Archive for February, 2013

Belgrade Aims to Restore US Flight Link

Friday, February 22, 2013 Comments Off

After America’s FAA completed its initial inspection of Serbia’s aviation, Serbia hopes the US will allow Belgrade to launch direct flights by year’s end.After the US Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, carried out the first stage of its inspection of Serbian aviation on February 17th, it will decide whether Belgrade meets the requirements to obtain certification […]

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

Serbia Can Expect ‘Conditional’ EU Talks Start Date

Thursday, February 21, 2013 Comments Off

Brussels is likely to reward Serbia for normalising relations with Kosovo with a ‘conditional’ start date for accession talks.In its April report, the European Commission is likely to recommend that Serbia be granted a conditional start date for EU accession talks in June, Balkan Insight has learned from two independent sources. The conditional date would […]

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

Bosnia Entity Names Candidates For Court Vacancies

Thursday, February 21, 2013 Comments Off

Candidates have been named for the vacancies in the Federation entity’s Constitutional Court, which must be filled before it can rule on last week’s no-confidence vote in the government.Zivko Budimir, President of Bosnia’s Federation entity, and his two deputies, on February 20 agreed the names of three candidates to fill vacant seats in the entity’s […]

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

Macedonian Journalist Returns Awards in Protest

Thursday, February 21, 2013 Comments Off

Zoran Ivanov said he was returning his journalistic prizes and quitting journalism after 40 years in protest against the growing politicisation and subversion of the media.Ivanov’s move comes after he was sacked from Alfa TV on Wednesday, and after the new Serbian owners of the former critically inclined outlet changed the editorial policy. “Vulgar daily […]

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

Court Halts Govt Funds for Montenegrin NGOs

Thursday, February 21, 2013 Comments Off

Following a lawsuit by two NGOs, the Administrative Court has annulled a decision allocating over 2 million euro to civil society ogranizations in 2011, as a result of which the process will have to start again.Two organizations, a hiking club and an environmental NGO, sued the Commission For Allocation of Part of Revenues from Games […]

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

Bosnian Serb Town Flags ‘Discriminatory’

Thursday, February 21, 2013 Comments Off

The constitutional court in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity Republika Srpska ruled that Serb symbols used by the towns of Banja Luka and Nevesinje discriminated against Bosniaks and Croats.Republika Srpska’s constitutional court ruled on Wednesday that the coats of arms and flags of Banja Luka and Nevesinje contain “symbols of the religious and national identity of the […]

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

Macedonian Hague Convict ‘Could be Freed Soon’

Thursday, February 21, 2013 Comments Off

The defence lawyer for Johan Tarculovski, the only Macedonian convicted of war crimes by the Hague Tribunal, said he could be given an early release as soon as next month.Tarculovski’s lawyer, Antonio Apostolski, said he had been informed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY, that the early release procedure was already […]

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

Bulgaria Turmoil ‘May Hit Romania’s Schengen Bid’

Thursday, February 21, 2013 Comments Off

As the EU ponders Romania’s desire to join the passport-free Schengen area, Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta voices concern that instability in Bulgaria may affect its chances.“The European Commission’s decision next month on Romania and Bulgaria joining the Schengen area will surely be negatively influenced by the current instability in our neighbour,” Romanian Prime Minister […]

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

New Macedonian Party Takes Aim at Social Democrats

Thursday, February 21, 2013 Comments Off

Vlado Buckovski has announced the formation of a new party that will seek to supplant the main opposition Social Democrats – if the latter do not change their style and leadership.Buckovski, who has been an outspoken member of the SDSM, says his new party will be formed in May, at the same time that the […]

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

Bulgaria Protests Continue After PM’s Resignation

Thursday, February 21, 2013 Comments Off

A new wave of protest rallies is looming in Bulgaria following the collective resignation of the prime minister and the centre-right GERB government.Hundreds of pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in front of the parliament building in downtown Sofia on Wednesday evening. The anti-government protestors said that the collective resignation of the centre-right GERB government was […]

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

Macedonia Boosts Checks As Milk Fears Spread

Thursday, February 21, 2013 Comments Off

Macedonia’s food safety agency is boosting checks on dairy products in the light of fears of contamination by the cancer-causing toxin M1.Macedonia said it was conducting more tests as the scandal about milk contaminated with M1 in Croatia and Serbia was causing widespread concern. “Macedonian milk is healthy and does not have toxins in it,” […]

