Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday has proposed the creation of a "safe corridor" that will allow travel between countries which have successfully contained their coronavirus outbreaks in a bid to revive tourism, which came grinding to a halt in March following widespread lockdowns and travel bans.
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Analysts say such displays hint at a geopolitical realignment taking place in parts of Central and Southeast Europe as the pandemic prompts some governments to pivot away from Brussels and towards more authoritarian allies to the east.
European Union leaders start two days of tough talks on Thursday on a joint seven-year budget from 2021 and must work out how to fill a 75 billion euro ($81 billion) hole left by Britain's departure just as they face costly climate, migration and development challenges.
CZECH PRIME MINISTER ANDREJ BABIS
"Imagine me being Harry Potter, having a magic stick and transforming all the planned projects into reality now," he continued. "We would immediately become a second Switzerland."
Of course, Babis was quickly reminded that despite his immense economic and political heft, his powers remain earthbound.