Kosovo without functional government, President Thaçi is dragging out the process
Two weeks after the resignation of Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, Kosovo's president, Hashim Thaci, has not yet begun consultations with major political parties on setting a date for new parliamentary elections. While the country remains without a functioning government, President Hashim Thaci is continuing to drag the election work. He has so far met with representatives of the Turkish Democratic Party of Kosovo (KDTP) and those of the VAKAT entity from Parliamentary Group 6 plus and Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian parties, but there are no announcements when he may meet other representatives of political parties. They were not even invited. Political parties, on the other...
Hukusi Akar: Attempts to mitigate and deflect Turkish guarantees in Cyprus are futile
Turkey, as in the past, will continue to be the biggest support for Turkish Cypriots today By Michalis Michael There is no point in trying to mitigate and deflect Turkey's guarantees in Cyprus, according to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, adding that "it is a futile effort". On the eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish Minister said that "Turkey has shown over the last ten years that it is very determined and plan-driven and aware", adding that "it will be beneficial for all parties to realize this as soon as possible and to review their activities based on that”. The Turkish Minister said that "Turkey and the...
Trans-Balkan “combat” for the new EU Energy Commissioner
Five EU Member States appear, according to sources, are claiming the position of the new EU Commissioner that will take over the Energy portfolio, having expressed their interest on the subject. Therefore, Romania, Poland, Slovenia, Estonia and Lithuania with Luminita Odobescu, Krzysztof Szczerski, Janez Lenarčič, Kadri Simson and Virginijus Sinkevicius, Linas Linkevicius or Saulius Skvernelis representing them respectively are expected to cross swords or engage in appropriate negotiations, in order for the desired result to be achieved. Miss Luminita Odobescu is currently representing her country as an EU ambassador, as is the case with Mr Janez Lenarčič. Mr Krzysztof Szczerski is head of the office...
Study shows: The Germans are Greece’s best tourists
The Germans have been proven to be the best tourists for Greece, based both on their revenues ranking among all countries as well as on the average spending per visitor. According to the Institute of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Greece's most important markets for 2018, as the revenues show, are Germany, the United Kingdom, the US, France and Italy. In fact, these six countries, including Russia, constitute 41.5% of the total amount of visits, 49.7% of overnight accommodation and more than half (52.2%) of tourist revenues in Greece. As for the most spending per night, it was reported by visitors from the US (89...
NIS undergoes structural changes, while a new National Security Adviser has been appointed
The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with Yiannis Roubatis on Thursday, August 1, at Maximos Mansion after his term’s expiration as National Intelligence Service (NIS) Director. The Prime Minister thanked the outgoing commander for his services and for the official briefing he had as the opposition leader. The Prime Minister's decision also includes the appointment of a National Security Adviser to the Office of the Prime Minister, as part of a complete overhaul of the Hellenic Republic's National Security structure, in order to meet the contemporary challenges that Greece has to face. Vice Admiral Alexandros Diakopoulos (photo) has been appointed as National Security Adviser....
BiH, EBRD and EU sign Corridor Vc grant agreement worth EUR 15 million
An agreement between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on the European Union grant of EUR 15 million to co-finance the new section of Corridor Vc between Johovac and Rudanka, near Doboj, was signed on Thursday. With this new section of Corridor Vc between Johovac and Rudanka with an approximate length of 6.1 km and two interchanges, the completion of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s main transport corridor is coming to a step closer. The EU grant worth EUR 15 million will be channelled through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) and will complement a loan by the EBRD of up...
In Skopje, Bulgarian PM urges joint historical commission ‘to work daily’
Visiting Skopje, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov has urged a joint Bulgarian-North Macedonia historical commission to "work daily" to come up with a common historical narrative to bring the two countries together. Borissov was in Skopje on August 1 for celebrations of the second anniversary of the signing of the good-neighbourliness treaty, as well as of key aspects of history shared by Bulgaria and North Macedonia. "I hope that historians will not only not prevent, but undertake great effort and find the right expression of the history that unites us," Borissov told a news conference with his North Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev. He urged the...
Cyprus: Council of Leaders to convene August 5
Anastasiades goes to the meeting with Akinci in a positive spirit By Michalis Michael A meeting of the Council of Political Leaders is scheduled for Monday, August 5, according to a government spokesman, Prodromos Prodromou, ahead of the upcoming meeting of the leaders of the two communities on August 9. In his remarks, following a meeting of the President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar, at his home, Prodromou said that "the President has convened council of political leaders for Monday, August 5, at 10.30am to discuss his meeting with Mr Akinci". At...
Cyprus: Red loans in March stood at EUR 10.14 billion
By Michalis Michael A decrease of EUR 151 million, or 1.46%, was recorded for total non-performing loans in March, which stood at EUR 10.14 billion. According to Central Bank data, the percentage of non-performing grants (under the European Banking Authority's directive) against total loans fell to 30.6% in March, from 31.1% in the previous month, as the rate that red loans fell exceeded the rate of reduction of total loans in the system. The decline is in non-performing loans (NPLs) is less, which fell by just EUR 34m to EUR 7.9bn in March, compared to EUR 7.97bn last month. As a percentage of total loans,...
IBNA Interview/Serbia is sending threatening messages for the Balkans
Kosovo’s deputy Minister of Defence and National Coordinator for Integration and Accession in the NATO, Burim Ramadani spoke in an exclusive interview for IBNA about the role of Kosovo Army in the stability of the region, NATO accession process, security situation in the North of Kosovo, Russia’s influence on the destabilization of the region and the recent political developments in Kosovo IBNA: What will be the role of Kosovo on the peace and stability of the Balkans? Ramadani: Kosovo is committed to contributing in regional and global security. As such, along with its political, diplomatic and military institutions, it will be in full coordination with...