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In today’s news from the Capitals:
Good morning from Sofia
The upcoming elections, the fourth in less than two years, are unlikely to give Bulgaria a stable coalition, analysts predict, leaving the ruling of the Balkan EU member in the hands of a strong presidency and a grey undefined geopolitical zone between the West and Russia. Read more.
French lawmakers want Uber inquiry committee amid EU platform worker talks. As platform worker talks continue at the EU level, radical left lawmakers from La France Insoumise said on Tuesday they would push to create a parliamentary inquiry committee to look into the Uber Files scandal that hit French President Emmanuel Macron this summer. Read more.
Germany will not recognise Russia’s annexation referenda in Ukraine. Germany will not recognise referendums on joining Russia planned in four occupied Ukrainian regions because they are not in line with international law, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said following the announcement on Tuesday. Read more.
Irregular migrant influx to Austria hits record high. The government is being urged to tackle the issue of irregular migration as more than 3,000 irregular migrants and refugees entered Austria this week, topping the record reached in the first week of September. Read more.
Dutch King mentions energy prices housing crisis in annual speech. Soaring energy prices, the housing crisis, support for Ukraine, and the country’s nitrogen plans were among the topics addressed in King Willem-Alexander’s annual speech on Prinsjesdag on Tuesday. Read more.
UK AND IRELAND
UK mulls attending first gathering of Macron’s European political community. The UK is weighing up whether to attend the first meeting of countries that could be part of the ‘European political community’ project set out by French President Emmanuel Macron. Read more.
Irish regulator pledges to not disconnect households’ energy supplies this winter. Families that cannot pay their bills will not be disconnected from energy supplies this winter, the Irish utility regulator has promised. Read more.
NORDICS AND BALTICS
EU peers troubled by Swedish far-right’s Nazi roots, outgoing minister says. Bloc ministers in Brussels on Tuesday showed concern over the strong gains made by the far-right Sweden Democrats in last week’s parliamentary elections ahead of Sweden’s six-month stint at the helm of the EU Council. Read more.
Swedish Central Bank boosts interest rate with the biggest rise in 30 years. The Swedish Riksbank decided on Tuesday to raise the interest rate to 1.75% in, the most important increase in about three decades and is expected to announce more additions this autumn, the bank said on Tuesday. Read more.
Meloni: My party is not anti-European. Far right-Italian politician Giorgia Meloni, favourite to become Italy’s first female prime minister after the September 25 elections, told EURACTIV’s partner EFE that her party is not anti-EU but instead just wants it to be more efficient. She also hoped for a similar right-wing trajectory in the Spanish 2023 elections. Read more.
Algorithmic error one cause of Italy’s flooding disaster. Dramatic floods that devastated the central Italian region of Marche at the weekend, killing 11 and with up to nine still missing, could have been at least partially avoided was it not for the inaccuracy of a weather-forecasting algorithm. Read more.
Spanish government approves significant VAT drop for natural gas. To help families most severely hit by inflation, the government approved a significant VAT drop for domestic natural gas from 21% to 5%, saving almost €210 million for Spanish consumers. Read more.
Portugal reaffirms ‘total’ commitment to NATO. Portugal is wholly committed to NATO and would always comply with the Alliance’s resolutions when necessary, President Marcelo Rebelo De Sousa said on Tuesday. Read more.
Greek MEP spyware scandal takes new turn. Data collected by spyware and other surveillance means on MEP, and Chief of the Socialist Party Nikos Androulakis was deleted on 29 July, the same day he filed a complaint according to the head of the Hellenic Authority for Communication Security and Privacy, Christos Rammos, in a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday. Read more.
Slovak ministry proposes days off school, teleworking to save energy. Slovak children may not attend school on Fridays, while state workers could telework on Mondays and Fridays if the environment ministry’s proposal to save energy is adopted by the government this week. Read more.
Poland bans Russians from entering by land, sea and air. Poland has banned Russians from entering the country via land and will extend this ban to those travelling by air and sea, though diplomats, transport drivers, residence permit holders and dissidents are exempt, the interior ministry decided on Tuesday. Read more.
Half of Czechs fear EU Green Deal will harm economy. Czechs want to protect the climate but are worried about the economy as slightly more than half of them (52%) believe the EU Green Deal will harm it, a survey presented by the STEM agency on Tuesday found. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
NATO ready to react to tensions in Kosovo as licence plate deadline looms. NATO is ready to up its presence in Kosovo and can put an end to any kind of tension, Deputy Commander of the NATO mission in Kosovo (KFOR) said on Tuesday, as the deadline for all citizens to register their number plates with Pristina looms on 1 October. Read more.
Romania to continue fuel support scheme for 3 extra months. The scheme that was launched in July to reduce the price of gasoline and diesel and was set to end in September will be extended for another three months, the coalition government has decided. Read more.
Slovenia’s interior minister faces no-confidence vote. Opposition SDS Democrats tabled a motion of no-confidence on Tuesday against Interior Minister Tatjana Bobnar, alleging that he should be removed from office for his government’s decision to remove the long border fence erected to fight irregular migration between 2015 and 2016. Read more.
Commission OKs plant acquisition by Serbian Gazprom-owned oil company. The acquisition of Serbian petrochemical company HIP-Petrohemija LLC Pancevo by Serbia’s Gazprom-owned Naftna Industrija Srbije was approved by the European Commission, the EU’s executive said on Tuesday. Read more.
Montenegro on verge of snap election after president rejects proposed PM. Montenegro took a step towards an early election on Tuesday after President Milo Djukanović rejected a proposed prime minister-designate and instead suggested an early dismissal of the current parliament, following the fall of two successive governments. Read more.
Albanian cyber systems still not online after Iranian attack. Albania’s cyber woes continue following two cyber attacks in July and September, and the publication of sensitive government communications and data, as some systems in the border police and those relating to registering newborns persist. Read more.
- EU: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen participates in the Global Fund Pledging Conference, chaired by US President Joe Biden;
- Frans Timmermans participates in the UN Global Early Warning Initiative to Implement Climate Adaptation, organised by the World Meteorological Organization;
- Switzerland: World Health Organization publishes report on non-communicable diseases;
- UK: Public finances figures released;
- US: President Joe Biden addresses UN General Assembly;
- Biden meets British Prime Minister Liz Truss;
- China: Chinese Central committee holds “China in the Past Decade” press conference focused on Taiwan;
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Maksimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson]