Infection numbers are rising rapidly across Europe. Although the hospitals are not yet overstretched due to the fact that mainly young people are coming down with the virus at the moment, this may soon change, as the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) recently warned. It doesn't look as if Europe is any better prepared than it was in the spring, commentators note with dismay.

Just over two weeks after the fire that destroyed the Moria refugee camp, the EU Commission presented a new Pact on Migration and Asylum on Wednesday. Among other changes it foresees that member states would no longer be obliged to take in a certain number of refugees but could instead opt to take on tasks such as repatriation of those whose applications are rejected. Few commentators believe the proposed package is a viable solution.

In the final of the Uefa Super Cup, FC Bayern defeated FC Sevilla 2-1 on Thursday. Although the host city Budapest has recently recorded more than 100 coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days, Uefa went ahead with the match, which was meant to serve as a test run for the return of spectators to stadiums. Commentators discuss the pros and cons of this experiment.

Conflict in the EU persists over sanctions against Minsk in light of the human rights violations in Belarus. While the list of those whose accounts have been blocked and who have been banned from entering the EU now comprises 40 people, Cyprus is blocking the unanimous decision necessary to put the sanctions into effect. Observers speculate about the reasons for the veto and for the lax reactions on the part of Berlin and Brussels.

The protests against Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov entered their 78th day today. The last few days have also seen several riots and clashes between demonstrators and police. The protesters are making the same demand they did at the beginning: the resignation of the government. Borisov, however, continues to refuse, mainly on the grounds that his leadership is democratically legitimate. The national press takes a different view.

After the death of liberal Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shortly before the presidential election in November, US President Donald Trump can nominate her successor. If confirmed by the Senate, his decision could cement a clear conservative majority in the court. Observers examine what this would mean for the country.

Securing as many town halls as possible will be the top priority for the national liberal PNL government and PSD, the largest opposition party, in Romania's local elections on Sunday. Romanian commentators explain why heading to the polling station is far more important for voters than the term "local elections" might suggest.

The Johnson government has failed entirely when it comes to Brexit and the coronavirus, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said during the party's virtual party conference, which ended on Tuesday. Starmer also took aim at the left-wing course of his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn - under whom Labour had the worst election result since 1935. Will his moderate line put Labour back on the road to success?

Lukashenka has been sworn into office for a sixth term in an unannounced ceremony. The event was not broadcast live on television, as is usually the case, and the announcement that it had taken place only came afterwards. Was this confirmation of his status as a dictator alienated from his people or a clever move that prevented violent excesses?

Italy's governing coalition has emerged stronger from a referendum and regional elections which ended on Monday. Although the Partito Democratico (PD) lost one region to the right-wing Lega, it didn't suffer the predicted crushing defeat. In addition, 70 percent of voters were in favour of the reduction in the size of the Italian parliament proposed by PD's coalition partner M5S. International commentators discuss whether the vote heralds a new phase of political stability.

After weeks of negotiations between employers and trade unions, the Spanish government has passed a decree that regulates working from home. Among other provisions it stipulates that companies must pay the costs incurred by employees when purchasing equipment and furnishings for the home office. The national newspapers are divided on whether the decree is an effective and well-considered measure.

A heated debate has broken out in Lithuania about commercials for the telecommunications company Telia featuring basketball stars Darjuš and Kšyštof Lavrinovič. The two brothers were convicted of participating in a gang rape in 1998. Commentators discuss the role model function and the potential for deterrence and rehabilitation.

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