# politics

People wearing face masks walk down a shopping street in the Las Delicias neighbourhood of Zaragoza, northeast Spain, on August 10, 2020. Photo: Cesar Manso / AFP
People wearing face masks walk down a sh […]

Political ‘power games’ and decentralisation fuel Spain’s virus spread

The first EU nation to pass half a million coronavirus cases, Spain's switching of its pandemic management to its regions has politicised public health and hobbled its Covid-19 fight, experts say
(FILES) This file photo taken on January 16, 2018 shows Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny during an interview with AFP at the office of his Anti-corruption Foundation (FBK) in Moscow. - Tests carried out on Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny provide clear proof that he was poisoned by a chemical nerve agent, the German government said Wednesday, September 2, 2020, demanding explanations from Moscow. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)
(FILES) This file photo taken on January […]

EU hobbled over Navalny sanctions response

European countries have threatened sanctions on Russia over the alleged nerve agent attack on Alexei Navalny, but a concerted decision will be tough to reach given the interests at stake
Photo released by the Turkish Defence Ministry on August 12, 2020, shows Turkish seismic research vessel 'Oruc Reis' (C) being escorted by Turkish naval ships in the Mediterranean, off Antalya on August 10, 2020. Photo: Turkish Defence Ministry / AFP
Photo released by the Turkish Defence Mi […]

Turkey’s bid to become maritime powerhouse unsettles Mediterranean

Turkey's push into the Mediterranean featuring gas drilling, tough rhetoric and warships is rooted in a vision of a "Blue Homeland" that targets waters claimed by EU neighbours
(LtoR) Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (up L), President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen meet on the sidelines of a special European Council summit in Brussels on February 20, 2020, held to discuss the next long-term budget of the European Union (EU). (Photo by Virginia Mayo / POOL / AFP)
(LtoR) Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Ku […]

Sweden and Denmark step out of the shadows as EU’s frugals

Normally perceived as team players, Sweden and Denmark have found themselves playing the unaccustomed role of outliers in EU politics, blocking the widely backed COVID-19 recovery plan
Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis arrives for the second day of a special European Council summit in Brussels on February 21, 2020, held to discuss the next long-term budget of the European Union (EU). (Photo by Ludovic Marin / various sources / AFP)
Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsota […]

Coronavirus praise as Greek PM completes first year in office

Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis has been praised for his government's response to COVID-19 but tackling the economic impact of the lockdown will be the true test of his leadership, analysts say
Former French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (L) and newly-appointed Prime Minister Jean Castex react as they give a speech during the handover ceremony, in the courtyard of the Matignon Hotel in Paris on July 3, 2020. (Photo by Ludovic Marin / AFP)
Former French Prime Minister Edouard Phi […]

Macron tightens grip ahead of 2022 challenge

By replacing his prime minister with a bureaucrat, French President Emmanuel Macron has signalled he intends to tighten the reins on government ahead of his reelection bid in 2022, analysts say
Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte arrives for a European Union Summit at the Europa building in Brussels on December 12, 2019. - European Union leaders meet without Britain on December 12, but their departing neighbour's absence will not make agreeing a budget any easier. Inside the chamber, the clash over climate take Brexit's place as the dominant theme of the summit, the first to be chaired by incoming EU Council president Charles Michel. (Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)
Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte a […]

Dutch ‘preachers and salesmen’ lead EU frugality drive

The Netherlands will be at the centre of upcoming talks over European spending on the coronavirus crisis, driven by a mix of traditional Calvinist frugality and political reality, experts say
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament, during a session to answer MPs questions on July 1, 2020 in Berlin. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks a […]

Merkel’s legacy at stake as Germany takes EU reins

Germany has taken over the European Union's presidency, with Chancellor Angela Merkel staking her legacy on a massive economic recovery plan to help the bloc with the coronavirus fallout
Tourists arrive at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca on June 22, 2020 as EU member state citizens and those from the passport-free Schengen zone were allowed freely into Spain, with no 14-day quarantines required following a national lockdown to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo by JAIME REINA / AFP)
Tourists arrive at Son Sant Joan airport […]

EU to open borders to ‘safe’ countries as pandemic accelerates

The European Union has agreed to reopen its borders to 15 countries excluding the virus-stricken US, as the pandemic accelerated globally with more than 505,000 deaths worldwide