Balkan developments

Premier Zaev: Macedonia name talks proceed successfully

Photo: BGNESIn an interview for, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia Zoran Zaev said that the new phase of talks on Macedonia’s name in which “mediator Matthew Nimetz sat at the same table with the negotiators from the two sides to test whether the two countries are ready to move in practice towards a settlement of the problem” proceeded successfully for the time being. It is still early for proposals for a name, but the prime minister expects that more frequent meetings will result in a solution. Zaev remains firm on the position that the issue of the name should be put to a referendum.

Tsipras optimistic for Macedonia name issue

Photo: BGNESTalking to Nea Selida Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed optimism for resolving the dispute on the name of the Republic of Macedonia. In the meantime the prime minister urged the opposition to understand that the issue of the name of Macedonia should not become the subject of internal party intrigues and that an emerging satisfactory solution would create premises for a broad parliamentary consensus.

Serbian foreign minister expects no turning point for Kosovo issue in 2018

Photo: BGNES2018 won’t see a turning point in the solution of the issue with Kosovo, the Belgrade newspaper Danas contends referring to statements made by Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic. The minister has pointed out that difficult talks for a lasting settlement are in store. According to Dacic, a settlement without an agreement is impossible but no one is yet aware of the actual meaning of “a legally binding agreement” for normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, and talks on that have not even started.

Belgrade Airport taken on concession by French company

Photo: bg.wikipedia.orgFrench construction company Vinci Airports has received a 25-year-concession in exchange for 1.5 billion euro for Belgrade Airport, the Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabic said. Vinci Airports which started with a concession in 1995 in Cambodia is now operating 35 airports with more than 130 million passengers annually. Belgrade Airport is the biggest one in the Balkans and Serbia seeks to turn it into a regional center with the national company Air Serbia operating in partnership with Etihad Airways.

Sheraton withdraws from Albania

Photo: sheratontiranahotel.comThe Albanian Tour Operators Association (ATOA) has announced that from 1 January 2018 the world-acclaimed hotel chain Sheraton withdraws from that country. ATOA believes that this is one of the most negative developments in Albanian tourism for the past 20 years. Sheraton has not released an official statement yet to explain the reasons to withdraw but ATOA is convinced that the decision stems from mistaken policies of the government in tourism. Sheraton opened doors in Tirana in 2003 and was the first five-star hotel in Albania. With its withdrawal Albania is losing a leading brand where the hospitality industry is concerned.

Compiled by Stoimen Pavlov
English Daniela Konstantinova

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