Sunday

23rd Jan 2022

Record-breaking Omicron wave sweeps across Europe

The record numbers reflect those registered by health authorities, and does not include self-tests or infected people who develop no symptoms, and are not aware of their contagiousness.

News in Brief

  1. 'No embargo' on meetings with Putin, EU says
  2. Austria to fine unvaccinated people €3,600
  3. MEP: Airlines should start paying for CO2 sooner
  4. Twitter forced to disclose what it does to tackle hate speech
  5. EU watchdog calls for ban on political microtargeting
  6. MEPs adopt position on Digital Service Act
  7. Blinken delivers stark warning to Russia in Berlin
  8. Hungary's Orbán to discuss nuclear project with Putin

Opinion

Covid: what Germany got right - and wrong

Objectively speaking, German politicians have earned a good report card for their management of the corona pandemic so far. Why then is there so much anger about the national coronavirus response?

Opinion

Covid as Medusa's raft

When you are told "we are all in the same boat", be suspicious. In fact, 205 years after the survivors of the Frigate of Medusa shipwreck were reduced to cannibalism to survive, "we are all on Medusa's raft".

EU unveils plan to repay Covid recovery-fund borrowing

The European Commission has presented three new sources of revenues for the EU´s coffers aimed at repaying the emergency coronavirus recovery fund and supporting vulnerable households in the transition towards climate neutrality.

WHO: Omicron to infect over half of Europeans in two months

The World Health Organization said Omicron is likely to infect more than half of the population in Europe within the next two months, threatening healthcare systems. It warned that it is too early to consider Covid as an endemic virus.

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WHO 'good news': more proof of milder Omicron symptoms

A World Health Organisation official said hospitalisations and death rates linked to the spread of Omicron tend to be lower than with previous strains. The more transmissible variant appears to affect mostly the upper respiratory tract, causing milder symptoms.

Christmas travel disrupted by Omicron variant

The spread of the more transmissible Omicron variant of coronavirus has triggered a flurry of flight cancellations, hampering Christmas plans for millions of people.

Covid-pass protestors try to storm Romanian parliament

The protest was organised by the far-right populist party the Alliance for Romanian Unity (AUR), which is strongly against Covid restrictions and against the law that would make a certificate mandatory for the workplace.

Opinion

Where is the transparency in the EU €2 trillion recovery?

A lack of transparency and unwillingness to engage stakeholders, with first the EU pandemic recovery plans and now with the cohesion funds, threatens to imperil a bounceback instead of steering the Green Deal.

Will Christmas be cancelled again?

The surge of infections and emergence of the more-transmissible variant Omicron has raised concerns about possible lockdown restrictions in the EU, but for the thousands of Europeans who recently tested positive Christmas is already cancelled.

EU leaders divided over Omicron travel rules

EU leaders failed to guarantee a coordinated approach to travel measures for the Christmas holiday season during their summit meeting. Instead they stressed that boosters shots are "crucial" and "urgent" to curb the new wave of Covid-19 infections.

WHO warns mandatory vaccination 'absolute last resort'

Mandatory vaccination has become a hot topic in the EU, but the European branch of the World Health Organization has warned that it should be "an absolute last resort". Children, meanwhile, account for the highest infection-rates across the continent.

Latest News

  1. Lawyers threaten action over new EU gas and nuclear rules
  2. MEPs urge inclusion of abortion rights in EU charter
  3. EU orders Poland to pay €70m in fines
  4. Dutch mayors protest strict lockdown measures
  5. Macron promises strong EU borders
  6. MEPs to crackdown on digital 'Wild West'
  7. Macron calls for new security order and talks with Russia
  8. Macron's vision will hit EU Council veto buffers

EU agency: 'Omicron vaccine' approval to take 3-4 months

The EU drug regulator's chief said the bloc is ready to tackle mutations and allow for the fast-track approval of redesigned vaccines. The EU's disease agency said all known European Omicron cases were so far asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.

Omicron shows need for pandemic global pact, WHO says

The emergence of the new and more-contagious Omicron variant has revealed how "perilous and precarious" the Covid situation is and "why the world needs a new accord on pandemics," the chief of the World Health Organisation said.

Feature

Why Is Italy struggling to convert its anti-vaxxers?

Almost every weekend, protesters continue to hold demonstrations and sit-ins across Italy in opposition to the so-called "green pass" — proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative Covid test needed to access workplaces and a whole host of public services.

EU Commission: This Covid wave will not hit economy as hard

"Our estimate is that the economic consequences will not be as serious as they have been last winter," economic commissioner Paolo Gentiloni told reporters when presenting the executive's economic recommendations for EU countries.

Surge of infections triggers new restrictions, despite vaccination

The spike in Covid-19 infections is prompting some EU governments to introduce lockdown measures and restrictions for the unvaccinated. Meanwhile, travel operators are calling for coordination and a common approach for booster doses and valid certificates.

Central Europe struggles with new Covid-19 wave

A new wave of Covid-19 infections has been sweeping through central Europe, where the vaccination rate is generally below the EU average - partly due to low trust in institutions.

Stakeholder

The Covid-19 pandemic took everyone by surprise

All important future challenges - climate protection, digitalisation, strong public health care - call for massive and comprehensive investment programmes.

Romania reaches historic high in Covid deaths

The macabre scenes, with town halls across the country using excavators to dig burial plots for recently Covid-deceased, as cemeteries and undertakers can no longer cope, has led to a surge in those wanting to vaccinate.

Exclusive

Talks to strengthen EU virus-alert agency stall

Closed-door negotiations to strengthen the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control appear to be faltering, according to an internal EU document that spells out the so-called trilogue positions of the co-legislators.