prime minister – Jaca Huesca Tue, 19 Apr 2022 09:42:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 prime minister – Jaca Huesca 32 32 Hungary and Poland split over Russian energy – Fri, 11 Mar 2022 06:43:42 +0000

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.

Before you start reading today’s edition of Capitals, be sure to take a look at EURACTIV Media Network’s round-up where we take a look at how the EU is divided over the ban Russian oil and gas.

Also watch our video report on The Invisible Risks for Ukrainian Refugees.

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The need for a European plasma donation ecosystem

Over the next decade, more patients will need to have access to plasma-derived therapies. The revision of the European BTC legislation is an opportunity to increase the collection of plasma in the EU, necessary for the manufacture of plasma-derived therapies.

In today’s news from the capitals:


Poland and Hungary have teamed up in their fight against Brussels over their respective rule of law impasses, but that unity has recently faded due to Budapest’s close ties with Moscow, which could become the apple of discord.. Read more.



Disability ministers call for a “fairer and more inclusive” EU. The EU must take further steps to ensure people with disabilities have better access to jobs and rights across the bloc, Sophie Cluzel, France’s secretary of state for people with disabilities, told her EU counterparts on Wednesday. in Paris. Read the full story.



Austrian industry warns Russia’s gas embargo would be “catastrophic”. Sanctions on Russian gas would have a devastating effect on the Austrian economy, say industry players in the country who have so far backed the EU sanctions regime against Russia. Read more.



Germany undertakes to be more present in the Western Balkans. Germany has appointed its first special envoy to the region in a bid to “show more presence” in the Western Balkans and put their concerns at the top of Berlin’s agenda, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced on Thursday. during a visit to Sarajevo. Read more.



Emmanuel Macron wants to raise the retirement age to 65. Pension reform will be one of the “priority” projects that President Emmanuel Macron intends to implement if he is re-elected for a second term, with the retirement age rising from 62 to 65. Read more.



Dutch to accommodate 900 Ukrainian refugees in hotels, boats. The city of Amsterdam is offering 900 places on boats and in hotels this week for Ukrainian refugees fleeing their war-torn country. Read more.



Ireland has escaped the Brexit blow, officials say. According to government trade officials in Dublin, Ireland has not been hit as hard by the Brexit trade disruptions as initially feared. But despite fears it will suffer the largest economic losses of any EU country and suffer an economic hit of between 0.8% and 1% of its GDP, its trade volumes have held up. Read more.



Finland to supply transport fuel from manure, other by-products. Finnish dairy producer Valio and energy company St1 are launching a biogas plant to produce renewable transportation fuel in a bid to find new energy sources and improve the country’s self-sufficiency. Read more.



The Swedish government will devote 2% of its GDP to defence. Sweden will invest heavily in defense in a historic move that will bring military spending in line with NATO’s target of 2% of GDP, according to a government announcement on Thursday. Read more.



More than 100 Danes are already fighting Russia in Ukraine. Danes show great interest in fighting Russia in Ukraine, with 100 Danes already deployed on Ukrainian soil, Ukrainian ambassador in Copenhagen, Mykhailo Vydoinik, told Danske Radio (DR) in an interview. Read more.



The far-right Spanish party VOX enters the regional government for the first time. VOX, Spain’s far-right ascendant party, will be part of a regional government for the first time after reaching an agreement with the conservative People’s Party on Thursday, EURACTIV partner EFE announced. reported. Read more.



The Greek Prime Minister has declared that defense spending should be excluded from the public deficit. Money invested in defense spending should not be part of the public deficit calculation, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said. Read more.



The Portuguese government approves the reinforcement of subsidies for fuel purchases. The government approved Thursday in the Council of Ministers the strengthening of the financial subsidy for fuel purchases by citizens, which in March is 40 cents per liter, within the limit of 50 liters, i.e. a total of €20. Read more.



The Italian lower house approves a new law on euthanasia. A euthanasia bill passed the lower house of Italy’s parliament on Thursday, meaning the legislation will now go to the Senate. Read more.



Fidesz candidate Novák was elected Hungary’s first female president. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s candidate, ex-Family Minister Katalin Novák, was chosen on Thursday to head the Hungarian state for the next five years by the Fidesz-dominated parliament. Telex reported. Read more.



Czechia pushes again for the “freedom of the energy mix”. The nuclear frontrunner Czech Republic has been pushing for many years for EU countries to have ‘freedom of the energy mix’, this time in the wording of the Versailles declaration focused on reducing dependence energy vis-à-vis Russia. Read more.



Slovakia supports the ban on Russian energy imports, despite the disastrous consequences. Slovakia will support the ban on imports of Russian energy raw materials, Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) said Thursday in Versailles. However, the consequences will be disastrous, warned the country’s economy minister, Richard Sulík (SaS). Read more.



Service stations monitored after soaring prices. Romanian authorities have launched extensive checks on fuel retailers, which they suspect of artificially raising prices at the pump. Read more.



Famous pro-Russian Bulgarian businessman and politician sentenced to prison. Businessman and leader of the pro-Russian populist Volya party Veselin Mareshki was sentenced to four years in prison an extortion case that has been going on for eight years. The sentence is not final and can be appealed to the Supreme Court. Read more.



Spymaster: No direct threat to Croatia and its citizens. Croatia and its citizens are not directly threatened by the armed conflict in Ukraine, the director of the Croatian Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA), Daniel Markić, said on Wednesday. Read more.



