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Balkan Developments

Series of wildfires rage in Greece

Photo: Xinhua / BTAThe high temperatures in combination with strong winds caused a series of wild fires in different regions in Greece. The Greek authorities have launched investigation into the causes of the wildfire, including arson theories. The biggest Greek Aegean Island Evia was seriously hit by the natural calamity. Thousands of hectares of wild vegetation, including a unique pine forest, were devastated by the wildfires. The residents of many villages were evacuated. Athens received EU assistance to deal with the consequences of the wildfire. The calamity has become the first serious challenge for Greece’s new cabinet headed by Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis. 

Serbia tops Greenfield FDI Performance Index 2019

Photo: fdiintelligence.comSerbia topped the Greenfield FDI Performance Index 2019. This country is ranked number one in an annual study by fDi Intelligence, a Financial Times data division. In 2019 a total of 105 locations are analyzed. The index looks at inbound greenfield investment relative to the size of each country’s economy. Serbia scores 11.92 points and climbs one position as compared to the previous year, followed by Montenegro (11.49 points) in second place. Bulgaria ranks seventeenth with 4.69 points. In 2018 Serbia received 107 FDI projects-twenty six more than in the previous year-growing by almost one-third. Automotive components, food and tobacco, textiles and real estate are Serbia’s leading FDI sectors.

Over 200,000 citizens of Western Balkans settled in EU countries in 2018

Photo: Getty ImagesIn 2018 over 200,000 citizens of the Western Balkans migrated to EU countries, data of Eurostat, quoted by North Macedonia’s information agency Makfax show. Last year a total of 51,000 people left Serbia. 62,000 citizens of Albania, 55,300 nationals of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 34,500 citizens of Kosovo, 24,300 nationals of North Macedonia and 3,000 nationals of Montenegro left their countries and settled in EU member states.

Legendary heavy metal band Metallica donates EUR 250,000 for construction of pediatric oncology hospital in Romania

Photo: romania-insider.comThe legendary US heavy metal band Metallica has donated EUR 250,000 to the Romanian Foundation Give Life for the construction of the first pediatric oncology and radiotherapy hospital in this country. The donation was made last week at Metallica’s fourth concert in Bucharest since 1999. The construction of the pediatric oncology hospital in the Romanian capital started in the middle of 2018 and is expected to end next year. So far nearly 260,000 people and over 2,000 companies have donated money for this cause.

World-famous Turkish pianist and composer Fazil Say holds concert on site of gold mine project

Photo: AP / BTAThe world-famous Turkish pianist Fazil Say held an open air concert on the site of a gold mine project in the northwest province of Çanakkale. The concert was held in solidarity with environmentalists who launched massive protests against the construction of a gold mine. I feel proud of the people of Turkey today, pianist Fazil Say pointed out. The Canadian company which runs the project has assured that it would take all necessary actions to guarantee environmentally-friendly production. However, the local residents are worried that the mine will pollute the water sources in the region. Several environmental groups have revealed that nearly 200,000 trees had been logged in the region, which is four times more than the number in the initial Environmental Impact Assessment Report. Hundreds of environmentalists have been keeping guard on the scene since July 26.

Written by: Miglena Ivanova

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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