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

Bulgarian Govt Resigns Amid Bloody Protests

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 Comments Off

After mass protests against high utility bills turned violent, the Bulgarian government has called it a day – PM saying he feels ‘shamed’ by the bloodshed.Prime Minister Boyko Borisov told parliament on Wednesday that he would hand in his resignation after the regular cabinet meeting later in the day. “Our power was handed to us […]

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

Serbia Pulls Potentially Contaminated Milk

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 Comments Off

After a dispute between regional and state inspections over whether milk is contaminated by the potentially dangerous aflatoxin, M1, Serbia is withdrawing all suspect milk from shelves.Serbia’s veterinary inspectorate has ordered all milk that some analysis shows is contaminated with the aflatoxin M1 to be pulled off the shelves. Dairy companies have been instructed to […]

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

Croatia War Veterans Protest Against Cyrillic Roadsigns

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 Comments Off

Around 100 ex-servicemen demonstrated in the Croatian city of Vukovar on Wednesday, attempting to stop the authorities putting up street signs in Cyrillic for the Serb minority.The war veterans took to the streets of Vukovar after Croatian media reported that the authorities planned to introduce the combined Latin and Cyrillic signs on Wednesday. Veterans’ associations […]

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

Kosovo and Serbia Edge Closer Over North

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 Comments Off

Kosovo and Serbia are expected to come closer to an understanding on Serbian-financed institutions in northern Kosovo in their talks in Brussels – but a think tank warns that the situation remains volatile.After a meeting on Tuesday, the Kosovo Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, and his Serbian counterpart, Ivica Dacic, are continuing talks on the Serb-run […]

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

New Defence Minister Outrages Macedonian Veterans

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 Comments Off

The appointment of a former ethnic Albanian fighter as Macedonia’s defence chief has angered the party representing war veterans.The opposition Dignity party, which represents police and army veterans who fought Albanian guerrillas in the 2001 conflict, has protested over the appointment of Talat Xhaferi as new defence minister. Xhaferi, a key figure on the ethnic […]

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

Ruling Party Leaks Infuriate Montenegro Opposition

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 Comments Off

After documents were leaked from Montenegro’s ruling party, revealing plans to hire political loyalists, the opposition is demanding action.The opposition daily newspaper Dan on Tuesday has published a letter which it calls proof of the growing politicisation of Montenegro’s public administration. In a letter sent to Dejan Zarubica, president of the then municipal board of […]

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

Macedonia Journalists Wary of PM’s Olive Branch

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 Comments Off

Macedonian journalists say conditions are not ripe for resuming talks with the government following the forced removal of reporters from parliament in December, which left relations in tatters.Macedonia’s Journalists Association, ZNM, said police still had not located and punished those who ordered and carried out the forced removal of reporters from parliament in December, a […]

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

Serb Officials Travel to Secure EU Start Date

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 Comments Off

As Brussels readies to decide on whether to grant Serbia a start date for EU accession talks, Serbian officials are heading to EU capitals to muster support.Serbian officials are travelling to Brussels and Berlin this week, to persuade their would-be EU partners of their willingness to “normalise” relations with Kosovo – Serbia’s main precondition for […]

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

Macedonia Opposition Chief Still Hopes For Solution

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 Comments Off

The head of the opposition Social Democrats says there is still time to defuse Macedonia’s political crisis and avert an opposition boycott of the March local elections.If the Macedonian government shows some goodwill, there is still time to solve the crisis in the country, the head of the opposition Social Democrats said, days after his […]

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

Price Protesters Urge Bulgaria Govt to Quit

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 Comments Off

Protest rallies against high utility bills and monopolies continued on Tuesday in Bulgaria.Rallies in central Sofia on Monday evening were marked by demands for the resignation of the centre-right government and by clashes with riot police, which continued for over four hours with policemen chasing demonstrators on the streets. The most serious clash happened on […]

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

Kosovo and Serbia Keep Discussions Quiet

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 Comments Off

The fifth EU-mediated meeting between Kosovo and Serbia’s prime ministers takes place on Tuesday but little is known about what’s been discussed at the talks so far.EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will host the latest round of discussions between Kosovo’s premier Hashim Thaci and his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic in Brussels. “Ashton will host […]

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

Bosnia and Croatia Settle Bilateral Problems

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 Comments Off

Bosnia and Croatia have solved several open issues that could affect both countries after July 1, when Croatia is due to join the European Union.Bosnia’s Foreign Minister, Zlatko Lagumdzija, on February 18 praised the efforts made over the past year to solve remaining open questions with Croatia, especially hailing an agreement on the use of […]

