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Balkan developments

1/3 of people in Turkey say Bulgaria and Turkey are close in terms of culture

2/3 of people in Turkey would vote in favour of EU membership for the country. With young people aged under 24, this percentage is 70. More than 1/3 of the respondents say that Turkey should cooperate most closely with the countries of the EU, 14% with Russia and 9% with the USA, indicates a public opinion survey by the German Marshall Fund.

Public opinion in Turkey regards the EU as the closest partner with regard to international issues, but 39.7% say they do not believe the country will ever become a member of the EU, only 13% expect Turkey to enter the EU in the next 5 years, and more than 1/3 – in the next 10-15 years. 2/3 of the respondents describe the US as the biggest threat to Turkey’s interests, with Russia and Greece following with 19 and 15.3% respectively. Asked people in which country they feel closest to culturally, 46.4% answer Germany, followed by Bulgaria with 33%.

North Macedonia PM Zoran Zaev apologizes to Greece

Greece is freezing its cooperation with North Macedonia because Skopje is not complying with the Prespa Treaty which is of crucial significance for North Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integration. Athens urged North Macedonia to implement the Prespa Agreement in full regarding the name of the country in all contexts, including during international sporting events.

The Greek side put off, for September, the parliamentary ratification of three cooperation memorandums signed by the two countries, Kathimerini writes.

PM Zoran Zaev admitted he had made a mistake saying, in English: “I always send friendly messages. I made the Prespa Treaty with my friend Alexis Tsipras and I’m first to honor it. Sometimes it happens that I make mistakes, I’m 46 years old and it happens.”

Serbia not happy with Montenegro’s resolution on Srebrenica

Serbia’s Foreign Minister Aleksandar Vulin reacted angrily to the adoption of a resolution on Srebrenica by the parliament of Montenegro. In accordance with the European Parliament resolution on the matter, the parliament in Podgorica banned the denial of genocide at Srebrenica, BGNES reports. Vulin called for the PM of Montenegro Zdravko Krivokapic to be denied entry into Serbia. “President Vucic is not the man who likes to ban, but I’ll ask him to ban entry to Serbia to all those who voted in favour of the Resolution. Let them see their families, who are well located in Belgrade, in Montenegro,” Vulin said as quoted by Serbia’s state TV RTS.

Prosecutors general of 9 Balkan countries meet in Sofia

The prosecutors general of 9 Balkan countries discussed, in Sofia, the role of prosecutors in asserting the rule of law. The previous conference of the magistrates was held in Bursa in 2019.

Any pressure on the independence of prosecutors is inadmissible, especially coming from politicians. An effective prosecutor’s office is the biggest guarantee of the rule of law, trust in the institutions and a prospering economy – this position was shared by the representatives of Greece, Turkey, North Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.

Bulgaria’s Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev stated that the most effective tool in the fight against crime are the personal and professional contacts among prosecutors.

Romanian tourists not happy with delays at Greek border

A film that is running over and over again for Romanian citizens. That was how the spokesperson for the Romanian Foreign Ministry Oana Darie commented on the queues forming at the border check points with Greece. 

“The way the border check points are run is entirely within the power of the Greek authorities. There is a difference between the official norms which the authorities in all countries have been issuing, and which we post to our website, and the way these norms are applied. Their effective implementation is up to the Greek authorities,” she said for DIGI24 TV.

Tourists who have been waiting in line to cross the border stated that how long you have to wait to cross the border depends on the time of day. If it is early in the morning the border check takes 2-3 minutes, but after 9 AM it might take hours. Most people approached said they were not optimistic the situation might change during the summer months.

Compiled by Ivo Ivanov

Photos: EPA/BGNES, balkan.eu, prb.bg

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