Insight Central Europe News

Bush holds talks with Polish President on missile defence shield

US President George W Bush was in Poland on Friday as part of a European visit that included the Czech Republic and the G8 summit in Germany. Mr Bush met with Polish President Lech Kaczynski at the Presidential Retreat at Jurata. The main topic was the U.S. missile defence shield, parts of which the Pentagon hopes to deploy in Poland. Earlier in the week Russian President Vladimir Putin, who opposes the plan, proposed that the US use a base in Azerbaijan instead of the planned facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic. Mr Putin said the base could detect incoming missiles from so-called rogue states aimed at Europe or the US.

Slovak court dismisses complaint Malinova complaint

The Constitutional Court in Slovakia has turned down a complaint lodged by Hedviga Malinova who alleged that in August 2006 she was beaten up for speaking Hungarian on her mobile phone. She complained to the court that her right to protection against inhuman and humiliating treatment had been violated. The court ruled however, that Ms Malinova had not used all possible legal instruments available to her.

Slovakia and Hungary plan joint development projects for border areas

Slovakia and Hungary are planning to launch joint development projects worth 216 million euros over the next six years. The projects, supported by the European Union, are designed to boost economic and social integration in border regions. They will include road and rail development, tourism projects and water management.

Slovenia to support Western Balkans during EU presidency

Slovenia says it will use its presidency of the EU in the first half of 2008 to raise the profile of Balkan states within Europe. A source close to the government says Slovenia will focus on the EU's eventual enlargement to the Western Balkans. The source said Slovenia hopes Macedonia will start EU negotiations under its presidency while Montenegro could get candidate status.

Major investment planned for Budapest airport

A consortium led by German construction company Hochtief AG is to invest 261 million euros in developing Budapest's main international airport. Last week the company concluded its purchase of the airport for 1.9 billion euros. Budapest Airport says the consortium will invest the funds over the next five years. It says it aims to strengthen its position in central and eastern Europe while boosting passenger numbers and improving service and efficiency.