Insight Central Europe News

Polish-US talks on missile defence “productive”

The latest round of talks between Poland and the United States over a US missile defence site in Poland has been described as "productive". U.S. Assistant Secretary of State John Rood was commenting after a meeting in Warsaw which he said was both productive and constructive. He gave no further details. Washington wants to base 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and in return Warsaw wants help with upgrading its armed forces.

European Commission to scrutinise OMV bid for Hungary’s MOL

The European Commission's competition watchdog is to open an enquiry into a bid by Austrian energy company OMV to acquire Hungary's main petroleum company MOL. The commission says its initial investigation found such a deal would affect important energy markets in Central Europe. The Hungarian government and MOL management oppose the hostile bid.

EU President Slovenia urges US to stop “divide-and-rule” over Visas

The European Union presidency, currently held by Slovenia, is urging the United States to allow visa-free travel for all new EU member states. Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel told journalists that Washington should stop playing divide-and-rule on the visa issue. The Czech Republic sparked anger when it signed a bi-lateral deal with Washington on visa-free travel for Czechs. The EU is trying to negotiate an EU-wide agreement.

Slovakia and Hungary agree on Tokaj quality rules

Slovakia and Hungary have reached agreement on a set of rules for the historic Tokaj wine region which spans their common border. Agriculture ministers from the two countries agreed that Hungarian requirements on the quality of Tokaj wine will also be applied in the Slovak part of the region. The two countries remain divided over the official size of Slovakia's Tokaj region.

Slovenia votes to recognise Kosovo independence

Slovenia has become the first of the former Yugoslav states to recognise Kosovo's independence. The parliament passed the resolution by 57 votes to 4 with only a small nationalist party opposing it. The government argued that independence for Kosovo would contribute to stability in the Balkans.