Insight Central Europe News

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Visegrad Four back stronger EU-Moldova links

Foreign ministers of the Visegrad Four - Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland - are calling on the EU to have a more pro-active policy towards Moldova. Meeting in Prague on Thursday the ministers told Moldovan Foreign Minister Andrei Stratan they fully supported Moldova's attempts to improve its European Union orientation. The Visegrad ministers also discussed the EU's policy towards its eastern neighbours as well as the West Balkans and Kosovo.

Poland's PM-designate chooses close ally for interior ministry

Poland's prime minister-designate Donald Tusk has chosen Grzegorz Schetyna, for the key post of interior minister. Schetyna is the Secretary-General of the Civic Platform party and is seen as a close ally of Donald Tusk. The prime minister designate has also held talks with Radek Sikorski, a former defense minister, whom he said he was considering either to return to the Defense Ministry or as the new foreign minister. Civic Platform defeated the conservative Law and Justice party in last weekend's election and is now in coalition talks with the centrist Polish People's Party.

Hungarian riot police block far-right protest

In Budapest riot police were called out to control a protest by several hundred far-right demonstrators on Friday. The protesters attempted to stop traffic on the Elizabeth Bridge, one of the main transport routes across the Danube River. Police made several arrests but no other incidents or injuries were reported. The anti-government demonstrators also attempted to disrupt Hungary's national holiday on October 23rd.

Central European nations likely to send more troops to Afghanistan

Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary are among NATO members likely to send more troops to serve with the allied force in Afghanistan. Diplomats, speaking on the fringe of a meeting of NATO defence ministers in the Netherlands said likely troop offers included 50 more from Slovakia, 150 from Hungary, and 200 from the Czech Republic. All 26 NATO nations already have some troops serving in Afghanistan. A NATO spokesman said the offers were significant because they would include new deployments to the most dangerous southern battlefields and more training teams to build up Afghanistan's army.

Slovenia to seek EU unity on Kosovo

Slovenia's foreign minister Dimitrij Rupel says keeping Europe united over the future of Kosovo will be a major challenge for Slovenia when it takes over the EU presidency in January. Speaking on a visit to Kosovo Mr Rupel said Slovenia was preparing for all possibilities "if and when" Kosovo is granted independence. Serbia is adamant that the province should not gain independence while the EU is backing a form of supervised independence for Kosovo.