05
Jul
12:42 UTC

MAX – Europe and the Americas Daily Summary – July 5, 2021

The following report reviews current events in the Europe and the Americas region and their possible effect on business continuity and security.

Highlights of the Day

Americas

  • Americas: Tropical Storm Elsa formation to impact Cayman Islands, Cuba, Florida Peninsula in coming days; remain abreast of alerts
  • Chile: Constitutional Convention launched amid protest in Santiago on July 4; intermittent protests expected throughout drafting process
  • USA: Person detained for crashing car into Washington Monument grounds in Washington, DC on July 3; extremist leanings cannot be ruled out

Europe

  • Austria: Three Afghan asylum-seekers detained following death of minor in Vienna, per July 4 reports; anti-migrant sentiments to intensify
  • Europe: France warns of fourth COVID-19 wave as countries record surge in cases as of July 5; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates
  • France: RN re-elects Le Pen as leader on July 4 at Perpignan party congress; Le Pen likely to overhaul RN image ahead of 2022 elections

 

Americas Actionable Items

Americas: Canada eases entry restrictions for fully-vaccinated citizens on July 5; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates

In Brazil, vaccinations against COVID-19 in Sao Paulo for people who are 41 years old will take place between July 5-7. In Canada, citizens and permanent residents who are fully inoculated against COVID-19 by one of the approved vaccinations will be exempt from quarantine measures. Eligible air travelers will also be exempt from the requirement of spending the first three days post-arrival in a government-approved hotel. Travelers are required to use the ArriveCAN app or web portal prior to departure to upload their vaccination details and the results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past 72 hours prior to arrival. In Colombia, the Ministry of Health announced that people with comorbidities will be vaccinated without the need to register in the Mi Vacuna application as of July 4. In Ecuador, travelers who have a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate, proving they are fully inoculated with an approved single-dose or two-dose COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to arrival, will be able to enter Ecuador without restrictions. These travelers will not be subject to testing or quarantine measures.

Those operating or residing in the Americas on July 5 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ instructions regarding quarantines and health procedures.

 

Americas: Tropical Storm Elsa formation to impact Cayman Islands, Cuba, Florida Peninsula in coming days; remain abreast of alerts

According to July 5 reports, Tropical Storm Elsa is tracking northwest in the Caribbean Sea. Details regarding the forecasted path can be found here. The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has forecasted the risk of a storm surge with strong winds and heavy rainfall, resulting in flash flooding in low-lying areas, mudslides, and power outages across the Cayman Islands and Cuba through July 5. Further, there is an increasing risk of storm conditions along the Florida Peninsula between July 6-7 and the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas between July 7-8. Heavy rainfall is also forecast to result in isolated flash flooding across coastal South Carolina. US authorities have declared a state of emergency for multiple counties in Florida, including Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota. A Storm Surge Watch was issued for the West coast of Florida, FL, from Bonita Beach to the Suwannee River. The ban on all flights and boats in Haiti was lifted, and the Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) in Barbados resumed operations.

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned regions in the Americas on July 5 and the coming days are advised to remain abreast of alerts related to the tropical storm and related risks.

 

Peru: FA coalition calls for protest in support of Pedro Castillo at Av. Uruguay 335, Lima on July 6; maintain heightened vigilance

The Frente Amplio por Justicia, Vida y Libertad (FA), a coalition of left-wing parties, political organizations, and civil society groups, has called for a nationwide mobilization on July 6 in support of Pedro Castillo, the presidential candidate from the left-wing Peru Libre party. In Lima, the protest will be held at Av. Uruguay 335 at 11:30 (local time). Protests by supporters of Castillo and right-wing Fuerza Popular’s candidate Keiko Fujimori have been staged in recent weeks as voters await official election results.

Based on precedent, the protest in Lima is expected to draw a turnout ranging in the high-hundreds-to-low-thousands. Spontaneous protests may be held outside key government buildings in Lima. Nationwide demonstrations may also be staged in prominent public spaces across large urban centers. Moreover, the possibility of nationwide counter-protests by supporters of Fujimori cannot be ruled out. The slated protest in Lima carries an elevated potential for unrest, with clashes between protesters, potential counter-protesters, and security officials expected. Significant disruptions to traffic can be anticipated in the vicinity of Av. Uruguay 335 from the morning hours onwards.

Those operating or residing in Lima on July 6 are advised to maintain heightened vigilance in the vicinity of Av. Uruguay 335 and allot for associated travel-related disruptions due to the slated protest.

 

Venezuela: Healthcare workers to hold nationwide protests on July 6-7, associated strike on July 8; maintain heightened vigilance

Protests by healthcare workers will be held on July 6-8. On July 6, protesters will gather in front of hospitals nationwide at 09:00 (local time). On July 7, a march will begin in front of the Ministry of Health in Caracas from 09:00. On July 8, members of the sector will stage a 24-hour nationwide strike. The mobilizations were called after an NGO reported the death of 14 healthcare personnel due to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 683 healthcare workers since the pandemic started.

