23-12-2021

Belgrade University annuls finance minister’s doctorate

The Senate of the University in Belgrade on Wednesday annulled the doctorate of Finance Minister Siniša Mali, which he obtained in 2013 at the Faculty of Organisational Studies, because of plagiarism. Earlier, the Professional Ethics Committee established plagiarism by Mali...
Politics 23-12-2021

Slovenia opts for moderate pre-Christmas tightening of restrictions

Slovenia has opted for only a moderate tightening of coronavirus restrictions before the Christmas holidays amid a persistent fall in cases that contrasts with the surge of the Omicron variant in many other European countries. The government has tightened quarantine...
Politics 23-12-2021

Croatia offers up to €26,000 for returning expats to start a business

Croatians opting to return from other EU countries and start their own business in Croatia will receive grants up to 200,000 kuna (€26,000) as part of the new “I choose Croatia” scheme, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković has announced. In the...
Politics 23-12-2021

Romanian parliament OKs acquisition of F-16 fighter jets from Norway

Parliament has allowed the defence ministry to start the acquisition procedure for 32 fighter jets from Norway. The planes should be used for at least 10 years as a transition period towards acquiring fifth-generation fighters, such as F-35s. The defence...
Politics 23-12-2021

Zoran Zaev officially resigns as Prime Minister

Zoran Zaev has officially resigned as Prime Minister of North Macedonia, sending his resignation letter to the Speaker of parliament. Dimitar Kovačevski, a 47-year-old Harvard-trained economist and the ruling SDM’s newly elected leader, will replace Zaev as acting Prime Minister until...
Politics 23-12-2021

ECDC’s latest map raises questions

The only two “green’ spots of ECDC’s latest map regarding Europe’s epidemiological situation belong to Romania, the second worst-performing country when it comes to vaccinations. We asked ECDC why, but no reply was provided. Read more. CUT The latest ECDC...
Politics 23-12-2021

Slovak National Bank: Green transition could cause high inflation in 2022

The main reasons for the predicted average yearly inflation to double in 2022 include the green transition, forcing companies to discard part of their transport fleet, the Slovak National Bank has estimated. Average yearly inflation is expected to double in 2022...
Politics 23-12-2021

Commissioner Jourova: journalism a risky profession in some EU states

In some EU member states, journalism is a “genuinely risky profession”, European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová told EURACTIV.cz in an interview, adding that she “will negotiate with these states bilaterally”. The European Commission adopted in September 2021 a set of recommendations on...
Politics 23-12-2021

Commission approves further aid to state airline TAP

On Wednesday, the European Commission approved a further €71.4 million of Portuguese state aid to TAP, one day after approving the restructuring plan and €107.1 million of aid due to the pandemic. A day after approving TAP’s restructuring plan and...
Politics 23-12-2021

Spain imposes outdoor facemask mandate, again

The government on Tuesday approved a measure mandating the use of facemasks outdoors even if social distancing can be respected, in a new move to curb the fast increase in cases of COVID-19’s Omicron variant. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and...
Politics 23-12-2021

Sweden ‘firmly rejects’ Russia’s call for safeguards against NATO’s eastward expansion

Sweden rejects Russia’s demand that NATO should not take on new members, said Foreign Minister Ann Linde, who also expressed concerns about the Russian military escalation on the border with Ukraine. “We firmly reject all negotiations from the Swedish side that...
Politics 23-12-2021

Irish government expands pandemic business supports

Dublin has announced a series of updates to the pandemic support schemes available, as businesses face continuing restrictions amid the surge of the Omicron variant. New rules were brought in on Monday, including an 8 pm-close for bars and restaurants....
Politics 23-12-2021

Hogmanay at risk amid Omicron uncertainty

New Year’s Eve parties could be over before they started as the government weighs up whether to impose restrictions after Christmas amid uncertainty over the impact of the Omicron variant. “There is uncertainty. So, if you can’t change your [New...
Politics 23-12-2021

Austria is playing with time before Omicron takes hold

Austria will take additional measures to fend off the spread of Omicron until more intensive care units are free and more data about the new variant is available. The Austrian Corona expert body GECKO announced the new measures, which will...
Politics 23-12-2021

Belgium’s COVID-19 measures to tighten right after Christmas

The government’s consultation committee decided on Wednesday to adopt new measures to help curb the spread of the Omicron variant in Belgium, which will come into effect from 26 December. Cinemas, concert halls and theatres in Belgium will have to...
Politics 23-12-2021

Christmas shoppers flock to Belgium and Germany amid hard lockdown

Dutch Christmas shoppers have responded to the strict lockdown imposed by their government over the weekend by shopping and going to bars and restaurants in Germany and Belgium. Although crossing the borders is allowed under the current rules, the Dutch...
Politics 23-12-2021

German navy to send more ships into Indo-Pacific

The German navy wants to send warships into the South China Sea, pending a decision by the new government, said vice-admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach in Singapore. The German frigate Bayern which is currently conducting manoeuvres in the area, was an “ice breaker” of...
Politics 23-12-2021

Defence minister’s NATO stance creates new tensions

Defence Minister Stefan Yanev’s stance that there is no need to deploy additional NATO troops has created serious political tensions in Sofia. Prime Minister Kiril Petkov reacted immediately by saying the minister had expressed his personal position, which should not have...
Politics 23-12-2021

Pegasus scandal may open another front in Poland’s conflict with Brussels

MEPs want the European Commission to investigate the recent revelations concerning the use by Polish government entities of the Pegasus software against a prominent lawyer and a prosecutor. The spying scandal may add fuel to the country’s ongoing conflict with...
Politics 23-12-2021

Santa Claus travels in a sustainable way

In the parliament’s plenary session preceding the holiday season, the honour of asking the traditional Christmas question was given to the Chair of Finns Party, Riikka Purra. Purra shared her party’s concern over Santa’s ability to deliver presents in these exceptional...
Politics 23-12-2021

Greece threatens to fire unvaccinated health workers

The Greek minister of health is likely to fire health workers in the national health system who insist on not getting vaccinated. The move was criticised by the opposition parties while a study on the lack of ICUs has caused...