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torek, 19 oktobra, 2021

Central Europe: The most important news from September 27th to October 3rd

Hungary

  • Semmelweis University Budapest announced on Monday, September 27th, that the international clinical studies on a drug against Covid – which the Hungarian university joined on August 23rd – will continue for one month in the department of cardiovascular medicine to be continued by Városmajor (Budapest). This drug against Covid is given orally.
  • The Hungarian police arrested several far-right activists on Monday September 27, including the eccentric writer and political scientist Imre Posta, who is accused of creating a terrorist group called the “National Government of Hungarians” and “National Revolution ”, on September 11th, at a rally in the village of Kulcs (Fejér county – south of Budapest), they called for the physical elimination of various Hungarian politicians of all stripes, including Viktor Orbán, Ferenc Gyurcsány, Klára Dobrev, László Toroczkai, Péter Jakab and Judit Varga.
  • According to figures published by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (Központi Statisztikai Hivatal, KSH) on Wednesday, September 29, in July 2021 “the average gross salary of full-time employees was 433,700 forints and the average net salary excluding social benefits was 288,000 forints”, ie 7, 9% higher than a year earlier.
  • The Hungarian arms industry has just received a major international contract. As the Daily Mail reported on September 25th, the British Special Services (SAS) decided to purchase the Hungarian-made GM6 Lynx semi-automatic assault rifle, originally developed by the Hungarian engineer Ferenc Földi. This weapon can be used to destroy helicopters in flight and even armored vehicles.
  • On Thursday, September 30th, the results of the primary elections of the Hungarian opposition were published: MEP Klára Dobrev (DK), Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony and Mayor of Hódmezővásárhely, Péter Márki-Zay, have qualified for the second round, which determines who will head the anti-Orbán coalition against Viktor Orbán in the next parliamentary elections.
  • On Monday, September 27, the Hungarian energy company MVM and the Russian company Gazprom signed a new 15-year contract for the supply of Russian gas to Hungary in Budapest. This agreement, after which the gas transit through Ukraine will be canceled, has shaken relations between that country and Hungary.
  • The European Parliament’s LIBE Committee visited Budapest from September 29 to October 1 to hear more than 80 witnesses and to investigate the rule of law violations in Hungary. French RN MP Nicolas Bay, member of the committee, gave an interview to Magyar Nemzet to comment on this investigation.

