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Balkan Developments

Romania is looking for new government after vote of no confidence


A no-confidence vote in the Romanian parliament overthrew the government of Prime Minister Florin Katsu, which took power in December 2020. The decision of the Social Democratic Party was supported by 281 MPs. The crisis in Romania began in September, when the coalition partner of the National Liberals - the USR-PLUS Alliance, stepped down from government. Katsu's government has been accused of impoverishing Romanians, increasing the country’s debt and of a failed vaccination campaign. Just one third of the 19 million people in the country have been vaccinated, which is the second lowest level in the bloc after Bulgaria. Deutsche Welle recalls that 17 prime ministers and 13 governments have changed in Romania since 2012.

Zoran Zaev: We can reach agreement with Bulgaria by the end of December


The differences between Sofia and Skopje are not so great. It is quite possible to find a solution with Bulgaria by the end of December, as we have a responsibility for the future and should not stay in the past. This is what Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev said at a press conference after the EU-Western Balkans summit in Slovenia, BGNES reported. Zaev added that in talks with him and President Rumen Radev, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron were very specific and clear about their reasons for starting accession talks. At the forum, Merkel said that the Western Balkans belong to Europe and when the necessary conditions are provided, they would be able to join the EU. "Europe promises EU membership to the Balkans, but it is uncertain,"  German TV channel ZDF commented, referring to the simmering conflicts in this part of the continent and the lack of a common position in the EU.

Albania is ready to welcome up to 4,000 refugees from Afghanistan


There are currently about 1,000 Afghan refugees in Albania, but up to 4,000 can be accepted. They will stay until they obtain visas to the United States and the procedures will take a long time. This was what Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said in an interview with Spiegel, quoted by BGNES. He added that the country was doing this at the request of the United States. "Only a few countries said they would accept refugees. We couldn't refuse! The code of honor for Albanians dates back to the Middle Ages. In it, hospitality plays a central role and this remains true to this day," Rama said.

EU criticizes Greece and Croatia over treatment of migrants


EU  Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said she was "extremely concerned" about reports of illegal, sometimes violent expulsions of migrants at the EU's borders, especially in Greece and Croatia, and called for an investigation. She also expressed concerns about the misuse of EU funds given to Member States to protect their borders. Her comments came after German media reported that they had footage of Croatian police forcing migrants to return to Bosnia, as well as footage of Greek coast guards forcing migrants to return to the Aegean Sea.

"We firmly deny these allegations. Greece's borders are the EU's borders and we act within the framework of international and European laws to protect them," Greek Minister of Migration Notis Mitarachi said in response. Croatian Minister of Interior Davor Božinović said police would start investigation.

Turkey to implement Climate Agreement, but without compromising its economy


The Paris Agreement has already been ratified by the Turkish parliament. This happened more than five years after Ankara signed the document, world news agencies reported. Ankara would implement the agreement if it did not harm its right to economic and social development. With the ratification, the country plans to reduce its emissions by 21% by 2030, the Anatolian Agency reported. Turkey is the last of the G20 countries to ratify the document ahead of UN Climate Change Conference scheduled for the end of October in the Scottish city of Glasgow.

Compiled by: Miglena Ivanova

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: EPA/BGNES

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