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31-03-2020

BELGRADE – Serbs suffer coronavirus concern

While close to 60% are worried about the coronavirus, 48% feel the government is handling the situation very well, compared to 42% who think otherwise, according to a Gallup International poll published on Monday. The poll carried out in 30...
31-03-2020

SOFIA – Bulgaria still wants the euro

Bulgaria will postpone its plans to enter the eurozone waiting room (ERM II) for at least one year, the governor of Bulgaria’s National Bank, Dimitar Radev, told Nova TV in an interview. According to the governor, the economic crisis will...
31-03-2020

ZAGREB – Agreement on the earthquake aftermath

Croatian PM Andrej Plenković announced that the government and Zagreb authorities have agreed on joint activities to deal with the earthquake aftermath. “We have agreed on three points of our joint activities which are aimed at continuing the work on...
31-03-2020

WARSAW – Election debacle continues

As Poland crossed the 2,000 coronavirus-case-threshold but recorded a total of 31 deaths, the country continues to have a debate on whether the presidential elections, which are scheduled for 10 May, should be held anyway. Although there is no sign...
31-03-2020

STOCKHOLM – Lockdown: A cumbersome experiment

Head of Sweden’s public health agency Johan Carlson said in a TV interview on Sunday (29 March) that the country’s approach to coronavirus was the right one, adding that the authorities “remain pretty confident it is the best way to...
31-03-2020

HELSINKI – Extending emergency legislation until 13 May

On Monday, the Finnish government decided to extend its emergency legislation for a month until 13 May. Restaurants will have to close immediately, while ferries between Finland and Sweden will carry only goods and freight and passenger traffic is terminated. ...
31-03-2020

VIENNA – Austria tightens measures restricting social life

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced new and stricter measures to combat the spread of coronavirus on Monday. In supermarkets, shoppers will be obliged to wear protective mouth-nose-masks (as opposed to medical-quality masks used by doctors) which will be distributed at the...
31-03-2020

Domestic violence increases in France during COVID-19 lockdown

Secretary of State for Gender Equality, Marlène Schiappa, has revealed a dramatic increase in domestic violence cases since the lockdown started about two weeks ago. While domestic violence across France increased by “32% in one week”, in Paris it rose...
30-03-2020

BELGRADE – Serbia will receive a portion of the $274 million

Serbia will receive a portion of the $274 million set aside for urgent medical needs of US states for which Serbia had already forwarded a list of much-needed supplies, the US ambassador to Serbia, said on Friday (27 March). In...
30-03-2020

ZAGREB – Restricting human rights is out of the question

Croatian Interior Minister Davor Božinović rejected the idea of restricting human rights amid the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. “People are increasingly aware of the situation, which is why the civic guard has decided to undertake such determinate measures according...
30-03-2020

SOFIA – Tightening the measures

As Bulgaria reported a total of 346 confirmed coronavirus cases and eight deaths as of Sunday (29 March) with the average age of patients being 66, the head of the national COVID-19 task force, Ventsislav Moutafchiiski, had said that it...
30-03-2020

BRATISLAVA – Rescue package worth €1 billion in the making

Over the weekend, Slovakia’s coalition parties had agreed on the first rescue package for firms and self-employed people struggling with the COVID-19 crisis. The package will unlock up to €1 billion per month, which is approximately 1% of the country’s...
30-03-2020

WARSAW – Vote by mail included in country’s ‘anticrisis’ measures

As Poland reported 1,862 COVID-19 cases (224 on Sunday) and 22 deaths as of Sunday (29 March), the lower chamber of parliament, known as the Sejm, approved the anticrisis measures that are supposed to help entrepreneurs. Yet, during the evening...
30-03-2020

MADRID – Maximum ICU capacity but increasing recovery rate

As Spain’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to 78,797 with a death toll of 6,528, Spain was braced for more stringent lockdown measures as authorities try to soften the blow of the coronavirus pandemic on the country’s already overstretched...
30-03-2020

BRUSSELS – Back to work soon?

Belgian minister Philippe De Backer (Open VLD), who heads the task force for the management and supply of COVID-19 equipment, has proposed to increase testing to determine who may be immune to the coronavirus and able to go back to...
30-03-2020

BERLIN – Healthcare system could be overrun

The head of Germany’s research agency for infectious diseases warned that the healthcare system could be overrun. Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute, warned in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that the country does not have sufficient capacity in...
30-03-2020

Italy-EU relations hit a new low

The anti-EU sentiment in Italy mounted over the weekend after the interview of European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen with German news agency DPA. The Commission president dismissed the idea of coronabond as “just a popular word right now,”...
27-03-2020

BELGRADE – Serbia struggling with Convention on Social Rights, says Council of Europe

When it comes to being harmonised with the EU Social Charter which applies to children, families and migrants, Serbia ranks at the bottom of the list, the European Committee of Social Rights announced on Thursday (26 March). In the Committee’s...
27-03-2020

HELSINKI – Political parties differ on whether government did enough on COVID-19

A survey commissioned by the Finnish Broadcasting Company shows that 49% of citizens consider the Government’s actions to tackle the coronavirus timely and appropriate, while 46% said that restrictions could have been tighter.  Although there were no considerable differences in...
27-03-2020

VIENNA – Curfew in virus-ridden Tyrol prolonged

As Austria’s COVID-19 infection rate climbed to 6,398 on Thursday afternoon (26 March) with 49 deaths, authorities decided to prolong the curfew until 13 April in Tyrol, the city, in which political negligence led to a massive spread of the...
27-03-2020

BRUSSELS – Special powers approved, more lockdown clarification to come

After the main political parties broke the government formation stalemate earlier this month and agreed to grant the government under Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes special powers for the next six months to bridge the coronavirus health crisis, the Belgian parliament...
27-03-2020

BERLIN – Germans discuss the ‘calm before the storm’ on coronavirus

In a press conference yesterday (26 March), Health Minister Jens Spahn of the Christian Democrats (CDU) and the president of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, told reporters that the peak of infections is yet to come and outlined the...
27-03-2020

British government blames lost emails for coronavirus EU procurement chaos

Boris Johnson’s government blamed a communications mix-up for missing the deadline to join an EU procurement scheme to produce ventilators and other urgently needed medical equipment to combat the coronavirus crisis. On Thursday (26 March), ministers were accused of ‘putting...
26-03-2020

BELGRADE – EU allows Serbia to repurpose €94 million to fight COVID-19

The EU has decided to approve the repurposing of €94 million originally allocated to different projects under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), which can now be used to prevent and curb the spread of the new coronavirus, the Serbian...

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