News

Czech Constitutional Court changes electoral law in favour of opposition

bne IntelliNews February 4, 2021

Changes in electoral system will boost smaller parties and could make it even more difficult for Prime Minister Andrej Babis to put together a new governing coalition.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s proxy is richest Hungarian ever

bne IntelliNews February 4, 2021

Lorinc Meszaros is now worth $1.4bn, according to Forbes, as Fidesz-linked oligarchs benefit from government contracts and deals.

US expresses concern as Turkey’s interior minister calls student protesters “LGBT deviants”

bne IntelIiNews February 3, 2021

Erdogan calls demonstrators “terrorists” and says another “Gezi”, in which mass protests broke out in 2013, will not be allowed.

US open to easing Nord Stream 2 sanctions

bne IntelliNews February 3, 2021

The US may be prepared to enter talks with Germany on easing its sanctions on Nord Stream 2, signalling that the Biden administration may have resigned itself to the fact that the Russian pipeline will be completed.

Thousands take to Moscow streets following Navalny sentencing

Ben Aris in Berlin February 3, 2021

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in central Moscow following a court decision to sentence anti-corruption activist and opposition politician Alexei Navalny to 2.8 years in jail on February 2.

Ukrainian President Zelenskiy sanctions pro-Russia rival Medvedchuk’s TV stations

bne IntelliNews February 3, 2021

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has signed the decree that imposes special economic sanctions on the Novyny news media holding that belongs to Viktor Medvedchuk, the head of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform, For Life Party.

M&A deals in CEE fall 22% by volume but rise 29% by value in 2020

bne IntelliNews February 2, 2021

Annual Wolf Theiss survey shows private equity investors are expected to take advantage of post-COVID business environment.

US investor Michael Calvey's embezzlement trial begins despite the resolution to the commercial dispute between partners

Ben Aris in Berlin February 2, 2021

US investor Michael Calvey's embezzlement trial begins despite the resolution to the commercial dispute between partners

Six banks to end action against Croatia in Swiss franc-denominated loan case

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 2, 2021

Banks sought to recover €418.5mn after they were forced to convert all Swiss franc loans to euros at the rate in force when the loans were granted back in 2015.

Navalny sentenced to 2.8 years in jail

Ben Aris in Berlin February 2, 2021

A Russian court passed a sentence on anti-corruption activist and opposition politician Alexei Navalny of 2.8 years in jail at a closely watched hearing in Moscow on February 2 for breaking the parole terms of a suspended sentence.

Hungarian PM has zero savings, according to annual asset declaration

bne IntelliNews February 2, 2021

Anti-corruption activists argue asset declaration system needs to have real teeth and include relatives.

Czech government mocked for using TikTok to promote its COVID-19 vaccination strategy

bne IntelliNews February 2, 2021

Critics ridicule use of Chinese-owned teenage dancing social network to try to reach anti-vaxxers.

Plans to develop Albania’s air transport run into controversy

bne IntelliNews February 1, 2021

NGOs have appealed to the Albanian government to scrap plans to build the new Vlora airport in a protected area, while the opposition has slammed the proposed extension of the concession for Tirana International Airport.

Minority investors say GBP1bn-2bn missing from Kaz Minerals buyout offer valuation

Ben Aris in Berlin February 1, 2021

At the end of October the two largest shareholders of Kazakh mining giant Kaz Minerals announced a massive GBP3bn all cash buyout offer to minority shareholders, as they want to take the company private.

Foreign investors banned from future mining projects in Kyrgyzstan

Kanat Shaku in Almaty February 1, 2021

New president, the populist Sadyr Japarov, was last October busted out of prison where he was serving sentence stemming from kidnapping linked to protests against Canadian-owned Kumtor gold mine.

Hungary seals deal with China to buy 5mn doses of Sinopharm vaccine

bne IntelliNews February 1, 2021

Hungary, which also fast-tracked approval of Russia's Sputnik V, will be the first country in the EU to allow the use of Sinopharm.

Russian police detained a record 5,135 demonstrators at the second Navalny mass protests

Ben Aris in Berlin January 31, 2021

Russian police detained a record number of demonstrators at the second mass protests in support of the jailed opposition activist Alexei Navalny on January 31 as thousands took to the streets in freezing sub-zero temperatures.

Stoligarch Rotenberg steps in, says he owns "Putin's Palace"

bne IntelliNews January 31, 2021

Stoligarch billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, who has known President Putin since he was 12 years old, claims he is the owner of "Putin's Palace"

Century-old Belgrade metro idea finally becoming reality

Eldar Dizdarevic in Sarajevo January 31, 2021

Deal with French and Chinese companies paves the way for metro construction in Serbia’s capital, the largest European city without a rapid transit system.

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