Central European leaders push for faster vaccine deliveries
(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)WARSAW – Central European leaders pushed Wednesday for faster deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines from every reliable manufacturer to speed up inoculations which they said is the way to conquer the pandemic and jump-start Europe’s economic recovery. The leaders of Hungary, Slovakia and Poland said they support purchasing vaccines from manufacturers regardless of “geopolitics” provided they are safe and effective. Hungary is the European Union's first and so far only member state to administer Russia's Sputnik V vaccine without waiting for approval from the European Medicines Agency. “There is no Eastern or Western vaccine, there is only a good or a bad vaccine,” Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a news conference in Krakow, Poland. European Council President Charles Michel, who attended the celebrations, said EU leaders will discuss next week ways of increasing vaccine production and of speeding up inoculations.
Central Europe presidents mark 30 years of Visegrad Group
The group, also known as V4, often works out joint positions in international ties, especially within the European Union. Opening the ceremonial meeting, Duda said the V4 group has had a positive role in European and trans-Atlantic ties. “The group is an important, if not the key catalyst of the regional cooperation in all of Central Europe and contributes significantly to the cooperation and political processes regarding the EU and NATO," Duda said. Poland currently holds the group's 12-month rotating presidency, which it will hand over to Hungary on July 1. ___A previous version of this story corrected the spelling of the Slovakia president’s name to Zuzana Caputova, not Zuzanna Czaputova.
EXPLAINER: How do other democratic nations select leaders?
SPAINIn Spain, the Congress of Deputies elects the prime minister. In 1996, this led to an awkward situation for the would-be prime minister. As votes were being counted, Jose Maria Aznar's conservative Popular Party thought it won enough seats to make him prime minister. Then, the party that wins the largest number of the 650 constituencies generally takes power, with the party leader becoming prime minister. That means the prime minister must officially be approved by the Queen’s representative in New Zealand, the governor-general.
Poles voice fears of 'Polexit' as govt defies EU over budget
The flags of the European Union, Poland and the city of Warsaw hang in Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday Dec. 9, 2020. Trzaskowski said the city wants to show to the rest of the EU that the Polish government's tough position "is not the position of the whole of Poland". The fears of a hypothetical Polexit are fueled by Brexit, Britain's messy divorce from the EU, which is seen as accidental. “I cannot imagine Poland outside of the European Union remaining a democratic and liberal country,” Buras said. On the eve of the EU summit, Warsaw city hall ordered EU flags, along with national and city flags, to be displayed in many places.
Poland marks 40 years since key pro-democracy agreement
Poland on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020 celebrated 40 years since it took a crucial step toward democracy with the creation of the Soviet bloc's first free trade union, Solidarity, which changed the course of the nation's history. (Bjoern Elgstrand/Reportagebild via AP, file)WARSAW Poland on Monday celebrated 40 years since it took a crucial step toward democracy with the creation of the Soviet bloc's first free trade union, Solidarity, which changed the course of the nation's history. He was speaking at a place symbolic for Solidarity the gate of the Gdansk Shipyard where 40 years ago he signed the agreement alongside a government representative. Poland is now drawing international attention to the developments in Belarus that resemble its own struggle for independence. The road to Polands freedom, that started 40 years ago, was difficult, rough and tragic but the Poles never lost hope, Mosbacher said in her tweet.