The Swiss will vote on a CO2 law this Sunday which foresees financial incentives for green initiatives and investments, while airline tickets, heating oil and fuel would become more expensive. But whereas 60 percent of those polled were in favour of the bill at the end of April, the approval rate has now dropped to 54 percent. And this is not the only cause for concern among observers.
Since mid-May, Portugal has been the only major European destination that Britons were allowed to visit, and even hosted the Champions League final. But now the UK has put the country on its amber list and imposed quarantine for all returnees starting Tuesday - due to concerns about the doubling of the incidence rate to 66 and the new variant Delta+K417N. Lisbon has accused London of health fundamentalism.
State Premier Reiner Haseloff's Christian Democrats (CDU) won a clear victory in the state election in Saxony-Anhalt on Sunday, securing 37.1 percent of the vote. The right-wing populist AfD remained the second strongest force with 20.8 percent. Europe's press takes different views of the results, also as regards the ramifications for Germany's upcoming general election.
The films The Brother and The Brother 2 by Russian director Alexei Balabanov, made in 1997 and 2000 respectively, are now available on Netflix and have triggered fierce debate in Ukraine. The main protagonist insults blacks, Caucasians and Ukrainians, provoking angry reactions from viewers. At the same time, pro-Russian forces are alienated by Netflix's decision to describe extreme right-wing Ukrainians with a vague, intransparent term in the film's subtitles.
Russia has seen a crackdown on Kremlin critics in recent weeks. The authorities have taken harsh action against several independent opposition figures, including arrests, searches and investigation proceedings. The critical news website newsru.com has had to shut down after 21 years in operation, and Vtimes will also be discontinued on 12 June. Commentators are alarmed.
The finance ministers of the G7 countries agreed on a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15 percent on Saturday. Under the deal, multinationals will pay more taxes in the country where they generate turnover rather than in the country where they have their headquarters, as has been the case so far. Participants at the meeting celebrated the decision as a historic reform. Commentators acknowledge this, but some doubt that it will truly curb tax avoidance.
Budapest's left-wing mayor Gergely Karácsony has launched a bid to become the lead candidate of a coalition of opposition parties aimed at unseating Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. To this end he announced the establishment of Alliance 99 (the 99 stands for 99 percent of the citizens). Hungary's main opposition parties on the left and right had already decided last year to run together against Orbán's Fidesz, which has been in power since 2010, in the 2022 parliamentary elections.
The Belarusian state television broadcaster ONT aired a lengthy interview with the imprisoned government critic Roman Pratasevich in which the 26-year-old blogger - breaking down in tears at times - admitted to organising protests against President Lukashenka and said he in fact admired the president. Belarusian opposition activists in exile and Pratasevich's parents are convinced that the interview was the result of torture.
The Ukrainian government has presented a draft law aimed at the "deoligarchisation" of the country. Those who are oligarchs according to the definition stipulated in the draft must register and disclose their income on an annual basis. In addition, they are prohibited from financing political parties and purchasing state property. The media are sceptical that this is the right way to break the power of oligarchs in Ukraine.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on MPs on Twitter to oppose the new government coalition announced by opposition leader Yair Lapid on Wednesday. With 61 of the 120 seats in the Knesset, the coalition has a razor thin majority. Europe's media doubt whether the new government can really bring about change - and whether Netanyahu will really have to step down after 12 years.
After five years of tough negotiations, representatives of the EU states and the European Parliament have agreed on new legislation that will force large multinational companies in the EU to disclose their profits and tax payments. The measure is aimed at boosting tax transparency. Is this a major breakthrough on the path to more fair taxation?