Given the mobilization capabilities of unions, the strike is likely to be widely adhered to, causing significant disruptions to healthcare services nationwide on July 8. Moreover, the protests are likely to draw a turnout ranging in the high-dozens to low hundreds each. Based on precedent, the demonstrations carry an elevated potential for unrest in the form of clashes between protesters and security forces, with authorities liable to use forcible dispersal methods and conduct mass arrests in the event of widespread unrest. Traffic disruptions can be anticipated in the vicinity of protest locations nationwide.

Those operating or residing in Venezuela on July 6-8 are advised to allot for disruptions to health services due to the slated protests and nationwide strike. 

 

Americas Notable Events

Chile: Constitutional Convention launched amid protest in Santiago on July 4; intermittent protests expected throughout drafting process

The 155-member Constitutional Convention, tasked with drafting a new constitution, was inaugurated in Santiago on July 4. The body was elected in May, with a large majority of seats secured by independent and left-wing candidates. The Convention will be headed by Elisa Loncon, an indigenous member of the Mapuche community. The inauguration proceedings were reportedly interrupted temporarily by a protest organized by supporters of La Lista del Pueblo, a coalition of independent candidates. 

Given the composition of the newly inaugurated committee, the convention is expected to largely focus on major social reforms including education, health, and pensions. However, considering the diversity of the convention, delays to the drafting of a new constitution can be expected, with the completion of the process likely to go beyond the scheduled deadline of 2022. With a member of the Mapuche community elected to head the committee, attacks by the indigenous community are liable to abate in the medium term. That said, small to medium-scale protests demanding social change may continue intermittently throughout the drafting process, especially if proposed policies are perceived as unfavorable. 

 

USA: Person detained for crashing car into Washington Monument grounds in Washington, DC on July 3; extremist leanings cannot be ruled out

An individual was arrested after allegedly crashing his car into a barrier at the Washington Monument in Washington, DC on July 3. The driver allegedly accelerated towards a group of pedestrians on the grounds, but no bystanders were injured. According to eyewitness accounts, the perpetrator issued statements against prominent social media companies and claimed the federal government was trying to kill him. Authorities are investigating a motive as of writing.

While witness testimonies and current reports indicate that the driver likely suffered from psychological instability, including paranoia, links with extremist ideology cannot be ruled out, especially amid conspiracy theories against technology companies gaining traction on platforms frequented by extremist sympathizers. This is further evidenced in recent plots targeting technology companies, including in Virginia in April. Regardless, it illustrates a growing trend of deliberate vehicle-related crash incidents, including three in Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona in June. Although no bystanders were injured in the incident, that it occurred in a heavily trafficked area inside a national park reiterates the potential threat to bystanders in vehicle-related incidents at public spaces.

 

Europe Actionable Items

Europe: France warns of fourth COVID-19 wave as countries record surge in cases as of July 5; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates

In Denmark, close contacts to COVID-19 patients infected with the Delta variant are no longer required to go into isolation. However, they must continue to be tested on the fourth and sixth days if they are unvaccinated. French Health Minister Olivier Veran has warned of a possible fourth wave of COVID-19 by the end of July. In Greece, inter-prefecture travel restrictions also apply to those intending to travel by boat as of July 5. In Italy,  authorities in Florence will prohibit visitors from walking around popular parts of the city center during the evening hours (local time) on weekends, starting July 18. Authorities in Portugal announced on July 4 that they intend to vaccinate a further 1.7 million individuals against COVID-19. Russia recorded its highest death toll from COVID-19 for the fifth consecutive day on July 3. The UK Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has stated that masks are due to be made optional based on the inoculation status of individuals when the final set of restrictions are lifted on July 19.

Those operating or residing in Europe on July 5 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ instructions regarding quarantines, travel restrictions, and health procedures. 

 

Europe: One dead following flooding in Crimea, orange alerts issued for forest fire in Finland through July 5; remain cognizant of updates

In Finland, officials have issued orange warnings, the second-highest in a four-tier system, for forest fires in the Varsinais-Suomi region, including in Turku, through July 5. Moreover, Meteoalarm, Europe’s regional weather agency, has issued orange warnings for a heatwave across Finland. In Crimea, flooding due to heavy rainstorms led to at least one dead, and more than a hundred residential houses flooded on July 4. As a result, the Barchisarai region declared a state of emergency of municipal importance, and over sixty rescuers were deployed during the overnight hours (local time) of July 4-5. Since the beginning of June, the region has been affected by heavy rainstorms, which resulted in one person dead in Yalta on June 18. Inclement weather, including heavy rainfall, is forecast for the coming days in the Crimean Peninsula. 

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned regions in Europe on July 5 and in the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of local weather updates and allot for possible disruption of services.

