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Balkan Developments

Romania’s Parliament approves coalition with rotating premiers

Romania’s two largest parties agreed to form a government to end a three-month long political crisis that has crippled the country’s efforts to slow the Covid-19 pandemic and continue the reforms, Digi24 TV reports. The two parties agreed to rotate premiers until the regular general elections in December 2024. Nicolae Ciuca, a retired army general from the National Liberal Party was officially designated as Premier. In 18 months he will be replaced by the leader of the Social Democratic Party Marcel Ciolacu. The National Liberal Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Hungarian UDMR party will be in charge of 21 ministries. The Social Democratic Party will be in charge of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health, while the National Liberal Party will be in charge of the Ministry of Justice. The coalition will have two-thirds of the seats in Romania’s Parliament.

Protests take place in Turkey as Lira hits record lows

Protest marches and demonstrations took place in Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara after the collapse of the Turkish Lira. Some protesters were detained by police. The opposition in Turkey called on the ruling Justice and Development Party to resign after the Central Bank cut the interest rate to 15% and President Recep Erdogan even called for a bigger drop. 1 USD exchanged for 13.45 Turkish Lira. Since the beginning of 2021, the Lira lost 45% of its value. In November only, it nosedived more than 25%. The main oppositional parties called for early elections. However, according to this country’s head of state, elections will take place according to schedule in June 2021, Reuters informed.

Serbia provides financial incentives to increase birthrate

Serbia’s President Alexander Vucic presented new measures aimed to solve the demographic problem in the country. As of January 1, 2022, EUR 2,550 will be paid in Serbia for each firstborn. “We are vanishing as a nation. The population is ageing and our economic development depends on whether are able to increase birthrate. On the other hand, we have been working on new measures for a second child”, President Vucic said. Families are to receive gratuitous assistance of EUR 20,000 to buy homes. “Thus, young people will be encouraged to leave their parents’ homes and have children”, Serbia’s President added.

Croatia buys 12 second-hand fighter jets Rafale

The President of France Emmanuel Macron and this country’s Minister of Defense Florence Parly signed an agreement on the acquisition by Zagreb of a squadron of 12 second-hand fighter jets Rafale to the tune of EUR 999 million. “Thus, we are strengthening the capabilities of the Croatian army and the Croatian air force, as the acquired fighter aircraft will affect this country’s foreign policy and its defense system”, Croatia’s Premier Andrej Plenkovic noted. “France supports Croatia’s efforts to enter the Schengen area”, said President Macron. “France will work on that from the first day of its presidency”, Emmanuel Macron said referring to the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. France will take over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU on January 1, 2022.

Bulgaria and Serbia to modernize railway link near Tsaribrod

Bulgaria’s caretaker Minister of Transport Hristo Alexiev and his Serbian counterpart Tomislav Momirovic agreed to build an intermodal hub on the Bulgaria-Serbia border. Ministers Alexiev and Momirovic committed themselves to continue negotiations on joint activities at the Bulgaria-Serbia railway border crossing. Bulgaria and Serbia are to make a joint proposal to the EU to make the Dragoman-Niš section part of the Trans-European Transport Network.

Compiled by: Ivo Ivanov

English version: Kostadin Atanasov


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