Balkan Developments

Germany opposes any border changes in Balkans Ambassador to Belgrade Axel Dittmann said that the appeals for border changes in the Balkans were dangerous. In an interview for the Novosti Belgrade edition the ambassador underlined that that was the EU stance on the issue. The diplomat’s statement was voiced to the public right after the one of his US colleague in Belgrade Kyle Scott, saying that the US government didn’t support either the establishment of Great Albania, nor of Great Serbia. Due to claims of former American diplomat and head of the Kosovo OSCE mission William Walker that there was ‘a plan for the unification of the Albanians’, Mr. Scott literally answered: ‘Mr. Walker is a private person. He can talk whatever he wants… What I know is that the US government works for the region’s stability.’

Kosovo parliament votes motion of no confidence to government

BGNESThe parliament of Kosovo has supported the motion of no confidence for the government of Isa Mustafa. The proposal had been submitted by the Initiative for Kosovo oppositional movement and supported by MPs from the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, the Samoopredelenie /Self-determination/ movement and individual representatives of the governing coalition. After the vote President Hashim Thaçi dissolved the parliament. The early elections’ date can be determined within the next 45 days.

Greek court rules that pension cuts are illegal

BGNESThe state audit council of Greece has decided that the cuts of the basic and additional pensions, contracted by the Greek government and its creditors violate the European Convention on Human Rights, the e-version of Ekathimerini writes. The draft bill on the cuts is expected to be voted by the parliament next week.

Macedonian president refuses to hand mandate for constituting of government

BGNESMacedonian President George Ivanov has once again demanded that leader of the Social Democratic Union Zoran Zaev ‘together with his coalitional partners should present public guarantees for fortifying the state’s unity and compliance with the Constitution of Macedonia’. Due to the insisting of parliamentary Chair Talat Xhaferi that the president should hand over to Zaev a mandate for the forming of the new government, Ivanov declared that he would defend his stance, saying that the so-called ‘Albanian platform’ or any other document or action against the constitution cannot be a prerequisite and even less basis for the constituting and working of the Macedonian government.

Montenegro might become NATO member on June 5

BTA   /  Dusko Markovic  (left) and Rex TillersonMontenegrin PM Duško Marković assumed after a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Montenegro would become an official member of NATO on June 5. The meeting has tackled bilateral relations, the situation across the Western Balkans, the EU and around the world. The participants have agreed on the stance that the Balkan leaders are responsible for finding a solution for the vision in the Balkans, which should be European and Euro-Atlantic. The Russian pressure against Montenegro has been discussed and also the strong presence of Moscow in the region of the Western Balkans.

No weddings and salaries in Macedonia after May 15

BGNESIn case no legislative change is achieved, the work of the local authorities in Macedonia will be fully blocked after May 15. The term of current mayors and municipal counselors across the country expires on that date and no new local elections have been appointed due to the political crisis and non-working parliament. Skopje Mayor Koce Trajanovski, who is also a chair of the Association of Local Authority has warned that after the expiration of their current term the local authorities won’t be able to fulfill their duties. The work of the fire command is questioned now, alongside the issuance of construction permits, the municipal administration’s salaries and even the operating of the state wedding ceremonies’ service,’ Trajanovski pointed out.

Compiled by: Stoimen Pavlov

English version: Zhivko Stanchev

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