Wednesday, 27 October 2021: EU says no agreement after energy price surge meeting, New immigration law in Poland, Budget revolt pushes Portugal’s government to the brink

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

EU says no agreement after energy price surge meeting
dw.com, euronews.com

  • EU ministers were unable to agree upon new measures aimed at stemming the tide of increasing energy bills after a meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday
  • The EU is still assessing the advantages and drawbacks of a proposal made by some member states to introduce joint gas buying among member states
  • Both Slovenian Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec and the EU commissioner for energy, Kadri Simson, insisted the long-term solution out of the current and future energy crunches is the European Green Deal and the road to carbon neutrality through the deployment of renewable energy systems. Switching to cleaner sources would make the EU more independent and resilient while lowering costs for consumers
  • The EU Commission’s competition department is starting to gather evidence to see whether gas suppliers are manipulating the market during the ongoing energy price emergency politico.eu
  • Renewable energy has overtaken fossil fuels as the main power source across the EU for the first time irishexaminer.com

Pervasive errors in the EU’s 2020 budget: The European Court of Auditors have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like in the previous year identified pervasive errors in the spending and issued an adverse opinion. The auditors are also concerned about sound financial management in the next budget period when the EU will manage a much bigger budget and the member states will receive billions in recovery and resilience assistance to tackle the post-Covid challenges.
brusselstimes.com

Europol investigation busts 150 ‚high value‘ darknet vendors: Police around the world arrested 150 suspects, including several high-profile targets, involved in buying or selling illegal goods online in one of the largest-ever stings targeting the dark web, Europol said Tuesday. Operation Dark HunTOR also recovered millions of euros in cash and bitcoin, as well as drugs and guns. The bust stems from a German-led police sting earlier this year taking down the „world’s largest“ darknet marketplace.
france24.com, dw.com

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Sudan coup: Ousted PM Hamdok returns home, officials say
nytimes.com, dw.com, forbes.com, bbc.com, reuters.com

  • A day after he seized power in Sudan, the country’s top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said on Tuesday that he had detained the civilian prime minister Abdalla Hamdok in his own home, and defended the coup as necessary for stability
  • Hamdok returned to his home with his wife on Tuesday evening, several sources told news agencies
  • Germany, the United States and the United Nations had demanded that Hamdok be released immediately. The US cut off $700 million in emergency assistance to Sudan on Monday
  • Protests continued for a second day in the capital, Khartoum, with roads, bridges and shops closed. Phone and internet lines are also disrupted
  • Seven people were killed by gunfire and 140 injured in clashes between soldiers and street protesters
  • Staff at the country’s central bank have reportedly gone on strike, and doctors across Sudan are said to be refusing to work in military-run hospitals except in emergencies

World Fund climate VC fund aims to raise 350 mln euros for green startups reuters.com
Platform regulation: EU Commission doesn’t want to ban targeted advertising per se heise.de
Turkey: Lawmakers extend troop deployment in Syria, Iraq bloomberg.com
WikiLeaks: „Drop the charges, stop the extradition and free Julian Assange,” says Amnesty head amnesty.org

⊂ QUOTE OF THE DAY ⊃

Look at what’s going on with store shelves … with the restocking of fuel … with the lack of nurses and doctors … with the truck driver shortage [and] with everything construction. What’s going on these days is a disaster.
The UK’s decision to leave the EU has resulted in an „economic catastrophe“ for Britain, European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton said Tuesday during an interview with French broadcaster BFMTV.
politico.eu

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Migration via Belarus: New immigration law in Poland
merkur.de

  • An amendment to Poland’s immigration law has come into force, making it easier to expel migrants who entered the country illegally
  • The country is reacting to the numerous border crossings of refugees coming from Belarus
  • According to the amendment, border guards can now immediately expel migrants. In addition, migrants can be banned from re-entering Poland and the Schengen area for a period of six months to three years. Asylum applications can be rejected
  • Poland will use a mode of financing employed to fight the economic consequences of COVID-19 to help fund a large increase in military spending, the defence minister said on Tuesday, as the government seeks to modernise and expand the armed forces reuters.com

Budget revolt pushes Portugal’s government to the brink
politico.eu

  • The government of Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa was pushed to the brink of collapse after two hard-left parties announced they would join with the right in blocking the national budget in a parliament vote this Wednesday
  • Costa now has to make last-minute concessions to the PCP and the Left Bloc — another hard-left party that announced its opposition to the budget on Sunday — or face a defeat that will likely lead to the dissolution of parliament and early elections
  • He called an emergency cabinet meeting on Monday night to discuss the crisis

French far-right leader Le Pen in Hungary: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban hosted French far-right leader Marine Le Pen in Budapest on Tuesday. Le Pen, a perennial candidate for president of France, is expected to run again next year, and used the visit to the Hungarian capital to boost her nationalist bona fides.
dw.com

MEPs want further investigations into misuse of EU funds in Slovakia: EU lawmakers are calling for further investigations into the misuse of EU funds in Slovakia, following reports of financial irregularities from the bloc’s anti-fraud agency. In the last two years, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), has uncovered several cases of abuse of land subsidies in Slovakia. However, MEPs say it is just the tip of the iceberg, with evidence going back all the way to the murder of young journalist Jan Kuciak.
euronews.com

Swedish death toll in pandemic passes 15,000

  • Sweden has registered 9 new COVID-19 deaths since Friday, pushing the death toll since the start of the pandemic past 15,000, data showed on Tuesday reuters.com
  • Estonia plans new restrictions to avoid lockdown like Latvia apnews.com
  • Belgium reimposes restrictions as Covid cases spike apnews.com
  • Switzerland recommends Covid booster shots for over 65s, but not general population reuters.com

Despite calls, Albania remains reluctant to find its 6,000 missing communism victims: Nazmi Uruci’s descendants have been searching for his remains for almost 80 years. Born in northern Albania in 1904, Nazmi was a customs official during the short reign of Albania’s first and last reigning monarch, King Zog.
euractiv.com

Facial recognition technologies already used in 11 EU countries and counting, report says euractiv.com
Germany: New parliament opens with words of caution from departing president politico.eu
Poland picks wind-farm executive as climate minister in revamp bloomberg.com
France pushes for granting Brussels more powers to police Big Tech ft.com

⊂ POLITJOBS ⊃

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⊂ LAST BUT NOT LEAST ⊃

Crimea gold awarded to Ukraine in blow to Russia: A Dutch appeals court ruled on Tuesday that a collection of ancient gold items from Crimea at the centre of a legal battle between Ukraine and Russia should be returned to the Ukrainian state by the Amsterdam museum where it is currently held. The treasure was loaned to the Dutch museum shortly before Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014 in a move that most countries consider illegal under international law.
dw.com

 

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