US-Iran clash in Albania as nuclear deal hopes fade

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In today’s news from the Capitals:

TIRANA

Albanian authorities thwarted a second cyberattack over the weekend after Tirana, backed by the United States with pledges of support and fresh sanctions on Iran, severed all diplomatic ties with Tehran who it blames for the “sabotage”.

Meanwhile, hopes of reviving the 2015 nuclear deal continue to fade as leading European countries expressed ‘serious doubts’ about Iran’s intentions. Read more.

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BERLIN

Germans resolve to support Ukraine despite gas prices as FM visits Kyiv. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock paid a surprise visit to Kyiv during the weekend to express continued solidarity – backed by new polls showing most Germans want to keep supporting Ukraine despite high gas prices. Read more.

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PARIS

Macron asks Putin to withdraw weaponry from Ukrainian nuclear plant. Heavy and light weapons must be removed from the Zaporizhzhia power plant, French President Emmanuel Macron urged President Vladimir Putin in a conversation on Sunday about the plant, which is under siege from Russian forces. Read more. 

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VIENNA

Party official resignation shakes Austria’s ruling conservatives. The resignation of Laura Sachslehner, secretary general of the ruling conservative ÖVP, has shaken up the coalition government and empowered opposition parties after she criticised the country’s new climate bonus for also benefiting refugees. Read more.

NORDICS AND BALTICS

STOCKHOLM

Right-of-centre bloc, dominated by the far-right, set to win Swedish elections. With 94.4% of electoral districts counted, the Swedish right bloc is set for a narrow win in Sunday’s parliamentary elections against the left-of-centre alliance led by ruling Social Democrat Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. Read more.

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HELSINKI

Finnish minister touts electricity self-sufficiency. Finland will be energy self-sufficient within two years or less, Economy Minister Mika Lintilä told Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE’s current affairs programme on Saturday. Read more.

EUROPE’S SOUTH

ROME

Poll: Italians want ‘sustainable’ energy bills, strong voice in EU. Two weeks before the 25 September general elections in Italy, voters prioritise economic issues, particularly the need to make electricity prices sustainable, a new poll has found. In addition, a majority say their country should “count more in Europe”. Read more.

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MADRID

Spanish wait six months for a new car. Customers now have to wait an average of six months to get a new car due to the global chips shortage compared to just a month in 2019, new data from the Spanish association of car dealers Faconauto has revealed. Read more.

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LISBON

Portuguese president swears in new health minister in a short ceremony. President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa swore in new Health Minister Manuel Pizarro at the Palácio de Belém on Saturday. Read more.

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ATHENS 

Greek spyware and wiretapping scandal now on EU agenda. EU lawmakers are set to discuss the recently reported hacking of Greek politicians’ phones by the Predator spyware following a previous hearing on a similarly targeted journalist. Read more.

VISEGRAD 

PRAGUE

Czechs favour negotiating energy imports with Russia over cutting ties. Czech citizens are more in favour of negotiating energy imports with Russia than completely cutting ties despite the resulting high costs and necessary savings, a Kantar survey published by Czech Television on Sunday has found. Read more.

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BRATISLAVA

Slovakia may nationalise its main electricity producer, says the finance minister. If necessary, Slovakia may nationalise electricity producer Slovenské elektrárne to guarantee cheap electricity for the people, Finance Minister Igor Matovič announced on Sunday. Read more.

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WARSAW

Unifnished waterway to sideline Russia to open in Poland. A new channel connecting the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdańsk is to be launched on Saturday (17 September), even though it is currently unfinished. Read more.

NEWS FROM THE BALKANS

SOFIA

Bulgaria offers Azerbaijan electricity for gas deal. Bulgaria has offered to export electricity to Azerbaijan in exchange for expanding gas supplies, acting Economy Minister Nikola Stoyanov announced during his visit to Baku on Sunday. Read more.

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LJUBLJANA 

Slovenia to subject heating oil to price regulation. Heating oil will be subject to price regulation from 13 September under a decree that the government adopted to mitigate the cost-of-living crisis ahead of the heating season. Read more.

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BELGRADE 

Thousands march in Belgrade against EuroPride. Thousands of religious and right-wing activists marched through Serbia’s capital on Sunday, calling for authorities to ban EuroPride, which is scheduled for next weekend despite being cancelled by the government. Read more.

UAE gives Serbia a $1bn low-interest loan. The United Arab Emirates and Serbia have signed an agreement to lend Belgrade $1 billion under highly favourable conditions, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said on Sunday. Read more.

AGENDA:

  • Germany: Defence Minister Lambrecht gives a keynote speech on the new national security strategy. Chancellor Scholz hosts Israeli PM Lapid in Berlin.
  • Greece: Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will travel to Paris, where he will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron at 7:30 pm at the Elysee Palace.
  • Slovenia: President Borut Pahor will host a summit of the Brdo-Brijuni Process featuring the leaders of Western Balkan countries.

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[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Maksimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Eleonora Vasques]

Source: euractiv.com

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