EU prepares to begin formal rule-of-law procedures against Hungary and Poland

bne IntelliNews November 22, 2021

Commission asks questions about contracts granted to Hungarian strongman Viktor Orban's relatives and cronies.

Saakashvili ends 50-day hunger strike

bne IntelliNews November 22, 2021

Former president agrees to end protest after he was transferred from a prison hospital, where he claims he was being abused by fellow inmates and not receiving appropriate medical treatment.

Ukrainian sting operation lured Wagner fighters to Minsk – Bellingcat

bne IntelIiNews November 22, 2021

A group of alleged Russian mercenaries was arrested and deported in Minsk in July 2021. Now, a report says that they were lured there by Ukrainian military intelligence in a brazen operation ultimately designed to bring them before a Ukrainian court.

Slovak government introduces lockdown for unvaccinated people

bne IntelliNews November 22, 2021

Unvaccinated individuals will be allowed to enter only essential shops and will have to be tested for COVID-19 twice per week to enter their workplaces.

Production of passenger cars in Czechia halves y/y in October

bne IntelliNews November 22, 2021

Compared to 2019 data, the number of passenger cars made dropped by 24.5% so far this year.

PPF sweetens bid for Moneta in drive to build third-largest Czech bank

Robert Anderson in Prague November 21, 2021

Deal now values Moneta at CZK90 per share in what PPF says is the "last possibility" for merger.

Bulgaria’s President Radev wins second term with landslide

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia November 21, 2021

Radev took two-thirds of the votes in runoff, while fellow reformers in Change Continues party try to put together a coalition government.

Tensions between Bulgaria and Turkey escalate ahead of Bulgaria's presidential election runoff

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia November 21, 2021

Supporters of the ethnic-Turk DPS party could play a critical role in Sunday’s runoff between the incumbent President Rumen Radev and Gerb-backed Anastas Gerdzhikov.

Putin calls on Lukashenko to start dialogue with Belarusian opposition

Ben Aris in Berlin November 19, 2021

The Russian president’s proposal was quickly knocked back by opposition-in-exile, which says Lukashenko must free political prisoners before any such talks can be considered.

Albania’s EU accession talks still held up by Bulgarian veto on North Macedonia

bne IntelliNews November 19, 2021

Progress unlikely at upcoming EU Council meeting as Bulgarian politicians are still trying to reach a coalition deal following latest general election.

Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses West of escalating military tensions, calls for security guarantees

Ben Aris in Berlin November 19, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of "escalating" military tensions by selling arms to Ukraine, holding unscheduled naval drills in the Black Sea and flying bombers near its borders in a speech on November 18.

Tension on Belarus-Poland diminishes, but refugees not out of the woods yet

Ben Aris in Berlin November 19, 2021

Tensions on the Belarus-Polish border diminished as the first 500 refugees were flown home and most of the remainder were moved to a warehouse for food and shelter, but hundreds remained in the camp in the woods by the fence as night closed in.

Turkey cuts rates again as Erdogan defies crisis warnings

Akin Nazli in Belgrade November 18, 2021

Lira drops 6%. "How events unfold from here is extremely uncertain," says analyst.

Central and Southeast European economies remain fragile, says Vienna Initiative of banks

bne IntelliNews November 18, 2021

Banks may be tested by the withdrawal of government help to companies, particularly as infection rates begin to soar again.

Scandal over delayed payments grows as Ukraine’s Guaranteed Buyer confirms payment delay of debt to DTEK Renewables

bne IntelliNews November 18, 2021

Ukraine’s state-owned Guaranteed Buyer (GarPok) that is responsible for paying power producers confirmed on November 16 it had delayed settling its green power debt with DTEK Renewables.

SPB Exchange partners with Refinitiv as IPO approaches

Theo Normanton in Moscow November 18, 2021

Czech Pirate party finally approves coalition agreement, opening door for new government

bne IntelliNews November 18, 2021

However, President Zeman could try to veto incoming Pirate Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky in first big test for new premier Petr Fiala.

Poland’s judiciary slides down global independence ranking

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw November 18, 2021

Poland drops from 118th to 61st in the global ranking of the countries with the highest risk to judicial independence, overtaking Hungary as the worst-performing country in the EU.

Montenegro probes allegations of President Djukanovic’s involvement in money-laundering ring

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia November 18, 2021

Djukanovic denied claim by Albanian oil businessman Rezart Taci that he had participated in an international money laundering scheme.

Romanian FMCG wholesaler Aquila raises €74mn in Bucharest IPO

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest November 18, 2021

Aquila's debut was the largest IPO completed by a private company in Romania in the last four years.