Central Europe / News

Flagship holding of Hungary’s number one oligarch wins streak of state orders during pandemic

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest June 1, 2020

Lorinc Meszaros’ flagship holding company Opus has won state contracts worth €96mn since the state of emergency was declared in late March.

Hungary’s Wizz Air uses crisis to aggressively take on competition by expanding to new routes

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest May 29, 2020

Wizz Air has opened four new bases in the last couple of days, taking on the sector’s heavyweights such as Ryanair and Easyjet.

Czech utility CEZ to expand nuclear plant with state support

bne IntelliNews May 28, 2020

New block at the Dukovany nuclear power plant is expected to come online in 2036.

Poland announces major easing of coronavirus restrictions

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 27, 2020

PM Mateusz Morawiecki says Poland has controlled the pandemic much more effectively than some of the world's richest countries, as he relaxes restrictions on shops, restaurants and public gatherings.

Poland’s public radio cancels pop chart list after song critical of Kaczynski flies to number one

bne IntelliNews May 18, 2020

Like other public media in Poland, Programme Three has been stacked with PiS loyalists, tilting the radio station’s editorial policy heavily to the right.

Poland’s Civic Platform confirms Warsaw mayor Trzaskowski as new presidential hopeful

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 17, 2020

Poland’s largest opposition party hopes Trzaskowski will party’s presidential bid after the previous pick, Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska, struggled with the challenge of campaigning during the coronavirus pandemic.

Viktor Orban sets end of May deadline to return special powers to parliament

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest May 17, 2020

The legislation allowing the government to rule by decrees during the pandemic had no sunset clause, raising fears that Hungary’s illiberal leader would abuse his new powers.

MEPs say democracy and fundamental rights under threat in Hungary

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest May 15, 2020

European lawmakers urged the European Commission and Council to proceed with the Article 7 procedure at a debate on the rule of law in Hungary.

Critics fear Hungarian government's bill on special economic zones will hurt opposition local governments

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest May 14, 2020

Special economic zones will help relaunch the economy, preserve and create new jobs, according to the bill. Opponents say it will allow Fidesz-leaning political bodies to allocate resources on the basis of political affiliation.

Czech-Slovak billionaires Kretinsky and Tkac become fourth-largest shareholders in US Macy's

bne IntelliNews May 14, 2020

Investors might consider acquiring additional stakes if the uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic that which forced the retail chain to close its stores causes a further fall in the share price.

Poland’s ruling coalition tables new law to enable presidential election during pandemic

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 12, 2020

Attention now shifts to the summer vote, for which the incumbent President Andrzej Duda will have to campaign during an unprecedented economic crisis in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Poland’s election weekend that didn't happen

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 11, 2020

Last minute decision to cancel election plunged Poland's politics into ever-bigger chaos amidst the coronavirus pandemic and the looming economic crisis.

Czech central bank lowered key interest rate to 0.25% to ease COVID-19 crisis

bne IntelliNews May 10, 2020

Czech National Bank surprised the markets by lowering the two-week repo rate by 75 bp to 0.25%.

Poland’s Kaczynski orders voters to ignore Sunday’s presidential election as he strikes deal with coalition rebel

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 7, 2020

The decision to cancel the Sunday vote – regardless of its highly dubious legal character – appears to be a setback for ruling PiS, which has said for weeks it wants the election to happen in May.

Poland’s presidential vote in limbo four days before official date

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 6, 2020

Poles are electing their president this Sunday. Or maybe they aren't.

Capital outflows from EMs reverse in April to modest gains

bne IntelliNews May 5, 2020

The torrent of capital fleeing Emerging Markets (EMs) securities has stopped and these markets saw a modest inflow in April, reported the Institute of International Finance (IIF) on May 4.

Poland signs contract with Italy’s Saipem to lay Baltic Pipe

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 4, 2020

The €2.1bn Baltic Pipe will carry gas from the Norwegian Sea via Denmark to Poland, starting in 2022. Poland needs the pipeline to reduce its dependence on Russian gas imports.