Balkan Developments

Policemen and soldiers in Albania rescue stranded residents after recent floods

Photo: BGNESOver 5,000 policemen and soldiers were deployed in Albania to rescue stranded residents after the recent floods in this country. Albania’s Premier Edi Rama called the situation “extremely critical”. Albania’s Civic Protection announced that nearly 1,500 people were rescued, several thousand homes were without electricity, nearly 8,000 hectares of farmland are under water and several roads in the southern part of Albania are impassable.

Interpol removes Ramush Haradinaj from Serbia’s arrest warrant

Photo: BGNESKosovo’s Premier Ramush Haradinaj was removed from an international arrest warrant issued by Serbia. Earlier, Belgrade refused to remove his name from the Interpol red notice, despite the multiple attempts by Pristina. Haradinaj was wanted by Serbia for allegedly committing war crimes. A total of 18 Kosovo citizens were removed from the Interpol list only a day after the visit of the Kosovo Minister of Interior Flamur Sefaj and the General Director of Kosovo Police Shpend Maxhuni to the Interpol headquarters in Lyon. According to the web portal Indeksonline, the decision was taken at the request of the authorities in Belgrade.

Turkey’s Diyanet issues fatwa on hair dye

Photo: haberler.comTurkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) said it is inappropriate for men to dye their hair black according to Islam. Dyeing one’s hair, mustache or beard is allowed only if the aim is not to deceive people. It is not permissible to work in places where prohibited products are prepared and in places that sell alcohol beverages. Exceptions are allowed if workers have used all other options and need to work there to earn their living. Earlier, the Diyanet announced that buying or selling digital currencies such as Bitcoins or Ethereum is inappropriate according to Islam.

Hundreds arrested in Serbia for drug dealing and illegal possession of weapons

Photo: Serbian Ministry of Interior has held several operations in the past few days. A total of 139 people were detained for drug dealing and illegal possession of weapons. Nearly 129 kilograms of drugs, 56 rifles and submachine guns, 36 pistols, hand grenades, several grenade dischargers and 14.5 kilograms of explosives were found during the police operation. The authorities arrested 96 people for drug dealing and 43 for illegal possession of weapons.

Supporter of Antiquisation of Macedonia likely to replace VMRO-DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski


Macedonia’s VMRO-DPMNE will hold an extraordinary congress on December 23. It became clear three days after the current leader of VMRO-DPMNE Nikola Gruevski announced that he would resign as leader of that political party soon. According to publications, Gruevski is very likely to be replaced by Ilija Dimovski who is among the closest people of the current leader. Dimovski is among the most prominent advocates of the suspended Skopje 2014 project and the policy of the so-called Antiquisation of Macedonia. Dimovski headed the blockade of the Macedonian Parliament in the beginning of 2017 where over 100 people, including the current Premier Zoran Zaev, were injured during the clashes.

Compiled by: Stoimen Pavlov

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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