Momentum gathering in Slovenia for the return of fuel price regulation. The momentum is accelerating in Slovenia for a return of administered prices as the price of gasoline continues to soar, despite the fact that the country is late to fuel price liberalisation, taking until 2020 to completely remove price controls. Read more.



Don’t take nuclear war threats from the Kremlin seriously, says former Russian FM. Former Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, who served from 1991 to 1996, said people should not take nuclear war threats from the Kremlin seriously because the country’s top officials are well aware that the use of nuclear weapons will mean the end not only of Russia but of the world as a whole. Read more.



Baerbock: No money for the separatists. Germany will resolutely insist on the preservation of peace and security in Bosnia and Herzegovina, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in Sarajevo, adding that there would be no financial and investment support for those who work for the disintegration of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Read more.



The government of North Macedonia sends amendments to the VAT law to the parliament. The government sent amendments to the Value Added Tax Act and the Excise Duty Act to Parliament on Thursday, noting that they would need to be passed quickly to ensure lower retail prices for fuels and fuels. petroleum derivatives. Read more.



Albanian President calls for citizens’ help in the face of inflation. Albanian President Ilir Meta called on the government to lower oil prices and prepare a program to help families in financial difficulty due to inflation. Read more.


  • EU/France: The informal EU summit in Versailles continues on economy, finance, defence.
  • NATO Chief Stoltenberg, European Foreign Minister Borrell and Enlargement Commissioner Varhelyi attend the Antalya Diplomatic Forum.
  • Germany: Agriculture Commissioner Wojciechowski attends the extraordinary meeting of G7 agriculture ministers in Berlin.
  • Spain: A plane chartered by the Spanish Ministry of Defense arrives Friday in Madrid from Ukraine with about thirty children suffering from cancer and their families. They will receive free treatment in Spain.
  • Poland: Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean visits the reception point for refugees on the Polish-Ukrainian border.
  • Bulgaria: President Rumen Radev will visit a Bulgarian Red Cross base in Ruse (on the border between Bulgaria and Romania), where Ukrainian refugees entering Bulgaria go for consultation and assistance, as well as a crisis centre, where some of them stay .
  • Romania: US Vice President Kamala Harris visits Romania. She will meet President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca.
  • Croatia: The chairmen of the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture’s breeders’ committees meet to discuss the effects of the crisis on livestock farming.
  • Serbia: German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visiting Belgrade as part of a tour of the region.


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

Ukraine. Police arrest over 1,700 anti-war protesters in Russia as anger erupts over invasion | world news Thu, 24 Feb 2022 22:51:27 +0000

More than 1,700 anti-war protesters have been arrested in 54 cities across Russia – as dozens of protesters express their fury at Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

At least 957 people were detained in Moscow as Kremlin forces advance on site of Chernobyl nuclear disaster Thursday.

Hundreds of people also took to the streets of Saint Petersburg and the city of Yekaterinburg.

A number of Russian public figures have spoken out against Moscow’s attempt to take control of its neighbor.

The director of a state-funded theater in the Russian capital, Yelena Kovalskaya, announced on Facebook that she was quitting her job – writing that it is ‘impossible to work for a killer and get paid by him’ .

Engineer Yekaterina Kuznetsova said: “This is the most shameful and terrible day of my life. My country is an aggressor.

“I hate Putin. What else would it take to make people open their eyes?”

Police arrest protesters during an anti-war demonstration in Saint Petersburg, Russia
One of the protesters holds a placard reading 'No to War in Ukraine!  Bring the forces home!  & # 39;
A protester holds a sign reading ‘No to War in Ukraine! Bring the forces home!’

Human rights activist Marina Litvinovich has urged Russians to take to the streets to show their opposition to the ongoing violence.

She said in a video statement on Facebook: “We, the Russian people, are against the war that Putin has started.

“We are not supporting this war, it is not being fought in our name.”

Eyewitness: Air raid sirens sound as explosions rock Kiev – where a major exodus is underway

However, authorities launched a crackdown on critical voices, with Litvinovich among those detained.

Meanwhile, a petition started by prominent human rights defender Lev Ponomavyov was signed by more than 330,000 people within hours of its launch.

More than 250 journalists added their names to an open letter denouncing the attack.

Another letter was signed by about 250 scientists, while nearly 200 city council members from Moscow and other cities supported a third letter.

Chernobyl fell after Ukrainian troops fought for hours with their Russian rivals, according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

The violence has sparked anger across the world with hundreds of people gathered outside the Russian Assembly in Tel Aviv, Israel, where four people were arrested on suspicion of scribbling anti-Putin graffiti.

Demonstrations also took place across Europe, including in the UK, Spain, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Hungary and Poland.

Inside the mind of Vladimir Putin – why is he invading and what does he want?

People sing the anthem of Ukraine during a demonstration in Madrid, Spain
People sing the anthem of Ukraine during a demonstration in Madrid, Spain

Dozens of Ukrainians also gathered outside the Irish parliament, joined briefly by Taoiseach Micheal Martin – who promised Ireland would back the “strongest and most comprehensive” sanctions package to punish Putin’s regime.

In Edinburgh, protesters waved Ukrainian flags and chanted “Glory to Ukraine” outside the Russian consulate in the Scottish capital’s new town.

Protesters outside the Russian Embassy in the Hungarian capital, Budapest
Protesters outside the Russian Embassy in the Hungarian capital, Budapest

Meanwhile, hundreds sang the Ukrainian national anthem outside Downing Street in central London as they demanded Britain and other democracies step up action against Russia .

