EU deploys Election Observation Mission to Kosovo
The EU Election Observation Mission has been deployed in Kosovo and on Monday they were seen observing throughout Kosovo. The Mission was deployed in response to an invitation by Kosovo President Hashim Thaci to observe the early parliamentary elections, scheduled for 6 October 2019. The European Union has a long history of accompanying electoral processes in Kosovo and has deployed EOMs on four previous occasions, the last two in 2017, which reflects the EU’s long-term commitment and partnership with Kosovo. Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, has appointed Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, Member of the European Parliament as...
Bulgaria court confirms watchdog decision on gas grid capacity expansion contract
Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court has dismissed the appeal against the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) decision that re-instated Saudi Arabian Arkad Engineering as the winner in the tender to design and build the expansion of Bulgaria’s domestic gas infrastructure, needed in order for the country to handle the transiting gas from the Turkish Stream pipeline. The case was closed after one of the companies in the second-placed consortium – which included Italy’s Bonatti, the Italian subsidiary of German firm Max Streicher and Luxembourg-registered Completions Development Sàrl, which Bulgarian media linked to Russian pipe manufacturer TMK - formally withdrew its support for the appeal. The...
Yavuz is back in Mersin awaiting orders
Turkey's provocations on the European Council’s agenda By Michalis Michael Turkish drill ship Yavuz has completed its first round of drilling operations off the coast of Karpasia, and has now returned to Mersin, as Turkish news agency IHA reports. The same source claims that the drilling rig remains off the Tasucu district of Mersin in order to be refueled, while awaiting instructions on whether or not to return to Cyprus later on. At the same time, the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the EU, Nicholas Emiliou, during today's meeting of the General Affairs Council (GAC) in Brussels, demanded that the issue of Turkey's illegal activity...
Ankara’s close ties with Moscow and Tehran
Cavusoglu's “Asia Anew” doctrine The Turkish President’s successive meetings with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and with Vladimir Putin ahead of the trilateral conference in Ankara, are regarded as proof of the way Ankara wants to portray itself as a regional power. Relations between Tehran and Ankara have and always will be about balance. One striking fact is that the borders between the two countries have remained unchanged since 1639! Back then it was the Ottoman Empire, and today it is Turkey the country that succeeded it. Regarding developments in Syria, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has realized that without Russia’s and Iran’s consent no policy within Syria can...
United Nations has not received an official information on the opening of Varosha
It was also reported that the United Nations “is monitoring the situation closely and continuously” By Michael Michael The United Nations, according to reports of CNA from the United States, will continue to be guided by relevant SA resolutions, said SG spokesman Stéphane Dujarric, adding that they take into account Resolution 550, which "considers any attempts for settlement in any part of the Varosha by people other than their inhabitants unacceptable". He also said that the United Nations "is monitoring the situation closely and constantly", while claiming that "the UN has not received any official information on plans to open Varosha". CNA informed the spokesman...
The “Iron Woman” who would restore justice but ended up in jail today
Katica Janeva, the prosecutor from the provincial town of Gevgelija landed in Skopje four years ago and was considered the "iron woman" who would restore hope for justice. In September 2015 she was selected to be chief prosecutor of the Special Public Prosecutor's Office, an institution set up to investigate illegal wiretaps that were then published by Zoran Zaev as opposition leader. Four years later she is in the Suto Orizari prison, and over the weekend the Assembly of North Macedonia fired her, as her four-year term expired. According to investigations, there are suspicions that she abused her office in the case of a scandal...
Kosovo: Election campaigns with insults and accusations
An intensive campaign of political parties for the October 6th elections has begun in Kosovo ahead of legal deadlines. All political parties have started their activities with citizens on the ground and are participating in numerous public and private television debates. Unfortunately, no political party programs and projects have been disclosed in the campaign so far. Politicians are using hate speech, reviling and denigrating one another. Even in a television studio a representative of Vetevendosje has been physically attacked by a representative of the Social Democratic Party. Non-governmental organizations point out that the campaign should focus on political party programs rather than personal attacks on...
Mitsotakis: Early IMF repayment boosts Greece’s credibility
Athens officially requested the early repayment of a part of its debt to the International Monetary Fund on Monday, a move that was much-anticipated and expected to aid Greece’s economic recovery. Finance Minister Christos Staikouras addressed a formal letter to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), requesting approval for the repayment of the expensive part of Greece’s loan from the Washington-based fund before it is due. In total, Athens is set to repay a 2.9-billion-euro loan carrying a 4.91 percent interest rate. According to the Ministry of Finance, the early repayment will see Athens save 70 million euros. The...
Tsipras’ points from Thessaloniki
The feeling of embarrassment comes to an end, while the main opposition era commences Alexis Tsipras presented SYRIZA’s future plans over the weekend in Thessaloniki, launching an organized counter-attack on behalf of the main opposition. The former prime minister's intervention consisted of several key-points such as the economy, labor, an alternative progressive plan, the Prespa Agreement, alongside a vicious attack towards the government. The president of SYRIZA, through his customary speech and press conference – which broke all records by lasting more than three hours - harshly criticized the government and personally attacked Kyriakos Mitsotakis. "SYRIZA will engage in militant, programmatic and documented opposition", Al....
More than three million euros for cross-border projects in Montenegro and Serbia
More than three million euros have been provided for cross-border projects of Montenegro and Serbia, which should contribute to strengthening the social and cultural inclusion of vulnerable groups, as well as improving the capacity to use the tourism potential of both countries, the General Secretariat of the Government announced today. The second call for proposals under the Serbia-Montenegro Cross-Border Cooperation Program, worth EUR 3.24 million, is open until December 27. Deputy Chief Negotiator and National IPA Coordinator for Montenegro Ivana Glišević Đurović said the Call is a continuation of successful cross-border co-operation between Montenegro and Serbia, which began in 2008, during which between 2008 and...