Podcast in English
Text size
Bulgarian National Radio © 2024 All Rights Reserved

Balkan developments

Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova took an oath to be "president of Macedonia"

The inauguration of Gordana Siljanovska as the first female president of the Republic of North Macedonia caused an international scandal. In front of the parliament, she took an oath saying that she would perform the function of "president of Macedonia" instead of “the Republic of North Macedonia". In protest against the violation of the Prespa Treaty with Greece from 2018, which opened the country's path to NATO, the Greek ambassador left the ceremony. A sharp reaction followed from Bulgaria, Brussels and the US, as it was emphasized that the Republic of North Macedonia should respect both the Prespa Agreement and the Agreement for good neighborliness with Bulgaria, as the country's path to EU membership depends on this. The North Macedonian presidency replied that the constitutional name of the country will be used in the future, but as an act of personal right to self-determination in accordance with European principles, the president had the right to use the name Macedonia. The presidency said institutions have almost fully fulfilled their obligations under the Prespa Treaty and in return expect all partners of North Macedonia to respect their bilateral and multilateral obligations to the country.

EUISS: Turkey's influence in the Western Balkans, the South Caucasus, the Middle East and Africa is growing

Over the past 20 years, Turkey's influence has grown significantly in four critical regions: the Western Balkans, the South Caucasus, the Middle East and Africa. This is the conclusion of a report by the European Union Institute for Security Studies, cited by TRT. Turkey is said to be an important player in the fields of economy, trade, education, culture and diplomacy in these regions, as it has growing global influence and wide diplomatic network. We recall that according to this year's report of the Lowy Institute, Turkey ranks third in the world with its 252 representations in 147 countries. In addition to diplomacy, the role of institutions such as the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), the Anatolian Agency, Turkish Airlines, the Yunus Emre Institute promoting Turkish culture and language around the world, etc., is also important. Media presence is an important tool of Ankara's soft power, as Turkish TV series are watched by 750 million people in 152 countries, putting Turkey in third place in the world in this area after the United States and the United Kingdom, the report reads.

Authorities in Belgrade: Serbia respects Ukraine's territorial integrity

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Ukraine's First Lady Olena Zelenska made a surprise visit to Serbia in a sign of warming relations between the two countries. This is the first visit of an official from Ukraine to Serbia since the beginning of the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Kuleba met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister Milos Vucevic. The prime minister pointed out that Belgrade respects international law and the territorial integrity of every UN member state, including Ukraine. "Serbia and Ukraine have differences, but also many things in common, and therefore it is possible to build the future together in many areas," Kuleba said. RTS reports that the path to EU membership of the two countries was discussed and that the Serbian ambassador will return to Kyiv. A meeting of businesses from Serbia and Ukraine is also forthcoming. Belgrade has repeatedly condemned Russia's invasion in Ukraine, but Serbia’s refusal to join international sanctions has worsened relations with Kiev, BTA writes. No change in this position was reported during the visit. Meanwhile, Serbia has been accepting Ukrainian refugees since 2022, sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine and promised post-war aid in reconstruction efforts.

Cash rewards for Greeks who report tax evasion

Starting this month in Greece, bonuses of up to 3,000 euros are being paid to citizens who reported fake cash receipts to the Ministry of Development. More than 200,000 reports have already been submitted, but half are anonymous, while a reward is paid only to those who have provided their personal details. The reward also depends on the value of the transaction. The measure has already led to revealing of large tax evasion cases, BNR correspondent Katya Peeva reported from Greece. With a program that anyone can download on their smartphone, users check whether a receipt is marked in the company's turnover and thus can join the fight against tax evasion.

Compiled by: Miglena Ivanova

Publication in English: Al. Markov

Photos: BGNES, Pixabay

More from category

Professor Ognyan Gerdzhikov

Ognyan Gerdzhikov: It is time for a change in the electoral system and the emergence of a new meaningful political project

Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev has issued a decree convening the first session of the newly elected 50 th National Assembly on June 19, 2024. At the recent snap elections, Bulgarians sent seven political formations to the new parliament. The first..

published on 6/19/24 6:15 AM

Balkan developments

During EP elections in Slovenia, citizens also voted for preferential voting, assisted dying and cannabis for medical purposes In the European Parliament elections in Slovenia on June 9, turnout exceeded 41% - the..

published on 6/14/24 3:51 PM
Silvia Basile

The anti-system voting from abroad and how 18-year-old Silvia casted a ballot for the first time

The dramatically low voter turnout and resorting to protest voting are trends that are deepening among Bulgarians abroad, sociologists claim. Judging by the last few snap elections, the profile of our voter s abroad is multifaceted and .....

published on 6/13/24 11:52 AM