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In today’s news from the capitals:
Good morning from Berlin and Paris
As pressure mounts on the German government to increase its military support and ship modern tanks to Ukraine, neighboring France remains largely unchallenged due to its own reticence.
Aside from differences in domestic pressures that have pundits and politicians turning a blind eye to France despite its relatively lackluster support, this has less to do with the government in Paris and more to do with Berlin’s recent foreign policy U-turn. Continue reading.
A series of sexual violence scandals erupt within the French left. A series of recent revelations against left-wing MPs from different parties are raising concerns that the proper framework to deal with the grievances is lacking, activists say, while disagreements are mounting between political leaders on how to proceed. Continue reading.
Capping corporate profits ‘doesn’t make energy cheaper’, Austrian FM. The EU’s plans to cap power generators’ revenues would not make energy cheaper, Finance Minister Magnus Brunner said, as the government spearheads a new gas independence initiative. Continue reading.
First shut down nuclear reactor in Belgium. Under Belgium’s nuclear phase-out law, the Doel 3 nuclear reactor will shut down on Friday after 40 years of operation. Continue reading.
The Netherlands will host the international AI summit in 2023. The Netherlands will host an international summit on the responsible use of artificial intelligence in the military sector, announced Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra at the UN General Assembly in New York. Continue reading.
NORTHICA AND BALTIC STATES
Finland is seeking a national solution to restrict Russian tourist visas. With no block-wide Russian visa solution in sight, Finland becomes independent iInterpret the EU and Schengen agreements to develop their own, which led to an increase in border crossings Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of partial mobilization. Continue reading.
The defense committee of the Swedish parliament meets earlier in view of the Russian escalation. Sweden’s parliament’s defense committee will meet in a session earlier than planned on Monday, after Russia announced it would partially mobilize, as the political parties are still negotiating a governing coalition. Continue reading.
UK AND IRELAND
Fracking returns as UK seeks near-term gas supply alternatives Fracking for gas will be part of Britain’s near-term response to the energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, ministers announced on Thursday. Continue reading.
Spain is considering a tax on large fortunes in 2023 amid ‘tax battle’ The government is working on a temporary tax on large wealth, to be introduced from January 2023, Spanish Finance Minister María Jesús Montero (PSOE/S&D) announced on Thursday after the centre-right opposition Partido Popular (PP/EPP) announced a Set of taxes had put in place tax cuts in the regions they controlled. Continue reading.
The Portuguese government still believes that France can be convinced of the gas link. The government believes it may still be possible to persuade France to allow connections from the Iberian Peninsula to deliver gas and later hydrogen to Europe, but is also considering an alternative connection through Italy. Continue reading.
New laws open the door to Slovakia’s nationalization of gas and electricity. Further action will allow the government to nationalize company-produced energy and declare a state of emergency in the event of shortages, unaffordable increases or threatened security. Continue reading.
Russians in Poland picket against mobilization. Representatives of the Russian national minority in Poland have protested against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that he would carry out partial mobilizations as part of the invasion of Ukraine. Continue reading.
Deserting Russians do not get a Czech visa. Russians leaving their country for fear of mobilization do not meet the conditions for being granted humanitarian visas in the Czech Republic, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said on Thursday. Continue reading.
Hungary launches national survey on Russian energy sanctions Hungary’s ruling coalition parties, Fidesz-KDNP, have asked the government, made up entirely of their politicians, to conduct a national survey of Hungary’s public support for EU energy sanctions against Russia. Continue reading.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Albania is shutting down two schools allegedly linked to Erdogan’s Gülenist enemies. The Albanian government this week closed a school and kindergarten in Tirana reportedly linked to opponents of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leading to accusations from the institutions’ leaders that the decisions were politically motivated. Continue reading.
Bulgarians consider high prices to be more dangerous than the Ukraine war. According to an international Gallup poll published on Tuesday, Bulgarians believe excessive price hikes pose a more concrete threat than the escalation of the war in Ukraine. Continue reading.
Referendums in Ukrainian-occupied zones “unacceptable”, says the Romanian foreign minister. Russia’s decision to support the organization of so-called referendums on the annexation of territories occupied by its armed forces in Ukraine is completely unacceptable, Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said during the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine. Continue reading.
The Croatian president wants to sack the head of the military intelligence service. Croatian President Zoran Milanović on Thursday launched proceedings to dismiss Major General Ivica Kinder, head of Croatia’s military intelligence agency VSOA, over alleged embezzlement of funds by VSOA members, media reported. Continue reading.
The Slovenian opposition is trying again to oust the minister. The opposition conservative Slovenian Democrats (SDS) tabled a motion of no confidence in Social Democrat Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon on Thursday, just two days after Interior Minister Tatjana Bobnar became the first government member to face a no-confidence vote. Continue reading.
Air Serbia denies reports of skyrocketing prices for flights from Russia. The Serbian national airline Air Serbia on Thursday dismissed media reports about high ticket prices for flights from Russia to Belgrade as deliberate misinformation. Continue reading.
- EU: Frans Timmermans meets with Mr. Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor;
- Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski delivers keynote address and presents prizes at EU Organic Day awards ceremony;
- UN General Assembly in New York, 20-23. September;
- Belgium: Definitive shutdown of the Engie Doel 3 nuclear reactor;
- United Kingdom: Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng delivers financial plan;
- Switzerland: Independent international commission of inquiry into Ukraine verbally updates UN Human Rights Council on current status;
- Hungary: Government submits set of anti-corruption reforms to Parliament;
- Ukraine: Referendums on Russia’s annexation of separatist territories (until September 27);
- US: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses UN General Assembly;
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Eleonora Vasques, Sofia Stuart Leeson]