Balkan Developments

Erdogan promises again to reinstate death penalty

BGNESOn occasion of the first anniversary of the coup attempt in Turkey marked on July 15 that country’s President Recep Erdogan promised again to reinstate the death penalty. Turkey’s head of state promised at a meeting held at Bosporus Bridge (Renamed to July 15 Martyr’s Bridge) that he would sign any bill, if Parliament votes to bring back death penalty. Later, in a speech held in front of the Turkish National Assembly, President Erdogan voiced hopes that the Parliament would also support that idea. In the past 12 months over 150,000 state employees have been dismissed for alleged connections to the coup attempt. Nearly 50,000 people were arrested.

Juncker: EU’s hand remains outstretched to Turkey

BGNESOne day after Turkey’s President Erdogan promised to reinstate capital punishment in that country the President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker called on Turkey to adhere to the democratic values if that country was still hoping to join the EU. According to the EU, the reinstatement of death penalty would put an end of Turkey’s hopes for EU accession.

13% of Greek nationals trusted government in 2016

BGNESOnly 13% of the Greek nationals trusted their government in 2016, whereas in 2014 19% of that country’s citizens trusted the Greek cabinet, a report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows. Greece, together with Chile, Finland and Slovenia, is among the four countries that recorded the greatest loss of citizens’ confidence. Trust in judicial system stands at 42% and trust in Police is at 69%, the report further reads.

Nikola Gruevski requests 20 bodyguards

BGNESThe leader of Macedonia’s party VMRO-DPMNE and former Premier Nikola Gruevski requested 20 bodyguards. Currently, Gruevski is guarded by six people. Gruevski requested 20 bodyguards saying that he was Macedonia’s Premier for nearly ten years in very turbulent times and that he was an MP and Chairman of the biggest oppositional party in FYROM. According to the 2013 amendments to the government act, the leader of VMRO-DPMNE can use a maximum of 6 bodyguards. Unofficially, Nikola Gruevski had a total of 78 guards when he served as Prime Minister of that country.

49 Serbian citizens joined ISIS

BGNESSerbia’s Minister of Interior Nebojsa Stefanovic told the Belgrade-based TV channel Pink that 49 Serbian citizens left that country to join the so-called Islamic State terrorist group. Some of them lost their lives and others are still part of ISIS, Minister Stefanovic said. That figure is not so big as compared to other European countries, but things like that are always concerning and well-timed exchange of information is the only way to protect ourselves, Minister Stefanovic added.

Edi Rama denies rumors about establishment of new Yugoslavia

BGNESThe rumors about the establishment of a new Yugoslavia are big lie, Albania’s Premier Edi Rama said on occasion of media publications pointing to the creation of a common regional market headed by Serbia. The rumors about the establishment of a new Yugoslavia should be seen as the height of foolishness, Edi Rama said. Albanian Daily News newspaper commented that Edi Rama’s clear and direct declaration was a response not only to the voices inside the country, but also to the words of Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić who openly announced his ambition for creation of a new Yugoslavia in the Balkans.

Written by: Stoimen Pavlov

English version: Kostadin Atanasov


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