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Politics 08-07-2020

BELGRADE – Thousands protest as Serbia reimposes COVID-19 curfew

In response to the newly announced COVID-19 measures, a group of opposition supporters stormed the Serbian parliament building in Belgrade on Tuesday (7 July) in a protest against a lockdown planned for the capital this weekend to halt the spread...
Politics 08-07-2020

BELGRADE – Serbia imposes quarantine for Montenegro

The Serbian government imposed a 14-day quarantine for all Montenegrin nationals entering Serbia on Tuesday after Montenegro had imposed a mandatory quarantine on travellers from Serbia the day before. The decision on mandatory self-isolation was passed based on the current...
Politics 08-07-2020

BUCHAREST – Romania getting close to April peak

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Romania is getting close to the peak the country had experienced back in April although authorities are almost out of ‘weapons’ to fight a potential second wave of infections. On Tuesday (7 July),...
Politics 08-07-2020

ZAGREB – New government by August

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković (HDZ) hosted meetings at the government’s headquarters on Tuesday (7 July), both with his incumbent ministers and potential coalition partners. MPs from minority parties, as well as two Liberal MPs, have officially given Plenković their...
Politics 08-07-2020

BUDAPEST – Jourova expresses solidarity with Index

“I have been following the situation of Index with concern. I would like to express my solidarity with the staff of Index who have been working under very difficult conditions,” European Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, wrote...
Politics 08-07-2020

WARSAW – “Back to Normality” with V4

As foreign ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia met in Wadowice for a first summit under the Polish presidency of the Visegrad Group (V4), which began on July 1, Poland presented the priorities of its V4 presidency,...
Politics 08-07-2020

LISBON – Economic forecasts call for agreement

The prime ministers of Portugal and Italy said on Tuesday that the worsening economic forecasts issued by the European Commission require an agreement between the 27 EU member states at the next European Council meeting. “There was a general downward...
Politics 08-07-2020

MADRID – Spanish unemployment rate to ‘skyrocket’

Unemployment in Spain will rise to 20% in the case of another COVID-19 outbreak, according to the OECD. As a consequence of the collapse of GDP, the calculations indicate that the unemployment rate will rise from around 14% at the...
Politics 08-07-2020

ROME – Lockdown heavily impacts family income

“More than half of the population suffered a drop in family income after the lockdown measures and the impact was particularly severe on autonomous workers,” according to a study conducted by the Bank of Italy, which surveyed Italian families between...
Politics 08-07-2020

LONDON – Youth jobs scheme at centre of new stimulus plan

The government will subsidise six-month work placements for people between 16 and 24, who are at risk of long-term unemployment, as part of a £2bn ‘kickstart scheme’ to create more jobs for young people. The scheme will be announced by...
Politics 08-07-2020

BERLIN – Liberal FDP calls COVID-19 restrictions into question

Germany’s liberal Free Democrats (FDP) want a review of all of Germany’s lockdown measures to determine whether they are proportional. This comes after an administrative court struck down the lockdown measures in Gütersloh on Monday (6 July). The review could...
Politics 07-07-2020

BELGRADE – Direct payments and tax reliefs

Serbian Finance Minister Siniša Mali said on Monday (7 July) that direct payments and tax reliefs approved by the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic supported the Serbian economy and citizens with about €2.3 billion. Heralding the third minimum...
Politics 07-07-2020

LJUBLJANA – Criticism of proposed tracing app

In a debate in the parliament’s labour committee, the opposition accused Janez Janša’s government of “slowly introducing dictatorship”. The debated bill on a new stimulus package provides a legal framework for introducing a mobile tracing app for coronavirus infections, but...
Politics 07-07-2020

ZAGREB – Who can count to 76?

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, the relative winner of Sunday’s parliamentary elections (5 July), claims to already have the support of 76 MPs necessary for a majority. His ruling HDZ (EPP) won 66 seats, meaning it is 10 short of...
Politics 07-07-2020

BUDAPEST – Central European countries like Hungary ‘become very attractive’

Washington’s Ambassador in Budapest, David Cornstein, told The Cats Roundtable radio programme on Sunday (5 July) that central European countries like Hungary became very attractive despite the world not realising “for a long time” that a “thing called Central Europe”...
Politics 07-07-2020

WARSAW – Two separate presidential “debates”

As the staff of both presidential candidates – incumbent president Andrzej Duda and liberal Warsaw mayor Rafał Trzaskowski – were unable to organise a joint debate before the run-off election scheduled for 12 July, both were questioned separately in two...
Politics 07-07-2020

ATHENS – Greeks fume at Spanish socialist MEP

At a meeting of the European Parliament’s committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Spanish Socialist MEP Domenec Ruiz Devesa accused the Greek government of “extreme-right” handling of the migration crisis as well as illegal pushbacks. Greece’s Minister of...
Politics 07-07-2020

ROME – Quarantine “essential” for non-Schengen travellers

It is imperative that all measures to ensure travellers entering Italy from outside the Schengen Area are tested negative to the virus are enforced, said Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza, adding that it is the correct approach to “take all...
Politics 07-07-2020

BRUSSELS – Belgium mulls quarantine for arrivals from high-risk countries

Belgian health ministers will discuss on  Tuesday (7 July) whether quarantine and testing for travellers returning from areas with a high COVID-19 risk should be applied nationwide. Travellers returning from a country or region where COVID-19 measures have been tightened...
Politics 07-07-2020

BERLIN – Debate on masks in shops

In the north-eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the requirement to wear masks in shops could soon come to an end, after the state’s economy minister, Harry Glawe (CDU), came out in favour of scrapping the requirement before 4 August. While...
Politics 07-07-2020

LONDON – First own human rights sanctions target Russia and Saudis

The UK on Monday (6 July) unveiled sanctions on 49 people and organisations behind the most “notorious” human rights abuses of recent years, for the first time independently as previously it has followed EU and UN sanctions regimes. The new...
Politics 07-07-2020

EU INSTITUTIONS – MEPs ask for measures to save the hospitality sector

23 MEPs from the European People’s Party (EPP), socialist S&D and centrist Renew Europe groups have sent a letter to Commission’s Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis asking him to take specific extraordinary measures to support Europe’s hospitality sector to cope with the...
06-07-2020

Report on final results of the parliamentary elections

Serbia’s electoral commission adopted a report on Sunday (5 July) regarding the final results of the parliamentary elections, according to which president Aleksandar Vučić’s For Our Children party obtained 1,953,998 votes or 60.65% of the 188 seats in parliament. A...
06-07-2020

LJUBLJANA – Coronavirus and summer create first border queues

On Sunday evening (5 July), passengers at the Gruškovje border crossing (eastern Slovenia) queued for two and a half hours to enter Slovenia from Croatia, as a tougher border regime coincided with the first summer vacation weekend. Gruškovje is one...
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