Insight Central Europe News

Poland - Early elections looming

Poland's Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski has ended his coalition with two smaller parties and will rule with a minority government. The prime minister sacked deputy Prime Minister Roman Giertych from the nationalist League of Polish Families as well as others from the rural-based Self-Defence party. Mr Kaczynski said the changes mean "the coalition has ended" and suggested that early elections were not far off. The two sacked ministers were replaced with members or allies of the ruling Law and Justice Party. Parliament reconvenes on August 22 after its summer break and could then vote to dissolve itself ahead of new elections.

3 out of 4 Visegrad states complain about new US visa-regime

Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are among six NATO member states which have criticised new US legislation on visas-free travel. In a declaration, also signed by Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania, the six complained that new US laws on criteria for its visa-free regime fell short of expectations. Hungary was the only one of the Visegrad states not to sign the declaration. Instead, the government sent a letter to the US embassy in Budapest commending the law as "encouraging."

Hungary "the loser" if OMV gets MOL - Hungarian media analysis

The Hungarian daily Neszava has published analysis claiming Hungary would be the loser if the Austrian energy company OMV manages to gain control of Hungary's MOL. Quoting MOL sources, Nepszava says OMV would sell off Hungarian facilities and transfer profits to Austria if it manages to acquire MOL. OMV recently increased its share in the Hungarian energy company to 18 percent but says it is only interested in a "friendly" cooperation.

Slovenia seeks soldiers: Insufficient recruits for standing army

NATO member Slovenia is having trouble keeping troop numbers at its desired levels. The defence ministry says numbers have been falling each year and since January this year 277 soldiers have resigned while only 144 new recruits joined. Slovenia's stated army strength is just over seven thousand soldiers. It currently falls short of that number by around 600.

Czech's prefer Britain when working abroad

Czechs seeking work abroad prefer the United Kingdom over other EU destinations, according to a new survey from the Labour Ministry in Prague. The report says Germany, Austria and Ireland are the next most popular destinations. Almost 55,000 workers from the Czech Republic registered to work in EU countries and Switzerland last year - more than 17,000 of those went to the UK.