 

Germany: Two demonstrations to be held in Berlin from 17:30 (local time) on July 6; maintain vigilance

Reports indicate that two demonstrations are scheduled to be held in Berlin on July 6. A protest by housing activists against the taxation system allegedly favoring big real estate companies and rising rents is slated to be held at Los Angeles Platz at 17:30 (local time). Additionally, left-wing activists will carry out a protest march against eviction from Hermannstrasse 48 at 17:30. Participants will then continue towards Weserstrasse & Finowstrasse.

Based on precedent, the demonstrations are likely to attract turnouts in the high-dozens to low-hundreds each. A bolstered security presence is expected to be deployed in the vicinity of the protest locations to monitor proceedings. Given the expected participation of left-wing activists, coupled with unrest recorded at recent demonstrations, the protests carry with them a potential for unrest in the form of clashes between protesters and police. Security officials are liable to use forcible methods of dispersal and conduct mass arrests in event of escalating unrest. Travel disruptions to pedestrian and vehicular traffic are anticipated in the vicinity of the protest locations from the evening hours onwards.

Those operating or residing in Berlin on July 6 are advised to maintain vigilance and allot for disruptions to travel in the vicinity of the aforementioned locations from the evening hours onwards.

 

Italy: Trade unions slated to hold 24-hour aviation workers strike on July 6 nationwide; allot for disruptions

Multiple unions, including Federazione Italiana Lavoratori Trasporti-Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (FILT-CGIL) and Federazione Italiana Trasporti-Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori (FIT-CISL), have called on aviation workers to hold a 24-hour nationwide strike on July 6. The strike is being called in defense of the employment of workers for Alitalia, Air Italy, Blue Panorama, Air Dolomiti, and all workers for foreign airlines in the country.

Based on the mobilization capabilities of the unions involved, the nationwide strike is likely to be widely adhered to, with temporary disruptions to aviation services expected nationwide, including in Milan and Rome. Delays and cancellations cannot be ruled out at major airports nationwide, including at Milan Linate Airport (LIN) and at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO) for the duration of the strike. While no associated protests have been confirmed as of writing, based on precedent, spontaneous demonstrations in major cities cannot be ruled out. Potential locations include main airports in large urban cities nationwide. Possible demonstrations are expected to transpire largely peacefully and without major incidents of unrest.

Those operating or residing in Italy on July 6 are advised to allot for disruptions to aviation services and reconfirm travel itineraries due to the slated aviation workers strike. 

 

Spain: LGBTQ+ groups to hold nationwide protests, including in Barcelona, Madrid at 20:00 (local time) on July 5; allot for disruptions

LGBTQ+ groups are slated to hold nationwide demonstrations, including in Barcelona and Madrid at 20:00 (local time) on July 5 to condemn the murder of 24-year-old Samuel Luiz in A Coruna on July 3. Multiple civil society groups have denounced the attack as homophobic, although authorities are not treating the incident as such. In Barcelona, the protest will take place at the intersection of Comte Borrell and Carrer del Parlament, while in Madrid, the demonstration will be held at Puerta del Sol. Similar protests are planned in multiple cities across Galicia at the same time. 

Based on social media estimates, the protests are liable to attract turnouts ranging in the high-dozens to high-hundreds each, with the protests in Barcelona and Madrid likely to be the largest. While the protests are likely to transpire largely peacefully, the potential for isolated scuffles between protesters and police remains. A bolstered security presence is expected to be deployed to monitor proceedings. Localized disruptions to vehicular and pedestrian traffic may be anticipated in the vicinity of the protest locations from 20:00 onwards. 

Those operating or residing in Barcelona, Madrid, and other cities in Spain on July 5 are advised to allot for disruptions in the vicinity of the aforementioned locations due to the slated protests. 

 

Ukraine: Protest to be held outside State Bureau of Investigation in Kyiv at 11:00 (local time) on July 6; maintain vigilance

According to reports, a protest is slated to take place outside the State Bureau of Investigation, located at Symona Petlyury Street 15 in Kyiv, at 11:00 (local time) on July 6. The protest has been organized by the Resistance Movement of Surrender civil society organization to demand that President Volodymyr Zelensky be investigated for treason.

Based on the mobilizational capacity of the group involved, the slated protest is liable to attract a turnout ranging in the mid-hundreds. Given precedent and heightened anti-Zelensky sentiments, the protest carries a latent potential for unrest in the form of localized clashes between protesters and the police. As such, a bolstered security presence is likely to be deployed in the vicinity of the State Bureau of Investigation to monitor proceedings. Disruptions to both pedestrian and vehicular traffic can be anticipated in the vicinity of the protest location from the early afternoon hours onwards.

Those residing or operating in Kyiv on July 6 are advised to maintain vigilance in the vicinity of the State Bureau of Investigation due to the latent potential for unrest at the slated protest.

Europe Notable Events

Albania: 28 arrested, including senior officials in transnational drug trafficking probe on July 2; further such operations to continue 

28 people, including a government official and three senior police officers, were reportedly arrested as part of an international drug trafficking probe on July 2. 10 more suspects were arrested in Italy. Four entities and several assets of the suspects were also seized. The arrests follow a two-year investigation into the operations of four transnational criminal groups, which operated in Albania, Italy, Montenegro, and Spain. In 2016, authorities seized around six tons of drugs worth 55 million EUR which triggered the investigation.

