A Balkan ‘traffic light’ coalition could rule Bulgaria – EURACTIV.com

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In today’s news from the Capitals:


Bulgaria has been in a severe political crisis over the past year. The parliament has been fragmented, and scandals between major political players have made the situation even more complex.

For the first time, Bulgarians have to vote three times in parliamentary elections in one year. On 14 November, there will be unprecedented 2-in-1 elections for parliament and president. Read more.



Macron on fisheries dispute: Ball now in ‘British court’. After the long-awaited meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome on Sunday, Macron called for “exigency, seriousness and respect” from Johnson over the fisheries dispute. Read more.



Merkel brings likely successor to G20 talks. Caretaker Chancellor Angela Merkel used the opportunity of the G20 summit in Rome to begin the slow hand-over process to finance minister, and likely future chancellor Olaf Scholz as a ‘traffic light’ coalition led by him appears increasingly probable. Read more.



Ireland extends vaccination booster shot programme. Ireland will this week extend the provision of booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines, offering them to people over 60 years old. Read more.



Three Finnish journalists charged with disclosing state secrets. Three journalists from the country’s biggest daily newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat have been charged by the Deputy State prosecutor over their report on an intelligence facility. Read more.



G20 Rome summit falls short of setting major climate goals ahead of COP26. Although the Italian government – which currently holds the G20 presidency – was hoping to convince fellow G20 leaders to commit to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, the final declaration presented at the end of the summit only featured a commitment to achieving global net-zero greenhouse gas emissions was postponed to “by or around mid-century”. Read more.



Catalan and Basque pro-independence parties pave way for 2022 budget. Pro-independence parties, the Republican Left of Catalonia (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, ERC) and the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) last week paved the way for the Spanish budget for 2022 to be approved after they announced they will not veto it. Read more.



Portugal’s president to address nation this week as snap election looms. Portugal’s president said on Sunday he would address the nation this week on the country’s political crisis and is likely to announce his decision to dissolve parliament, triggering an election two years ahead of schedule. Read more.



Czech officials threatened by China over ties with Taiwan. The official visit of Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu to Czechia at the Czech Senate’s invitation has triggered an angry reaction from China. The National People’s Congress (NPC) – the highest organ of State power in China – condemned Czech officials for “serious violation of one-China policy” and “offering a platform for Taiwan independence separatist activities”. Read more.



Caputova: Slovak plans and strategies do not reflect European climate targets. Slovakia needs to step up its efforts to combat climate change as its current plans and strategies do not reflect European climate targets, President Zuzana Čaputová said before travelling to the climate summit in Glasgow. Read more.



Poland’s most-watched news programme uses Netflix series to call refugees criminals. A scene from a Netflix series was used by the main edition TVP Wiadomosci, the most-watched news programme on public television, to argue that refugees are criminals, EURACTIV Poland’s media partner Gazeta Wyborcza reports. Read more.



Hungarian government transported rural citizens to rally with EU-funded buses. EU-funded buses were among the vehicles used to transport citizens from the countryside to a pro-government rally during the 23 October memorial day celebrations, Telex reported via 444.hu.

In addition to the Hungarian Village Programme, EU-funded buses were among the transportation used by the pro-government NGO Civil Union Forum (CÖF) to their annual Peace March demonstration, commemorating the 1956 revolution. 

Some municipalities used buses from EU-funded towns, meaning bloc funding also helped to ensure that more people were able to hear Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s anti-EU speech live

(Vlagyiszlav Makszimov | EURACTIV.com with Telex)



North Macedonia’s Zaev says he will resign following local election result. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said on Sunday that he will step down following his party’s poor result in municipal elections, but offered no details on the timeline. Read more.



Bulgaria faces its heaviest COVID-19 wave. Bulgaria is facing the most serious COVID-19 wave so far as the EU’s least vaccinated country. Interim Health Minister Stoicho Katsarov warned that Bulgaria is currently using the ‘last reserves in the system’ for beds in the intensive care units. Read more.



Romania’s new PM-designate presents cabinet list, programme to parliament. Prime minister-designate Nicolae Ciuca has submitted the cabinet list and the governing programme to parliament. Minister hearings are scheduled for Tuesday, and a vote on the new government is due on Wednesday. Read more.



Study: 140,000 Croat workers will need to change job by 2030. Nearly 140,000 workers in Croatia will need to change their occupation by 2030, the consulting firm McKinsey & Company Adriatic said in a study on the transformation of the Croatian labour force. Read more.



Majority of Serbs see influence of China, Russia as positive, that of EU, US as negative. The majority of Serbian citizens believe Russia and China have had a positive influence on Serbia in recent years. At the same time, they consider the impact of the US, European Union and NATO to have been negative, a recent report revealed. Read more.



New KFOR commander says Kosovo security forces must have approval before deploying in Northern Kosovo. Hungarian Gen. Ferenc Kajari, the new commander of NATO-led KFOR, said on Sunday that the Kosovo Security Forces must obtain approval from the KFOR commander before any deployment in northern Kosovo, according to an earlier agreement. Read more.



Russia would like free trade agreement with Eurasian Customs Union. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Turkish Foreign Minister Murat Çavuşoğlu on the margins of the G20 summit in Rome on Saturday, Russia’s foreign ministry announced. Read more.



Kosovo government approves €2.8 billion budget. Kosovo’s new state budget, announced on Friday, includes €100 million for its burgeoning army, following increased tensions with neighbouring Serbia. Read more.



Greek official visits southern Albania on national day, three years after fatal shooting. Andreas Katsaniotis, the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister, visited “Greek minority” communities in Albania on the anniversary of 28 October 1940, otherwise known as Ochi Day. Read more.


  • EU/Russia: Russia suspends NATO mission in Moscow and its own mission at NATO HQ in Brussels
  • UK: COP26 opening ceremony with speech by  UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, joint statements by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel.
  • Portugal: Annual Web Summit takes place in Lisbon, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen speaks.
  • Ireland: Press conference between US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Ireland’s finance minister Paschal Donohoe.
  • Poland: Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will attend the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.
  • Bulgaria: President Rumen Radev will meet with representatives of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), who are part of the international organisation’s mission to observe the November 14th elections.
  • Romania: President Klaus Iohannis attends the COP26 summit in Glasgow.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: Protests in front of the US Embassy for preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of BiH.


[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor]

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