Natalia Ravlyuk, who helped organize the protest, said they wanted the “toughest punishments and total isolation from Russia now”.

“We… feel betrayed by democratic states because we have been talking about this war for eight years,” she said.

“They just need to wake up and stop Putin now.”

Ukrainians stage a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine outside Downing Street in central London.  Picture date: Thursday February 24, 202.
Ukrainians stage a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine in central London

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has triggered what he called the ‘Largest set of sanctions ever imposed’ by UK on Russia following the invasion.

And President Joe Biden also announced new measures in an effort to “maximize the long-term impact” on Russia.while minimizing the impact on allies.

Learn more about the invasion of Ukraine – click here for live updates and analysis

Traveling with Pride: How the Travel Industry Welcomes LGBTQ+ Travelers Sat, 19 Feb 2022 10:12:00 +0000

walk the walk

While it’s understandable that travelers don’t want to go somewhere they can’t be themselves, Tanzella points out that many destinations are off-limits as a result. “Many countries that have progressive laws today had very different laws a decade ago,” he says, encouraging travelers to do their research before traveling, but not to dismiss destinations purely based on Politics.

Any legislative change starts at the top, of course, but some governments pose a challenge to the industry. In these cases, companies seeking to advertise directly to gay, lesbian or trans travelers can rarely do so openly. Burn argues that these destinations — which often happily accept bookings from LGBTQ+ travelers — need to put their money where their mouth is. “A lot of them are depending on the money from these travelers, but are they making any progress in changing the laws?” he asks. “It’s not fair to have one rule for citizens and another for visitors.”

Despite this, there has been tentative progress in countries that until recently lagged far behind in terms of equality.

In 2019, the High Court of Botswana ruled in favor of decriminalizing homosexuality, and similar steps have been taken in Seychelles, Mozambique and Trinidad and Tobago in recent years. Change takes time, Cruse says, saying some destinations, like the Bahamas, were hesitant to host a lesbian cruise in the early 1990s. “Once we [the company] hit the market, people got to know us and realized we were no different, things started to change.

If government support is not always a given, then how can the landscape for LGBTQ+ travelers be improved? Mayle thinks it’s not too late for companies looking to make a positive change, but the key is to do so with purpose and authenticity. Tanzella agrees, saying paying lip service is no longer enough to convince travelers that the industry cares. “If you claim to value diversity, but your board looks alike, you’re not moving in the right direction,” he says. “You really have to say what you’re doing.”

Streff says today’s travelers are in the know and that a rainbow sticker in the window isn’t a bad thing but needs to go a lot further. “Diversity is something that also needs to be reflected behind the scenes, so consumers know it’s authentic,” he says.

Authenticity worked for Madrid, at least. Sure, there are plenty of rainbow flags and stickers, but it’s the progress that matters most: it’s the capital of a country where same-sex marriage has been legalized nationwide. National in 2005 – the third country in the world to do so after the Netherlands and Belgium. Maybe it’s proof that if you show the world you’re open-minded, people will come.

Other nations may want to take note: after all, where LGBTQ+ travelers go, others follow. “It happened with Ibiza, and now we see it with Mykonos – suddenly everyone is going there,” says Burn. “It’s almost a question of ‘where will the gays go next?'”

Five cities to watch

Brighton and Hove
It has been almost three years, beleaguered by the pandemic, since the city last hosted a Pride event, but this summer sees the return of the nation’s biggest (and arguably best) pride celebration. A weekend filled with concerts, parades, street parties, cabaret and even a dog show will make up the belated 30th anniversary celebrations. August 5-7.

While attitudes in Serbia remain mixed, laws have improved considerably over the past decade. Openly gay Prime Minister Ana Brnabić took office in 2016, and this year the city will host Europride, the biggest Pride festival on the continent. Previous events in the city have faced intense hostility, so this is a watershed moment for the country’s LGBTQ+ community. September 12-18.

In December, Canada followed countries like Brazil, Germany and Malta in banning the controversial practice of conversion therapy – another sign of the country’s progressive stance on equality. The multicultural city of Toronto is the hub of the country’s LGBTQ+ scene — set to come alive for an eclectic month Pride parties in June.

Malta dominated the ILGA-Europe Rainbow Index for a sixth consecutive year in 2021. The measure analyzes the equality policies of 49 European countries and found that open-minded Malta is ahead of many of its neighbours, with recent changes including a updated policy for LGBTQ+ refugee claims.

The cosmopolitan Australian city takes on the role of host of Global Pride in February 2023. This will be the first time the event has taken place in the Southern Hemisphere, so expect a festive 17-day program of pride marches, beach parties, talks and a First Nations gala concert. February 17 to March 5, 2023.

Published in the April 2022 issue of National Geographic Traveler (UK)

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Expo 2020 Dubai: Sheikh Mohammed and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez discuss bilateral relations – News Wed, 02 Feb 2022 16:28:27 +0000

A number of memorandums of understanding have been signed to enhance cooperation in various fields.


By Wam

Published: wed 2 feb 2022, 20:28

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, met Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain, at Expo 2020 Dubai on Wednesday.

The meeting was held in the presence of Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

The meeting discussed bilateral relations between the UAE and Spain and prospects for further cooperation in various fields, especially business and investment.

The meeting also explored new ways to share expertise in various sectors for the benefit of the peoples of both nations.

The two leaders also discussed a number of regional and global topics of mutual interest, and global efforts to accelerate economic recovery.