The incident reiterates how collusion between public officials and transnational drug trafficking groups, enables criminal organizations to carry out illicit transnational drug trafficking from Albania. The joint operation is illustrative of Tirana’s increased attempts to crack down on illegal drug trafficking as part of the preconditions set for its accession talks with the EU, given that Albania has been a major source of cannabis exported to the region. As such, similar operations are expected to continue moving forward, with additional arrests of officials involved in drug trafficking, corruption, and money laundering likely moving forward. 

 

Austria: Three Afghan asylum-seekers detained following death of minor in Vienna, per July 4 reports; anti-migrant sentiments to intensify

According to July 4 reports, authorities detained three Afghan asylum-seekers for allegedly sexually abusing and killing a 13-year-old girl in Donaustadt, Vienna on June 26. An international arrest warrant has been issued against a fourth suspect. The asylum status of one of the detainees was revoked in 2017 amid numerous legal violations but is currently pending after a complaint was filed at the Federal Administrative Court. The ruling Osterreichische Volkspartei (OVP) party has pledged to speed up the deportation of criminal asylum seekers. 

Given that one of the suspects had a criminal record and was not deported by authorities due to the Federal Administrative Court’s delay to rule on his complaint, calls criticizing the court’s procedure and Austria’s asylum policy are likely in the near term. Considering that the murder follows the Islamist militant attack in Vienna in November 2020, it is likely to heighten far-right and anti-migrant sentiments among the public, with associated protests possible in the coming days. Moreover, the incident is likely to prompt political debates regarding migration policy and repatriation regimes at the EU level. 

 

Croatia: Multiple people arrested following homophobic attacks at Pride parade in Zagreb on July 3; protests by pro-LGBTQ+ groups expected

Multiple individuals have been arrested following a spate of homophobic incidents recorded at the Zagreb Pride parade on July 3, including physical assaults, verbal abuses, and the burning of an LGBTQ+ flag. Lawmakers from the center-right Most party, Nikola Grmoja and Bozo Petrov, announced on June 30 that they would propose a set of laws prohibiting the exposure of children to LGBT propaganda and linking the LGBTQ+ community to pedophilia. A ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in January condemned Croatia’s response to a violent homophobic attack in 2011 as “ineffective”.

The latest incidents reflect a continued targeting of the LGBTQ+ community, supported by 60 percent of members of the community having experienced discrimination, according to a May 2020 survey. Furthermore, given the timing of the attacks, it is possible that the assaults were incited by Grmoja and Petrov’s recent statements. With the representatives’ proposal prompting widespread public criticism, pro-LGBTQ+ groups are likely to call for nationwide protests to condemn the statements, as well as to demand an effective response to the incidents in the coming days.

 

France: RN re-elects Le Pen as leader on July 4 at Perpignan party congress; Le Pen likely to overhaul RN image ahead of 2022 elections

The far-right Rassemblement National (RN) re-elected Marine Le Pen as its leader on July 4 at the party’s Perpignan congress. Additionally, Jordan Bardella was chosen as deputy leader. Le Pen claimed to make the party more “mainstream” with the re-election following Le Pen’s joint declaration with far-right leaders including Italy’s Matteo Salvini and Hungary’s Viktor Orban to form an alliance of the right in the European Parliament (EP). 

Given RN’s poor performance in the regional elections, Le Pen is likely to restructure the party’s image ahead of the 2022 presidential elections. With Bardella’s appointment as deputy leader, RN may likely focus efforts on gaining support from a younger electorate. Given the prevalent concern over the rising insecurity, RN is unlikely to change its overall hardline policies including immigration, militancy, and crime. RN is also likely to retain its Eurosceptic stance, despite the claimed overhaul. With this and given RN’s Europe-wide alliance and that it holds 23 seats in the EP, the party stands a greater chance to influence wider immigration debates and attract more votes from its far-right electorate.

 

Notable Dates

July 6

  • Czech Republic: Jan Hus Day 
  • Germany: Protest in Berlin
  • Lithuania: Day of the State
  • Saint Vincent and Grenadines: Carnival Tuesday

 

July 8

  • Uruguay: Protest in Montevideo

 

July 9

  • Argentina: Independence Day
  • Colombia: Protest in Bogota

 

July 10

  • Bahamas: Independence Day
  • Germany: Protest in Berlin
  • Greece: Labor union strike

 

July 11

  • Moldova: Parliamentary elections
  • Bulgaria: General elections

 

July 12

  • UK: The Twelfth 

 

July 13

  • Montenegro: Statehood Day

 

July 14

  • France & French territories: National Day 
  • Montenegro: Statehood Day

 

July 16

  • Chile: Lady of Carmen Day

 

July 17

  • Germany: Protest in Hamburg

 

The following report reviews current events in the Europe and the Americas region and their possible effect on business continuity and security.

