Balkan Developments

Skopje expects from EU date to start accession negotiations

Photo: BGNESA possible delay of the decision for a date to start negotiations by the EU could demotivate the other countries to make reforms and put nationalist forces in power again, the Premier of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev said. The draft agenda of the forthcoming meeting of the Council of the EU in June does not envisage a decision to set a date to start EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia. According to the EU, the separation of powers in this country has been restored and democracy and rule of law have been strengthened. Brussels also welcomes the bilateral agreements of North Macedonia with Bulgaria and Greece, but no date to start negotiations with North Macedonia has been mentioned. At the initiative of Poland, the foreign ministers of 13 Eastern European countries insist that the EU sets a date to start accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. According to the initiators, there is no Plan B for the region of the Western Balkans.

Greece’s cabinet relaxes austerity measures ahead of early Parliamentary elections

Photo: BGNESGreece’s Premier Alexis Tsipras called early Parliamentary elections on July 7. After the defeat at the European elections and the local elections on May 26 the ruling SYRIZA party promised to relax austerity measures. The value added tax was reduced in a series of sectors. The cabinet also returned the 13th pension and allowed larger rescheduling of liabilities to the state treasury. The Greek authorities also promise to open new and well paid budget jobs. The new economic course was described by premier Tsipras as “the end of the policies of memorandums and austerity measures and a step forward”. The European Commission criticized Greece for returning to the policy of generous budget spending and warned that the latest measures announced by Premier Tsipras would cost this country 1% of its GDP.

Hashim Thaçi: Kosovo may consider possibility for unification with Albania

Photo: president-ksgov.netThe meeting of the leaders of Germany, France, Serbia and Kosovo scheduled for July 1 within the frameworks of the Berlin Process will not be held, if Pristina does not cancel the customs fees for Serbian goods, Serbia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dačić said. Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaçi replied that Pristina will not revoke customs fees for Serbian items until a final agreement is reached and specified that it means mutual recognition with Belgrade, recognition of Kosovo by the five EU countries which do not accept Kosovo’s independence and this country’s membership in the United Nations. Otherwise, Kosovo may consider the possibility for unification with Albania, Hashim Thaçi said.

Opposition in Romania submits no-confidence motion against the cabinet

Photo: dnevnik.bgThe opposition in Romania will submit a no-confidence motion at the Parliament this week. The no-confidence motion will be successful if the opposition earns 22 additional votes from the representatives of the ethnic minorities and undecided MPs from the Social Democratic Party. The former left-wing Premier Victor Ponta nominated for an interim Premier the former Premier of Romania and newly-elected MEP Mihai Tudose. Mihail Tudose himself said that he was ready to make a sacrifice and head a possible caretaker cabinet. The defeat at the European Parliament elections and the results of the national referendum, where the Romanian citizens rejected the contestable judicial reforms, questioned the future of the government coalition between the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats.

Recep Erdogan to persuade Trump that Turkey needs to buy S-400 missile complex

Photo: has less than two months (until the end of July) to abandon its plans to buy the S-400 missile complex from Russia, the USA announced. According to Washington, they are not compatible with the new US fighter aircraft F-35 Ankara wants to acquire. Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan has assured that he would not give up on this deal. Turkey’s leader hopes to reach a decision of compromise at a private meeting with the US President Donald Trump at the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will also participate at the forum.

Written by: Ivo Ivanov

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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