Bulgaria becomes a regional hub for gas supply – EURACTIV.com
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In today’s news from the capitals:
A regional coordination center will be set up in Bulgaria to manage the overall use of gas and electricity infrastructure and additional gas purchases for the Balkans and Italy, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance announced Asen Vassilev in Brussels after meeting European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans on Thursday 28 April. Read more.
Editor’s review: Caution is needed when waging economic warfare. The argument used by analysts and experts to convince themselves that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not attack Ukraine was that a war would go against economic logic. They overlooked the fact that Putin was expecting victory in a few days and that he saw the subjugation of Ukraine as his historic mission. Read more.
Timmermans: Food safety alarmism is “dishonest, irresponsible.” Raising fears of food shortages is ‘irresponsible and dishonest’, says European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who accused critics of using the war in Ukraine as a ‘pretext’ to derail the government’s green farming ambitions. EU. Read the full story.
Former President Hollande says the left alliance could “kill” the Socialist Party. An alliance between France’s left-wing parties ahead of legislative elections could lead to the demise of the Socialist Party, a former socialist leader and former president Francois Hollande has warned. Read more.
Germany prepared for a “sudden” ban on Russian gas, says Scholz. Germany has been preparing for the day when it will be “suddenly” cut off from Russian gas, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a statement. Read more.
Austrian states call for end to headscarf ban in kindergartens. Austrian states are calling for the headscarf ban in kindergartens to be lifted despite federal ministries, currently led by the conservative party (ÖVP), aiming to maintain the ban. Read more.
Dutch right-wing extremists fueled by Ukrainian war. The Russian narrative of the war in Ukraine fuels the radical ideas of extremist groups, according to Erik Akerboom, director of the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), reports the NOS television channel. Read more.
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
Irish Prime Minister says Brexit and NI protocol issues are hampering peace process. Issues surrounding Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol have “hindered” the peace process in Northern Ireland, Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin told a parliamentary committee on Thursday. Read more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
Denmark sends tanks, anti-tank mines and mortar shells to Ukraine. Denmark is sending M113 armored personnel carriers (APCs), anti-tank mines and mortar shells to Ukraine, DR News reported on Thursday. Read more.
Almost half of Finns ready to turn off the engines. Almost half of Finns would be willing to cut back on commuting and commuting in case transport fuel prices continue to rise, according to a new survey. Read more.
The Swedish Left calls for a referendum on NATO. Left Party leader Nooshi Dadgostar called for a referendum on the country’s likely NATO bid in an interview with Radio Eko on Thursday. Read more.
The Basque independence party “saves” the Spanish anti-crisis package in parliament. Parliament on Thursday approved the government’s new anti-crisis package which aims to mitigate the negative impact of Ukraine’s war on the economy with a narrow majority – including the Basque Independence Party. Read more.
Spain reaffirms NATO unity in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Staying united is the best way to win the war launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin against Ukraine, Defense Minister Margarita Robles reaffirmed on Thursday. Read more.
Italy extends indoor face mask mandate, workplace deemed the exception. In Italy, wear a face mask will remain mandatory in schools, public transport and indoor events, but will only be “strongly recommended” in all workplaces from May 1. Read more.
Athens says it will “respect” Finland’s decision to join NATO. Greece will respect Finland’s potential decision to join NATO, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Thursday during a meeting with his Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin in Athens. Read more.
The Portuguese Prime Minister reminds the opposition what “real austerity” is. Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa on Thursday accused the opposition of wanting to undermine the country’s international economic and financial credibility. Read more.
Hungary would pay Gazprom in rubles. Hungary does not believe Russia’s Gazprom will cut gas to the country and has no plan to replace it “overnight”, the government said on Thursday, adding it would pay in rubles if necessary. Read more.
The Russian ban leaves Polish municipalities without gas. the The Russian company Novatek Green Energy has cut gas supplies to several Polish municipalities due to sanctions imposed on Russian oligarchs and companies. Read more.
Chips Act at the top of the priorities of the Czech Presidency. As the Czech Republic takes over the rotating EU Council presidency in July, it has confirmed that it wants to focus on the refugee crisis, energy independence and the chip law. Read more.
Ukrainians buy off-road cars in Slovakia to send them to war zones. Ukrainians have started buying used off-road cars in bulk for use in areas where infrastructure has been destroyed after the Ukrainian government removed customs duties on imported cars. Read more.
Analyst: Serbia letting military equipment cross the country to Ukraine should not harm Russian relations. Serbia allowing rail transport with non-combat military equipment for Ukraine to pass through its territory is not legally wrong, military analyst Aleksandar Radić said on Thursday, adding that he did not expect this to happen. harms relations with Russia. Read more.
Stellantis will produce electric cars in Serbia. Representatives of the Stellantis company and the Serbian cabinet on Thursday signed a contract to finance the manufacture of electric cars at the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles car plant in Belgrade’s Kragujevac. Read more.
ZAGREB | BUDAPEST
Hungarian and Croatian minority policies set an example for the EU, says Foreign Minister. Hungary and Croatia have continued their minority policy based on the principle of protecting ethnic minorities, and they could serve as an example for the whole EU, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday. Read more.
SARAJEVO | ZAGREB
Bosnia and Herzegovina police relocate illegal migrants. Police transferred the illegal migrants to a reception center in Lipa near Bihać after emptying a camp near the Croatian border in Velika Kladuša, local media said. Read more.
The authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina suspend the construction of new mini-hydroelectric power stations. The authorities have decided to suspend the issuance of licenses for the construction of small hydroelectric plants following several campaigns launched by national and international environmental groups. Read more.
The speaker of the Macedonian parliament is worried about the number of graves in Ukraine. Speaker of Parliament Talat Xhaferi says he will work to get Macedonian institutions and the public to provide all possible support to the war-torn country, together with the EU and the international community, after visiting the destroyed town of Irpin in Ukraine on Wednesday and the ruins of the airport of Hostelel. Read more.
Montenegro gets a new Speaker of the Assembly, Ministers. The Assembly elected Danijela Đurović on Wednesday, after which the deputies held a debate on the composition of the 43rd government of Montenegro. Read more.
Zelenskyy to address the Albanian parliament. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address the Albanian parliament on Wednesday after addressing numerous European lawmakers. Read more.
- EU: Visit of the Head of EU Diplomacy in Latin America to Chile and Panama / President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, meets European Data Protection Supervisor, Wojciech Wiewiórowski
- Germany: Plenary session of the German Bundestag in Berlin.
- Austria: Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn meets Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.
- France: Final plenary session of the Conference on the Future of Europe in Strasbourg.
- Latvia: Foreign Ministers of Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Poland meet in Riga to discuss cooperation and Ukraine.
- UK: Sentencing of tennis star Boris Becker, after a guilty verdict on four counts related to his bankruptcy.
- Bulgaria: Prime Minister Kiril Petkov will visit Romania.
- Croatia: The Ministry of Regional Development and European Funds organizes a conference on the industrial transition of Croatian regions in Osijek.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson]