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The paper clip

20.02.2013 / 10:09 CET
A round-up of the international press on Wednesday, 20 February.

Bulgaria's prime minister, Boyko Borisov, has said that he and his government will step down today. The decision follows a week of public protests – including two cases of self-immolation – at rising energy prices. The government has said that it intends to remove the licence from the Czech energy-generating company ČEZ. Bulgaria's Trud and Dnevnik are dominated by the news. The Czech daily Lidové noviny has a report.

Armenia's President Serzh Sarkisian has won a second term. Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza and Austria's Die Presse have reports. The Moscow Times considers the geopolitical balancing game that Sarkisian is expected to continue.

François Hollande, France's president, has called on French companies to invest in Greece, write Kathimerini. Hollande held talks with Antonis Samaras, Greece's prime minister, in Athens yesterday. Strikes have brought Greece “to a standstill”, the Irish Times writes. A nationwide protest against wage cuts and high taxes has left schools shut and hospitals working with emergency staff.

Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti has said that an ostensible rival and possible successor, Pier Luigi Bersani, could govern well, La Repubblica reports. Corriere della Sera looks at the success being enjoyed by the campaign of the comedian Beppe Grillo. The New York Times considers the unease in German political circles at the possible return of Silvio Berlusconi to an Italian government.

The New York Times reports on German fears that Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's disgraced former prime minister, might stage a comeback in next weekend's election. The UK's Independent says that a powerful group of former ministers and officials in France wants former president Nicolas Sarkozy to make a political comeback.

Slovakia's Sme reports that the Czech parliament has approved the deployment of 50 Czechs to join the EU's 500-strong training mission to Mali. France's Le Figaro reports that France is to release development aid that had been frozen in the wake of a military coup last March. France's President François Hollande has announced that a French soldier has been killed in a clash with extremists in a mountainous region of northern Mali, the UK's Independent reports.

Qatar, a key supporter of the Syrian rebels, has criticised the EU for extending its ban on the supply of arms to Syria, the UK's Guardian reports. Qatar argues that the blanket arms embargo will only prolong the war.

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung writes that corruption is deeply ingrained in Romanian society and that it has even deepened in some areas in recent years.

The Dutch navy yesterday arrested nine pirates off the coast of Somalia, Trouw reports.

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico is proposing that Roma children should be sent to boarding schools, Sme reports.

Slovakia's Sme has a report on yesterday's efforts by the Slovak and Hungarian presidents to improve relations between the two countries.

Belarus may be considering selling the Belarusian section of the Druzhba oil pipeline to Russia, Poland's Rzeczpospolita writes.

The Israeli government has hinted that Prisoner X – the late Ben Zygier, an Australian held incommunicado and without a name – was an agent of the Israeli secret service. Ha'aretz says that the government's first official statement is being seen as an attempt to minimize the damages to the diplomatic relations between Israel and Australia.

Switzerland's Tages-Anzeiger considers the second term of US President Barack Obama and apparent changes in his approach, under the headline “Obama 2.0”. Spain's La Vanguardia reports on mounting concerns in the Obama administration at concerted cyber-attacks and espionage by China.

Russia is continuing to evacuate its citizens from Syria, where a missile hit a working-class neighbourhood of Aleppo, killing at least 31, writes L'Orient-Le Jour.

Hürriyet Daily News writes that John Kerry, the new US secretary of state, will travel to Turkey and eight other countries in Europe and the Middle East as part of his first official trip abroad.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that a Lesbian woman has the right to adopt her partner's child, writes Die Presse. Beatrix Karl, Austria's justice minister, announced that she would implement the ruling promptly. The case had been brought by an Austrian couple.

© 2014 European Voice. All rights reserved.

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