Balkan Developments

World Bank lifts Romania’s economic growth forecast


The World Bank lifted its forecast about Romania’s economic growth in 2018 and 2019. In its report named World Economic Outlook the institution forecasts that the Romanian economy will mark a 4.5% increase in 2018 and 4.1% increase in 2019. The previous forecasts of the World Bank made in June 2017 showed that the economy of this country would grow with 3.7% this year and 3.5% in 2019. The international financial institution also expects that Romania will register 6.4% increase of its gross domestic product in 2017. In June last year the institution forecasted that this country’s GDP in 2017 will grow with 4.4% only.

Turkey losing patience in talks with EU

Photo: BGNES

Turkey is losing patience due to the standstill in the negotiations for accession to the European Union, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said. Turkey signed an agreement with the European Economic Community back in 1963. This country was officially declared an applicant country in 1999 and the accession talks started later in 2005. The negotiations, however, have been in a standstill since 2016 against the backdrop of the criticism by the EU regarding violations of human rights in Turkey, as well as due to Ankara’s sharp rhetoric towards some EU member states as some EU countries were accused of Nazi practices. A new survey in Turkey shows that 78.9% of its citizens support this country’s accession to the EU, but only 31.2% of the surveyed nationals believe that this country can join the European Union in the short term.

Credits for small business contribute to growth of Cyprus economy


The Minister of Finance of the Republic of Cyprus Harris Georgiades announced that this country has been able to recover from the economic crisis thanks to 269 loans from the European Investment Bank borrowed in the past three years. Thus, a total of 821 new jobs were created. The loans generated investments to the tune of EUR 440 million and helped this country’s economy grow with 0.3% in 2015 and 0.5% in 2016. Ten banks paid a total of EUR 290.5 million and the average loan amounted to EUR 1 million. 43% of the money was used by companies in the tourism sector. In March 2013 Cyprus received a bailout package worth billions of Euros, in order to avoid collapse of its banking system.

Serbia to start marking Sts Cyril and Methodius Day


In 2018 Serbia will start marking the Day of Sts Cyril and Methodius on May 24. Thus, this country joins the other Slavic counties who honor the deed of the Holy Brothers. It became possible due to the initiative of the Serbian Ministry of Culture. According to Novosti newspaper, May 24 will not be declared official holiday and off-day and the main purpose of this country is to show respect and pay attention to the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius.

Albania’s opposition launches large-scale protests on January 27

Photo: BGNES

The leader of Albania’s main opposition Democratic Party Lulzim Basha announced that on January 27 the opposition parties will launch a large scale protest. Lulzim Basha called on all Albanian citizens to join the protest against poverty, the economic crisis and injustice. Mr Basha pointed out that Albania “turned into drugs country, which is proved by the recently-published report of the Central Intelligence Agency and the USA”. According to the head of the parliamentary group of the Democratic Party Edi Paloka, “the real responsible for crime, drugs and corruption in Albania is Premier Edi Rama”.

Macedonia takes urgent measures against air pollution

Photo: BGNES

Macedonia’s authorities took urgent measures against air pollution and decided that public transport will be temporarily free of charge in this country’s capital Skopje. The authorities are planning to ban cargo vehicles entering the city center in Skopje. Macedonia’s cabinet announced that pollution levels are way above safe levels. Citizens of Tetovo and Bitola also breathe polluted air. The government excused pregnant women and people aged 60 and above from work. Each year Skopje faces pollution problems due to harmful emissions from the factories, exhaust from old cars and heating with coal and wood.

Written by: Manuel Savov

English version: Kostadin Atanasov
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