Highlights of the Day

Americas

  • Americas: Tropical Storm Elsa formation to impact Cayman Islands, Cuba, Florida Peninsula in coming days; remain abreast of alerts
  • Chile: Constitutional Convention launched amid protest in Santiago on July 4; intermittent protests expected throughout drafting process
  • USA: Person detained for crashing car into Washington Monument grounds in Washington, DC on July 3; extremist leanings cannot be ruled out

Europe

  • Austria: Three Afghan asylum-seekers detained following death of minor in Vienna, per July 4 reports; anti-migrant sentiments to intensify
  • Europe: France warns of fourth COVID-19 wave as countries record surge in cases as of July 5; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates
  • France: RN re-elects Le Pen as leader on July 4 at Perpignan party congress; Le Pen likely to overhaul RN image ahead of 2022 elections

 

Americas Actionable Items

Americas: Canada eases entry restrictions for fully-vaccinated citizens on July 5; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates

In Brazil, vaccinations against COVID-19 in Sao Paulo for people who are 41 years old will take place between July 5-7. In Canada, citizens and permanent residents who are fully inoculated against COVID-19 by one of the approved vaccinations will be exempt from quarantine measures. Eligible air travelers will also be exempt from the requirement of spending the first three days post-arrival in a government-approved hotel. Travelers are required to use the ArriveCAN app or web portal prior to departure to upload their vaccination details and the results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past 72 hours prior to arrival. In Colombia, the Ministry of Health announced that people with comorbidities will be vaccinated without the need to register in the Mi Vacuna application as of July 4. In Ecuador, travelers who have a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate, proving they are fully inoculated with an approved single-dose or two-dose COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to arrival, will be able to enter Ecuador without restrictions. These travelers will not be subject to testing or quarantine measures.

Those operating or residing in the Americas on July 5 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ instructions regarding quarantines and health procedures.

 

Americas: Tropical Storm Elsa formation to impact Cayman Islands, Cuba, Florida Peninsula in coming days; remain abreast of alerts

According to July 5 reports, Tropical Storm Elsa is tracking northwest in the Caribbean Sea. Details regarding the forecasted path can be found here. The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has forecasted the risk of a storm surge with strong winds and heavy rainfall, resulting in flash flooding in low-lying areas, mudslides, and power outages across the Cayman Islands and Cuba through July 5. Further, there is an increasing risk of storm conditions along the Florida Peninsula between July 6-7 and the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas between July 7-8. Heavy rainfall is also forecast to result in isolated flash flooding across coastal South Carolina. US authorities have declared a state of emergency for multiple counties in Florida, including Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota. A Storm Surge Watch was issued for the West coast of Florida, FL, from Bonita Beach to the Suwannee River. The ban on all flights and boats in Haiti was lifted, and the Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) in Barbados resumed operations.

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned regions in the Americas on July 5 and the coming days are advised to remain abreast of alerts related to the tropical storm and related risks.

 

Peru: FA coalition calls for protest in support of Pedro Castillo at Av. Uruguay 335, Lima on July 6; maintain heightened vigilance

The Frente Amplio por Justicia, Vida y Libertad (FA), a coalition of left-wing parties, political organizations, and civil society groups, has called for a nationwide mobilization on July 6 in support of Pedro Castillo, the presidential candidate from the left-wing Peru Libre party. In Lima, the protest will be held at Av. Uruguay 335 at 11:30 (local time). Protests by supporters of Castillo and right-wing Fuerza Popular’s candidate Keiko Fujimori have been staged in recent weeks as voters await official election results.

Based on precedent, the protest in Lima is expected to draw a turnout ranging in the high-hundreds-to-low-thousands. Spontaneous protests may be held outside key government buildings in Lima. Nationwide demonstrations may also be staged in prominent public spaces across large urban centers. Moreover, the possibility of nationwide counter-protests by supporters of Fujimori cannot be ruled out. The slated protest in Lima carries an elevated potential for unrest, with clashes between protesters, potential counter-protesters, and security officials expected. Significant disruptions to traffic can be anticipated in the vicinity of Av. Uruguay 335 from the morning hours onwards.

Those operating or residing in Lima on July 6 are advised to maintain heightened vigilance in the vicinity of Av. Uruguay 335 and allot for associated travel-related disruptions due to the slated protest.

 

Venezuela: Healthcare workers to hold nationwide protests on July 6-7, associated strike on July 8; maintain heightened vigilance

Protests by healthcare workers will be held on July 6-8. On July 6, protesters will gather in front of hospitals nationwide at 09:00 (local time). On July 7, a march will begin in front of the Ministry of Health in Caracas from 09:00. On July 8, members of the sector will stage a 24-hour nationwide strike. The mobilizations were called after an NGO reported the death of 14 healthcare personnel due to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 683 healthcare workers since the pandemic started.

