Holding company of Hungary’s top oligarch cruises through crisis with hefty profits as state contracts surge

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest October 1, 2020

The lockdown hit the hotel branch of Hungary’s second richest man Lorinc Meszaros' flagship holding company Opus Global, but state contracts in construction more than compensated for the decline.

Czechia and Slovakia declare states of emergency to tackle coronavirus second wave

bne IntelliNews October 1, 2020

Central and much of Southeast Europe have seen new COVID-19 cases soar amid autumn second wave.

Poland’s Kaczynski steps into the limelight in government reshuffle

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw October 1, 2020

Tensions within ruling coalition prompted Kaczynski to take up first official government position, which is likely to shift balance within cabinet.

Accessed data shot shows Turkey’s Covid rate 19 times worse than officially presented says opposition MP

bne IntelIiNews September 30, 2020

Health minister forced on to back foot as data for day in September shows infection total near 30,000 versus officially stated figure of around 1,500. “Tell our people the truth already,” protests lawmaker.

North Macedonia’s fugitive ex-PM Gruevski convicted for inciting mob attack in municipality building

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje September 30, 2020

Gruevski was tried in absentia as he fled to Budapest in 2018 to avoid serving another prison sentence for buying a luxury Mercedes with state funds.

UK, Canada impose sanctions on Lukashenko and his top officials

Ben Aris in Berlin September 30, 2020

Britain and Canada have imposed targeted personal sanctions on Lukashenko, his eldest son Viktor and six other top officials following the brutal police crackdown on protests after the disputed August 9 presidential election.

Poland tightens restrictions in response to rising coronavirus cases

bne IntelliNews September 30, 2020

Poland recorded 1,326 new coronavirus cases on September 29, the third consecutive day when 1,300 cases were confirmed.

World must tell Turkey to “get out” of Caucasus says Armenian PM

bne IntelIiNews September 30, 2020

Armenia’s defence ministry issues ominous warning it is deploying weapons capable of “indiscriminate destruction of manpower” in Nagorno-Karabakh in response to claimed use of “large-calibre systems” by Azerbaijan.

French President Macron promises Belarus’ opposition leader Tikhanovskaya to do all he can to help

Ben Aris in Berlin September 29, 2020

In a show of solidarity with the people of Belarus, French President Emmanuel Macron met with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, leader of the opposition and nominal winner of the disputed August 9 elections.

Nobel laureate and Coordinating Council member Svetlana Alexievich leaves Belarus for medical treatment in Germany

bne IntelliNews September 29, 2020

Belarusian Nobel literature laureate and member of the Coordinating Council Svetlana Alexievich left the country for a month’s medical treatment in Germany, AFP reported on September 28.

Viktor Orban opens new front with Brussels calling for resignation of EC Vice-President Vera Jourova

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest September 29, 2020

Latest scuffle between Hungary and the EU comes as the European Commission prepares to publish its first report assessing the state of democracy and the rule of law in member states.

Turkey denies Turkish F-16 jet shot down Armenian plane over Armenia

bne IntelIiNews September 29, 2020

Armenians claim incident in showdown with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh occurred in its airspace.

Iran denies allowing passage of weapons into Armenia after video emerges on social media

bne IntelIiNews September 29, 2020

Tehran officially neutral in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict but Iranians known to be unhappy at Azerbaijan’s relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia.

International partners abandoning Minsk as a venue for peace talks and sport

Ben Aris in Berlin September 29, 2020

Following Belarus' self-appointed President Alexander Lukashenko’s secret inauguration on September 23 international partners are abandoning Minsk as a venue for major sports events and peace talks.

Turkish lira finds another all-time low with Erdogan’s Caucasus adventurism no help at all

bne IntelIiNews September 28, 2020

Banking regulator takes another step to put a brake on massive lending that is worsening external imbalances. Rates are not high enough to attract carry-traders so the lira is set to further deteriorate, says one analyst.

Head of MS Estonia tragedy investigation says ship went down after collision with submarine

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius September 28, 2020

The sinking of MS Estonia was the deadliest maritime disaster to have occurred in European waters, killing 852 people from 17 countries.

Armenia accuses Turkey of sending in direct military support for Azerbaijan including F-16s

bne IntelIiNews September 28, 2020

Fierce and bloody fighting centred on Nagorno-Karabakh enclave continues to rage. Baku denies Ankara has also commandeered Syrian militiamen to fight on its side.

Bucharest mayoral race win puts reformist USR in strong position ahead of general election

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest September 28, 2020

Exit polls and partial results show Save Romania Union and its ally Plus are heading for victory in local elections in several first-tier cities, as they become a major force in Romanian politics.

Belarusian police use stun grenades, pepper spray and fire shots to control Sunday's mass rallies

Ben Aris in Berlin September 27, 2020

The violence at the Sunday mass rallies in Belarus went up yet another notch on September 27 when masked OMON officers used stun grenades against protesters, liberally doused the crowd with pepper stray and fired multiple shots into the air.

Poland to close coal mines by 2049, miners and government agree

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw September 27, 2020

Poland’s last two coal mines will cease operations in 2049, according to an agreement reached by the country’s powerful mining unions and the right-wing populist government.