Emerging Europe this week

central Europe

The crisis on Poland border with Belarus will last for months, Poland’s defense minister said on Wednesday, as several thousand migrants remained stranded at the EU’s eastern border in what the bloc is calling a deliberate blackmail campaign from Minsk. “We must be prepared that this situation at the Belarusian border does not resolve quickly, we must be prepared for months; I hope not for years, “Mariusz Blaszczak told Polish public radio.

Bulgaria The new centrist anti-corruption party We Continue The Change began talks to form a government this week after its surprise victory in Sunday’s national election. With the commitment to root out widespread corruption and bring prosperity to the poorest country in the European Union, We Continue The Change, established just two months ago, won the country’s third national election. Balkans this year with 25.7% of the vote. The party needs the support of two other anti-corruption factions and the Socialist Party to form a majority.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Tuesday that legislation adopted in Hungary in 2018, threatening to jail for those who support asylum seekers is a violation of EU law. The law, which targeted migrant rights NGOs, was named “Stop Soros” – a reference to Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor and American billionaire George Soros. “The criminalization of such activities encroaches on the exercise of rights guaranteed by the European legislator in matters of assistance to applicants for international protection,” the ECJ said in a statement.

Hungary The economy has recovered quickly this year from a pandemic-induced shock, but this has been accompanied by the return of twin deficits in its budget and current accounts, the governor of the National Bank of Hungary said on Monday, Gyorgy Matolcsy. Matolcsy said in an article published on the mno.hu website that with a large budget deficit and current account deficit compared to the region, Hungary “falls into the twin deficit trap” which increases its vulnerability.

Romanian Gas producer Romgaz has estimated it will complete the acquisition of a 50 percent stake in a Black Sea offshore gas project from Exxon Mobil in the first quarter of next year, its director Aristotel said on Wednesday. Jude. Romgaz will ask shareholders to approve the deal at a meeting on December 9. The company could pay Exxon up to $ 1.07 billion.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Prague on Wednesday against a new Covid lockdown for the unvaccinated, banning them from public places. Protesters in the Czech the capital flouted social distancing and face masks as it rallied against incoming restrictions on the anniversary of the anti-communist velvet revolution of 1989. The Czech government introduced restrictions on non- shocks, banning them from public events, bars and restaurants, from Monday in an effort to increase vaccination rates.

Eastern Europe

Armenia announced a ceasefire with Azerbaijan after clashes at their border left more than 20 dead. The two former Soviet nations blamed each other for the deadliest fighting since a war last year in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The clashes ended Tuesday evening after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke by phone with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts and urged them to end.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday welcomed a framework agreement to use British funding to boost Ukraine’s naval capabilities. Welcoming UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace, Zelensky said in a statement he discussed how to ensure safe navigation for ships in the Black Sea and Sea of ​​Azov, and Ukraine’s aspirations to join the NATO military alliance.

The state of the old Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who is now on the 49th day of the hunger strike, is “critical”, according to Saakashvili’s official Twitter account and a team of doctors put together by Georgian mediator Nino Lomjaria. After examining Saakashvili on November 17, the medical team said he faced a risk of “fatal complications” in the “immediate future”.

North Eastern Europe

The Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian The presidents urged the international community to hold “the Lukashenko regime responsible for human trafficking” at a joint press conference in Vilnius on Monday. Commenting on the current migrant crisis on the border with Belarus and Poland, leaders of the Baltic states called for a tightening of EU asylum policy and urged the hitherto reluctant EU executive to provide “adequate EU financial support for the construction of physical barriers and infrastructure”. .

A new search expedition into the wreckage of a ferry that sank in the Baltic Sea 27 years ago has provided no new evidence contradicting the official accident investigation report, the Estonian and Swedish accident commissions said Tuesday. In one of Europe’s deadliest peacetime maritime disasters, the MS Estonia, en route from the Estonian capital, Tallinn, to Stockholm, Sweden, sank in rough seas on September 28, 1994, killing 852 people, mostly Swedes and Estonians.

South Eastern Europe

The United States, which negotiated Bosnia and Herzegovina The 1995 peace deal could impose sanctions on entities that attempt to unilaterally withdraw from state institutions or destabilize the deal, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday. Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, the Serbian representative in the presidency, threatened to withdraw from state institutions, including the Bosnian judicial, military and fiscal administration.

Albania has vigorously denied being willing to treat people crossing the Channel to Britain, after UK Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab confirmed the government was exploring ways to treat asylum seekers abroad. Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Xhaçka and his Ambassador to the UK Qirjako Qirko called a Times article “fake news” suggesting that Albania would be willing to welcome people arriving in the UK since France in small boats.

from Montenegro The foreign minister warned that the only way for the United States and the European Union to compete with China’s growing influence in the Balkans was to resort to large and sustained investments. Western nations and leaders in the “heart of Europe,” Dorde Radulovic told Newsweek, want more US and European funding to support much-needed infrastructure projects, economic growth, and hedge against Moscow and Beijing.

Central Asia

The Uzbek The president sacked his law enforcement adviser, the influential former head of the National Security Service, Rustam Inoyatov. President Shavkat Mirziyoev’s spokesman made the announcement on November 15, saying Inoyatov would be replaced by Bakhtiyor Islomov. Spokesman Sherzod Asadov gave no further information. Inoyatov, 76, who holds the rank of colonel general, was once seen as a potential rival to Mirziyoev.

Kazakhstan could support fiscal consolidation by raising some tax rates, including VAT, and may have to raise interest rates further, the International Monetary Fund’s mission to the central Asian country said on Wednesday. The oil-rich nation has traditionally maintained relatively low tax rates in areas directly affecting its population – it has a fixed personal income tax of 10 percent and a standard value-added tax (VAT) of 12 percent. But in order to reduce its dependence on oil revenues, the country should consider increasing these taxes, IMF mission chief Nicolas Blancher said in a briefing.

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