Archive for December, 2012

Kosovo Upbeat on Meeting Deadlines For SAA

Thursday, December 13, 2012 Comments Off

Leaders in Kosovo say they expect to forge ahead in the EU integration process early in 2013, as they are “at the final stage” of meeting the criteria to start negotiations on the first step, a Stabilisation and Association Agreement, SAA.The President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga, on Wednesday said that Kosovo was “already at the […]

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Albania Parties Trade Blame For Failed EU Bid

Thursday, December 13, 2012 Comments Off

Government and the opposition exchanged accusations on Wednesday after the EU Council of Ministers rejected Tirana’s bid for candidate status for the third year.Prime Minister Sali Berisha told the cabinet he blamed the opposition leader Edi Rama for the failed bid, accusing the Socialists of blocking the reform process. “Rama attained his sinister goal, by […]

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Montenegro Seeks to Ban Commenting on Verdicts

Thursday, December 13, 2012 Comments Off

The initiative by Montenegro’s judges to ban public comments on non-final verdicts is largely seen as controversial and against the basic principles of open trials.The most recent proposal of the Association of Judges of Montenegro aims to forbid public comments on court decisions which are not final, Vijesti Television reported on Tuesday. The association has […]

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Montenegro

Illegal Miners Risk Life And Limb To Dig For Bosnia’s Black Gold

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Comments Off

W ith an estimated 10 billion tons in geological reserves, coal is a vitally important part of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s economy. Besides supplying local industrial facilities such as steel mills, state mines also fuel all the country’s power plants. More than 80 percent of the country’s coal is taken from open-pit mines close to the surface.

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Bosnia Hertegovina, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Bulgaria Seeks to Deepen Energy Ties with Azerbaijan

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Comments Off

Bulgaria has a strong interest in developing bilateral relations with Azerbaijan in the energy sector, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov has declared. Mladenov has noted that his country supports the Southern Gas Corridor, as it believes it would contribute to energy security and competition in Europe.

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Serbian Police Arrest Miroslav Miskovic

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Comments Off

Serbian police have detained Miroslav Miskovic, his son Marko and eight other persons on suspicion of corruption.Serbian police on Wednesday arrested the owner of Delta Holding, Miroslav Miskovic, and nine other persons on suspicion of abuses during privatization of road construction and maintenance companies. The suspects include his son, Marko, the owner of Mera Investment […]

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Serbia

Tolimir Found Guilty of Srebrenica Genocide

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Comments Off

Zdravko Tolimir, a close wartime aide to the former Bosnian Serb army chief, Ratko Mladic, has been found guilty of the Srebenica genocide and sentenced to life imprisonment.Tolimir, now 64, was in charge for intelligence and security for the Army of Republika Srpska during the Bosnian war. He was one of seven deputy commanders to […]

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Bosnia Hertegovina, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Bulgaria and Greece Block Macedonia’s EU Talks

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Comments Off

Greece found an ally in Bulgaria in preventing Macedonia from obtaining a start date for EU accession talks at a Tuesday’s EU meeting in Brussels.At the EU meeting, where Macedonia had been hoping to obtain a start date for membership talks, Greece justified its blockade once more on the grounds of the bilateral dispute over […]

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Macedonia

Heavy Snow and Freezing Temperatures Grip Balkans

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Comments Off

Cold claimed ten lives in the Balkans, while heavy snowfall has disrupted traffic throughout the region.In Serbia, the fifth victim of freezing temperatures was buried on Tuesday. Since the cold wave hit the Balkans at the weekend, ten people have died in Serbia and Croatia. Although most roads in Serbia were passable, traffic was slow. […]

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Serbia Denies Kosovo Officers are ‘Ambassadors’

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Comments Off

As Serbia and Kosovo get ready to appoint liaison officers, Belgrade dismisses claims that Kosovo’s officials are de facto ‘ambassadors’ to Serbia.Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic has dismissed Kosovo’s claims, that it is appointing an “ambassador” to Serbia. “Belgrade and Pristina will exchange liaison officers who do not enjoy the status of diplomats,” Dacic told […]

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Serbia

Second Part of Klecka Case Sent for Retrial

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Comments Off

Kosovo’s Supreme Court has ordered a retrial against six defendants in the second part of the so-called Klecka case, the EU rule of law mission, EULEX announced.“The Supreme Court panel granted the appeal of the EULEX Special Prosecutor and annulled the verdict of the first instance court which had acquitted Arben Krasniqi, Behlul Limaj, Refki […]

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EU Countries Split Over Serbian Bid

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Comments Off

Ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers, member countries remain divided over whether to offer Serbia a start date for membership talks this year or next.Senior officials in Brussels officials say that a split has emerged among EU member states on Serbian membership negotiations ahead of Tuesday’s meeting of foreign ministers.

