Central Europe / News

Czech President Zeman to name Babis PM despite EU subsidy fraud charge

bne IntelliNews October 22, 2017

Head of state does not see unresolved allegations as obstacle to making billionaire and fellow populist prime minister, but most potential coalition partners say they don’t want him in the cabinet.

Populist Ano scores heavy victory in Czech election, far right takes 11% of vote

bne IntelliNews October 21, 2017

Liberal, pro-EU parties left in weak position by vote which gives billionaire Andrej Babis choice of a strong minority government or coalition arrangement with one or two of several potential partners.

Former Slovak ministers get lengthy sentences in corruption case

bne IntelliNews October 19, 2017

Two former construction ministers become the first top-level Slovak officials to receive prison sentences for corruption, as PM Robert Fico pledges new measures to tackle graft.

Big solar power investments emerging from shadows in Iran

bne IntelliNews October 18, 2017

Deal worth €2.5bn announced by Norway’s Saga Energy group with Iranian company Amin Energy Developers shows Islamic Republic is making a late but substantial entry into renewables industry.

Support for populist ANO dips ahead of Czech election but far right move up to 9.5%

bne IntelliNews October 17, 2017

Eurosceptic and anti-immigrant Ano still has a feasible prospect of taking power in a coalition that could even rely on support from the far right and Communists, despite recent scandals surrounding its leader Andrej Babis.

Slovak court reopens question of whether Czech election favourite Babis was secret police informer

bne IntelliNews October 12, 2017

Just days after being hit by a subsidy fraud charge, populist politician expected to become country's next PM receives court verdict meaning he will have to re-explain his Communist-era activities.

Zeman’s Crimea “fait accompli” remarks focus minds on Moscow factor in Czech election

bne IntelliNews October 11, 2017

Ukrainian delegation walks out of Strasbourg speech as Czech president calls for switch from EU sanctions approach to talks on Russian compensation for Kyiv.

Hungary reportedly threatens to torpedo Ukraine-EU association pact amid language dispute

bne IntelliNews October 10, 2017

Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto believes that a new Ukrainian education law violates principles of the Ukraine-EU association agreement, and Budapest wants to initiate a review of the pact.

Stork Nest fraud charges pressed against frontrunner to become Czech PM Babis

bne IntelliNews October 9, 2017

With less than two weeks to election populist politician faces battle to persuade voters who have largely stuck with him so far that case over EU subsidy is politically motivated.

Skoda reportedly confirms VW talks over Czech production shift to Germany

bne IntelliNews October 8, 2017

Unions threaten to withdraw overtime commitments but company says in letter to employees no present plans for such a move exist and that it would only be adopted to cope with demand.

EM fund managers push Czech koruna to strongest levels in four years

bne IntelliNews October 5, 2017

Specula¬tors seem intent on betting on further appreciation of currency despite existing exposure amounting to tens of billions of euros.

Czechs on edge over claims VW has plan to shift Skoda production to Germany

bne IntelliNews October 4, 2017

Unions claim 2,000 jobs are at stake at 'family silver' firm and that some high-placed VW managers are envious of the success and profitability achieved by their subsidiary.

Tesco reportedly mulls sale of CEE businesses

Levente Szilagyi in Budapest October 3, 2017

UK retail giant could put its regional subsidiaries up for sale in bulk or individually in March 2018 if unions stick with their demands for further wage hikes.

Former Fidesz oligarch caught spray-painting obscene graffiti

bne IntelliNews October 3, 2017

Lajos Simicska, a Hungarian businessman locked in a public feud with Prime Minister Viktor Orban, was apprehended by police after scrawling "Orban is a f***er" on his own newsstands.

Bucharest sees Europe’s fastest increase in tourist numbers

bne IntelliNews October 3, 2017

Visitor numbers are still modest compared to CEE hubs like Budapest and Prague, but the Romanian capital is increasingly on the map, helped by the growing number of low-cost flights and efforts to improve its tourist offering.

Hungarian opposition in disarray after Socialist candidate resigns

Levente Szilagyi in Budapest October 3, 2017

Failure to unite opposition clears the way for another landslide for Viktor Orban in Hungary's 2018 general election, and could also help radical nationalist Jobbik to gain votes.

Wizz Air offers rescue flights to Monarch customers as it mulls takeover of stricken carrier

bne IntelliNews October 2, 2017

Hungary’s Wizz Air is reportedly among potential buyers of Monarch, which could help smooth its operations in the UK post-Brexit.

Czechia’s manufacturing PMI motors ahead with output on a roll

bne IntelliNews October 2, 2017

Production levels in the country outperformed expectations in September with rising export sales helping to lift the headline purchasing managers' index to 56.6 from 54.9.

Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria pledge to go ahead with BRUA gas project

Carmen Simion in Bucharest September 28, 2017

Project back on track after Hungarian transmission system operator FGSZ abandoned plans to develop its interconnector with Austria back in July, throwing the future of BRUA into doubt.

Polish president’s proposals are likely to pave way for government control over courts anyway

bne IntelliNews September 28, 2017

Andrzej Duda's bills are unlikely to avert further confrontation with the European Commission.