Balkan Developments

Germany welcomes the initial hopeful signs from the new government in Macedonia

europeanwesternbalkans.comMichael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the German Federal Foreign Office stated he was pleased with “the initial hopeful signs from the new government in Macedonia”. “Prime Minister Zaev said clearly that he wants to thoroughly work towards EU integration and is genuinely interested in regional reconciliation,” he said. Michael Roth is considered to be one of the most influential Federal Foreign Office diplomats and works closely with Minister for Foreign Affairs Zigmar Gabriel.

Massive opposition rally in Istanbul

BGNESA massive opposition rally took place in Istanbul on Sunday night at the end of the 25-day “March for Justice”, organized by the Turkish opposition Republican People’s Party. The party’s leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu stated: “The era we live in is a dictatorship” and went on to describe the last day of the Justice March as “a new beginning, a new step.” Observers say that this is the biggest protest rally in the country for years. According to the Republican People’s Party, more than 2 million rallied in Istanbul on Sunday night, numbers that only President Erdogan has so far mobilized.

German forces withdraw from Incirlik base in Turkey

BGNESGermany has started to withdraw its troops from the Turkish military base at Incirlik, the spokesman for the German Federal Ministry of Defence says. The decision came after Ankara barred German MPs from entering the base. The information has been confirmed by the official Turkish authorities. German fighters were due to keep operating out of Incirlik at least until the end of July as part of a mission to provide support to the US-led coalition in operations against the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Meanwhile all equipment is being moved to a new military base in Jordan.

Final parliamentary election results in Kosovo released

BGNESThe Central Electoral Commission in Kosovo has released the official results of the parliamentary elections held on 11 June. 747,000 or 41.3 percent of a total of 1 million 800,000 registered voters cast their vote which means a record low turnout for the country. The new government lineup is due to be proposed by 8 August out of the PAN coalition which won the election (comprising the Democratic Party of Kosovo, Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, Initiative for Kosovo). Under the coalition agreement, the leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj will be nominated for prime minister.

Serbia plans to be ready for EU membership by 2021

BGNESSerbia’s European Integration Minister Jadranka Joksimović stated that Serbia had a plan to be fully prepared for EU membership by 2021. In an interview for Politika she said that “Brussels needs to draw up a more concise time-frame in a bid to allow Serbia to make plans not only about its own activities but also about the budget.” Joksimović added that the principal domestic tasks facing the government now is to carry through reforms to meet the criteria required to open chapters.

Compiled by Stoimen Pavlov

English version: Milena Daynova



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