Croatian president vows to veto Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership if he can – EURACTIV.com
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In today’s news from the capitals:
Croatian President Zoran Milanović said on Tuesday he would block Sweden and Finland’s admission to the NATO summit in Madrid if he is the one representing Croatia, after previously expressing opposition to possible membership of the two countries to NATO. Read more.
Germany supports the potential applications of Sweden and Finland for NATO membership. Germany will support NATO membership bids from Sweden and Finland if they apply, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday after a rare meeting in Berlin with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin. Read more.
Austria tells Ukraine that the EU fast-track procedure is not possible. Ukraine’s EU membership cannot be achieved ‘in the next five to ten years’, Austrian Minister for EU and Constitutional Affairs says Karoline Edtstadler after the Foreign Minister’s recent comments Alexander Schallenberg about this caused controversy. Read more.
Mélenchon’s alliance widened with the Communists, “within a few steps” with the Socialists. The French Communist Party reached an electoral agreement on Tuesday evening (May 3) with Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s radical left party, La France Insoumise, joining the left-wing alliance with the Greens ahead of legislative elections. Read more.
The Dutch press freedom ranking drops significantly. Press freedom in the Netherlands has fallen significantly from a year ago due to attacks on the press, according to Reporters Without Borders’ press freedom index, which lifted the ranking from countries from sixth to 28th place. Read more.
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
Johnson faces the pain of local elections. Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party is set to suffer heavy losses in local elections across the UK on Thursday in his party’s first electoral test since the ‘Partygate’ saga. Read more.
Data centers consumed more electricity than rural Irish households. Data centers in Ireland consumed more electricity in 2021 than all rural households in the country combined, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Read more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
The Russian community in Finland is campaigning against the pro-Putin convoy. An organization of Russian speakers (SVK) and the Belarusian diaspora in Finland have launched a campaign calling for a ban on a pro-Putin convoy planned to commemorate the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. Read more.
Indian PM visits Denmark amid tensions with Russia. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi began a historic two-day state visit to Denmark on Tuesday, during which Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said she would discuss the importance of India’s potential role in aid to the situation in Ukraine. Read more.
VILNIUS | TALLIN
Estonia and Lithuania among best for press freedom. Estonia and Lithuania are among the top ten states for press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index released on Tuesday. Read more.
Commission: Greece’s 2022 Rule of Law Report will focus on media freedom. The Commission’s 2022 rule of law report will have a particular focus on the media, an EU spokesperson has told EURACTIV Greece, following a new report showing that Greece has become the worst EU country for media freedom.
Meanwhile, state-run Athens-Macedonian News Agency did not refer to Greece in its report on the World Press Freedom Index for 2022. Read more.
Sanchez asked to shed light on the spy scandal in front of parliament. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez must shed light on the spy scandal targeting dozens of Catalan politicians, himself and Defense Minister Margarita Robles, in front of the parliament, the Catalan and Basque independence parties, the center -right PP, the center-liberal Ciudadanos (Citizens) and the extreme right Vox demanded on Tuesday. Read more.
Italian MEPs divided over Prime Minister Draghi’s speech in Strasbourg. Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s call for faster European integration to deal with the current crises has drawn mixed reactions from European lawmakers, mainly on energy. Read more.
Portugal can play a “decisive role” in energy security, the president said. Portugal can play a “decisive role”, for example, in energy security, with the port of Sines as a Euro-Atlantic hub and benefiting from the location of the Azores, said the president said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. Read more.
Slovak minister says Italy may have paid for gas in rubles. Italy may have already paid in rubles as Slovakia is experiencing higher gas transit volumes, Slovak Economy Minister Richard Sulík (SaS) said after the meeting of EU ministers for the economy. ‘Energy in Brussels on Monday. Read more.
Over 100,000 Ukrainian refugees have found employment in Poland. About 102,000 Ukrainian refugees who fled to Poland since the start of the war in Ukraine have managed to find jobs in the country, the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy said. Read more.
prague | BRATISLAVA
Czechia win 20 places in the freedom of the press index. Press freedom has improved in the Czech Republic according to this year’s Press Freedom Index, which now ranks the country 20th from the 40th place it achieved last year. Read more.
The Ukrainian ambassador in Budapest wants to know what Orba says Pope. Ukraine’s Ambassador to Hungary, Lyubov Nepop, has requested an audience with Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó following reports that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told the Pope that the Russians had “a plan to end the war by Monday. Read more.
Romanian citizen in the UK suspected of aiding Russian hackers. A Romanian citizen in the UK is suspected of aiding the hacker group Killnet in their cyberattack against Romanian websites. Read more.
Russian-style hackers are ruining Bulgarian Post. A A massive hacking attack, with Russian involvement, that took place on April 16 completely disrupted Bulgaria’s state post office, which is still not functioning properly, says government IT expert , Vasil Velichkov. Read more.
Slovenian Ombudsman experts call for tackling deterioration of press freedom. Slovenia’s human rights ombudsman and media experts have urged action to tackle deteriorating press freedom as Slovenia now ranks 54th in the latest global press freedom index, losing 18 places compared to last year and ranking the lowest since the index was first compiled. Read more.
BELGRADE | ATHENS
Vucic visits Greece, says LNG is important for the Balkans. The construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Alexandroupoli in Greece is important “for the whole region, for the whole of the Balkans”, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said during a ceremony marking the start of the construction, adding that he, like many others, was skeptical and thought it would take years to achieve. Read more.
Albanian Prime Minister says RSF report is a lie, a fantasy. Prime Minister Edi Rama called Reporters Without Borders’ assessment of press freedom in Albania a “lie” and a “fantasy” after the country fell 20 places in a year. Read more.
- EU: Visit of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, to Moldova / The session of the European Parliament continues in Strasbourg with the announcement by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, of the sixth sanctions package.
- Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz will have separate talks with Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti, and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić / EU Special Representative for the Western Balkans and Belgrade-Priština Dialogue Miroslav Lajčak will also visit Berlin and hold a joint informal meeting with Vučić and Kurti.
- Denmark: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the event marking the liberation of Denmark in World War II via video link.
- Italy: Prime Minister Draghi is due to meet his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, in Rome.
- Portugal: The King of Spain Felipe VI, the President of Italy Sergio Mattarella and the President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa close the Cotec Europe summit.
- Bulgaria: Parliament votes on sending military aid to Ukraine amid opposition within the ruling coalition.
- Romania: German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will meet with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca in Romania.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson]