New MPs sworn in; parliament president election to follow
Greece’s newly-elected Members of Parliament (MPs) were sworn in on Wednesday. The deputies of six political parties took their seats in the 300-member House for the first time since the 7 July general election. On Thursday, New Democracy MP Costas Tasoulas will be elected new parliament president, with SYRIZA also expected to endorse his candidacy. Haralambos Athanasiou, Nikitas Kaklamanis and Thanasis Bouras have been selected to become vice presidents by the ruling party, while main opposition SYRIZA will install Dimitris Vitsas as fourth vice-president. Moreover, a three-day parliamentary debate on the government’s program will commence on Saturday. The debate will culminate in a vote of...
EU reiterates that Vučijak in BiH is not a suitable location to host migrants
EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s authorities and experts held today a High-Level Meeting on Migration to discuss challenges of the increased presence of migrants and refugees poses to the country and to follow up to the priorities set in the Commission Opinion on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application for EU membership. The meeting took stock of the implementation of the significant assistance provided by the EU to Bosnia and Herzegovina to cope with the increased presence of migrants and refugees since the beginning of 2018, which amounts to €24 million. It also looked into the specific needs in view of the upcoming winter. The Commission welcomes...
Tsipras-Regling meeting and “alarm bells” for Mitsotakis’ tax relief
The head of the ESM Klaus Regling met Alexis Tsipras in his office in Parliament immediately after the swearing of the MPs into duty. The head of the opposition said he would support any serious effort to reduce the targets for primary surpluses, a position that K. Mitsotakis had also announced during his pre-election campaign. The reduction However, Klaus Regling repeated what has been said from Brussels, in other words that Greece must remain strictly committed to the primary surplus targets. A week ago, he himself said that the measures taken by the Tsipras government jeopardize the fiscal targets. Moreover, a European official, after the...
Cyprus Energy Minister: Five exploratory drills over the next two years
By Michalis Michael Ankara's goal is to cause instability in the Eastern Mediterranean and discourage energy giants, the Ministry says. Five exploratory and five confirmatory drillings in the licensed plots of the Cypriot EEZ will take place over the next two years, according to the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Cyprus, Georgios Lakkotrypis. Speaking at the Economist conference in Athens, Lakkotrypis referred to the recent discovery by ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum of natural gas deposits off the coast of Cyprus, referring to an amount larger than 40% of the EU's natural gas consumption in 2018. "This is a breakthrough that will of course...
What did Greece win from the new foray into the markets?
There is no doubt that the bids for the 7-year Greek government bond were high, as they exceeded 13 billion euros. These offers were submitted by investors during yesterday's third- this year- appeal of the Greek state to the capital markets for lending, thus completing a long and careful preparation that had begun as early as the end of 2018, under the previous government. However, it is worth noting that the auction that was conducted by the Public Debt Management Agency was somewhat reluctant. And this, because it was decided to “safely” issue a 7-year bond instead of 15-year one, that was also proposed in...
Albanian PM says he’s open to dialogue with the opposition
Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama declared today that he’s ready to sit down and engage in talks with the opposition. After a meeting with the party’s leadership, Rama dismissed all rumours about a snap election, while stressing that the government's term in office ends in 2021. “We’re ready to sit down and talk about the challenges that the country faces and the electoral reform. Our government has the obligation to complete its term in office”, Rama told reporters. Meanwhile, the PM also commented October 13, the date that the president of the country has decreed for elections. “For me, October 13 is a date like...
Albanian president says political parties must collaborate for integration in the EU
The Albanian president, Ilir Meta wrote a message public letter today, calling on the country’s politicians to collaborate in order for the country to be given a date for the launch of EU membership talks in October. “30 June went by like any other date. We have a very important date ahead. 17-18 October 2019 is important for all of us and for the future of our country, awaiting EU Council decision whether to open or not accession negotiations with Albania. Therefore, persistence to walk in two opposite directions with no meeting point must end–i.e. on one side the usurpation of every institution, every office...
North Macedonia: Special Prosecutor’s office facing a real challenge
Allegations for the involvement of the former chief of Special Prosecutor’s office, Katica Janeva, in a corruption scandal, have delivered a real blow to this institution. Janeva is part of the investigation following the arrest of the owner of a TV network in Skopje and a businessman, who are accused of appropriating 1,5 million euros from another businessman who was under investigation by the Special Prosecutor’s office. But, Lence Ristovska, one of Janeva’s fellow prosecutors, says that this case will not hurt the performance of this institution. “The integrity of the Special Prosecutor’s office is not at risk. Actions by individuals do not represent the...
State Department: Deep concern for the continuation of Turkish drilling in the Cypriot EEZ
Turkey sends fourth ship to the Eastern Mediterranean By Michalis Michael Washington has embraced European concerns about illegal Turkish drilling in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus, State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus stated, expressing Washington’s “deep concerns” about Ankara's claims. Recalling that the US foreign ministry had recently issued a communiqué in which it had condemned for the second time the Turkish actions, Mrs Ortagus said that "like the Europeans, we have expressed deep concern about Turkey's assertions that it will continue drilling in these waters of Cyprus. And I'm sure we issued an announcement on July 9. I will therefore refer you to...
There will be no talks with Serbia without a framework agreement, says Kosovo’s Haradinaj
Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj said on Tuesday that Kosovo will not engage in talks with Serbia without a framework agreement for mutual recognition of existing borders. Haradinaj criticized Serbia and a part of the international community for their hesitation to include this principle as part of a potential agreement. “We’re an independent country and we demand nothing else but mutual recognition. We will not engage in dialogue without having a framework agreement which includes mutual recognition on existing borders”, PM Haradinaj said. Kosovo’s PM said that the role of France and president Macron is growing and that such role “could bring Serbia back to...