Balkan Developments

New parliament in Turkey begins work

Photo: BGNESAfter an oath-taking ceremony, the new parliament of Turkey began its work. In the new legislative body, the group of the ruling Justice and Development Party consists of 295 MPs, which means that together with its coalition partners from the Nationalist Action Party, it has a majority of 344. The inauguration of parliament took place two days before Recep Erdogan takes his oath as president – the ceremony will be tonight, July 9. Today is the day, as of which the new presidential system will be put in place in Turkey, introduced after a constitutional change approved at the referendum in the country in April 2017. Under the new system the executive will be entirely in the hands of the president.

Newspaper says Vucic has no right to take part in quadrilateral Balkan meetings

Photo: danas.rsThe prestigious Danas newspaper published in Belgrade comments that Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic takes part in the quadrilateral Balkan meetings every few months, alongside the PMs of Bulgaria, Greece and Romania, in absolute violation of the constitution and the work of the state institutions. The newspaper made this comment after the cabinet of PM Ana Brnabic refused to answer a question why the president is attending these meetings and not the prime minister, as they are at the level of prime ministers. According to Danas, Vucic has put in place a dictatorship, a fact he is no longer concealing, which he is using to put all state organs in his power. 

High-ranking US official on a tour of the Western Balkans

Photo: state.govDeputy Assistant Secretary and Senior Bureau Official for the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations Pete Marocco is on a tour of the Western Balkans until 18 July. His tour includes Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia and the aim is to confirm the US’ commitment to the development of the region, as well as its support for the accession to the EU of the countries of the Western Balkans. Pete Marocco will conduct talks on issues connected with countering extremism, dialogue among religions in the region, the US State Department has announced.

Prison director in Macedonia arrested for gang affiliations

Photo: BGNESThe director of the prison in Struga in southwestern Macedonia, was arrested during a special operation by the Macedonian police, together with a police inspector. The interior ministry says the two had been under surveillance for quite some time over suspicions of abuse of office and involvement in unlawful activities. According to unofficial information the prison director had gang affiliations and constantly gave the criminal contingent prior warning of police raids, making sure no arrests were made.

Croatian football fan throws sofa out of the window as he celebrates Croatia’s victory over Russia

Photo: BGNESA Croatian football fan was so elated by Croatia’s victory over Russia in the world cup that he threw the sofa from his home out of the window, which was videoed by his friends, and the video was shared on Twitter. Croatia’s national squad is the last semifinalist at the 21st FIFA World Cup after beating Russia 6-5 on penalties.

Compiled by Stoimen Pavlov

English version: Milena Daynova

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