Balkan Developments

Left-wing parties in the Balkan countries receive less support at latest EP elections

Photo: BGNESGreece is heading towards early Parliamentary elections after this country’s Premier Alexis Tsipras announced that he would resign. Premier Tsipras made this announcement after his SYRIZA party was defeated at the European elections by the right-wing conservative New Democracy. In Romania the ruling Social Democratic Party suffered a defeat as well. It earned 24% of the votes, but the National Liberal Party (PNL) headed by Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu won the EP elections. In Slovenia that anti-immigrant Slovenian Democratic Party of former Premier Janez Janša earned 26.5% of the votes and won the European Elections. The Social Democrats placed second with 18.6 of the votes. The List of Marjan Šarec headed by current Premier Marjan Šarec earned 15.6% of the votes. In Croatia with 99.8% of the ballots counted the ruling Croatian Democratic Union wins the EP elections with 22.7% of the votes, followed by the Social Democratic Party which earned 18.7% of the votes. In Cyprus the ruling conservative DISY won the EP elections.

Albania’s President Ilir Meta criticizes idea for unification of Albanians into one state

Photo: BGNESAlbania’s President Ilir Meta criticized the idea for unification of the Albanians into one state. In his words, many authoritarian politicians use this idea to divert attention from the domestic issues and their own responsibilities. In Ilir Meta’s view, the only solution is coexistence and compliance with the European standards for minorities

Anti-abortion rallies held in Croatia

Photo: BGNESThousands of people protested against abortion in several Croatian cities. In Zagreb the Croatian Police detained several remonstrants who tried to block the annual Walk for Life rally. Nearly 5,000 Croats attended this year’s Walk for Life event downtown Zagreb. Protesters wore balloons and posters which read “Let’s Protect the Most Unprotected Minority in Croatia – the Unborn Children”. According to a 1978 law (adopted when this country was still part of the communist Yugoslavia) abortion in Croatia is legal until the tenth week of pregnancy. Nearly 60% of the gynecologists from the state hospitals do not offer abortions on grounds of conscientious objections, a survey initiated by RTL TV shows.

Cyprus develops new housing policy due to huge increase of rental prices

Photo: BGNESThe new housing policy of the Cypriot government envisages economic stimuli, state subsidies and housing preferences after the increase of rental prices. This policy is directed towards the people with low and average incomes who were mostly affected by the economic crisis. In the last three years, rental prices in Cyprus increased with over 40% due to the low supply and the high demand of real estate properties. The entrepreneurs are expected to receive stimuli to increase mass construction of homes sold at affordable prices. The mountain and rural regions are also expected to receive financial preferences. Citizens of Cyprus as well as EU citizens are expected to benefit from these preferences.

Over 150 castles sold at tenders in Romania

Photo: kutrubestravel.comOver 150 castles worth nearly EUR 200 million are sold at a tender in Romania after years of decay. Some of the historical buildings which were once homes of noblemen became popular abroad through various film productions. However, the owners of these historical monuments are not able to pay the amounts necessary for their restoration.

Written by: Miglena Ivanova

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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