Given the mobilization capabilities of unions, the strike is likely to be widely adhered to, causing significant disruptions to healthcare services nationwide on July 8. Moreover, the protests are likely to draw a turnout ranging in the high-dozens to low hundreds each. Based on precedent, the demonstrations carry an elevated potential for unrest in the form of clashes between protesters and security forces, with authorities liable to use forcible dispersal methods and conduct mass arrests in the event of widespread unrest. Traffic disruptions can be anticipated in the vicinity of protest locations nationwide.

Those operating or residing in Venezuela on July 6-8 are advised to allot for disruptions to health services due to the slated protests and nationwide strike. 

 

Americas Notable Events

Chile: Constitutional Convention launched amid protest in Santiago on July 4; intermittent protests expected throughout drafting process

The 155-member Constitutional Convention, tasked with drafting a new constitution, was inaugurated in Santiago on July 4. The body was elected in May, with a large majority of seats secured by independent and left-wing candidates. The Convention will be headed by Elisa Loncon, an indigenous member of the Mapuche community. The inauguration proceedings were reportedly interrupted temporarily by a protest organized by supporters of La Lista del Pueblo, a coalition of independent candidates. 

Given the composition of the newly inaugurated committee, the convention is expected to largely focus on major social reforms including education, health, and pensions. However, considering the diversity of the convention, delays to the drafting of a new constitution can be expected, with the completion of the process likely to go beyond the scheduled deadline of 2022. With a member of the Mapuche community elected to head the committee, attacks by the indigenous community are liable to abate in the medium term. That said, small to medium-scale protests demanding social change may continue intermittently throughout the drafting process, especially if proposed policies are perceived as unfavorable. 

 

USA: Person detained for crashing car into Washington Monument grounds in Washington, DC on July 3; extremist leanings cannot be ruled out

An individual was arrested after allegedly crashing his car into a barrier at the Washington Monument in Washington, DC on July 3. The driver allegedly accelerated towards a group of pedestrians on the grounds, but no bystanders were injured. According to eyewitness accounts, the perpetrator issued statements against prominent social media companies and claimed the federal government was trying to kill him. Authorities are investigating a motive as of writing.

While witness testimonies and current reports indicate that the driver likely suffered from psychological instability, including paranoia, links with extremist ideology cannot be ruled out, especially amid conspiracy theories against technology companies gaining traction on platforms frequented by extremist sympathizers. This is further evidenced in recent plots targeting technology companies, including in Virginia in April. Regardless, it illustrates a growing trend of deliberate vehicle-related crash incidents, including three in Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona in June. Although no bystanders were injured in the incident, that it occurred in a heavily trafficked area inside a national park reiterates the potential threat to bystanders in vehicle-related incidents at public spaces.

 

Europe Actionable Items

Europe: France warns of fourth COVID-19 wave as countries record surge in cases as of July 5; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates

In Denmark, close contacts to COVID-19 patients infected with the Delta variant are no longer required to go into isolation. However, they must continue to be tested on the fourth and sixth days if they are unvaccinated. French Health Minister Olivier Veran has warned of a possible fourth wave of COVID-19 by the end of July. In Greece, inter-prefecture travel restrictions also apply to those intending to travel by boat as of July 5. In Italy,  authorities in Florence will prohibit visitors from walking around popular parts of the city center during the evening hours (local time) on weekends, starting July 18. Authorities in Portugal announced on July 4 that they intend to vaccinate a further 1.7 million individuals against COVID-19. Russia recorded its highest death toll from COVID-19 for the fifth consecutive day on July 3. The UK Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has stated that masks are due to be made optional based on the inoculation status of individuals when the final set of restrictions are lifted on July 19.

Those operating or residing in Europe on July 5 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ instructions regarding quarantines, travel restrictions, and health procedures. 

 

Europe: One dead following flooding in Crimea, orange alerts issued for forest fire in Finland through July 5; remain cognizant of updates

In Finland, officials have issued orange warnings, the second-highest in a four-tier system, for forest fires in the Varsinais-Suomi region, including in Turku, through July 5. Moreover, Meteoalarm, Europe’s regional weather agency, has issued orange warnings for a heatwave across Finland. In Crimea, flooding due to heavy rainstorms led to at least one dead, and more than a hundred residential houses flooded on July 4. As a result, the Barchisarai region declared a state of emergency of municipal importance, and over sixty rescuers were deployed during the overnight hours (local time) of July 4-5. Since the beginning of June, the region has been affected by heavy rainstorms, which resulted in one person dead in Yalta on June 18. Inclement weather, including heavy rainfall, is forecast for the coming days in the Crimean Peninsula. 

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned regions in Europe on July 5 and in the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of local weather updates and allot for possible disruption of services.

 

Germany: Two demonstrations to be held in Berlin from 17:30 (local time) on July 6; maintain vigilance

Reports indicate that two demonstrations are scheduled to be held in Berlin on July 6. A protest by housing activists against the taxation system allegedly favoring big real estate companies and rising rents is slated to be held at Los Angeles Platz at 17:30 (local time). Additionally, left-wing activists will carry out a protest march against eviction from Hermannstrasse 48 at 17:30. Participants will then continue towards Weserstrasse & Finowstrasse.

