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In today’s news from the Capitals:
The Bulgarian government has initiated the procedure for an early termination of the import of Russian oil, which supplies the Russian company Lukoil’s refinery near the Black Sea city of Burgas – a move analysts say is aimed at pressuring Lukoil to sell its business in Bulgaria. Read more.
EU elections: German far-right candidates under scrutiny amid fake CV controversy. Candidates of the German far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) running for the European Parliament will have to submit evidence to verify their resumes to the party leadership, as investigations revealed that the resumes of two candidates contained false or misleading claims. Read more.
France targets 12 industrial plants for radical water usage reduction. The French government unveiled on Monday its first-of-a-kind ‘water plan’, intended to guide 12 industrial sites like those of companies like ArcelorMittal, Saint-Gobain and TotalEnergies in reducing water consumption. Read more.
Austrian FM defends military neutrality amid international criticism. Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg reiterated his country’s neural stance with regard to military action at an event in Spain on Monday amid repeated international criticism for its dependency on Russian gas and reluctance to rethink its security policy. Read more.
Belgian FM on peace-brokering mission in South Caucasus. Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib embarked on a four-day trip to the South Caucasus region on Monday, focusing on pushing for peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Read more.
Quran tearing leads to Dutch-Turkish spat. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Dutch deputy ambassador on Monday to express its dissatisfaction with the public tearing of the Quran outside the Turkish embassy in The Hague on Friday. Read more.
UK & IRELAND
UK sees surge in interest from non-EU job hunters. Britain has received a surge in job searches from overseas during the past year, partly reflecting a post-Brexit relaxation in work visa rules for non-European Union nationals, figures from recruitment website Indeed showed on Tuesday. Read more.
Catalan leader: Amnesty, self-determination ‘essential’ to solve conflict with Madrid. Amnesty and self-determination are essential for Catalonia to make substantial progress in resolving the ongoing dispute between the region and Spain’s central government, Catalan Prime Minister Pere Aragon?s warned on Monday at an event attended by pro-independence leader Carles Puigdemont. Read more.
Italy hopes for EU Stability Pact reform by year’s end. Italian Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti (League, ID) will not ask to extend the suspension of the Stability Pact clause but hopes that by the end of the year, the reform will be completed to start again with new rules in 2024. Read more.
Greece offers F-16 training, reconstruction help as Zelensky visits. Greece will help train Ukrainian F-16 warplane pilots and assist the reconstruction of Odesa, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Monday. Read more.
Poland’s ruling PiS leader wants to debate EPP’s Weber before elections. Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski said he wants to debate European People’s Party leader Manfred Weber, with PiS accusing the German politician of attempting to meddle in national elections. Read more.
Czechia cuts benefits for Ukrainian refugees, saves money. Czechia has tightened the conditions for paying benefits to Ukrainian refugees, bringing considerable savings to its economy during financial consolidation. Read more.
Slovak far-right’s NATO exit wish dashes hopes of joining governing coalition. The idea a referendum on Slovakia leaving NATO was reiterated by far-right Republika party leader MEP Milan Uhr?k on Monday – a call that goes against the redline set by potential coalition partners, including the party of leading anti-Ukraine frontrunner and former prime minister Robert Fico. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Excluded from Athens dinner, Rama says ‘Once the Balkans, always the Balkans’. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama did not want to comment on the decision of his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis not to invite him to a meeting of Western Balkan and European Commission leaders in Athens but told EURACTIV that simply “Once the Balkans, always the Balkans”. Read more.
Serbian artist banned from entering Moldova to perform in Romania. Goran Bregovic, a musician known for supporting the Kremlin regime, is to perform in Romania after his denial of entry to Moldova sparked a diplomatic row with Belgrade. Read more.
Process to pave way for north Kosovo elections to be concluded by 1 September. Kosovo’s citizens will decide whether to replace ethnic Albanian mayors in the country’s Serb-majority north or allow them to continue in office, according to a process underway at the Ministry of Local Government and Administration that is expected to be completed on 1 September. Read more.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara]
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