Balkan Developments

Tension between Ankara and Nicosia related to gas drilling off Cyprus continues

Photo: ReutersThe tension between Ankara and Nicosia related to gas drilling off Cyprus continues. The Greek Cypriots demanded again and received support by the USA and the EU. Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave the foreign diplomats a map with Ankara’s demands for exclusive economic zone in the Eastern Mediterranean. Greek media assumed that Premier Alexis Tsipras and Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan may be holding secret negotiations and that Greece may agree with Turkey’s demand to receive its share in the energy projects in the region and in return Turkey may withdraw its military staff from Cyprus which may be replaced with an EU military contingent.

New election campaign in Istanbul begins on Wednesday

Ekrem İmamoğlu  /  Photo: www.internethaber.comThe election campaign of the candidate of the opposition Republican People’s Party for Mayor of Istanbul Ekrem Imamoglu begins on Wednesday. Imamoglu will try again to win the local elections in Turkey’s biggest city. The candidate of CHP for Mayor of Istanbul will hold his election campaign under the motto Everything will Be Fine. Erdogan’s administration allowed the lawyers of the leader of Kurdistan’s Workers Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan to visit him on İmralı Island for the first time in the past 8 years, in order to earn the support of the undecided Kurdish electorate. The leader of PKK who was sentenced to life in prison replied that: We can resolve the problems in Turkey and even the region through soft power, i.e. through intellectual, cultural and political powers, not through war or physical violence.

Ruling Social Democratic Party in Romania faces difficult EP elections

(Liviu Dragnea  /  Photo: www.cotidianul.roThe ruling Social Democratic Party in Romania cancelled the scheduled mega rally. The event had to gather 100,000 people in Bucharest on May 22 to prove that Liviu Dragnea’s party can take out more people to the streets than the main opposition power- The National Liberal Party. However, Dragnea was boycotted by his own mayors who said that they were unable to bring to the Romanian capital 3,000 buses with protesters. According to Romanian media, this is a signal that Liviu Dragnea who was involved in corruption scandals may be removed from the leadership of the Social Democratic Party after the European Parliament elections.

Serbia completes last section of the motorway along Transport Corridor 10

Photo: BGNESSerbia has completed the last section of the motorway connecting Western Europe and Greece. The long construction of a narrow sixty kilometer section in Grdelicka Klisura has ended. Bulgaria’s western neighbor will temporarily benefit from the cargo traffic between Thessaloniki and Central Europe. Bulgaria is yet to build the narrow section in Kresna Gorge and the highway between Botevgrad and the Danube Bridge 2 near Vidin.

North Macedonia supports Bulgaria’s ultramarathon runner Krasi Georgiev

Photo: BTANorth Macedonia’s Minister of Finance Dragan Tevdovski, the Mayor of Skopje Petre Shilegov and athletes from the local athletics federation supported Bulgaria’s ultramarathon runner Krasi Georgiev who crossed Skopje on his way to Albania’s town of Durrës. Georgiev’s goal is to run along the whole route of the Transport Corridor 8 and send a message of connectivity of the economies and the citizens of the three Balkan countries-Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Albania. The total length of the route exceeds 1,000 kilometers and the Bulgarian athlete will cross 20 towns in Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Albania during the ultramarathon between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea. The Ultramarathon named Connectivity is held under the auspices of the Premiers of the three countries - Boyko Borissov, Zoran Zaev and Edi Rama and is expected to end on May 23 in Durrës where the Premiers Borissov , Zaev and Rama will meet.

Compiled by: Ivo Ivanov

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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