Poland

  • The international consulting network PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) announced on September 24th an investment of more than 100 million dollars and the creation of 5,000 jobs in Poland, where the company has been present since 1990 and already employs 6,000 people, including 1,000 technology experts. “We know that solving the problems of the future requires teams of professionals who have a deep knowledge of their fields and combine their skills … with a new driving force, technology,” said Adam Krasoń, CEO of PwC Polska.
  • After the European Commission openly blackmailed the Polish state with judicial reform and called on the Polish local authorities to reverse their decisions not to promote LGBT ideology, Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro (Solidarna Polska) declared that his party would “never be a situation accept that Brussels is forcing us to find solutions to the functioning of the judiciary in violation of the Treaties and the Polish Constitution ”. Regarding the conviction of Poland in the dispute over the Turów mine with the neighboring Czech Republic, Ziobro spoke of a “further humiliation of Poland”: “If Poland complied with the unlawful decision of a CJEU judge, this would mean the mine would be closed and the consequences would be catastrophic.
  • Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Sunday September 26th that Poland had made a “good proposal” to the Czechs in the dispute over the Turów mine, but added that it was unlikely to be adopted before the Czech elections will. “Under this proposal, residents of the border areas can count on real financial support from the Polish side for water projects, additional noise barriers and other investments,” he said. “Our offer is on the table, it’s very good and we’ll see if the Czechs accept it.
  • Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, his colleague from the Interior Ministry, Mariusz Kamiński, and General Tomasz Praga, Commander in Chief of the Border Guard, held a press conference on Monday, September 27, on the current migration crisis on the Belarusian border. According to the information presented at the conference, of the 200 migrants who were apprehended and controlled after attempting to illegally enter Poland, at least 50 pose a threat to public security, either through contacts with terrorist organizations or through pedophiles or even zoophile tendencies, as evidenced by the documents found on their cell phones. “We have evidence that some of these people are directly related to the Taliban or the Islamic State. One of them is directly linked to a terrorist who was arrested in a country of the European Union in connection with the preparation of a terrorist attack […] The people who try to cross our border by force are in no way threatened in Belarus . They are legally there and in reality are invited by the Lukashenko regime and used by them as weapons and ammunition for political reasons. […] We are dealing with people who have connections to criminal groups or sexual disorders. I insist: we talk about facts, we do not stigmatize anyone, ”explained Mariusz Kamiński, who suggested to extend the current state of emergency in the border area by 60 days. In August and September, no fewer than 9,400 migrants tried to illegally cross the border between Belarus and Poland, Kamiński said. On Friday October 1st, MPs approved the extension of the state of emergency in the border area with Belarus for 60 days by 237 votes in favor, 179 against and 31 abstentions. The vote was preceded by a heated debate in the state parliament, in which some members of the opposition took the view that the state of emergency that had been in force since September 2 would only serve to restrict media access to the area. crossing the border between Belarus and Poland illegally, said Kamiński. On Friday October 1st, MPs approved the extension of the state of emergency in the border area with Belarus for 60 days by 237 votes in favor, 179 against and 31 abstentions. The vote was preceded by a heated debate in the state parliament, in which some members of the opposition took the view that the state of emergency that had been in force since September 2 would only serve to restrict media access to the area. crossing the border between Belarus and Poland illegally, said Kamiński. On Friday October 1, MPs approved the extension of the state of emergency in the border area with Belarus for 60 days by 237 votes in favor, 179 against and 31 abstentions. The vote was preceded by a heated debate in the state parliament, in which some members of the opposition took the view that the state of emergency that had been in force since September 2 would only serve to restrict media access to the area.
  • On the occasion of his visit to the United States, Polish President Andrzej Duda gave an interview to Fox News journalist Tucker Carlson in which he was asked about his conservative beliefs: “I have always been honest about my views. I am a practicing Christian, I pray I am not ashamed of this, and I value my family. I support families, I am for life and I am for the protection of life, ”said Duda.
  • Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński spoke again on the TVP Info program on Monday, September 27, about the migration crisis and said that Moscow is pulling the strings on this matter more than Minsk Strength of the Polish state puts to the test, but Putin. However, Lukashenko would never allow such uncontrolled channels for illegal immigration to emerge along the Russian borders. He has Putin’s approval. For Russia this will be a convenient, very convenient mechanism to put pressure on Poland, Lithuania and the European Union.
  • On September 23, the European Commission filed a lawsuit against Poland with the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) over the provisions of the Telecommunications Act, amended in May 2020, on the appointment and dismissal of the President of the Polish Electronic Communications Office (Urząd Komunikacji Elektronicznej, UKE) .
  • The attitude of the Polish government towards the current migration crisis on the Belarusian border is quite popular with the public, but is not unanimously supported by some Polish intellectuals. The director Agnieszka Holland (The Conspiracy; Rimbaud Verlaine; The Herbalist Trial) recently took a stand against the state of emergency in the border area: “It’s a scandal. That would not happen in a democratic constitutional state, but we are no longer a democratic constitutional state, but a regime. Those who accept this have blood on their hands, ”she said, referring in particular to“ the transformation of Poland into a dictatorship under the rule of the United Right ”.
  • For example, the Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński said on Tuesday, September 28th, that the Polish authorities are contacting migrants trying to enter Poland illegally via SMS in five languages and asking them to return to Minsk and not accept promises made by Belarusian soldiers .
  • Belgian State Secretary for Equality, Equal Opportunities and Diversity, Sarah Schlitz, announced on Tuesday September 28th that Belgium will now pay for abortions performed by Polish women abroad, following the new regulation on abortions on cases of Limited to rape / incest, imminent threat to pregnant woman’s life, or serious congenital abnormalities. “Access to abortion is a basic right that every democratic state must guarantee,” explained Schlitz. “If the state does not protect its citizens, civil society has to step in […] The Belgian government not only invites people from Poland who need an abortion to their country, but will also pay for it.”
  • According to Michał Czarnik, one of the managing directors, who was quoted by the Notes from Poland portal on September 30th, the future Polish “mega airport”, which will be located between Łódź and Warsaw, will have a “completely different” business concept than originally planned mainly aimed at air freight. The new airport will eventually handle up to 100 million passengers a year.
  • The Polish Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday September 30th that Poland had donated more than 100,000 surplus doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine to Egypt: “More than 100,000 Covid-19 vaccines are on their way from Warsaw to Cairo. This vaccine donation for Egypt is an expression of solidarity with an important partner of Poland in North Africa. Poland has already donated Covid vaccines to Australia, Spain, Norway, Ukraine and Taiwan.
  • On September 29, MPs Krzysztof Bosak, Grzegorz Braun and Artur Dziambor of the Konfederacja party (an alliance of Korwin-Mikke liberals and nationalists of the National Movement) urged the Polish media to read the “Health Minister’s lies” about the statistics of those vaccinated and not to further spread unvaccinated Covid patients: “We call on the media not to repeat the lies of Minister Niedzielski, but to provide specific data that can be found on the ministry’s website. Don’t listen to the minister in charge of propaganda, ”said Artur Dziambor.
  • The tense situation on the Polish-Belarusian border is also a cause for concern for the European Commission. Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson visited Poland where she met with Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński. In a subsequent interview with RMF FM, Johansson said that the media should have access to the border area during the state of emergency and that the EU agency Frontex should be involved in the work of Polish border guards, which the Polish government does not want.
  • On September 29, four of the five voivodships concerned decided to give in to Brussels’ orders and repeal their 2019 resolutions declaring their regions free of LBGT ideology.