During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed hailed the deep historical ties between the UAE and Spain, and the country’s keenness to further strengthen bilateral relations. He noted that the two countries have a common desire to expand cooperation and benefit from each other’s expertise and knowledge in various fields, especially industries of the future.

The ruler of Dubai said that Spain’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai provides an opportunity to explore prospects for expanding collaboration, mainly in economic and technological fields, as well as strengthening exchanges culture and knowledge. He also underscored the UAE’s keenness to provide an investment-friendly environment.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez expressed Spain’s desire to further strengthen bilateral relations in the years to come. He also highlighted the positive and influential role played by the UAE both regionally and globally and hailed its unique development model.

Memoranda of understanding signed to strengthen cooperation

Sheikh Mohammed and the Prime Minister of Spain also witnessed the signing of several agreements and memorandums of understanding aimed at enhancing cooperation in various fields, including industry, technology, climate change, education, health and information security.

The agreements included a memorandum of understanding to promote collaboration, which was signed by Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, and José Manuel Albares Bueno, Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs , the European Union and Cooperation.

Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technologies, and Maria Reyes Maroto Illera, Spain’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, also signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of industry and advanced technologies.

Another memorandum of understanding on climate action was signed by Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and José Manuel Albares Bueno.

The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation has also signed several agreements, including: a memorandum of understanding on higher education; a memorandum of understanding in the field of health and a joint declaration of intent; an appendix to a signed memorandum of understanding on the guest teacher program for teaching the Spanish language; and a memorandum of understanding on cybersecurity.

Another Memorandum of Understanding between the Spanish government and Mubadala Investment was signed by Homaid Al Shimmari, Group Deputy Managing Director and Head of Social and Human Capital at Mubadala Investment Company.

There are over 200 Spanish companies operating in various sectors in the UAE. The volume of trade between the two countries exceeded more than 7.7 billion dirhams.

With socialist rule at stake in Portugal election, far-right eyes big wins » Capital News Sun, 30 Jan 2022 07:43:04 +0000

The prospect of another weak minority government comes as Portugal tries to boost its tourism-dependent economy which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic © AFP/File / PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA

Lisbon (AFP), January 30 – Portugal votes in a close election on Sunday, with no party set to secure a majority in parliament in a fragmented political landscape that could see the far right make huge gains.

A late push by the center-right opposition PSD party snatched the once-comfortable poll lead from the ruling Socialists, with the two sides statistically tied according to final polls.

With one in 10 voters still undecided according to recent polls, analysts said the election outcome in the country of about 10 million people was wide open.

Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. (0800 GMT) and closed at 8 p.m., with official results expected a few hours later.

The prospect of another weak minority government comes as Portugal tries to boost its tourism-dependent economy which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

A stable government is needed for Portugal to make the most of a 16.6 billion euro ($18.7 billion) EU recovery fund package it is expected to receive by 2026 .

“Portugal needs stability after these two difficult years of fighting the pandemic,” Prime Minister Antonio Costa, in office since 2015, said on Friday during a final rally in the second city of Porto.

During the campaign, Costa received messages of support from Spanish Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who called the Portuguese Prime Minister a “tireless defender of social justice”.

Sunday’s snap polls were triggered after two far-left parties that had backed Costa’s minority government sided with right-wing parties to reject his 2022 budget proposal in October.

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– DSP Gains –

If the Socialists again win the most votes but lack a majority, Costa said he plans to govern alone by negotiating support from other parties for laws on a case-by-case basis.

Such a government would be “unlikely” to last until the end of its term in 2026, said Antonio Costa Pinto, a professor of politics at the University of Lisbon.

Under Costa’s watch, Portugal rolled back austerity measures, maintained fiscal discipline and reduced unemployment to pre-pandemic levels.

But PSD leader Rui Rio said the economy should grow faster. He proposes corporate tax cuts to stimulate growth.

Rio has managed to unify the often fractious party since overcoming a leadership challenge last year and its strategy of shifting the PSD to the center appears to be paying off.

Under Rio, the PSD defied odds and ousted the Socialists from power in a regional election in the Azores islands in 2020 and for mayor of Lisbon last September.

He is open to forming a coalition with the conservative CDS and the upstart libertarian Liberal Initiative party.

But such a coalition would need the support of the far-right Chega party, which polls suggest could become the third-largest party in parliament, reflecting recent gains by such parties across Europe.

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– Far-right ‘hostage’ –

Chega, which translates to “Enough”, entered parliament for the first time with just one seat in the last elections of 2019.

Costa warned that a PSD-led government would be a “hostage” to Chega, whose proposals include tougher Covid-19 lockdown rules for Roma and the castration of sex offenders.

Rio accuses Costa of fearmongering.

He vowed not to include Chega in any government, but indicated he was ready to lead a minority government backed by support in parliament from the far right.

In an attempt to avoid large gatherings on Election Day due to the pandemic, voters were given the option of early voting on January 23.

Costa was among approximately 285,000 people who cast their ballots that day.

And voters who are quarantined because of the virus will be allowed to leave their homes to vote, with the government recommending that they vote in the slower final hour.

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Spanish Equities – Factors to Watch on January 25 Tue, 25 Jan 2022 07:35:00 +0000

Jan 25 (Reuters) – Spanish shares next could be hit by newspaper reports and other factors on Tuesday. Reuters has not verified the newspaper articles and cannot guarantee their accuracy:


Peruvian Prime Minister Mirtha Vasquez said on Monday the government was considering sanctioning a major local refinery owned by Spanish energy company Repsol (REP.MC) after an oil spill last week, and did not rule out suspending operations of the installation. Read more

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Elsewhere, Hibiscus Petroleum (HIBI.KL) announced on Tuesday that it had completed the acquisition of the entire stake in the unit of Repsol Fortuna International Petroleum Corporation.


