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Balkan Developments

Storm Daniel has left huge areas of Thessaly flooded

After 2 days of rain in the area of Larissa and Trikala, equal to the amount of rainfall for 3 years, the water is still not draining. According to experts, new lakes might form in the Thessalian plain after Storm Daniel. The storm destroyed up to 1/4 of Greece's agricultural harvest. Thessaly is considered the breadbasket of the country. Crop damage in many areas is irreversible. In the Vale of Tempe, large areas of farmland with crops and vineyards remained under water. Over 4,300 people were displaced after the disaster. The death toll is 16. The Greek Ministry of Health warned of the risk of epidemics transmitted through food, water and animals in the areas affected by the disaster, Greek television "ERT" reported. The dead animals are more than 50,000.

Debris from Russian drones fell once again in Romania

2023 г.

The Romanian military found more debris from a Russian drone near the Danube River in Tulcea county, about 15-20 kilometers away from the Ukrainian border. Bucharest initially denied that there were debris in Romania after the Russian attacks on the Ukrainian ports of Reni and Izmail. But after reports were made to the 112 emergency telephone number, the Minister of Defense Angel Tîlvăr confirmed the information. The drones are difficult to detect by radars because they attack at low altitudes of up to 100 meters, the ministry said. Bucharest summoned the Russian ambassador to its foreign ministry and delivered a protest note demanding an end to Russian attacks. The authorities called on the population in the area in case of danger to “seek shelter in basements, civil defense shelters or at home". The Romanian military have started building anti-aircraft shelters for the residents of the village of Plauru, AGERPRES reports.

Ankara is dissatisfied with the European Parliament's report on Turkey

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara has criticized the European Parliament's report on Turkey. According to Ankara, it was "a collection of unfounded allegations and prejudices based on disinformation by anti-Türkiye circles". It said the report showed biased views on the Aegean, the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus, and "does not correspond to historical and legal truths". The statement was published in response to the report approved by the European Parliament on the country's progress in its path towards European integration in 2022. Turkey and the European Union need a shared understanding regarding the future of relations, which requires efforts from both parties, EU Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi told the European Parliament in Brussels, Sabah newspaper reported. The commissioner thanked Turkey for accepting 4 million refugees from Syria and said he had signed a €781 million project to cover the basic needs of 2 million refugees in the country.

Border bridge over the Sava River from the time of Austria-Hungary to be repaired

The Minister of Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina Edin Forto and his Croatian counterpart and Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Butković have signed a contract for the reconstruction of the Brčko-Gunja bridge over the Sava River. The facility is on the border between the two countries, BTA reports. It was built during the time of Austria-Hungary. At the moment, due to the bad condition of the bridge, the passage of trucks across it is limited. Minister Forto indicated that work on the reconstruction of the bridge should begin by the end of 2024 after the engineering design is completed. The repairs will be financed equally by both sides, but the final price is not clear yet. Zagreb and Sarajevo have also agreed to jointly maintain bridges and road infrastructure along their shared border.

Kosovo to host the 2030 Mediterranean Games

In Heraklion, Greece, the International Committee of Mediterranean Games (ICMI) gave Kosovo the organization of the 2030 games. Kosovo's bid also received support from Albania, where some of the events will be held. The Committee's Assembly had previously changed its regulation, which prevented landlocked countries from hosting the Mediterranean Games. This paved the way for organizing the international sports event in Pristina. 66 delegates participated in the voting. 55 supported Pristina's candidacy, eight were against and three abstained. Athletes from 26 countries participate in the Mediterranean Games. Ten of these countries do not recognize Kosovo. Prime Minister Albin Kurti promised that a national stadium would be built for the games in Pristina.

Compiled by: Ivo Ivanov

English: Al. Markov

Photos: kathimerini.gr, AFP, cumhuriyet.com.tr, Anadolu Agency, koha.net

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