Bulgaria: Latest poll shows seven parties clinching Parliament threshold
Seven parties would enter the new parliament if elections were to be held today, according to a Gallup International poll commissioned by Bulgaria's National Radio. As the results show, voter turnout ranges from 2.6 to 2.9 million people. So far, the turnout of those saying they will vote based on real voters in the country is 50%; however, according to official list, it is expected to be significantly lower at roughly 40%. It should be noted that turnout forecasts are extremely difficult, and serious fluctuations outside these limits are not ruled out. At least one voter is expected to say "I do not support anyone."...
Turkey: State Department Report far from reality according to Altun
Communications Director of the Turkish Presidency Fahrettin Altun, in a series of posts on Twitter states that the report of the US Department on human rights is far from reality. Altun writes in English that Turkey does not consider human rights a domestic policy issue, but a universal one. https://twitter.com/fahrettinaltun/status/1377670563347505169 President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has virtually been the only voice against human rights abuses in the region and around the world, Altun notes, adding that Turkey has made the greatest progress in human rights under the AK governments. The report poses unfair criticism against Turkey, the Director of Communications tweeted out, underlining Turkey's sensitivity to human...
Bulgaria, Croatia to further benefit from EU “solidarity vaccines”
Bulgaria will receive 1,259,728 doses of "solidarity vaccines", in line with a decision by member state ambassadors on additional doses purchased by the Commission from Pfizer/BioNTech last night. The amount was agreed at a meeting of the Permanent Representatives of the Member States, while the Agreement was proposed by the Portuguese Presidency. These are a total of 10 million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses agreed at the last Council of Europe. These installments will be distributed according to the population of the Member States in the second quarter of 2021. The Prime Minister of Bulgaria commented on Facebook that this is "good news not only for Bulgaria,...
Michel contacts Mitsotakis and Anastasiades
European Council President Charles Michel contacted today in separate video conferences Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The forthcoming visit of the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen to Turkey was discussed during the teleconferences. European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will visit Turkey on April 6th and meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to a Brussels statement. The visit will be carried out in the context of efforts to boost dialogue between Ankara and Brussels, following a tense period last year over...
North Macedonia: Zaev grateful for new vaccine donation from Serbia
North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev described the new vaccine donation from Serbia as a great gesture of friendship, conveying a message that true friends step up in difficult times. The governments of North Macedonia and Serbia have agreed for the latter to donate 40,000 Sputnik V vaccines to the former, with the first shipment of 20,000 doses having arrived in Skopje on Thursday. The remaining 20,000 doses will be delivered in due time. Welcoming the new donation from Serbia, Zaev said the vaccines would arrive at a critical juncture for North Macedonia, as it would ensure that the mass vaccination, which began yesterday, would...
Turkey: Akar discusses bilateral defense co-operation with US counterpart
The Defense Ministers of Turkey and the United States had a phone conversation on Thursday to discuss regional security and bilateral defense co-operation. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin exchanged views and stressed the importance of strategic relations, according to the Turkish Defense Ministry. They underlined the importance of developing mutual understanding on the issue of regional and global security, as well as resolving issues based on their strategic partnership and the spirit of alliance. The Turkish ministry adds that Akar and Austin reaffirmed their commitment to closer co-operation and co-ordination, while strengthening military relations between the two countries. Akar...
Croatia: Government prepares National Recovery and Resilience Plan
The Croatian Government will debate on the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, which envisages projects worth HRK 49.08 billion covering six key areas. Based on the Plan, 54% of that amount shall be directed to projects in the enterprise sector, 15% to education, science and research, 12% to the reconstruction of buildings, 10% to public administration and judiciary, 5% to healthcare, and 4% to labour and social welfare. Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said at the Cabinet session that its adoption was a precondition to ensure eligibility to obtain the €6.3 billion in grants from the European Union’s Reconstruction and Resilience Facility. “The purpose of...
Slovenia: Τhird lockdown begins this morning
Slovenia entered into its third lockdown in just over a year on Thursday, seeking to buy some time for vaccination and stem the third wave of the pandemic, driven by the highly virulent British variant. The lockdown is expected to stretch until 11 April with the exception of Easter Sunday, when members of up to two households will be able to come together and celebrate the holiday. Schools will once again move to online teaching, while kindergartens will provide childcare for children of parents working in critical infrastructure only. Once again, facemasks will be mandatory outdoors, except during recreation in the natural environment. Slovenian media...
Bulgaria: Voters getting cold feet with Election Day just around the corner
Bulgaria is hitting the home stretch in view of the April 4th elections, with only two days of campaigning left. The pandemic rendered the campaign of the parliamentary elections for the 45th National Assembly of Bulgaria rather unique, due to all the restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. During the last month, have the candidate parties and coalitions managed to impress the bulk of undecided voters? "Undoubtedly, the situation was peculiar and this made it difficult for most parties, especially the emerging ones," sociologist Zivko Georgiev said in an interview with the Bulgarian National Radio (BER). "On the other hand, this campaign...
Albania celebrates 12 years of NATO membership
On April 1, 2009, Albania formally became a member of NATO's Euro-Atlantic Alliance, with Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Olta Xhaçka saluting the 12th anniversary of Albania's formal accession to NATO. Xhaçka said that during those 12 years of work and dedication, Albania has managed to gain the allies' trust as a reliable partner and a major contributor to the Alliance's collective security. Xhaçka also stressed that their challenge is EU membership which, as she stressed, will be won step by step with plenty of work and dedication. "12 years in NATO. 12 years of hard work and dedication, and we have managed to...