The board of directors of ACS announced on Monday that it had agreed to reduce its share capital by buying back 10 million shares and a nominal amount of 5 million euros.

In addition, ACS also announced on Monday that it had reduced its share buyback program to 6.82% of its capital.


Soltec Power Holding announced on Tuesday that its subsidiary Soltec Energias Renovables has signed two contracts for the performance of construction services in two photovoltaic projects in Chile and Colombia with an installed capacity of 420 MW.


The company announced on Tuesday that it has signed a framework agreement with CPI Spain to build and develop residences for the elderly in Spain.


Spain’s Cell has refinanced a 2.5 billion euro loan from its banks, Spanish newspaper Cinco Dias reported on Tuesday.

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Novak Djokovic returns to Belgrade after being expelled from Australia Tue, 18 Jan 2022 07:03:00 +0000 Djokovic traveled to Belgrade from Melbourne via Dubai after losing a legal challenge on Sunday against the Australian government’s decision to cancel his visa on public health and order grounds.

Crowds gathered at the airport to welcome the 34-year-old Serb back home – chanting his name and holding banners and flags in support – on Monday. The night before, a building in Belgrade was lit up with the words “Nole [Djokovic’s nickname], you are the pride of Serbia.”

The Serbian Olympic Committee said it was “very disappointed” with Australia’s “scandalous decision” to expel Djokovic, adding that a “huge injustice” had been done, while Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said that the cancellation of the visa was “scandalous”.

“I’m disappointed and I think it showed how the rule of law works in some other countries, which is how it doesn’t work,” Brnabic said in an interview with the Beta news agency. in Belgrade.

“I can’t wait to see Djokovic in his own country, in Serbia, and to go through this with him and to support him in this difficult time for him,” she added.

Under Australian law, Djokovic can be banned from the country for three years, although Home Secretary Karen Andrews has not ruled out an exemption. “Any application will be considered on its merits,” she said.

The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam of the tennis season. The second is the French Open at Roland Garros, which runs from May 22 to June 5.

But all professional athletes who want to compete in France will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19, the French sports ministry told CNN on Monday.

France’s vaccination pass law, approved by parliament on Sunday, will require people to have a vaccination certificate to enter public places such as restaurants, cafes, cinemas and sports arenas, among others.

“The rule is simple. The vaccine pass will be required as soon as the law comes into force in establishments already subject to the health pass (sports or cultural). This will apply to all (spectators, professional athletes) “, said a French Sports. The ministry spokeswoman told CNN.

This new legislation jeopardizes the chances of Djokovic, who has not been vaccinated against Covid-19, to compete at Roland-Garros.

The French Open previously allowed unvaccinated players to compete as they operated in a bubble around the tournament.

He will also have to comply with Spanish health rules to participate in the next Madrid Open which will start at the end of April, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Monday.

Sanchez welcomed Australia’s decision to expel Djokovic, saying he had “full respect for the Australian government’s decision”.

Spain currently requires visitors to show proof of full vaccination, a recent negative Covid test within 72 hours of arrival or a certificate of recovery from Covid-19, according to its health ministry.

International sporting events in the country may add additional rules for participants, such as daily Covid-19 testing during the tournament, a senior government official told CNN on Monday.

Fans wave a Serbian flag as Djokovic arrives in Belgrade.

Djokovic is the reigning men’s singles champion on the clay courts of Roland Garros. Along with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, he won 20 Grand Slam titles.

“As for Roland Garros, it’s in May. The situation may change by then and we hope it will be more favorable. So we’ll see but now clearly it’s not safe [from the rules]“, added the spokesperson.

Al Goodman, Joseph Ataman, Aleks Klosok, Sharon Braithewaite, Biljana Brise and Stephanie Halasz contributed to this report

Top sustainability trends for 2022, greening air travel and discussing plant-based diets Sat, 15 Jan 2022 13:00:00 +0000

This week current climate, which every Saturday brings you a balanced view of the news of sustainable development. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every week.

The World Economic Forum has once again postponed its annual event in Davos, Switzerland, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but its 2022 annual Global Risks Report has been released as scheduled. The report draws on the insights of more than 1,000 academic, business, government, civil society and thought leaders, as well as 12,000 national leaders, on their perception of risk in the short, medium and long term. Risks associated with climate change, such as ‘extreme weather’ and ‘failure of climate action’, dominate short-, medium- and long-term concerns. The latter is also cited as one of the risks that has worsened since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the erosion of social cohesion and livelihood crises.

The report is not light or fun reading, but knowledge is power and only awareness of the risks we face can help us avoid them (as a certain movie says, “look up!”). Other stories I’m highlighting this week include the energy forecast for 2022, Denmark’s commitment to make domestic flights fossil-free by 2030, and how best to prepare a business for climate stress testing.

In Climate Talks, to tag ‘Veganuary’, I spoke to Richard Waite, senior research associate at the World Resource Institute, about how a plant-based diet can impact carbon emissions from agriculture .

To get Current Climate delivered to your inbox every Saturday, sign up here.

2022 Energy Predictions: Coal Decline Accelerates, Fed Funds Boost Clean Energy, Millions of New Electric Vehicles and Chargers

Five leading policy experts shared their predictions for the year ahead, including accelerating coal decline, federal investments driving clean energy adoption and grid expansion, and millions of electric vehicles on the streets. American roads to help electric vehicle chargers become a new class of investment.


Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced her intention to make domestic flights without fossil energy by 2030. Some experts believe this is an achievable goal.

A bill proposed in the New York State would require mega-brands to increase the transparency of their supply chains and their social impact.

Asia’s richest businessman Mukesh Ambani has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian state government of Gujarat to invest $80 billion in green projects, which, if realized, would allow the state to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2035.


California is considering changing its net metering rules this would dramatically increase the time it takes for solar panel installations to provide a return on investment and would have a profound impact on the solar energy and storage markets, as well as carbon reduction targets.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimated that natural disasters cost US$145 billion in 2021, the third highest Invoice checked in after 2017 and 2005.

At the current rate, the Earth will have warmed by 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times in 2033— a level of warming that experts hoped would not see this century.

Climate stress testing is here: 4 ways your business can prepare

As climate has become a widely recognized financial risk, supervisors are creating climate stress tests to better understand the magnitude and nature of climate risk.

Climate Talks

Richard Waite is Senior Research Associate, Food Program, at the World Resource Institute. As more and more people choose to start the year by trying a vegan diet, an initiative known as Veganuary, I spoke to Waite about how a plant-based diet can impact your carbon emissions from agriculture.

Agriculture contributes more than a quarter of total global greenhouse gas emissions. What are the main drivers of emissions in this sector?

Agriculture causes greenhouse gas emissions in two main ways. The first is through the agricultural production process itself – emissions that occur on farms like cow burps or nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizer use, or methane emissions from rice paddies. , and emissions that come from the production of agricultural inputs, such as the production of fertilizers. And then the other category is emissions due to land use change, deforestation. Agriculture is the main historic and current driver of deforestation, and tropical deforestation continues. Some people watch the food too [once it] goes to landfills, rots and [emits] methane, and then you’re up to about a third of the total greenhouse gas emissions.

Livestock farming accounts for about two-thirds of agricultural production. Emissions and animal agriculture account for about three-quarters of agricultural land use, so it’s a big contributor to both of these emission sources. In the United States, more than 80% of the emissions from our agricultural production are related to animal agriculture, and nearly half of those come from beef alone. High emissions from land use for animal agriculture pose a challenge, as the world is likely to add another two billion more people by 2050. But at the same time, we need to stop deforestation. We must bring greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Thus, meat-rich diets make it more difficult to balance food security and global environmental goals. Another thing to also think about is the differential impacts of food. If you look at per gram of protein, beef takes up about seven times the land, and its production emits seven times more greenhouse gases than chicken production, and 20 times the land and greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse as beans per gram of protein.

What you describe is a complex and challenging picture. Whenever people ask “what can I do to stop climate change“, switching to a plant-based diet is usually one of the top answers, but is a change in consumer demand enough? to push carbon reduction in the sector?

The challenge of feeding 10 billion people and meeting these global environmental goals is so great that you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket – forgive the food pun. We must continue to improve agriculture as much as possible, and that includes animal husbandry. We also need to look at consumption patterns. When you think about what an individual can do, there are usually two things. If you eat a lot of meat and especially beef, switching to a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you have to go vegan or vegetarian. For example, we looked at a scenario where everyone in the north of the world reduced their beef consumption to no more than one and a half burgers per person per week. This has reduced emissions and land demand so much that it has made it possible to feed 10 billion people without further deforestation. So it’s a potentially quite powerful solution. Then the other thing is to minimize food waste, as more than a third of all the food produced in the world is lost or wasted between farm and landfill.

As with any climate solution, it is not enough for the individuals concerned to change their consumption habits. These are the decisions that businesses and governments make. We have an initiative called Cool Food where we work with foodservice companies that commit to reducing their food-related emissions by 25% by 2030 by serving more delicious, climate-friendly food. We help them measure their greenhouse gas footprint over time and bring insights from behavioral science to ensure the change they make will satisfy consumers. We have seen some really exciting progress as they have already been able to reduce their emissions per plate by 16% through 2020.

In terms of reducing carbon emissions, is it enough to switch from a beef burger to a vegetable burger in a fast food chain or do we need to rethink the way we eat globally?

There’s no silver bullet, but there are a lot of things that push things in the right direction. Different consumers will likely be interested in different things. Some people who really like meat [will enjoy] those products that mimic the taste and texture of meat, but at a much lower impact, others may consume more beans and fruits and vegetables and whole grains and so on. And some would say both. At the societal level, it all adds up.

What do consumers looking to shift to more sustainable food consumption need to keep in mind when shopping and eating out, and can carbon labels be effective in supporting these decisions?

Two basic rules are: minimize the food you waste and adopt a more plant-centered diet, not necessarily vegan or vegetarian. Hopefully in the future we can have credible carbon labeling. But consumers are already bombarded with too much information when they go to the store, which adds complicated eco-labels. [might not] change things too much. As part of the Cool Food initiative that I mentioned, in 2020 we launched the school meals program. It’s a small badge that says “cool food meal” that accompanies meals or menus that fall below a certain greenhouse gas threshold. Now that we’ve been doing this for about a year, we’re going to start evaluating [its impact] on food purchasing decisions, which are generally driven by taste, price and convenience. Next week, we’ll also be releasing research looking at different climate messages around food, to see what kinds of messages resonate with consumers.

