Protests can be a real financial burden for the state budget in Albania
The frequent protests that the opposition is holding are at the focus of the media reports, but what the media is not reporting is the amount of money being spent to keep these protests under control. The government and its institutions must apply different measures and these measures are made possible through taxpayers’ money. New security systems, cameras, recorders, special weapons for teargas and an entire arsenal of police equipment have been purchased by the authorities. The fact that authorities increase the threat level from 2 to 1 during the days when the protests are held, also increases expenses for Special Forces and other security...
Interview with Albanian socialist MP Fadil Nasufi
“This opposition is at the crossroads and it has serious issues. However, true democrats must reflect and act. Time has come for a new competitive opposition…”. This was said during an exclusive interview for Albanian Free press by socialist MP, Fadil Nasufi. According to him, the opposition’s protests are damaging the image of the country, while spreading fear and insecurity. The socialist MP also says that these protests are damaging the opening of EU accession talks in June. Interviewed for Albanian Free Press by Albert Zholi According to you, did the protest that the opposition hold bring anything new as opposed to previous protests that he...
Bulgaria’s political parties manoeuvre ahead of May 2019 European Parliament elections
Across the spectrum, Bulgaria's political parties are manoeuvring ahead of the country's May 26 2019 European Parliament elections, with both major and minor ones seeking alliances as well as honing their messages ahead of what is expected to be a hotly-contested poll. The race is expected to be tightest between the two largest parties, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov's centre-right GERB and Kornelia Ninova's opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party. Most polls see GERB as having a slight lead over the BSP in the contest for Bulgaria's 17 seats in the European Parliament. Complicating the picture is that the vote on that Sunday in May would be at...
Zaev meets top EU and NATO officials in Brussels
North Macedonia’s Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev had a busy agenda of meetings on Tuesday in Brussels. During the meeting of the Association Stabilization Council, the head of the government talked about the reforms that the country needs to implement to launch accession talks with the EU. Zaev met with European Commission senior officials such as Federica Mogherini and EU Enlargement Commissioner, Johannes Hahn. Meanwhile, he was also received in the NATO headquarters by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. These meetings were dominated by the achievements that the country has made so far and the reforms it needs to finalize. NATO and EU officials demanded reforms in...
Athens, creditors discuss primary residence protection scheme
Greek government officials held a marathon teleconference call with representatives of its “quartet” of international creditors on Tuesday, in search of a compromise on a scheme intended to protect primary home owners from foreclosure. Finance Ministry sources said talks were inconclusive and efforts to strike a deal will continue until the 25 March Euro Working Group (EWG) meeting, which is set to prepare a crucial Eurogroup meeting set to go ahead 5 April. Hopes that the government would be able to table a draft bill including the new scheme by this week proved too optimistic. However, parts of the local press suggest the government may...
Kosovo has the highest unemployment rate in the region: World Bank
Kosovo continues to face high unemployment rates. According to the latest report of the World Bank and Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies on the labour market in Western Balkans, Kosovo is the country with biggest issues. The findings of this report suggest that unemployment rate in Kosovo in 2019 is 29%. The report also suggests that in several countries of Western Balkans unemployment has seen a significant decline. “The region has seen a considerable decline in unemployment, from 1,5 million in 2011 to 776,000 in the second quarter of 2018”, the document states. But, experts of economic affairs say that reduction of unemployment has...
Is Kosovo behind opposition’s protests in Belgrade?
It’s been a while now that opposition parties in Serbia are organizing massive anti-government protests.  The president of this country, Aleksandar Vucic has declared that he suspects Kosovo to support these protests. On his part, Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj has considered these reactions and accusations absurd. He has denied any such accusations coming from Belgrade. “We call on authorities in Belgrade to take care of their own domestic problems and let us solve our own problems”, Prime Minister of Kosovo said. “We have our own problems and we don’t really care what Serbia’s domestic problems are”, Haradinaj added. The Serb Progressive Party (SNS) of...
Teleconference between Government and Institution ends without agreement
Without an agreement was concluded the teleconference with the heads of the European institutions, on the basis of the successor framework of the Katselis law, under Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos. Sources of the Finance Ministry said that "consultations continue in view of the Euro Working Group meeting on March 25". Disagreements According to information, institutional representatives insist on a drastic reduction in the coverage area, both in the number of individuals with NPLs in total that can be included in the scheme and individually in the part that concerns the first-pledge business loans. According to relevant sources, progress has been made on minor issues and...
Zaev-Mogherini: The country’s progress was welcomed, to continue implementation of reforms by June
The significant progress achieved in the reform agenda in the Republic of North Macedonia was welcomed and the country was encouraged to continue to implement reforms by June, in particular in the areas set out by the Council in June 2018, PM Zoran Zaev and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini concluded at today’s meeting in Brussels. North Macedonia's PM Zaev at the meeting, which was also attended by Deputy Prime Ministers Bujar Osmani and Radmila Sekerinska, as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Dimitrov, thanked for holding of the Stabilization and Association Council in such significant period for the Republic of North Macedonia....
North Macedonia’s Zaev meets EU and NATO officials in Brussels
A delegation led by the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev has met with the EU chief of diplomacy, Federica Mogherini in Brussels. After the meeting, PM Zaev said that there’s reason to believe that European institutions will issue a positive signal for the country's integration. On her part, the EU senior official Mogherini has encouraged the PM to deliver the remaining reforms until June this year. As far as the electoral process is concerned, both sides said that they’re expecting the opposition to be constructive and participate in the elections. During this visit, PM Zaev has been accompanied by Defence minister, Radmila Sekerinska,...