Balkan Developments

USA opposes changes to borders in the Balkans

BGNESUS Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Hoyt Brian Yee said, in an interview for the Greek Kathimerini newspaper that the USA was against changing borders in the Balkans. “The borders of countries in the Balkans are clearly defined, internationally recognized and not a matter of serious dispute. Changing borders in the Balkans would not contribute to the security and stability of the region,” he said. For this reason the American diplomat called on politicians in the region “to refrain from inflammatory and divisive rhetoric and focus instead on addressing the fundamental political and economic reforms necessary to advance their further integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions.”

Erdogan has no regrets about comparing Angela Merkel and her government to the Nazi regime

BTATurkish President Recep Erdogan lashed out at Germany for not allowing him to meet with the Turkish community there. In an interview for France 24 one day before his official meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and two days before the G20 meeting in Hamburg Erdogan stated that he had no regrets about comparing the German leader and her government to the Nazi regime. The Turkish President was referring to the refusal of the German authorities to provide large enough premises for rallies with the Turkish community, as well as to the fact that Turkish cabinet ministers were not allowed to campaign in Germany for the constitutional referendum held in Turkey in April. Talking to the German weekly Die Zeit the Turkish President commented that Germany was committing suicide by not allowing him to speak to German Turks.

Macedonian government announces 3-6-9 action plan

BGNESMacedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev announced, at a press conference in Skopje that his government had developed a 3-6-9 plan for a serious breakthrough in the country’s European integration. The name of the plan designates the measures and activities to be implemented in the next three, six and nine months. The aim is to deliver the initial results by October, to have the EC recommendations to Macedonia fulfilled by December and for the country to be given a date for the start of accession negotiations by the spring of next year. “We are promoting a democratic parliament, reforms in the judiciary and media, the fight against corruption, reforms in the public administration, security services and electoral legislation, cooperation with the President," Zoran Zaev said.

Hashim Thaci expects historic agreement between Kosovo and Serbia

BGNESKosovo President Hashim Thaci stated he expected the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade to be finished soon with a historic agreement between the two sides. In an interview for ABC, the president urged all political entities in Kosovo to join the dialogue process. In Thaci’s words “the time has come to reopen a new phase of dialogue, at a higher political level, a stronger and more meaningful dialogue that would lead to complete normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina,” which, he adds, is in the interest of all people living in the region.

Serbia first among the Slavic nations in number of registered firearms

BGNESSerbia is first among the Slavic nations in the number of registered firearms and third in Europe, the Belgrade Blic writes. 37 in 100 people in Serbia own licensed firearms. In Macedonia 24.1 percent own registered firearms, in Montenegro - 23.1, in Croatia – 21.7, in Bosnia and Herzegovina – 17.3, in the Czech Republic – 16.3, in Slovenia – 13.5, in Russia – 8.9, in Slovakia – 8.3, in Belarus – 7.3, in Ukraine – 6.6, in Bulgaria – 6.2, and in Poland – 1.3 percent.

Greece remains biggest investor in Albania

wikipediaGreece is still the biggest investor in Albania, ahead of countries which probably have a bigger economic potential, the Greek Ekathimerini writes. According to data of the Albanian Central Bank, the foreign direct investments Greece has made during the first quarter of this year amount to 1.22 bn euro. Over the same period of 2016 this sum stood at 1.17 bn euro. Greek investments will continue to grow in the coming years, economic experts say.

Compiled by Stoimen Pavlov

English version: Milena Daynova

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