Erdogan needs to go says analyst assessing Turkey’s economic collapse

bne IntelIiNews December 2, 2020

German MEP, meanwhile, says Turkish president’s “power base is shrinking” and that “the guy is sweating”.

Hungarian MEP involved in Brussels lockdown orgy bust

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest December 1, 2020

MEP Jozsef Szajer, one of the founders of Hungary's ruling conservative Fidesz, tried to flee down a drainpipe when police broke up the illegal gathering of 25 men including several diplomats.

Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers

Anand Tumurtogoo in Ulaanbaatar December 1, 2020

State budget exposed to significant pressure if situation not remedied quickly. Mongolia in lockdown following recording of first Covid community transmissions.

Russian shoe retailer Obuv rebrands, moves to non-fashion

bne IntelliNews December 1, 2020

Dubbed the "Magnit of shoes" the regional focused Russian shoe shop chain Obuv Rossii is rebranding and expanding its product range as sales start to recover following this year's lockdowns

Cheap credit, relaxed virus controls fire Turkey to Q3 GDP growth of 6.7% y/y

bne IntelIiNews December 1, 2020

Quarter on quarter gain is 15.6%. Loose policy sent lira back into depths of crisis and attempt to fix situation plus recognition of true extent of country’s COVID-19 emergency set to brake economy in Q4. Trade deficit is widening.

EU diplomats say no chance of Bulgaria removing veto for Skopje to start EU accession talks

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje November 30, 2020

Efforts continue in the hope of enabling Sofia and Skopje to resolve their differences but diplomats don't expect a breakthrough before the European Council meeting in December.

Sharp drop in COVID-19 cases prompts new questions on Poland’s strategy of containment

bne IntelliNews November 30, 2020

The sudden drop in confirmed new cases coupled with the worryingly very high percentage of positive tests – 22.8% on November 30 – prompted questions on the handle Poland’s right-wing government has on the pandemic.

Aegon to sell its CEE business to Vienna Insurance for €830mn

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw November 30, 2020

The transaction follows a difficult first half of the year for Aegon in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Turkey, where insurance markets suffered the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prominent Orban ally who drafted Hungary's new constitution on an iPad retires from politics

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest November 30, 2020

Departure of Jozsef Szajer and fellow moderate conservative Peter Gottfried a blow to the PM, who is locked in a fierce battle with European leaders after vetoing the EU budget and recovery fund.

Lukashenko says he may quit as president

Ben Aris in Berlin November 29, 2020

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he would step down after a new constitution is adopted, state media reported. "I am not going to be the president once the new constitution is in place," he said.

Iranian prosecutors pledge to pursue Trump for Soleimani killing even after he leaves White House

bne IntelIiNews November 28, 2020

Statement comes as supreme leader seeks “definitive punishment” of those involved in assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist.

Analysts cheer Russia's X5 retailer's e-grocery IPO plans

Vadim Dumes in Paris November 27, 2020

The analysts met with enthusiasm plans by Russia's largest food retailer X5 Retail Group to IPO its e-grocery and express delivery assets in the medium term.

Hungary and Poland reaffirm united stance on veto, keeping up pressure on EU

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest November 27, 2020

Right-wing leaders of Hungary and Poland met in the Hungarian capital to coordinate their strategy after they blocked the EU's €1.8 trillion budget and coronavirus recovery package.

Turkey’s private airlines seek state help to restructure 20bn lira of loans

Akin Nazli in Belgrade November 26, 2020

Strain caused by crises also felt by Turkish banking industry though it can still report huge profits because of “regulatory forbearance” exercised by the Erdogan administration.

Webinar & Podcast: Whither Ukraine in 2021?

Ben Aris in Berlin November 26, 2020

Without an IMF deal can Ukraine get through 2021 without a crisis? With $11bn of debt to pay in debt redemption but only $26bn in reserves, Ukraine is headed for a crisis unless it can kiss and make up with the IMF.

Von der Leyen tells Poland and Hungary to contest rule of law link to EU money in court

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw November 26, 2020

Warsaw and Budapest are blocking the adoption of the EU’s €1.8 trillion budget for 2021-2027, including the €750bn recovery plan to reinvigorate the bloc’s economy after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Constitutional Court defers decision on Romania's budget-busting 40% pension hike

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest November 26, 2020

Scaling back the pension hike is a prerequisite for avoiding a sovereign downgrade.

MEPs urge European Commission to act against Hungarian media financing in North Macedonia and Slovenia

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje November 26, 2020

MEPs suspect “gross interference” in democratic process in North Macedonia by Hungarian companies close to PM Viktor Orban’s inner circle.

Turkey starts releasing virus data that includes symptom free cases

bne IntelIiNews November 25, 2020

Move comes out of the blue—and shows a daily case total more than twice as high as Iran’s.

Ukraine strikes deal with Turkey to produce killer drones instrumental in Karabakh conflict

bne IntelIiNews November 25, 2020

Production might possibly be complicated by parts export ban introduced by Canada.