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Serbia

Marovic Takes Over Montenegro Ruling Party

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Comments Off

Svetozar Marovic, a veteran of Montenegrin politics, is replacing Milo Djukanovic as leader of the country’s ruling party now that the latter has again become Prime Minister.In an interview with Montenegro’s public broadcaster, RTCG, on Monday, Marovic said that he would take over leadership of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS. Djukanovic has informed […]

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Bosnia Federation PM Seeks Ministerial Purge

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Comments Off

The Prime Minister of Bosnia’s Federation entity has asked the President to dismiss eight ministers whose parties no longer form part of Bosnia’s ruling coalition.Federation premier Nermin Niksic visited the entity’s President, Zivko Budimir, on December 10 to push for the dismissal of eight ministers whose parties no longer form part of Bosnia’s governing coalition.

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Kosovo Wants Pressure on Serbia over Missing Persons

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Comments Off

Kosovo wants the international community to put pressure on Belgrade to resolve the issue of people who when missing during 1998-1999 war.Kosovo’s Governmental Commission for Missing Persons urged the international institutions “to use their authority towards Belgrade” in order to “finally resolve the sensitive and painful issue of missing persons” in Kosovo.

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Criticism of Serbia’s Rights Record Upsets Progressives

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Comments Off

Serbian NGOs have lambasted the government’s rights record in a report issued on world human rights day.Serbia has seen a negative trend in terms of the protection of human rights since the formation of the new government, Serbian NGOs said in a report released on world human rights day.

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Serbia

Refugees Object to Montenegro’s Pristina Embassy

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Comments Off

The Alliance of Associations of Displaced Persons urged Montenegro’s leaders not to appoint ambassador to Pristina until people who fled Kosovo in 1999 are allowed to return.The organisation issued a statement on Monday in a response to the last week’s announcement by Kosovo’s president, Atifete Jahjaga, that the exchange of ambassadors between Kosovo and Montenegro […]

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Winning Coalition Aims to Rule Romania Alone

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Comments Off

After winning almost two-thirds of the number of votes, the centre-left coalition led by Victor Ponta is in a strong position to govern unaided.Romania’s victorious centre-left Social-Democrat Union, USL, is waiting the official results of Sunday’s parliamentary elections to see whether it will have enough seats to create a government without forming a broader coalition.

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Romania

Albania’s New Prosecutor Vows to Tackle Crime

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Comments Off

Adriatik Llalla started work as Albania’s new general prosecutor on Monday after MPs from the ruling Democratic Party voted him into office on Friday.“I was trusted to lead this institution … and will fulfill the duties subscribed in law,” Llalla said at the ceremonial handover from his predecessor, Ina Rama. “During my mandate I will […]

This was posted under category: Albania, Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Bulgaria Sees Rise in Exports in 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Comments Off

Bulgaria’s exports to non-EU countries increased by more than 10 percent in the first half of the year, totaling nearly 7 billion euros.The country’s exports to non-EU countries in the period January-October 2012 were up over last year’s figures by 11.1 percent, according to Bulgaria’s National Statistics Institute. The exports totaled BGN 13.9 billion.

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Macedonia Lures Investors With Passport Offer

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Comments Off

Macedonia has followed in the footsteps of neighbouring Bulgaria in offering citizenship to foreigners ready to invest in the country.Macedonia’s government plans to offer citizenship to anyone who invests at least 400,000 euro and employs at least 10 people. “This offer stands for all investors except those in the hospitality and trade sectors,” a government […]

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Macedonia

Albanian Passport Offer Makes Waves in Balkans

Monday, December 10, 2012 Comments Off

Albania’s announcement that it plans to offer speedy citizenship to ethnic Albanians across the world has stirred huge interest in Kosovo while ruffling feathers elsewhere in the region.Kosovars have been crowding outside the Albanian embassy in Pristina in larger numbers than usual lately, in the hope of obtaining an Albanian passport that might ease their […]

This was posted under category: Albania, Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Macedonia

Bosnia Marks Human Rights Day with Mock Funeral

Monday, December 10, 2012 Comments Off

Human rights activists in various cities marched peacefully in order to point out crude violations of human rights across Bosnia and Herzegovina.The activists of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, YIHR, carried an improvised casket and a slogan which read “Human Rights: Rest in Peace” in peaceful marches organised on the streets of Sarajevo, Banja […]

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Bosnia Hertegovina, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Serbia Unlikely to Start EU Accession Talks Before June

