The Capitals brings you the latest news from across Europe, thanks to on-the-ground reporting by EURACTIV’s media network. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.
As Europe heads into a tough winter, solidarity between countries will once again be tested.
Germany, the largest consumer of Russian gas, is also one of the largest re-exporters of fossil fuel from the Kremlin. In May, Germany exported a whopping six billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to neighboring countries.
Neighbors depend on these exports continuing, but is Berlin okay? Read more.
European news you deserve to read. welcome to Capitals by EURACTIV.
In today’s news from the capitals:
Austria will challenge the taxonomy in an EU court. Austria reacted violently after the European Parliament voted in favor of labeling nuclear and gas projects as green investments and said it would sue the EU over the controversial move. Read more.
As support for Ukraine dwindles, Germany hesitates to deliver tanks. As international support for Ukraine loses momentum, Germany continues to refuse to deliver high-tech tanks to Ukraine and bets on “barter exchanges” with Eastern European countries Is to help the war-torn country. Read more.
The French Prime Minister calls for “compromise” in his post-election parliamentary speech. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne delivered the traditional post-election political speech in the National Assembly on Wednesday after the government reshuffle, during which she encouraged the deputies to work together. Read more.
Shell will build Europe’s largest renewable hydrogen plant. Shell plans to build Europe’s largest green hydrogen plant in Rotterdam, which will be operational in 2025, the energy giant announced on Wednesday. Read more.
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
Johnson clings on despite the wave of resignations. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson clung to office on Wednesday after a day in which more than 40 of his ministers resigned, and a group of senior ministers urged him to do the same. However, a defiant Johnson ended the day, insisting he would keep fighting. Read more.
The Irish Prime Minister laments the “pain of famine” during his first trip to Kyiv. Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin has criticized Russia’s use of “food as a weapon” and reiterated Ireland’s support for Ukraine during his first visit to Kyiv since the invasion of Moscow on Wednesday. Read more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
Finland will offer a fourth COVID booster for younger age groups. People in younger age groups will start receiving the fourth COVID-19 vaccine from mid-August if recommendations announced by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare on Wednesday are followed. Read more.
Monkeypox cases increase in Finland. Finland has confirmed ten cases of monkeypox since Monday July 4, all diagnosed in men. Overall, the number of cases since mid-May is around 5,200. The highest numbers have been reported in the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal and the US. Cases have been reported in 51 countries. (Pekka Vantinen | EURACTIV.com)
Rising prices lead to an increase in Cypriots to the occupied territories. Rising prices and the fall of the Turkish lira have led an increasing number of Greek Cypriots to enter the occupied territories to buy cheap goods, negatively affecting Cyprus’ “free” tax revenues, EURACTIV Greece has learned. Read more.
Italy is expanding its LNG infrastructure facilities ahead of winter. Italian energy company Snam has acquired a new floating regasification vessel from BW LNG to contribute to Italy’s energy security and diversification. Read more.
Portugal will pay pension increases retroactively. The extraordinary increases in pensions provided for in the state budget for 2022 will be paid retroactively on Friday, Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa announced on Wednesday. Read more.
The Slovak government is close to the tipping point despite the coalition’s ultimatum. Junior coalition government member Sloboda a Solidarita (SaS), issued an ultimatum on Wednesday, saying he would leave the government unless Finance Minister Igor Matovič is expelled.
With Slovakia’s anti-corruption turn in play, for now Matovič has the full support of Prime Minister Eduard Heger. Read more.
The Czech Prime Minister promises to organize a social summit following the criticism. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala presented the main priorities of the Czech EU Presidency to the European Parliament after criticism for not reflecting the EU’s social agenda prompted the government to promise MPs it would organize a social summit in Prague. Read more.
MEPs and rule of law experts are calling on the Commission to cut all EU funds earmarked for Hungary. MEPs and lawyers on Wednesday (July 6th) urged the European Commission to stop transferring EU funds to Hungary due to the country’s systemic violations of the rule of law. Read more.
Croatia loses international arbitration against Hungarian MOL over gas. Croatia has lost an international arbitration initiated by Hungarian oil and gas group MOL over Zagreb’s failure to comply with its obligations under an agreement over the gas activities of joint Croatian oil company INA. Read more.
The salaries of the Russian embassy in Bulgaria blocked. Bank transfers of $890,000 for staff at the Russian Embassy in Bulgaria have been blocked, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Asen Vasilev announced on Wednesday. Read more.
Romania’s central bank raises interest rates again. The key rate rose to 4.75%, its highest level since August 2013, amid soaring inflation, Romania’s central bank announced. Read more.
The only Albanian member of the Serbian parliament calls for sanctions against Russia. Shaip Kamberi, the only ethnic Albanian member of the newly elected Serbian parliament, called on Serbia to impose sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine. Read more.
PRISTINE | BELGRADE | SARAJEVO
Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina hailed, Belgrade slapped by the European Parliament. The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted three reports on EU candidates Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo and Serbia, praising them for their progress but calling for normalization of relations, unity against Russia and an end to hate speech. Read more.
Crammon: No Kosovo in the EU without an agreement with Serbia. Without an agreement between Serbia and Kosovo, neither country will ever enter the EU, said EU rapporteur for Kosovo Viola von Crammon. Read more.
The Commission rants against the Albanian tax amnesty bill. The EU reacted strongly to the new version of the tax amnesty law proposed by the ruling Socialist Party, which would allow undeclared money to be deposited in Albanian banks without penalty. Read more.
- EU: European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen leads the European Commission’s delegation to the United Nations retreat.
- EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell takes part in the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting
- Plenary session of the European Parliament.
- Czech Republic: Visits of Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.
- Italy: The first hearing in the trial of 59 people for the fatal 2018 Genoa bridge collapse.
- Albania: The opposition led by Sali Berisha calls for a large demonstration in Tirana against the government of Prime Minister Edi Rama.
- Romania: Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca is on an official visit to Greece where he will meet his counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
- Russia: Hearing in trial of the deputy of the city of Moscow, Alexei Gorinov, accused of spreading “false information” about the Russian army.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Eleonora Vasques, Sofia Stuart Leeson]