Based on precedent, the demonstrations are likely to attract turnouts in the high-dozens to low-hundreds each. A bolstered security presence is expected to be deployed in the vicinity of the protest locations to monitor proceedings. Given the expected participation of left-wing activists, coupled with unrest recorded at recent demonstrations, the protests carry with them a potential for unrest in the form of clashes between protesters and police. Security officials are liable to use forcible methods of dispersal and conduct mass arrests in event of escalating unrest. Travel disruptions to pedestrian and vehicular traffic are anticipated in the vicinity of the protest locations from the evening hours onwards.

Those operating or residing in Berlin on July 6 are advised to maintain vigilance and allot for disruptions to travel in the vicinity of the aforementioned locations from the evening hours onwards.

 

Italy: Trade unions slated to hold 24-hour aviation workers strike on July 6 nationwide; allot for disruptions

Multiple unions, including Federazione Italiana Lavoratori Trasporti-Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (FILT-CGIL) and Federazione Italiana Trasporti-Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori (FIT-CISL), have called on aviation workers to hold a 24-hour nationwide strike on July 6. The strike is being called in defense of the employment of workers for Alitalia, Air Italy, Blue Panorama, Air Dolomiti, and all workers for foreign airlines in the country.

Based on the mobilization capabilities of the unions involved, the nationwide strike is likely to be widely adhered to, with temporary disruptions to aviation services expected nationwide, including in Milan and Rome. Delays and cancellations cannot be ruled out at major airports nationwide, including at Milan Linate Airport (LIN) and at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO) for the duration of the strike. While no associated protests have been confirmed as of writing, based on precedent, spontaneous demonstrations in major cities cannot be ruled out. Potential locations include main airports in large urban cities nationwide. Possible demonstrations are expected to transpire largely peacefully and without major incidents of unrest.

Those operating or residing in Italy on July 6 are advised to allot for disruptions to aviation services and reconfirm travel itineraries due to the slated aviation workers strike. 

 

Spain: LGBTQ+ groups to hold nationwide protests, including in Barcelona, Madrid at 20:00 (local time) on July 5; allot for disruptions

LGBTQ+ groups are slated to hold nationwide demonstrations, including in Barcelona and Madrid at 20:00 (local time) on July 5 to condemn the murder of 24-year-old Samuel Luiz in A Coruna on July 3. Multiple civil society groups have denounced the attack as homophobic, although authorities are not treating the incident as such. In Barcelona, the protest will take place at the intersection of Comte Borrell and Carrer del Parlament, while in Madrid, the demonstration will be held at Puerta del Sol. Similar protests are planned in multiple cities across Galicia at the same time. 

Based on social media estimates, the protests are liable to attract turnouts ranging in the high-dozens to high-hundreds each, with the protests in Barcelona and Madrid likely to be the largest. While the protests are likely to transpire largely peacefully, the potential for isolated scuffles between protesters and police remains. A bolstered security presence is expected to be deployed to monitor proceedings. Localized disruptions to vehicular and pedestrian traffic may be anticipated in the vicinity of the protest locations from 20:00 onwards. 

Those operating or residing in Barcelona, Madrid, and other cities in Spain on July 5 are advised to allot for disruptions in the vicinity of the aforementioned locations due to the slated protests. 

 

Ukraine: Protest to be held outside State Bureau of Investigation in Kyiv at 11:00 (local time) on July 6; maintain vigilance

According to reports, a protest is slated to take place outside the State Bureau of Investigation, located at Symona Petlyury Street 15 in Kyiv, at 11:00 (local time) on July 6. The protest has been organized by the Resistance Movement of Surrender civil society organization to demand that President Volodymyr Zelensky be investigated for treason.

Based on the mobilizational capacity of the group involved, the slated protest is liable to attract a turnout ranging in the mid-hundreds. Given precedent and heightened anti-Zelensky sentiments, the protest carries a latent potential for unrest in the form of localized clashes between protesters and the police. As such, a bolstered security presence is likely to be deployed in the vicinity of the State Bureau of Investigation to monitor proceedings. Disruptions to both pedestrian and vehicular traffic can be anticipated in the vicinity of the protest location from the early afternoon hours onwards.

Those residing or operating in Kyiv on July 6 are advised to maintain vigilance in the vicinity of the State Bureau of Investigation due to the latent potential for unrest at the slated protest.

Europe Notable Events

Albania: 28 arrested, including senior officials in transnational drug trafficking probe on July 2; further such operations to continue 

28 people, including a government official and three senior police officers, were reportedly arrested as part of an international drug trafficking probe on July 2. 10 more suspects were arrested in Italy. Four entities and several assets of the suspects were also seized. The arrests follow a two-year investigation into the operations of four transnational criminal groups, which operated in Albania, Italy, Montenegro, and Spain. In 2016, authorities seized around six tons of drugs worth 55 million EUR which triggered the investigation.