Czech Republic

  • The Czech Ministry of Defense announced on Monday, September 27th that by 2026 the Czech Republic will acquire the Spyder short- and medium-range air defense system from the Israeli state-owned company Rafael, which is equipped with four batteries and a 3D radar. The investment of 13.7 billion crowns (537 million euros) will replace Soviet-made equipment that the Czech Army has had since the 1970s and is intended to be used to protect cities, nuclear power plants and other potential targets.
  • Czech President Miloš Zeman signed a decree on Tuesday, September 28, banning any Russian or Chinese participation in the Czech energy supply, including nuclear power.
  • Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček announced on Monday September 27th that the Czech Republic – as mentioned by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš during his visit to Röszke (Serbian-Hungarian border) last week – was sending a contingent of 50 police officers prepared to reinforce their Hungarian colleagues along the Serbian-Hungarian border. This mission, which begins on October 15 and lasts until December 15, is not a first for the Czech Republic, as Czech police officers are already deployed on the Croatian-Slovenian and Greek-Macedonian borders. “The Czech Republic clearly shows that, although we have no external border with the Schengen area, we express our solidarity and support those the external borders, ”said Hamáček. The Czech Republic also provided financial support for the construction of a fence on the border between Lithuania and Belarus.
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán paid a brief visit to the Czech Republic on Wednesday September 27th. After being received by his Czech counterpart Andrej Babiš in the Villa Kramář (in Prague), he took part in a meeting with supporters of the ANO party in the theater of Ústí nad Labem (Aussig on the Elbe, in Northern Bohemia) , where Babiš is running for the next parliamentary elections: “You will have elections this year. And although we do not want to interfere in any country in the elections because the fate of the Czechs should be decided by the Czechs, I do not regret that I was able to visit you today, ”he said at a joint press conference.

Slovakia

  • Prime Minister Eduard Heger has declared that no new state of emergency should be imposed in Slovakia until the end of 2021.
  • According to Eurostat, inflation rose by 3.3% in August.
  • One of the largest metal producers in Slovakia, Slovalco (specializing in aluminum), is reducing its production in view of rising electricity prices, the cost of emissions taxes and low government compensation payments under the environmental fund. 11% of the ovens are switched off.
  • Since Monday, October 4th, it is no longer mandatory to wear a mask in school lessons.
  • The Slovak banks record record profits. In August 2020 they showed a profit of 254.3 million euros, in August 2021 it was 511.4 million euros.
  • A recent survey by Focus for the Na Telo program shows that, for the first time in more than two years, none of the country’s political leaders have more than 50% trust. In other words, no Slovak politician has more favorable than unfavorable opinions. The leader of the nationalists, Marian Kotleba, and the former socialist prime minister Robert Fico, both of whom are openly opposed to the Covid measures, are enjoying increasing popularity.

Austria

  • The state elections on Sunday, September 26th in Upper Austria were marked by the breakthrough of a new political party, Menschen Freiheit Grundrechte (MFG), which opposes the health restrictions imposed under the guise of the coronavirus epidemic, which the party describes as “anti-freedom” . The MFG was founded in February of last year and received 6.23% of the votes cast and three seats in the Upper Austrian state parliament. According to a poll, 50% of the unvaccinated voters voted for the national conservative party FPÖ (which is also very critical of the anti-Covid measures), while 25% of them joined the MFG.
  • On the same Sunday, September 26th, the local elections in Graz, the capital of Styria and the second largest city in Austria, caused a little sensation: The Communist Party of Austria (KPÖ) – 0.69% in the last Austrian parliamentary elections -, which is traditionally well established in this region in south-east Austria, became the leading party in the city with 28 seats, 8% of the votes (+ 8.5%) before the ÖVP of the outgoing mayor Siegfried Nagl, which only 25.9% ( -11.8%), the Greens (17.3%), the FPÖ (10.6%), the SPÖ (9.5%) and the neoliberals (5.4%).
  • Source: unser-mitteleuropa
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