Hyseni: I never asked for a meeting with Pompeo
Reports that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to meet with Skender Hyseni in Washington sparked a reaction by the Belgrade-Pristina chief negotiator. Skender Hyseni, who is currently in the US capital for consultations, issued a statement that he had never requested a meeting with the US Secretary of State, and what is reported in the media regarding Mike Pompeo's alleged refusal to meet with him only existed in the imagination of the media. “The least I can say is that the pompous title "Pompeo refused to meet with the State Coordinator for the Dialogue" sounds utterly ridiculous and extremely unprofessional, when such a...
Greece: Deficit grows as revenue continues to tumble
State budget deficit is on the verge of exceeding 10 billion euros, if hasn’t already in the last days of July. As this rate of revenue shortfall remained throughout July by 30%, focus on fiscal targets also includes whether or not the state budget deficit exceeded the 10 billion- euro threshold. It is noted that this deficit had jumped at the end of June to 9.23 billion euros, or about 5% of GDP. In terms of net government revenue, there was a 3.90 billion-euro or 17% deviation from the initial target, a gap that was largely recorded in the April–June quarter. As a result, in...
Croatia: President Milanovic’s decision on decorations brings the ire of the Bosniaks in BiH
Croatian President Zoran Milanović’s confirmation that he will, on the occasion of the 25 anniversary of operation "Oluja" ("Storm") decorate several generals with origins from BiH, has dominated media discussions, both in the country and neightbouring B-E. According to a Presidential Office statement, Milanović confirmed that at the forthcoming ceremonies marking the 25th anniversary of Operation Storm he will decorate four Croatian Defence Council (HVO) guard brigades and an army police unit that participated in the Operation. “During Operation Storm, they were under the command of our (Croatian Army) general, in compliance with the Split Agreement. In that period they were part of our assault...
Bulgaria: Inquiry for Borissov’s video and recordings
The Sofia City Prosecutor's Office has appointed an expert on the video and audio material, in which he allegedly recorded the conversations between Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev. The Prosecutor's Office has initiated a preliminary procedure based on Art. 339a of the Penal Code. On June 25, 2020, an expert was appointed to investigate the photographs and recordings, which were published on the following websites: "Buffalo", "Affair", and "E-Vesnik". According to the team of investigating prosecutors, additional video material was added to the Afera website to record a conversation with voices allegedly belonging to Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Deputy...
Analysis: Issues of geopolitics and power in Greek-Turkish relations
By Nikos Kotzias * Disruption of Power Ratio The first element we need in oeder to understand the current developments is the reversal of the power ratio between Greece and Turkey, especially in the field of economy, where the power of Turkey is many times greater than that of Greece. The result is that Turkey has the potential of increased funding for its diplomacy and equipment. Moreover, in contrast to Greece, where bipartisanship and memoranda have dissolved our defence industry, Turkey has developed a strong defence industry, participating in the production of aircrafts and tanks, drones and cyber warfare. Finally, its population is close to...
Greece: Mandatory use of mask in all enclosed spaces until 31 August
A bundle of additional protective measures and laws was announced by the Deputy Minister of Civil Protection, in the aftermath of the big leap in infections. Additional protective measures and rules were announced by Greek Deputy Minister of Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias, during an emergency briefing after the rapid increase in the number of coronavirus cases recently. Consequently, the use of a mask becomes mandatory in all indoor areas until August 31. Nikos Hardalias clarified that the measure extends to places of worship, while announcing the strong recommendation of experts for the use of masks in outdoor areas until August 15. According to what Mr....
Kosovo: Dialogue Coordinator Hyseni heads to the US
Pristina coordinator for the dialogue with Belgrade, Skender Hyseni, announced that he would be traveling to Washington tomorrow, where, as he stated, he will meet with senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the White House, in order to coordinate the dialogue process with Belgrade. As he said, the United States is fully involved in this process and its active role will become increasingly apparent. "I do not think there is a lack of American involvement in this process. It is strong, active and irreplaceable, Hyseni told RFE/RL. He went on to add that "difficult talks are taking place in Brussels on the...
Cyprus: Gov’t adopts new aditional measures to combat the pandemic
The President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades issued a written statement on the adoption of new measures to counter the coronavirus pandemic, following the alarming increase in cases. Nicos Anastasiades' full statement: "With great concern, the Government decided today on additional measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in our country. The international recognition that our country faced the pandemic successfully derived not only from the measures taken by the Government with determination, but also from the responsibility and cooperation on behalf of the citizens. The good results, unfortunately, despite repeated calls from both the Government and the scientific team that the virus...
Albania: President Meta ratifies new electoral code
Albanian President Ilir Meta approved the amendments to the electoral code agreed in the June 5th agreement and voted on July 23rd, according to a statement issued by the presidency. According to the announcement of the Presidency, today, President Ilir Meta decided without delay the approval of law no. 101/2020, as he had promised. "The amendments to the Electoral Code are the only product of the 14 January and 5 June consensus agreement concluded in the Political Council, which allows the safe continuation of Albania's European course and which had the consent and full participation of all political stakeholders of the country". "President Meta reiterates...
Kosovo-EU sign 100 million-euro MoU
The European Commission signed the Fifth Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kosovo, paving the way for the first disbursement of 50m euros in macro-financial assistance (MFA). The second installment of € 50 million will be disbursed later in 2020 or early 2021. According to a statement by the EU Office in Kosovo, MFA funds are available in the form of long-term loans on very favorable terms. The funds will contribute to Kosovo's macroeconomic stability, so that the government's financial resources can be used to mitigate the serious socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis. The total MFA program for Kosovo amounts to 100m euros. Nataliya Apostolova,...