The incident reiterates how collusion between public officials and transnational drug trafficking groups, enables criminal organizations to carry out illicit transnational drug trafficking from Albania. The joint operation is illustrative of Tirana’s increased attempts to crack down on illegal drug trafficking as part of the preconditions set for its accession talks with the EU, given that Albania has been a major source of cannabis exported to the region. As such, similar operations are expected to continue moving forward, with additional arrests of officials involved in drug trafficking, corruption, and money laundering likely moving forward. 

 

Austria: Three Afghan asylum-seekers detained following death of minor in Vienna, per July 4 reports; anti-migrant sentiments to intensify

According to July 4 reports, authorities detained three Afghan asylum-seekers for allegedly sexually abusing and killing a 13-year-old girl in Donaustadt, Vienna on June 26. An international arrest warrant has been issued against a fourth suspect. The asylum status of one of the detainees was revoked in 2017 amid numerous legal violations but is currently pending after a complaint was filed at the Federal Administrative Court. The ruling Osterreichische Volkspartei (OVP) party has pledged to speed up the deportation of criminal asylum seekers. 

Given that one of the suspects had a criminal record and was not deported by authorities due to the Federal Administrative Court’s delay to rule on his complaint, calls criticizing the court’s procedure and Austria’s asylum policy are likely in the near term. Considering that the murder follows the Islamist militant attack in Vienna in November 2020, it is likely to heighten far-right and anti-migrant sentiments among the public, with associated protests possible in the coming days. Moreover, the incident is likely to prompt political debates regarding migration policy and repatriation regimes at the EU level. 

 

Croatia: Multiple people arrested following homophobic attacks at Pride parade in Zagreb on July 3; protests by pro-LGBTQ+ groups expected

Multiple individuals have been arrested following a spate of homophobic incidents recorded at the Zagreb Pride parade on July 3, including physical assaults, verbal abuses, and the burning of an LGBTQ+ flag. Lawmakers from the center-right Most party, Nikola Grmoja and Bozo Petrov, announced on June 30 that they would propose a set of laws prohibiting the exposure of children to LGBT propaganda and linking the LGBTQ+ community to pedophilia. A ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in January condemned Croatia’s response to a violent homophobic attack in 2011 as “ineffective”.

The latest incidents reflect a continued targeting of the LGBTQ+ community, supported by 60 percent of members of the community having experienced discrimination, according to a May 2020 survey. Furthermore, given the timing of the attacks, it is possible that the assaults were incited by Grmoja and Petrov’s recent statements. With the representatives’ proposal prompting widespread public criticism, pro-LGBTQ+ groups are likely to call for nationwide protests to condemn the statements, as well as to demand an effective response to the incidents in the coming days.

 

France: RN re-elects Le Pen as leader on July 4 at Perpignan party congress; Le Pen likely to overhaul RN image ahead of 2022 elections

The far-right Rassemblement National (RN) re-elected Marine Le Pen as its leader on July 4 at the party’s Perpignan congress. Additionally, Jordan Bardella was chosen as deputy leader. Le Pen claimed to make the party more “mainstream” with the re-election following Le Pen’s joint declaration with far-right leaders including Italy’s Matteo Salvini and Hungary’s Viktor Orban to form an alliance of the right in the European Parliament (EP). 

Given RN’s poor performance in the regional elections, Le Pen is likely to restructure the party’s image ahead of the 2022 presidential elections. With Bardella’s appointment as deputy leader, RN may likely focus efforts on gaining support from a younger electorate. Given the prevalent concern over the rising insecurity, RN is unlikely to change its overall hardline policies including immigration, militancy, and crime. RN is also likely to retain its Eurosceptic stance, despite the claimed overhaul. With this and given RN’s Europe-wide alliance and that it holds 23 seats in the EP, the party stands a greater chance to influence wider immigration debates and attract more votes from its far-right electorate.

 

Notable Dates

July 6

  • Czech Republic: Jan Hus Day 
  • Germany: Protest in Berlin
  • Lithuania: Day of the State
  • Saint Vincent and Grenadines: Carnival Tuesday

 

July 8

  • Uruguay: Protest in Montevideo

 

July 9

  • Argentina: Independence Day
  • Colombia: Protest in Bogota

 

July 10

  • Bahamas: Independence Day
  • Germany: Protest in Berlin
  • Greece: Labor union strike

 

July 11

  • Moldova: Parliamentary elections
  • Bulgaria: General elections

 

July 12

  • UK: The Twelfth 

 

July 13

  • Montenegro: Statehood Day

 

July 14

  • France & French territories: National Day 
  • Montenegro: Statehood Day

 

July 16

  • Chile: Lady of Carmen Day

 

July 17

  • Germany: Protest in Hamburg

 

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What’s better, facing disaster or avoiding it altogether? MAX Security Solutions is a leading player in comprehensive security and risk management solutions.