Mogherini issues messages of encouragement in FYROM
The EU head of diplomacy Federica Mogherini declared in her address in front of MPs in FYROM that the countrys achievements are impressive According to her the country is on the right tracks but it needs to do more in order to become part of the great European familyIm sure that there will also be other achievements in the future Theres a new atmosphere in the country and this has been noticed by Brussels and other countries of the EU Its time for you to keep the pace with your neighbors Mogherini saidThe senior EU official arrived in Skopje following the publication of the progress report Last evening she met with PM Zaev and said that Macedonia needs to take the necessary steps in order to obtain the date for the launch of negotiations in June ibna...
No more jammed Greek islands - Top court allows new asylum-seekers to leave Greece
The Council of State Greeces top administrative court ruled on Wednesday April 18 that from now on new asylumseekers that reach the Greek islands via Turkey will not have to remain stuck there until a decision about their claims is made but will rather be totally free to travel to the rest of EuropeReuters news agency reports that the decision has raisedalarm among EU officials in BrusselsThe prospect of new arrivals often fleeing violence in the Middle East via Turkey being able to quickly reach mainland Europe from the islands could undermine EU efforts to discourage people leaving TurkeyAn EU official described the ruling as a big worryThe blocs goal is to stop this kind of migration altogether having put high up on its priority list of the EU policy ...
Switzerland extends quotas on residence permits for Bulgarians and Romanians to end of May 2019
The government of Switzerland has extended until May 31 2019 the quotas on issuing category B longstay permits to Bulgarian and Romanian citizens the Foreign Ministry in Sofia saidThe decision was taken because Bulgarians and Romanians had overshot the quota of 996 for such permitsA category B residence permit is valid for five years and may be issued to a person who has an employment contract of at least 12 months or someone who does not have gainful employment but has sufficient financial resources It also may be issued to a selfemployed person providing that they can prove they can make ends meetBulgarians and Romanians were granted full access to the labour market in Switzerland in May 2016 like other citizens of the EU following the end of the transitional period of l...
Contained enthusiasm about the negotiations
This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper andwwwalbanianfreepressalBy Plator NesturiThe opening of negotiations remains the main topic of discussions these days Mogherini herself visited Tirana to extend her congratulations by stressing that the European Commission kept its promise that it would issue a positive recommendation for the accession talks Now its our turn to do our homework But this time we cannot pretend that were doing our homework like weve done so far The recent progress reports have constantly reiterated the fact that many of the tasks have just started to be carried out while others had many shortcomings The actions that the country will take will also have an impact on the decision that EU member countries will take in the next...
Albania: NPLs on the rise, banks in difficulty
The first part of this year has registered an increase of NPLs as opposed to the end of 2017 when they accounted for 13 of the totalCommercial banks in the country seem to be facing difficulties in collecting nonperforming loans This is indicated by a new increase of their level at the start of the year According to the data provided by the Bank of Albania this year NPLs accounted for 14 of the total as opposed to 13 at the end of last year This marks an increase although its been a while that the Bank of Albania has introduced a package of measures to reduce them However despite the latest increase it must be said that this plan has yielded results in the recent years by reducing the percentage of NPLs A few years ago NPLs accounted for 20 of the total But banks d...
Seselj's hooliganism "blessed" by Vucic
The incident which Vojislav Seselj leader of the far right Serbian Radical Party SRS in the parliament during the visit of the Croatian delegation on Wednesday could not have been possible without the support of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party SNS led by president Aleksandar VucicSerbian opposition says that Seselj enjoys Vucics backing while Croatian officials insist that Belgrade has tried to relativise extremists hooliganism in the parliamentFurthermore after formally condemning the incident Vucic claimed that what he wasfaced with during his visit to Zagreb earlier this year was much worseSeselj has verbally attacked the Croatian delegation headed by Gordan Jandrokovic president of the Croatian parliament and trampled on the Croatian flag Afterwar...
Kosovo’s platform for the final dialogue with Serbia
Kosovos government has presented today the state platform for the final phase of dialogue with Serbia Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj declared that this platform will be sent to parliament for approvalHe said that the last phase of dialogue with Serbia will result in the recognition of the independence of Kosovo by SerbiaThis platform contains a preamble where both sides express their will for good neighboring relations and to respect the agreements that they have reached This also makes dialogue for the normalization of relations with Serbia to be more transparent Haradinaj saysMeanwhile deputy Prime Minister Enver Hoxhaj declared that this platform has three objectives mutual recognition accession in the UN and defines the report with the EU and NATOThe platf...
Energy: Greece auctions it all
DESFAs 66 will be taken over by the consortium headed by the Italian company SNAM According to aHellenic Republic Asset Development Fund SA TAIPEDannouncement it is the one that made the highest bid However a new improved financial proposal was called for which will be evaluated in the next phaseInformation indicates that the tender for the takeover of the DESFA majority stake was in the range of EUR 535 million while that of the second joint venture to EUR 457 millionAccording to the TAIPED announcement the Board of Directors of TAIPED at its todays meeting and in cooperation with the Hellenic Petroleum SA Hellenic Petroleum opened the files of the improved financial offers submitted by the following two investment schemesConsortium of Snam SpA Enags In...
Erdogan leads Turkey to snap elections; the economy and Aksener his top priorities 
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan surprised even his close associates with his decision to go to snappolls Immediately after meeting with his election partner the president of the Nationalist Action Party he announced the relevant date of the presidential election June 24Diseases of the old political system appear in every step we make elections are needed to take necessary steps for the immediate future for the country in the most powerful way Erdogan said Theforthcoming elections will mark the beginning of a historic transition of the Turkish regime The winner of the presidential election Erdogan will most probably be the winnerwill enjoy dramatically strengthened powers as they were adopted by a marginal majority in the referendum of April 2017 In fact ...
Vojislav Šešelj uses Croatian flag in disrespectful manner; Croat delegation leaves Belgrade
A Croatian Parliament delegation was on a visit in SerbiaAn incident that took place in the Serbian National Assembly in Belgrade caused their immediate departureResult TheCroatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovi unexpectedly ended his planned twoday visit to SerbiaCroatias HRT reports that In the foyer of the assembly convicted war criminal and president of the Serbian Radical Party Vojislav eelj along with another radical MP Filip Stojanovi stamped on the Croatian state flag and hurled curses at the Croatian delegationGordan Jandrokovi and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovi whom he consulted regarding his next moves thought of what happened as improper and uncivilisedeeljs incident was a line that could not be crossed We came here with a desire to ma...