Richard Waite’s responses have been edited and condensed for clarity and conciseness.

on the horizon

As we venture further into this crucial decade for making a meaningful dent in global carbon emissions, here’s who trends are likely to dominate the coming year in terms of energy transition, food sustainability and ESG strategies.

Spain wants EU to handle COVID as ‘common flu’ – Tue, 11 Jan 2022 06:40:05 +0000

The Capitals brings you the latest news from across Europe, through on-the-ground reporting by EURACTIV’s media network. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

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In today’s news from the Capitals:


The Spanish government has been working for several weeks on a plan to approach the COVID-19 disease as if it were ordinary flu, EURACTIV partner EFE reported, citing El País. Read more.



President of the European Parliament David Sassoli dies. The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, died on Tuesday in the early hours of a hospital in Italy, his spokesperson announced on Twitter. Read more.



Mega cruise ship builder with facilities in Germany files for bankruptcy. MV Werften, a large shipbuilding company based in the German Land of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and employing around 1,900 workers, filed for bankruptcy on Monday. Read more.



Taubira will run in the French presidential elections if she wins the citizen primary. Former MEP and Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira has announced that she will only stand in the French presidential elections if she is nominated by the People’s Party Primary, a citizens’ initiative. According to her, it represents “the last chance for a possible union of the left”. Read more.



Austria steps up checks on compliance with COVID rules. Starting Tuesday, store and restaurant owners will face intense police checks to see if they are verifying their customers’ COVID certificates. Read more.



The UK banned Huawei because the US told us, former minister. The UK government’s decision to ban Huawei 5G equipment and services “had nothing to do with national security” and was due to US pressure, a former business and industry minister said. Read more.



Ireland is considering compulsory vaccinations. The Irish National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) will consider introducing a mandate on vaccines following the publication of an upcoming article by the Department of Health on the complexity of the problem. Read more.



Swedish Minister of Defense: Russia threatens European security order. Russia’s actions threaten the entire European security order, Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist said in a keynote address at Folk och Försvar, an annual meeting of the Swedish security and defense policy community. The minister also spoke about Russia’s demands on NATO and the current situation on the Ukrainian border. Read more.



The Baltic States top the euro area monthly inflation table. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania currently have the highest monthly inflation rates in the euro area, according to the latest Eurostat estimates. Read more.



Cyber ​​attacks against Portuguese organizations increased by 81% in 2021. The average weekly number of cyber attacks against Portuguese organizations increased 81% year-on-year in 2021, with one organization being attacked 881 times per week according to data from Check Point Research. Read more.



Greece silently admits the death of the East Med project. The market, not governments, decide the economic viability of energy projects, the Greek government said in the wake of a US State Department statement suggesting that Washington had lost interest in the EastMed gas pipeline project. Read more.



Surgeries in Italy drop 50 to 80% as intensive care units fill with COVID-19 patients. TThe lack of space in intensive care units (ICUs) caused by the number of COVID-19 patients is causing a deep crisis for surgical activities in hospitals, which have dropped to between 50 and80% as a result. Read more.



The Hungarian minister is certain of the fourth vaccine. Human Resources Minister for Health Miklós Kásler said he was absolutely certain that the need for a fourth vaccination should be taken into account in an interview with InfoRádió on Monday, Telex reported. Read more.



A critic of the government acquitted of insulting the Polish president. The Warsaw Regional Court has decided to stop the trial against the writer Jakub Żulczyk, who called President Andrzej Duda a “moron”. The decision was not well received by the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), of which Duda was a member until 2015. Read more.



Czech farmers fight over CAP strategic plan. Small-scale farmers protest against the EU’s national strategic plan for the implementation of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in Czechia, calling for more sustainable agricultural finance while large-scale farmers oppose last-minute changes . Read more.



Slovaks lose thousands of retirement savings per year. Pension savings are worth hHundreds of millions or more than a billion euros in total are lost every year by Slovaks who invest their money in the second pillar of the pension system. Read more.



The European Commission chooses not to comment on the protests in Tirana. The European Commission has chosen not to comment on the protests that rocked Tirana over the weekend as tensions between two factions of the Democratic Party peaked. Read more.



Bulgaria is concentrating its efforts on the rights of Macedonian Bulgarians. Bulgaria will focus its efforts on protecting the rights of Macedonian Bulgarians in talks with North Macedonia, while Skopje will seek to negotiate the swift lifting of Bulgaria’s veto on EU membership. Read more.



Romania has sold or donated nearly 6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Romania has received more than 28.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since the end of 2020, but less than 60% have been used for its own population. Some 3.5 million doses have been sold to other countries, 2.2 million have been donated and nearly a million of what remains has expired. Read more.



Electricity and gas prices will increase in Croatia. The government and all its ministries are trying to avoid a blow to the standard of living due to the rise in energy prices, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said. Read more.


Unemployment in Croatia has fallen for the ninth consecutive month. At the end of December, 125,715 people were registered with the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ), i.e. 34,130 job seekers or 21.4% less than in December 2020, reported the HZZ. Read more.



Serbian speaker: Harmonization with EU laws should not be scary. Serbia “cannot be hurt” by harmonizing its laws with those of the European Union, Parliament Speaker Ivica Dačić said on Monday, adding that the alignment should give rise to no fear. Read more.


Serbian health expert: COVID passes should be required 24 hours a day. Only a massive deployment of vaccination and the required 24-hour COVID passes could curb and mitigate the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, Colonel Ivo Udovičić, head of the Karaburma military hospital in Belgrade, said on Monday. Read more.



