Spanish leftists oppose Black Sea mission and NATO membership – EURACTIV.com
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In today’s news from the capitals:
coalition partner The left-wing Unidas Podemos (United We Can) party and eight other left-wing parties have signed a joint manifesto making clear their “total rejection” of a Spanish mission to the Black Sea and Bulgaria to support NATO if tensions in Ukraine continue to increase. The nine parties also urged Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of the PSOE to end Spain’s NATO membership. Read more.
The pandemic is creating a “striking hole” in the German economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has so far cost the national economy 350 billion euros, according to new data released by the German Economic Institute on Sunday. At the same time, the government has revised down its growth forecasts for 2022. Find out more.
Le Pen loses another heavyweight to Zemmour. MEP Gilbert Collard announced on Saturday that he would join the ranks of far-right presidential candidate Eric Zemmour just three days after the departure of another member of the National Rally (RN). Marine Le Pen’s party. Read more.
The Austrian state of Carinthia reports huge drug problems. Drug trafficking in the southern state of Carinthia has increased dramatically, with hard drugs like cocaine and heroin smuggled through the Balkan route, courts have warned. Read more.
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
Ireland is lifting nearly all COVID-19 restrictions. Ireland lifted almost all pandemic restrictions following advice from public health officials on Friday January 21. Read more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
Beginning of the trial for “hate speech” against a Finnish MP. Päivi Räsänen, a former Christian Democrat MP who chaired the party and interior minister from 2011 to 2015, will be in court on Monday following her remarks about homosexuality, which she described as a “developmental disorder”. Read more.
The Swedish government decides to build a repository for spent nuclear fuel. The government will announce its decision this week regarding the construction in the northern Uppland region of a repository for nuclear fuel which has been removed after being used in a nuclear reactor. Read more.
More and more children are contracting COVID in Greece. More children contracted COVID after schools opened, news site News247 reported, despite the overall decline in cases in the total population. Read more.
Berlusconi withdraws his candidacy for the presidency. Silvio Berlusconi, f.former prime minister and president of Forza Italia, announced on January 22 that he would withdraw his candidacy for the presidential election. Read more.
Prague seeks to reduce dependence on Russian gas and plans stake in LNG terminal. The Czech government wants to take a stake in an LNG terminal in a neighboring country to diversify its energy supplies. Since Germany and Poland are the only two neighboring countries currently building LNG terminals, Czechia is likely to favor cooperation with Berlin. Read more.
Pegasus case in Poland: the daughter of the head of the anti-corruption office harassed by telephone. New facts emerged this weekend about the reported abuse of the Pegasus software by Polish special services. Former ABC chief Paweł Wojtunik tweeted that his daughter had been harassed over the phone by someone suggesting he was dead. Read more.
The opposition misses the opportunity to organize a referendum on the same day as the elections and the anti-LGBTQI poll by Fidesz. The united opposition’s drive to collect enough signatures for a referendum to be held on the same day as the April 3 national elections and the government’s concurrent referendum on LGBTQI issues has almost certainly failed, despite representatives’ claims to the contrary. opposition politicians, Telex reported. Read more.
Slovak Ministry of the Environment to remove barriers to geothermal energy. Preparations are underway for a new Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) law, State Secretary of the Environment Ministry Michal Kiča said. Although having great potential for heating, the rules for the development of geothermal energy currently face legislative obstacles in Slovakia. Read more.
Bulgaria will host fighter jets from Spain and the Netherlands. Bulgaria will host up to seven Eurofighter jets from Spain and two F-35 stealth fighter jets from the Netherlands to protect the country’s airspace amid the Ukraine crisis, Defense Minister Stefan Yanev confirmed on January 22. Fighter jets will perform air policing tasks. Read more.
ZAGREB | ATHENS
Dendias and Grlić Radman: NATO should be the main guarantor of security. Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman and his Greek counterpart Nicos Dendias agreed that NATO should be the main guarantor of security in Europe after meeting in Pula, Istria, after attending a conference on the future of Europe on Friday 21 January. . Read more.
Serbia informed of an assassination plot against President Vucic. Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin has been informed by Europol that a criminal group is planning the assassination of President Aleksandar Vučić, Vulin said on January 21, adding that the police would do everything to protect the president. Read more.
The United States helps launch a campaign for tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina on TripAdvisor. A promotional campaign for Bosnia and Herzegovina on TripAdvisor was launched by Samantha Power, administrator of the American agency for international development USAID, with the ministers of tourism of two entities of BiH, Edita Djapo in the Federation of BiH (Croatian-Bosnian) and Suzana Gašić in Republika Srpska (RS, Serbian). Read more.
The national energy company takes over the heating company of Skopje. The public energy company ELEM/ESM has officially taken over BEG, the main heating company in Skopje. BEG risks bankruptcy in the face of soaring gas prices and the regulated price it can charge the 60,000 homes it supplies in Skopje. Read more.
Necessary concessions for Bulgaria to accept North Macedonia’s EU membership – analysis. “To bring Bulgaria to ‘yes’, North Macedonia would probably have to make other symbolic concessions, including the resumption of joint celebrations of historical events such as the Ilinden uprising in 1903 or the restarting of a stalled commission on resolving some of the most intractable historical conflicts,” said a Atlantic Council Analysis published Sunday on the dispute between Skopje and Sofia.
(Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)
Protests against the formation of a Montenegrin minority government continue. Demonstrations against the formation of the minority government continued on Saturday and Sunday in Podgorica and several other towns. Members of the Democratic Party participated in the protests, and party leader and parliament speaker Aleksa Bečić, as well as most government ministers, said they fully supported them. Read more.
Hydroelectric plants suspended by the Albanian high court sell electricity to the state energy company. Two hydropower plants operated by Gener2 which have been ordered by the High Court to cease operations pending the outcome of another court case are said to have continued to operate and sell electricity to the state power company. Read more.
- EU: EU Foreign Minister meets in Brussels on Ukraine, joined by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken via video conference / NATO Chief Stoltenberg meets Swedish and Finnish Foreign Ministers in Brussels / EU chief Brexit negotiator Sefcovic meets UK Foreign Secretary Truss in Brussels / European Parliament committees elect their chairs and vice-chairs for the rest of the legislature.
- France: European ministers of higher education, research and innovation meet in Paris.
- Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz is meeting with regional premiers to discuss possible additional measures in the face of rapidly increasing cases of Omicron.
- Finland: A Finnish MP is on trial, charged with hate speech for tweeting Bible verses about homosexuality.
- Italy: Voting begins for a new Italian president.
- Spain: Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares will provide details on Tuesday before parliament on the Spanish contribution to NATO’s military deterrence operation in the Black Sea and Romania.
- Czechia: European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager travels to Prague to meet new Czech Minister for Digitization Ivan Bartoš and Minister for European Affairs Mikuláš Bek.
- Bulgaria: The governments of Bulgaria and North Macedonia will hold a joint meeting session in Sofia.
- Croatia: The electricity company HEP is starting to charge for its service at the charging stations for electric cars along the highways.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor]