Elections in Bulgaria
On 14th and 21st of November 2021, some seven million Bulgarians were called to the polls to elect their president and renew their MPs. The elections took place in a difficult political context for the country, as these were already three parlementary elections this year, as the April and July elections did not allow the formation of a stable government. The government is also facing major street protests against endemic corruption. The four-party coalition “We continue the change” won the elections with 25% of the polls, and its leader Kiril Petkov became Prime Minister. The GERB party of former prime minister and strongman Boiko Borissov came second with 22% of the polls. In the first round of the presidential election, the incumbent president Roumen Radev was challenged by Anastas Guerdjikov, supported by former prime minister Borissov. After the second round, Roumen Radev was re-elected for a 5-year term with 66% of the polls. Bulgaria, the poorest country in the European Union, undermined by endemic corruption, faces many challenges for its future, with a sharply declining demography, emptied of its vital forces who have often emigrated in search of a better future in Western Europe, a situation aggravated by the covid-19 pandemic and the migratory crisis, the country, bordering Turkey, being on the front line.
New government in the Czech Republic
On November 28th, Petr Fiala became the new head of the Czech government, following the legislative elections of last October. Petr Fiala, a 57-year-old academic and journalist, former Minister of Education, is the leader of the liberal-conservative coalition Spolu (Together). His coalition failed to win a majority in the parliamentary elections and he had to join forces with another coalition, including the Pirate Party, to form a government. The swearing-in of the new government was delayed by the health problems of Czech President Miloš Zeman. Petr Fiala succeeds the liberal populist Andrej Babiš. The Pirate Party participates in the Czech government for the first time, getting two ministries, including Foreign Affairs, to which Jan Lipavský was appointed.
COP 26 in Glasgow
From 1st to 13th of November, the 26th Conference of Parties on climate was held in Glasgow, under the auspices of the United Nations. Most of the 196 UN member states took part. The conference resulted in a hard-won Glasgow Pact committing even more countries to carbon neutrality, including India by 2070, a great achievement. The countries agreed to limit global warming to 2°C and if possible, even to 1.5°C. 152 countries increased their greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and 82 countries committed to converge towards carbon neutrality. More than 120 countries have also committed to halting and reversing deforestation by 2030. Several local governments (countries, regions, cities) have committed to greener transport. The reduction of dependence on fossil fuels has been agreed, and several large coal-consuming countries have committed to quitting this highly polluting energy, without specifying any time target.