Visegrad Group quarrels over migrants quota

Andrej Babis, Czech Finance Minister, wants to fight tax evasion. (© PAP)

Latvian and Polish teachers going on strike

Czech Minister wants to fight tax evasion

Bulgaria - a new tourist destination

Another corruption scandal in Estonia

Visegrad Group – Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia

European Union interior ministers have reached a deal to share out 120,000 refugees across the EU bloc after holding an emergency meeting. Poland agreed to take in about 5,000 migrants. Rafal Trzaskowski, Secretary of State for European Affairs in the Foreign Ministry said in Brussels that the first migrants will arrive in Poland in 2016”.

Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia all voted against the plan to share the intake of refugees, while Finland abstained. “We will soon realize that the emperor has no clothes. Common sense lost today”, Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec tweeted after the vote.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said pushing through the quota system had “nonsensically” caused a deep rift over a highly sensitive issue and that, “as long as I am prime minister”, Slovakia would not implement a quota. Hungary said it accepted the decision, but questioned its feasibility.

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Czech Republic

Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babiš wrote a letter to the Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Pierre Moscovici, expressing his disappointment with the measures that had been taken by the European Union to fight Value Added Tax evasion. The revenue loss from VAT evasion amounted to EUR168bn in 2013 – wrote Babiš. That means, he added, the EU fails to cope with the problem.

Prague drafted its proposals to tighten up the system. One of them was that the companies in the UE should pay VAT while they buy goods instead of when they sell it to customers.

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Latvia and Poland

A disagreement over the 2016 state budget between the government and the Education and Science Employee Union. The Latvian union of teachers and scientists claims it cannot accept the draft of the budget because its proposals and demands of increasing funding of the sector were not taken into consideration.

The council of the union has just initiated the procedure of preparing the strike. According Latvian law the union would at first submit its demands to the ministry of education and science. The ministry has three days to respond. Then, if the idea fails, a conciliation commission will be set up. During the next seven days the agreement should be reached. If it’s not, the strike will burst.

Also in Poland representatives of education sector are embittered. The union of teachers has just announced that a strike will take place on October 14th. Polish teachers say their remuneration is the worst in the country.

>>More here and here

Bulgaria

Approx. 585 200 tourist visited Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia in the first half of 2015 – Bulgarian New Agency Reports. This is up 5.7 per cent compared to the same period of 2014. More than a half of them were non-Bulgarians, mainly Germans, British, Italians and tourists from Israel and France. What to see in Sofia?

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Hungary

Alexander Dodds – remember the name. He was the head of exploration and production business in MOL, the biggest energy company in Hungary. On Monday the firm informed that Dodds stepped down for “personal reasons”. The MTI agency and Budapest Business Journal link the announcement with the recent information of big write-off on a block MOL operates in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The block has already reduced “significantly” its research potential. The new chief of MOL upstream would be Berislav Gaso, the COO of the company. MOL’s shares lost 2.02 per cent on Budapest Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

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Estonia

After arresting managers of Port of Tallinn, Estonian security police detained Edgar Savisaar, the mayor of Tallinn and former PM of independent Estonia (in 1991). Savisaar is suspected of taking bribes between 2014 and 2015 (amounted to a few hundred thousand of euros). Just after Saavisar, some important Estonian businessmen were arrested. Postimees reports that Aivar Tuulberg, Vello Kunman, Alexander Kofkin and Hillar Teder were among the arrested ones. Tuulberg is an owner of Rand & Tuulberg construction company and controls many Estonian businesses. Teder, a developer, is the second wealthiest in Estonia. Kofkin controls Meriton Hotels and many other businesses. The commenters close to Estonian Centre Party of which Savisaar is a leader claim it is a revenge for the investigation in Port of Tallinn.

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What’s up in indexes?

Ukraine’s private sector doesn’t like new laws much. The UX index tumbles…

BUX index (of the Budapest Stock Exchange) dropped by 2.45 per cent on Tuesday, September 22 with 20717,92 index points (compared with 21238.83 index points on Monday). From year-end it’s up 24.55 per cent.

BET (of Bucharest) ended down 0.93 per cent, increasing from 7180.72 index points on Monday to 7113,97 index points on Tuesday. And it is up 0.44 per cent from year-end.

PX (of Prague) fell by 1.61 per cent Monday to Tuesday from 983,50 index points to 967,78 index points. From year-end it’s up 2.23 per cent.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) dropped by 1.85 per cent. On Tuesday it was 2137,88 index points while on Monday the result was 2178,27. But from year-end it fell by 7.69 per cent.

OMX (of Tallinn) dropped by 0.72 per cent (from 883.31 index points to 876.92 index points). But it is up 16.14 per cent from year-end.

OMXV (of Vilnius) fell from 486.47 on Monday to 485,66 index points on Tuesday (0.17 per cent loss). And from year-end it is up 7.35 per cent.

SAX (of Bratislava) increased from 267.86 index points on Monday to 267,84 index points on Tuesday. So it was up 0.01 per cent. And it grew by 20.47 per cent from year-end.

UX (Ukraine) dropped by 3.92 per cent. The result on Tuesday was 907,95 index points (while on Monday it was 945 index points). And from year-end it dropped by 12.13 per cent.

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