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Balkan Developments

Croatia prepares for Euro switch amid soaring inflation

Croatia has started to adjust of a large number of its ATMs to the new currency, as part of the preparations for the introduction of the euro on January 1 2023. All 4,000 ATMs in the country will be adjusted and operational for dispensing euros by January 15 at the latest. From January 1 to January 14, two currencies will circulate in parallel in Croatia. After January 15, change will be given in euros, the BNT reported.

Some Croats are worried that the adoption of the single currency will further boost inflation, said Diana Todorova, who has been studying and working in Croatia’s capital Zagreb for four years. Inflation in Croatia hit a record 13.5% in November, the highest since 2004. According to statistics, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages saw the highest increase - 19.2%.

Serbs in northern Kosovo have started to remove barricades near some border crossings

Serbs in northern Kosovo have started to remove barricades near the border crossing between Kosovo and Serbia. It happened hours after Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met Serbs from northern Kosovo in the Serbian town of Raska. However, Aleksandar Vucic has warned that mistrust among Kosovo's Serbian minority remains high.The European Union and the United States, who are mediating talks between Belgrade and Pristina to resolve the tense dispute, have guaranteed that none of the Serbs who set up barricades will be prosecuted. A former Kosovo Serb policeman, whose arrest triggered violent protests by Kosovo's Serb minority, was released from custody. “We expect all parties to stick to their commitments”, said NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu in a Twitter message.

BNT reported that the main border crossing between Kosovo and Serbia is open to traffic again. Serbs in Serbia used tractors and trucks to create roadblocks, preventing thousands of Kosovars who work elsewhere in Europe from returning home for the holidays.

Mustafa Şentop nominates President Recep Erdoğan for the Nobel Peace Prize

The Speaker of Turkey’s National Assermbly Mustafa Şentop nominated President Recep Erdoğan for the Nobel Peace Prize “for his efforts in the name of peace between Russia and Ukraine”, Anadolu Agency reported. Mustafa Şentop noted that National Assembly speakers of other countries would also support the nomination, stressing that Turkey's efforts to acts as a mediator do not go unnoticed.

  "The war between Russia and Ukraine has been the most important topic of 2022. Turkey is the only country that has taken steps to mitigate the consequences of the war", Mustafa Şentop pointed out.

Bujar Osmani: The constitutional amendments are enshrined in the negotiation process with the EU

North Macedonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bujar Osmani expects that the constitutional amendments will receive the necessary support. In his view "nobody has anything against the amendments and everybody is aware that this is enshrined in the negotiation process with the EU and there is no other alternative", the BTA reports.

According to Bujar Osmani, the parties opposing the inclusion of Bulgarians in the preamble of the constitution want to score political points.

“Inter-ethnic harmony and multicultural democracy are the country’s most recognizable features. They are our greatest asset that open doors for us”, said Bujar Osmani at his annual press-conference.

The problem is that the government does not have the necessary parliamentary majority to change the constitution as the opposition is against the amendments and is calling for snap elections.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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