EU confirms European perspective of Western Balkan countries
The EU is committed to bring the Western Balkan region slowly but surely to EU membership, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Trieste (Italy) during the 2017 Western Balkan Summit. In her words, political stability in that region means political stability for EU as well. Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern shared a similar point of view noting that “the Western Balkans is not Europe’s backyard, but its living room”. Moreover, those countries are an example of how to deal successfully with migration, Christian Kern added.
EIB to invest an extra EUR 3.5 billion to the Western Balkans
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is planning to allot to the Western Balkans an extra EUR 3.5 billion for infrastructural projects. Half of the money will be granted to Serbia, the Head of EIB Representation to the Western Balkans based in Belgrade Dubravka Negre told the Serbian national news agency Tanjug. The money will be granted mainly for projects linked with road and railway infrastructure.
Greece criticizes Germany over Macedonia
On occasion of comments of Germany’s Minister of State for European Affairs Michael Roth made after his meeting in Skopje with Macedonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Dimitrov the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the German politician “to be more careful when visiting Balkan countries, to refrain from offering history lessons and show the required respect for the sensitivity of his European partners.” Earlier Michael Roth said during an official visit to Skopje: “No one outside FYROM and outside Greece understands the naming dispute which is utterly absurd. I believe that we should leave history to history and embark together towards our joint future”.
Macedonia’s opposition demands discussion of good neighbor agreement with Bulgaria at the National Assembly
MPs from Macedonia’s opposition VMRO-DPMNE announced that on Friday they will demand from the Macedonian Parliament to discuss information about the forthcoming good neighbor agreement between Macedonia and Bulgaria. According to that opposition party, the document on good neighborly relations must be signed, provided it does not violate Macedonia’s state interests.
Most Turkish people do not want EU membership: Recep Erdogan
Ankara will find it “comforting” if the EU says Turkey cannot be accepted as a member, Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan said in an interview for BBC. According to Turkey’s head of state, most Turkish citizens are against that country’s accession to the EU and believe that its approach to Turkey was “insincere”. However, President Erdogan said that Turkey would continue to be in close relations with the EU and see how those relations will develop. The EU-Turkey relations deteriorated after the coup attempt and the criticism of the European Union towards the reprisals of the Turkish authorities. That country has been in a state of emergency in the past 12 months and over 50,000 people were arrested. Nearly 140,000 were dismissed or suspended from work on suspicions of being linked with US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Editor: Stoimen Pavlov
English version: Kostadin Atanasov
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