Monday, December 10, 2012 Comments Off

EU foreign ministers will recommend that Serbia gets a start date for EU accession talks in six months.Serbia will not get a date for the start of the EU accession negotiations until the next steps in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue are made, says a document that the EU foreign ministers should adopt on Tuesday, the Serbian […]

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Serbia

EU Council of Ministers to Discuss Macedonian Bid

Monday, December 10, 2012 Comments Off

Ahead of the EU Council of Ministers discussion on Macedonia’s blocked EU bid, Athens sends a message dampening Skopje’s hopes of opening EU accession talks prior to the resolution of the ‘name’ dispute.The Greek Foreign Ministry said that the condition for lifting its blockade to Macedonia’s EU membership remains the same – first the ‘name’ […]

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Bosnian Judiciary Politicised, Claims NGO

Monday, December 10, 2012 Comments Off

The most pressing problems of the Bosnian judiciary are politicisation, backlog of cases, poor method of financing and failure to prosecute corrupted senior officials, claims a study by Transparency International.The Bosnian branch of Transparency International has presented on Friday at a conference organised to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day, findings of the Study on National […]

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Artists and Academics to Help Reconciliation in Region

Monday, December 10, 2012 Comments Off

Art and education should be used to bring about reconciliation in the region of the former Yugoslavia, a Sarajevo round table heard.Bosnian and regional academics and artists have met in Sarajevo on Friday to discuss their role in the regional reconciliation following the 1990s wars. Dino Mustafic, a Bosnian director, told BIRN it is time […]

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Croatian, Serbian Officials Meet Following ICTY Verdicts

Monday, December 10, 2012 Comments Off

The Serbian and Croatian high officials have met for the first time since the ICTY acquittal of two Croatian generals in an effort to restore cooperation after their relations worsened over the last several months.Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic, met his Croatian counterpart, Neven Mimica, on Saturday on the sidelines of an international conference […]

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Bulgaria’s NATO Afghanistan Forces Down to 160 by 2015

Friday, December 7, 2012 Comments Off

Bulgaria’s government will withdraw most of the country’s rangers in the NATO security mission in Afghanistan with only 160 of them remaining there by the end of 2014, Defense Minister, Anyu Angelov, has confirmed. A total of 600 Bulgarian soldiers and medical staff are currently stationed in Afghanistan in Kabul and Kandahar.

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Serbia’s Far Right Wants NGOs Labelled as ‘Foreign Agents’

Friday, December 7, 2012 Comments Off

A Belgrade based far right group has requested that all the country’s NGOs and media funded from abroad, including BIRN, be labelled as “foreign agents”, based on a Russian model.On Friday, the Serbian far-right movement “SNP Nasi” called on the authorities to pass a law that would label all NGOs and media outlets that addressed […]

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Serbia

KLA Veterans in Protest Over Limaj’s Detention

Friday, December 7, 2012 Comments Off

Around two hundred Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, veterans protested in Pristina demanding the release of their ex commander, Fatmir Limaj and three other ex comrades, all defendants in the Klecka case.Shouting “KLA, KLA, KLA” and “Freedom for liberators”, the protesters held photos of Limaj and banners highlighting their request in front of one of the […]

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Montenegro on Alert Over Bad Weather Forecast

Friday, December 7, 2012 Comments Off

The Montenegrin authorities have issued a warning because of the bad weather which is expected over the weekend.The forecast predicts that on Saturday the country will be hit by a strong cyclone, which might bring heavy rainfall in the central and souther regions and snowfall in the north of the country.

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Montenegro

Serbian Judges Receive Death Threats

Friday, December 7, 2012 Comments Off

The Serbian Constitutional Court has received a letter with death threats addressed to the court’s judges and their families.An unknown group sent on Thursday a letter to the Serbian Constituational Court threatening to kill its 11 judges. “Based on the findings and declarations, the world’s pan-Serb alliance in defence of the Serbian national interests condemns […]

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Serbia

Romanian Crisis Takes its Toll on Newspapers

Friday, December 7, 2012 Comments Off

The print media in Romania are facing major drops in circulation as hard-pressed people cut out luxuries and news-hungry readers turn to the net.The circulation of most of Romania’s daily newspapers and weeklies has suffered dramatic falls in recent months, as the country struggles with an economic downturn, official data show. The sales of leading […]

This was posted under category: Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Romania

Croatian Leader Pushes Back Serbia Meeting

Friday, December 7, 2012 Comments Off

Croatian President Ivo Josipovic has said that a meeting with his Serbian counterpart, Tomislav Nikolic, “would still not serve a purpose.”The Croatian leader was talking to Serbian broadcaster B92 as part of an exclusive interview that will be televised on Friday. Responding to questions about a possible meeting, Josipovic said that the “level of consensus” […]

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