Turkey’s northern demands spark deja vu in Western Balkans – EURACTIV.com
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In today’s news from the capitals:
Turkey’s move to pressure Sweden and Finland to extradite suspected ‘terrorists’ they are harboring is a method Ankara has used for several years against Western Balkan countries, including candidates for the EU, under the idle gaze of Brussels.
While Turkey wields investment and aid like a Damocles sword over the heads of poorer and less powerful countries, as far as the Nordic duo is concerned, it’s their NATO bid filed in May which is at stake.
Meanwhile, the similarities between Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, particularly in terms of “crass blackmail tactics”, are noted, as is the need to protect EU borders against revisionist and violent threats from n any neighbor. Read more.
Overcrowded German rail after the launch of the €9 ticket. Germany’s trains and stations have been overrun with crowds after the June 1 launch of the €9 universal pass intended to help consumers combat rising prices. Read more.
“Submission to Russia”: Macron criticizes his opponents before the June elections. French President Emmanuel Macron slammed his opponents, leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon and far-right Marine Le Pen, calling their political plans “messy and submissive”, in his first press interview since being re-elected on Friday. Read more.
Austria releases oil stocks after refinery malfunction. A technical glitch at oil giant OMV’s Schwechat refinery on Saturday forced the government to release strategic stocks of gasoline as OMV considers what to do with his investments in Russia. Read more.
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
The war paves the way for a new “defence format” of the EU, said the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna called for an ambitious agenda that could include “a new EU security and defense policy”. Read more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
Erdogan wants the Swedish prime minister to sack the defense minister. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson should sack Defense Minister Peter Hullqvist, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told the newspaper. Express reported Saturday. Read more.
The Finnish government lends a helping hand to transport companies. According to a proposal for a new temporary law announced by the government on Friday, a fixed-term fuel subsidy could be granted to transport companies struggling with rising fuel prices. Read more.
Italy’s ruling parties split over minimum wage. Ruling parties are split over the introduction of a statutory minimum wage in response to rising inflation as negotiations over the EU directive on adequate minimum wages enter the final stages. Read more.
Spain will host 2,000 Ukrainian refugees from Moldova. Spain is ready to take in 2,000 Ukrainian refugees from Moldova, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said during a visit to Chişinău. Read more.
Slovak refiner Slovnaft is warning of an impending fuel shortage in central Europe. Slovakian oil refiner Slovnaft says it cannot guarantee fuel supplies its traditional export destinations in Central Europe under the EU’s new sanctions package against Russia, the company said. Read more.
The Czech capital demands the relocation of refugees to other regions. Although the number of Ukrainian refugees registering with the Czech immigration police or applying for temporary protection is falling, some regions are overcrowded. Read more.
Polish motorists block a petrol station in protest against high fuel prices. Protests have started in Poland as fuel prices hit historic highs, and experts are predicting further spikes due to the EU oil embargo on Russia, local media report. Read more.
The government prohibits Hungarian municipalities and SMEs from capping energy prices. Municipalities and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will no longer be able to take advantage of the capped utility bills now exclusively reserved for households, Economic Development Minister Márton Nagy announced on public radio on Sunday morning. Read more.
SOFIA | SKOPJE
Sofia condemns the burning of the Bulgarian cultural center in North Macedonia. Bulgarian authorities condemned what they called the deliberate burning of a Bulgarian cultural center in North Macedonia on Saturday morning. Read more.
Romanian companies are calling for a “total territorial reorganization” of the country. Romania urgently needs a total territorial reorganization to reduce budgetary expenditure, according to the conclusions of the Chamber of Commerce following a working meeting with employers and professional organisations. Read more.
The sunken Adriatic platform is leaking gas, warns Greenpeace Croatia. A gas rig that sank in the northern Adriatic in 2020 could leak gas, possibly methane, Greenpeace Croatia warned over the weekend. Read more.
Serbia and Russia agree on the principle of the gas agreement, says Lavrov. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the terms of the gas supply agreements and reached an agreement in principle, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Bosnian Serbian TV in an interview on Sunday. Read more.
Consequences of EU sanctions: Serbia will stop receiving Russian oil via the Adriatic pipeline. Fuel company Naftna industrija Srbije (NIS), 56.15% of whose capital is held by the Russian Gazprom Neft, will no longer receive Russian crude oil from the Adriatic pipeline JANAF following the latest round of EU sanctions against Russia, the Energy Ministry announced on Sunday. Read more.
Bosnian Serb leader plans to meet Lavrov, Putin. Bosnian Serb secessionist leader Milorad Dodik plans to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Belgrade on Tuesday and President Vladimir Putin on June 17 in Moscow, istraga.ba reported. Read more.
Albania elects former military chief of staff as president. Bajram Begaj, the former armed forces chief of staff, will be Albania’s next president – the seventh after the fall of communism – after 78 lawmakers voted for him on Saturday afternoon. Read more.
- EU: Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas meets UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Washington.
- The plenary session of the European Parliament begins.
- Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski addresses the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg for the 60e anniversary of the common agricultural policy (CAP).
- European Parliament President Roberta Metsola meets European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen.
- Germany: Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visits Islamabad.
- Austria: The IAEA, the nuclear watchdog of the United Nations, holds the quarterly meeting of the Board of Governors.
- Serbia: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visits Belgrade.
- Slovenia: Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg will be in Slovenia as the first foreign senior official to visit after the swearing in of the new government.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Eleonora Vasques, Sofia Stuart Leeson]