Balkan Developments

International support for Macedonia referendum

Photo: BGNESNATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has paid a visit to the Republic of Macedonia. His visit to Skopje is seen as a token of support for the upcoming referendum in Macedonia on 30 September when citizens will be voting for the treaty with Greece and for that country’s accession to NATO and EU. At a meeting with Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, Stoltenberg has remarked that Macedonia has the historic chance of joining NATO and EU but that this can take place only after the adoption of the Treaty with Greece. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also voiced support for the referendum. In Skopje she termed 30 September a key date for the future of Macedonia. Merkel has made a special mention of the positive role of Bulgaria and of its prime minister Boyko Borissov for the progress and the breakthrough in the Balkans.

Strikes, protests in Greece

Photo: BGNESA wave of strikes has rocked Greece during the past week. Large demonstrations took place in Thessaloniki against the policy of the government in the social sphere as well as against the treaty between Athens and |Skopje signed in June for the future renaming of the neighboring country into the Republic of North Macedonia. A clash with the police has resulted and some protesters have been hurt and others – detained. Earlier, during a strike, Greek ferries spelled big transportation trouble for thousands traveling to and from Greek islands.  Ferryboats reopened after the trade unions managed to reach an agreement for a pay rise of 2%. This has been the first strike since Greece exited the third international bailout period last month and following eight years of drastic cuts of expenses.

Inflation in Turkey hits record 18%

Photo: BGNESInflation in Turkey has hit the record 18%, latest data suggest. Against the background of increasingly worrying economic indexes, Turkish President Recep Erdogan has suggested trading in national currencies instead of using the US dollar. The appeal was launched in Kirgizstan during the 6th Summit Meeting of Turkic Speaking States. Addressing the delegations of Kirgizstan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Hungary, Erdogan has said that using the dollar hampers international trade. At a business forum on the sidelines of the summit he has stated that talks are underway with Russia for an end to the US dollar use in bilateral trade. Both Turkey and Russia are subject to sanctions imposed by USA,

Serbia views Vucuc visit to Kosovo as successful

Photo: BGNESThe visit of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to Kosovo has attained its goals by showing the world Belgrade’s striving for peace. This is according to a statement made by Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic. Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin has also termed Vucic’s visit to Kosovo a major diplomatic victory of Serbia. Before the visit the Serbian president met for talks in Brussels with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini but refused to meet with the Kosovo delegation. The reason, according to Marko Djuric, head of the Serbian Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija was that the EU had failed to create decent conditions for dialogue. Later Mogherini said she would convene a new summit as part of the process of normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina.

Greek PM Tsipras says Bulgaria-Greece gas interconnector is project of special importance

Photo: BGNESThe IGB pipeline (the interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria) will be a much more effective project provided opportunities exist of a floating terminal for liquefied natural gas, said in Thessaloniki the Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras. The interconnector with Bulgaria and the liquefied gas terminal is a project of special importance and we are happy that prerequisites are created for its implementation, Tsipras has said. According to the Greek public service television ERT, the Greek prime minister has predicted that the liquefied gas terminal project will make progress in 2019.

Compiled by Manuel Savov

English Daniela Konstantinova


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