BiH citizens across Europe are protesting against the crisis in the country. Bosnians and Herzegovinians in the UK, Italy, Sweden, Belgium and 14 other countries staged protests for the preservation of peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina, urging the EU to react against those who question the survival of the country, N1 reported. Read more.



Bread prices in Montenegro up 30%. Basic types of bread in Montenegro will cost 65 euro cents, which is 30% more than the previous 50 cents, a bakery business group of the Montenegro Chamber of Commerce decided.

This comes after the Ministry of Economic Development announced at the end of December that it was proposing free price setting for white bread from January 1, 20002.

(Željko Trkanjec |


  • EU / France: President Emmanuel Macron receives European Council President Charles Michel in Paris.
  • Germany: ECB President Christine Lagarde and German Finance Minister Lindner speak at handover ceremony for new Bundesbank President Nagel / Press conference by Minister for Climate Protection and Economy, Robert Habeck.
  • Austria: The FFP2 mask becomes mandatory outdoors in the fight against Covid-19.
  • Switzerland: The World Economic Forum publishes an annual report on global risks.
  • Lithuania: Lithuanian and Taiwanese economy ministers hold joint press conference online.
  • Czechia / Slovakia: Prime Minister Petr Fiala is visiting Bratislava to meet his Slovak counterpart Eduard Heger and Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová. European affairs such as the EU’s eastern borders and the Green Deal are on the agenda.
  • Croatia: Government bargaining committees and union representatives hold meeting on general collective agreement for public sector employeess.


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

COVID testing policy put under the microscope as Omicron sweeps the world Wed, 05 Jan 2022 17:06:00 +0000

  • Governments scramble to prevent staff shortages from disrupting economies
  • US reports nearly 1 million new infections in one day
  • One in 15 people had COVID-19 in England last week – study
  • France records “supersonic” rise in infections

LONDON / JERUSALEM, Jan. 5 (Reuters) – Britain and Israel review their COVID-19 testing policies as governments seek to reduce the burden on labs and struggle with limited supply of kits amid rates backdrop growing infections powered by the Omicron variant.

Around the same time last year, vaccines offered hope that the pandemic might be over now. But Omicron has brought new challenges, including overloading public health systems, even though – as many scientists say – this leads to less severe disease than the previous Delta variant.

The demand for test kits has reduced the supply. Queues formed in front of pharmacies in Spain’s capital Madrid last week in what has become a common scene since Omicron began increasing infections. Madrid, whose conservative government has made support for the hospitality sector a top priority, is opting for increased testing and no restrictions on socialization. Read more

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An increase in the demand for testing has caused problems in Italy and Britain. The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) said 100,000 additional PCR reservation slots per day had been made available since mid-December and capacity had been doubled to 900,000 PCR and LFD test kits per day. day.

People in England who test positive for COVID-19 on rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests will not need to confirm their results with a follow-up PCR test if they do not have symptoms, said Wednesday UKHSA.

A record one in 15 people had COVID-19 in England in the week ending December 31, according to estimates released by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday.

“As COVID cases continue to increase, this proven approach means LFDs can be used confidently to indicate COVID-19 infection without the need for confirmation by PCR,” said the CEO of the agency, Dr. Jenny Harries.

PCR tests are processed in the lab and can be used to determine a person’s variant, while an LFD can be used at home and gives an indication of infectivity within half an hour.

Virologists and experts said the move made sense given the incredibly high infection rates as long as supplies of LFD are sufficient, as they identify the majority of the most infectious people and must self-isolate.

“There is really no need to confirm (a positive LFD test) with PCR, a step which not only wastes time but costs a lot of money and uses laboratory resources that could be better used elsewhere,” said said John Edmunds, professor of mathematical modeling of infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

But authorities will have less data on the spread of the different variants, as PCR swabs are used for genotyping and sequencing.


Israel has changed its quarantine and testing policy as part of efforts to conserve resources and ensure continued protection for vulnerable people.

PCR tests will be reserved for people aged 60 and over or with weakened immune systems, while those at low risk will be checked with rapid antigen tests, the health ministry said.

“This is an important change intended to identify populations at risk earlier, intervene and prevent serious illnesses,” ministry director general Nachman Ash said at a press conference.

Until now, people exposed to confirmed carriers of COVID-19 had to pass official tests. If they are positive, they must submit to the quarantine rules imposed by the police.

The United States reported nearly a million new coronavirus infections on Monday, the highest daily tally of any country in the world and nearly double the previous US peak set a week earlier. Read more

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday backed its week-long guidelines for people seeking to end their COVID-19 isolation within five days, adding that they could be tested for rapid antigen if they want and can access it, but it doesn’t have to be.

The agency had been pressured by health experts to institute a testing requirement after cutting its advice in half last week for people to self-isolate after COVID-19 infection to five days from 10.

Spain, Portugal and Britain have also reduced the period of mandatory isolation for people who test positive for COVID-19, fearing long quarantines could cripple economies. Read more

Ireland will drop its requirement for vaccinated arrivals to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test and will revert to looking for proof of vaccination or recent infection on entry, Prime Minister Micheál Martin said. Read more

Nearly 294 million people are believed to have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide and more than 5.8 million have died, according to a Reuters tally. Read more

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in central China in December 2019.

A “supersonic” increase in French COVID-19 infections is expected to continue in the coming days and there is no sign of a trend reversal, a government spokesperson said on Wednesday. Read more

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Reporting by Reuters offices; Writing by Joséphine Mason and Nick Macfie; Editing by Catherine Evans and Alexandra Hudson

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.