Bulgarian political whirlwind offset by energy gains – EURACTIV.com

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In today’s news from capitals:

As protracted political instability continues to rage in Sofia and the fifth general election in two years looks increasingly likely, the Balkan country has recorded significant economic gains since Russia invaded Ukraine. . Read more.



Controversy over the “threat” of Chinese participation in the port of Hamburg. Chancellor Olaf Scholz is pushing ahead with a deal that would see Chinese terminal operator Cosco take a 35% stake in key Hamburg terminal Tollort amid opposition from coalition partners and security warnings intelligence officials. Read more.

Berlin blocks price caps and pushes EU to “develop new gas fields”. Weeks away from a key UN climate conference, the German government is pushing European leaders to work with countries that have the capacity to “develop new gas fields”, according to a document seen by EURACTIV. Read more.



France and Germany to rebuild damaged ties. As tensions between the Franco-German couple have escalated recently, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will meet in Paris next Wednesday, the Elysee Palace announced on Thursday. Read more.



Dutch MPs want a Putin court to be set up in The Hague. MPs in the lower house of parliament want The Hague to set up a tribunal to try Russian President Vladimir Putin for the war in Ukraine. Read more.



Swedish PM ready to visit Ankara over NATO blockade. The new moderate Swedish Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, said on Thursday he was ready to go to Ankara to discuss Sweden’s candidacy for NATO, which the Turkish government is blocking. Read more.



Spain, France, Portugal abandon MidCat, agree on green energy, gas corridor. The MidCat gas interconnection project between France and Spain will be abandoned and replaced by a green energy corridor, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Thursday. Read more.

Spanish banks approve measures to help vulnerable families pay their mortgages. The banks, together with the Ministry of Finance, are considering new measures of a code of good practice to help vulnerable families pay their mortgages and to mitigate the impact of record inflation on highly indebted households. Read more.



Forza Italia is still targeting the Foreign Office despite tensions with Meloni. The national coordinator of Forza Italia and former president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, will probably be the next Italian foreign minister in the government of Giorgia Meloni despite the tensions caused by its leader Silvio Berlusconi and his pro-Putin remarks. Read more.



Malta condemned for the refoulement of migrants in the Mediterranean. Malta has again come under fire from a coalition of human rights organizations for turning back migrants to third countries, endangering the lives of those traveling by sea and breaking international law. Read more.



Portugal and Spain are working on a joint energy storage project. A “very important project” between Portugal and Spain for joint energy storage on the Iberian Peninsula to alleviate problems such as the energy crisis and drought was announced by Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa on Thursday. . Read more.



Hiccup in replacing Czech environment minister during EU presidency. When Environment Minister Anna Hubáčková (KDU-ČSL, EPP) resigned for health reasons, she expected to be quickly replaced by her co-participant Petr Hladík, but her appointment quickly became complicated after coming under scrutiny by the police. Read more.



Poland sets a coal price limit for end consumers. The Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, has passed a bill establishing a maximum price of coal for end consumers, which is a new step by the government to mitigate the effects of the energy crisis and the embargo on the coal. Russian coal. Read more.



Slovak Interior Minister denounces EU internal border controls. The solution to the migration crisis lies in stricter Schengen border controls, not internal border controls between member states, said Slovak Interior Minister Roman Mikulec. Read more.



Slovenia is about to sign a gas supply agreement with Algeria. Slovenian gas trader Geoplin will soon sign a natural gas supply agreement with Algeria’s Sonatrach, Infrastructure Minister Bojan Kumer announced on Thursday. Read more.



Kosovo to introduce price caps for basic foodstuffs. Kosovo’s democratic socialist government has drafted a law to provide temporary relief to citizens struggling with rising costs, by setting price caps for basic items. Read more.



Albania re-legalizes sports betting from January 1. Albania will reintroduce legal sports betting from January 1, 2023, four years after it, along with casinos and online gambling, was made illegal. Read more.


  • EU: European Council which discusses the war in Ukraine, energy prices and efficiency of supply, economic issues and external relations, in particular EU-Asia relations, preparations for the United Nations conference on climate change in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt (COP27), and the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, to conclude;
  • The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, takes part in the European Council;
  • EU transport ministers hold informal meeting in Prague, Czech Republic;
  • Vice-President Margaritis Schinas meets with President of the Spanish Parliament Meritxell Batet, First Vice-President of the Spanish Government and Minister of Economy and Digital Transformation Nadia Calvino, and Minister of Education and Vocational Training Pilar Alegria, in Madrid, Spain;
  • the commissioner in charge of the internal market Thierry Breton receives the president of the government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès;
  • Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson addresses the 7th European Migration Forum, an invitation-only dialogue platform on migration, asylum and migrant integration, organized by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC ) which acts in an advisory capacity to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission;
  • the Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, takes part in the Ministerial Meeting for Foreign Affairs of the Berlin Summit;
  • Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis participates in the 2022 Riga Conference debate titled “Economy in the Age of Sanctions, Regional and Global Response”;
  • The European Parliament’s Sub-Committee on Human Rights (DROI) organizes a debate on the introduction of corruption into the EU’s comprehensive human rights sanctions regime;
  • Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) national liaison officers hold meeting in Vienna on cooperation and working methods; Representatives from North Macedonia, Serbia and Albania participate as observers; FRA will add concluding remarks at the launch of the work on how cities operationalize the “leave no one behind” principle in their local policies;
  • Germany: FM Annalena Baerbock welcomes her counterparts from the Western Balkans and the EU;
  • Greece: Ministers from the Eastern Mediterranean meet to discuss response measures in the event of extreme heat and forest fires;
  • WE: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds a press conference with French FM Catherine Colonna in Washington, DC;
  • Armenia: The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) assessment mission conducts an assessment visit;


[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara]

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