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

Rivals Battle Over Romania’s Ex-Ruling Party

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 Comments Off

The struggle over who should lead the former ruling Democratic Liberal Party is unlikely to restore its standing with the electorate.With around one month to go before crucial internal elections on March 23, the Democratic Liberal Party, PDL, Romania’s biggest opposition party, remains divided by disputes and between its main leaders. The current party leader, […]

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

Austria and Albania Probe Hospital Sex Abuse Claims

Monday, February 18, 2013 Comments Off

Authorities in Austria and Tirana are investigating allegations that an Albanian student was sexually abused after waking up from a coma following a tragic bus accident.Two parallel investigations are now underway after the family of 23-year-old Florije Peci alleged that she became pregnant as a result of a sex attack at the Austrian clinic where […]

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

Kosovo Arrests Serb Church Icon Vandal

Monday, February 18, 2013 Comments Off

Kosovo police detained a man suspected of smashing religious icons at a Serbian Orthodox church amid a recent upsurge of desecrations.Police said the man, identified only as D.A., an ethnic Serb, was detained after he broke into the church in the village of Kufca in the Gilane region late on Saturday night, destroyed eight Orthodox […]

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

Serbia Dismisses Kosovo Independence Anniversary

Monday, February 18, 2013 Comments Off

As Kosovo marked the fifth anniversary of its declaration of independence, Belgrade reiterated that it would never recognise Pristina’s statehood claims.Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said on Sunday that Kosovo’s independence was “an illusion”. Kosovo could exist “for another 100 years without being recognised by the UN”, Dacic told Serbian media. The Serbian government office […]

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

Macedonian Opposition Boycotts Local Polls

Monday, February 18, 2013 Comments Off

The Social Democrats refused to take part in next month’s vote after the government declined to postpone the polls for a month or to hold parallel early general elections.The country’s main opposition force acted on its boycott threat after the government turned down its demands, refusing to submit a list of mayoral candidates by the […]

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

Local Elections Prompt Reshuffle in Macedonia

Monday, February 18, 2013 Comments Off

Macedonia’s cabinet faces a reshuffle this week, as several ethnic Albanian ministers quit to run as mayoral candidates in the March local elections.Macedonia’s junior ruling party, the Democratic Union for Integration, DUI, has confirmed the reshuffle and revealed the names of the new ministers and deputy ministers from its ranks. According to the main ruling […]

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

Croatian Support for Hague Triples After Generals Freed

Monday, February 18, 2013 Comments Off

Three times as many Croatians have a positive view of the Hague Tribunal after Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac were acquitted of war crimes, an opinion poll suggested.Support for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY rose from 11 percent in December 2011 to 32 per cent in December last year when the […]

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

Bosniaks Block Vote on Federation Entity Govt

Monday, February 18, 2013 Comments Off

Bosniaks MPs in Bosnia’s Federation entity blocked confirmation of a no-confidence vote in the government, invoking the legal mechanism of claiming vital ethnic interests were at stake.The Bosniak [Muslim] caucus of MPs in the House of Peoples in the Bosniak-Croat Federation entity blocked a vote of no confidence in the entity government on February 15, […]

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

Greek Cypriots head to polls

Friday, February 15, 2013 Comments Off

Greek Cypriots will vote on Feb. 17 for a new president to guide them through a severe economic crisis as their country becomes the latest financially troubled European nation seeking international rescue money. For the first time in 40 years, the crisis has eclipsed efforts to reunify the divided island as the predominant pre-election issue. […]

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

Serbia Uncovers Plot to Down PM’s Plane

Friday, February 15, 2013 Comments Off

The Serbian security service said it had thwarted mafia-style plans to bring down a government plane with Prime Minister Ivica Dacic on board.The Serbian Police Directorate has informed Ivica Dacic, the Prime and Interior Minister, that “heads of certain criminal gangs were intending to cause a failure on a government plane”. The directorate said that […]

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

Bulgaria Expels Hamas Delegation

Friday, February 15, 2013 Comments Off

The visiting Palestinians, due to take in a conference, were instead driven to airport and put on a plane to Turkey.Bulgarian security service agents “entered the hotel rooms of the three deputies early on Friday and drove them to the airport,” Mohd Abuasi, of the Centre for Middle East Studies, said. “The agents explained to […]

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

European Resolution on Macedonia Faces Delay

Friday, February 15, 2013 Comments Off

The European Parliament rapporteur on Macedonia, Richard Howitt, says he may have to seek postponement of the Parliament’s resolution on the country in the light of the ongoing crisis.Leaving the country, Howitt said that if the Macedonian political crisis continued, he would have no option but to ask the European Parliament to postpone the vote […]

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