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Today β€” March 30th 2020EurActiv

OrbΓ‘n to rule by decree with new powers to β€˜silence critics’

By Samuel Stolton, Vlagyiszlav Makszimov

The Hungarian Parliament approved new emergency powers on Monday (30 March) that will allow the ruling Fidesz party the right to rule by decree, without a set time limit, in a move that prompted an outcry from human rights groups.

Severe COVID-19 cases to be offered new clinical trial programme

By Natasha Foote

Clinical trials of the efficacy of using rheumatoid arthritis drug, Kevzara, in patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19 have been expanded to include the EU.

Austria announces new COVID-19 restrictions

By Philipp GrΓΌll

From Wednesday (1 April) at the latest, mouth and nose protection masks will be obligatory in Austria's supermarkets. People in COVID-19 risk groups are no longer allowed to go to work, and hotels are closed to tourists. Random sample tests are set to bring clarity to the country's unrecorded cases.

The Brief – Don’t let Italians feel abandoned

By Gerardo Fortuna

It’s not a good time for anyone being pro-European in Italy these days. In the thick of the COVID-19 crisis, a different one is looming in the country: an increasing sentiment of mistrust in the EU.

EU announces COVID-19 help for Balkans, Eastern neighbours after criticism

By Georgi Gotev

The EU on Monday (30 March) announced nearly €40 million to help Western Balkan countries deal with the coronavirus, after Brussels came under fire for not doing enough for its neighbours.

COVID-19 pandemic raises questions on preparedness for biological threats

By Alexandra Brzozowski

As Europe is grappling to find a response to the coronavirus pandemic, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has criticised Europe’s lack of preparedness against biological threats. Speaking at a press briefing on Saturday (28 March), Borissov criticised, amongst others, NATO...

Strengthening EU cohesion with European responses to corona crisis

By Anna Cavazzini, Petra de Sutter

The number of people infected with the coronavirus is increasing daily across Europe. The top political priority must be to take targeted measures to slow down infections, in order to protect high-risk groups and avoid overburdening health systems, write Anna...

Greek PM asks lawmakers to donate half of salary to coronavirus fight

By Sarantis Michalopoulos

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis today (30 March) called on the lawmakers of his New Democracy party (EPP) to set aside half of their salary for the coronavirus special account for the next two months.

France puts dividends payments into β€˜confinement’ amid COVID-19 crisis

By Cécile Barbière

The French government intends to prohibit the payment of dividends to companies receiving state funding. While this would remain a partial ban, many are eager to see it become generalised in the context of the health and economic crisis. EURACTIV France reports.

After the pandemic: COVID-19 exposes threat of biological warfare

By Ellen Laipson

The global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has shaken confidence in governments’ capacity to respond to threats that the scientific and health communities have long have well aware of. From Asia to Europe to North America, health authorities are struggling to cope, writes Ellen Laipson.

  • March 30th 2020 at 12:20

Portugal slams Dutch finance minister for β€˜repugnant’ comments


In today's edition of the Capitals, find out more about Germany continuing its measures to contain COVID-19, people having to go back to work soon in Belgium, and so much more.

German Bundesrat approves new fertiliser regulation after decade of stalemate

By Florence Schulz

At the last minute, the German Bundesrat approved a new fertiliser regulation to avoid having to pay high penalties to the EU on Friday. But many farmers are afraid of going bankrupt, now that they will not be allowed to use as much fertiliser, starting in 2021. EURACTIV Germany reports.

BELGRADE – Serbia will receive a portion of the $274 million

By Sarantis Michalopoulos

Serbia will receive a portion of the $274 million set aside for urgent medical needs of US states for which Serbia had already forwarded a list of much-needed supplies, the US ambassador to Serbia, said on Friday (27 March). In...

  • March 30th 2020 at 08:45

ZAGREB – Restricting human rights is out of the question

By Tea Trubić Macan

Croatian Interior Minister Davor Božinović rejected the idea of restricting human rights amid the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. “People are increasingly aware of the situation, which is why the civic guard has decided to undertake such determinate measures according...

  • March 30th 2020 at 08:44

SOFIA – Tightening the measures

By Krassen Nikolov

As Bulgaria reported a total of 346 confirmed coronavirus cases and eight deaths as of Sunday (29 March) with the average age of patients being 66, the head of the national COVID-19 task force, Ventsislav Moutafchiiski, had said that it...

  • March 30th 2020 at 08:44

BRATISLAVA – Rescue package worth €1 billion in the making

By Zuzana Gabrizova

Over the weekend, Slovakia’s coalition parties had agreed on the first rescue package for firms and self-employed people struggling with the COVID-19 crisis. The package will unlock up to €1 billion per month, which is approximately 1% of the country’s...

  • March 30th 2020 at 08:42

β€˜Are we in Greece?’: Migrants seize their chance in Europe quest

By Georgi Gotev

The thousands of migrants at the Kastanies border town between Turkey and Greece are desperate to reach Europe and furious with Greeks who "won't open the gates".

WARSAW – Vote by mail included in country’s β€˜anticrisis’ measures

By Łukasz GadzaΕ‚a

As Poland reported 1,862 COVID-19 cases (224 on Sunday) and 22 deaths as of Sunday (29 March), the lower chamber of parliament, known as the Sejm, approved the anticrisis measures that are supposed to help entrepreneurs. Yet, during the evening...

  • March 30th 2020 at 08:41

MADRID – Maximum ICU capacity but increasing recovery rate

By Sarantis Michalopoulos

As Spain’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to 78,797 with a death toll of 6,528, Spain was braced for more stringent lockdown measures as authorities try to soften the blow of the coronavirus pandemic on the country’s already overstretched...

  • March 30th 2020 at 08:40

BRUSSELS – Back to work soon?

By Alexandra Brzozowski

Belgian minister Philippe De Backer (Open VLD), who heads the task force for the management and supply of COVID-19 equipment, has proposed to increase testing to determine who may be immune to the coronavirus and able to go back to...

  • March 30th 2020 at 08:39