Germany demands Serbia to exercise “restraint”
The advisors of German chancellor Angela Merkel Jan Hecker and Matthias Luettenberg have, with regard to the dialogue with Pristina, appealed on Serbia to exercise restraint, according to President Aleksandar Vucic, who met with them late on Monday. In today’s interview for TV Prva, Vucic refrained from giving more details. “I have confirmed (them) that Serbia will act calmly and remain restrained as much as possible”, Vucic said. The president said that after meeting with German officials he expects additional pressure to be put on Pristina in order for the customs tax introduced on Serbian goods to be abolished. However, he added he did not...
Recession in Turkey raises concerns
The Turks have become poorer by USD 2,848 in five years Economists are troubled by the figures on the growth of the Turkish economy. While according to the Turkish Statistical Service the annual growth rate reached 2.6% in 2018, growth in the last two quarters had a negative sign and this is an indication that in 2019 this trend will continue. According to the figures, in the fourth quarter, the Turkish economy shrank by 3%, while in the third quarter it shrank by 1.1%. Of great concern for the government is also the decrease in the per capita income in Turkey. In 2018, the per...
Opposition in Albania intensifies its action, boycott of upcoming elections
A senior Albanian opposition official has announced today what many feared it would happen following the recent extreme decisions that were taken with the mass resignation of opposition MPs from parliament and the series of protests, which have often turned violent. Vice chairman of the Socialist Movement for Integration, Petrit Vasili said today that “the opposition cannot participate in the elections with the existing electoral system”. Vasili said that “the 2017 general elections showed how the current majority was involved in vote buying” and according to him the opposition cannot participate in these elections without receiving strict assurances that none of the problems that were...
Government in Skopje rejects rumours about exchange of monuments with Greece
Government of North Macedonia said today that there doesn't exist a plan for the exchange of monuments with Greece. This declaration comes following speculations made by media outlets in the country, who quote the Greek Culture minister as saying that she has proposed authorities in Skopje to send the monument of the “Warrior on a horse” to Athens and for the monument of the “Runner” to be brought to Skopje. “The Prespa agreement was signed in order for the two countries to intensify their collaboration, which will contribute towards economic development in the region. We’re focused on implementing the Prespa agreement. Under this agreement, all...
Decriminalization of politics is yielding results, says head of Central Election Commission in Albania
Chairman of the Albanian Central Election Commission, Klement Zguri declared today during a meeting with the General Attorney’s Office and OSCE representatives regarding the decriminalization of politics, that it’s now impossible for people with criminal records to run for office and enter politics. “Decriminalization is a process which is yielding successful results. We have not only had high profile officials abandon their careers because of this, but we have stopped people with criminal records from entering politics. Thanks to the application of the decriminalization law, criminals are no longer attempting to penetrate politics. Therefore we must say that the law has produced positive results”, said...
OSCE presence in Albania urges parliament to go ahead with the electoral reform
The head of OSCE Presence to Tirana, Bernd Borchardt declared today that although the opposition in the country decided to boycott parliament, parliament must go ahead with the electoral reform. In a meeting held between OSCE presence, Central Election Commission and General Attorney’s Office, Borchardt encouraged candidates who are on the waiting lists of the oppositions to occupy their seats in parliament and contribute for the future of the country Mr. Borschardt has also called on political sides to do more in order to prevent irregularities in the local government elections which are expected to take place on June 30. “The electoral reform requires 84...
International Academic Conference in honor of Nikos Kotzias, March 15-16
On the occasion of the 20 years since the establishment of the Department of International and European Studies of the University of Piraeus, a very interesting international academic conference entitled "Greek Active Foreign Policy in the 21st Century" takes place in Athens. The International Academic Conference is held in honor of Emeritus Professor of the University of Piraeus and former Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and will take place in the Kranidiotis Hall of the Foreign Ministry on March 15-16, 2019. The conference includes academics, diplomats, as well as North Macedonia's Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and former Foreign Ministers of Cyprus Ioannis Kasoulides, of Albania...
Op-Ed/Lulzim Basha at the crossroads, the winner takes it all, the loser takes nothing
This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.albanianfreepress.al By Roland Qafoku After more than six years as head of the Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha has launched one of the biggest and unprecedented political actions in the history of Albania. The decision that was taken on 17 February is a very big political bet for him as opposition leader. He is demanding a snap poll and also the resignation of prime minister Edi Rama. He sees the PM as a player who cheated him once and that he cannot cheat him again. He’s demanding an interim government which will organize free elections. According...
Opposition in Albania is now making economic demands
Instead putting political pressure on the government, the Democratic Party has now gone back to its accusations and economic demands. In a meeting that its leader, Lulzim Basha held in Korça, he mentioned a number of economic problems that Albanian citizens have to face at the present. For Basha, a situation where the state serves as a stealing mechanism is not at all acceptable. “Each year, everything becomes worse and worse. Taxes have gone up, price of electricity has gone up and so has the price of fuel. People have less money to buy stuff”, Basha said. Meanwhile, democrat leader has also talked about what...
Albania: Preparations start for the local elections despite political gridlock
Despite the aggravating political situation between the two main camps, institutions in the country continue to set up the necessary infrastructure for the June 30 local government elections The political gridlock which has engulfed the country for several weeks now doesn’t seem to stop institutions from starting preparations for the June 30 elections. The first step was to contract a company which will be in charge of supply voting booths and the ballot boxes that will be used for the June 30 elections.  Yesterday, the Central Election Commission has also approved the registration of four political parties which run their candidates in the elections. These...