Greece: Auction limits are being lowered
A gentlemen's agreement was reached by the government and the bankers to reduce the auction's value threshold to 50,000 euros, perhaps even lower. In recent years there has been an informal gentlemen's agreement between governments and banks, with the former pushing the latter to keep the informal boundaries as high as possible for social reasons. The new government appears to be leaving banks to auction lower-priced housing compared to today, where the informal threshold is around 100,000 euros. While there is a need for a further reduction in "red loans", bankers have reportedly sought government approval to go ahead with the above move, with the...
S&P confirms Bank of Cyprus ratings, outlook remains stable
By Michalis Michael Standard & Poor's has confirmed last night the Bank of Cyprus' long-term and short-term credit ratings at B + and B, respectively, while keeping the bank's outlook stable. Its decision, according to the US firm, reflects the belief that while the Bank of Cyprus recently completed several actions to raise its capital, including the issuance of Tier 1 capital and the disposal of assets, "its capitalization remains weak compared to the risks the bank is undertaking". This can be seen, according to S&P, in the very high Non-performing Loans (MEX) stocks, which accounted for 35% of gross loans on March 31, 2019,...
Montenegro: Prosecutors extend the investigation on Aaron Shaviv
The Montenegro Special State Prosecutor's Office (SDT) has issued an order to extend the investigation into the case of terrorism in an attempt on a citizen of the United Kingdom and Israel, Aaron Shaviv, who is suspected of having committed the criminal offense of establishing a Criminal Organization. According to Special Prosecutor Saša Čađenović, during an investigation launched against Joseph Assad and eight others suspected of establishing a criminal organization and attempting an act of terrorism, evidence indicating that Shaviv had also committed the similar offense emerged. That is why, as stated by Čađenović, an order to expand the investigation was issued. “Shaviv, was suspected...
Russia will continue supporting the Serbian actions against Kosovo
Kosovo is, from the standpoint of Russia, part of Serbia; Russia will continue to support Serbia in preventing not only Kosovo’s Interpol entry, but its membership in all international organizations, said Aleksandar Botsan-Harchenko (photo), Russian ambassador in Serbia. The Russian diplomat met with Serbian interior minister Nebojsa Stefanovic in Belgrade today. Russia and Serbia have very good cooperation in the security domain, said both Botsan-Harchenko and Stefanovic, according to Interior Ministry’s press release. The Serbian Interior Ministry has “very good cooperation” with the respective Russian agencies in the security domain, including the Federal Security Service, National Guard, Interior Ministry and Ministry of emergency situations, Stefanovic...
US: Greece contributes to “the region’s energy integration”
Greece's role in the "energy integration in the region" of the Eastern Mediterranean and SE Europe in general will be at the heart of the forthcoming visit to Athens by US Undersecretary of State for Energy, Francis Fannon, who starting today until 9 August will be on a tour to Jordan, Lebanon and Greece. According to a statement of the State Department, the trip "reflects Washington's long-term strategic interest in the Eastern Mediterranean region". In particular, the tour is expected to be completed in Greece, which, as noted, "plays a key role in promoting energy integration in the region". Francis Fannon is expected to participate,...
Croatian President’s statement sparks bitter reactions in BiH
With just one sentence, which she claims she never said, Croatian president, Kolinda Grabar Kitarović did what others have been trying unsuccessfully for a long time – that is to unify the Bosniak politicians. On Tuesday, during the visit to Israel, on the meeting with Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, Grabar Kitarović said that BiH is very unstable and that it has been taken over by people with connections to Iran and some terrorist organisation. Later, on Wednesday, she denied having made that statement, but it was too late - comments and reactions had already caused enough damage. As soon as her alleged statement reaches the...
Kosovo’s Thaci starts consultations with political parties
President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci on Tuesday started consultations with political parties to decide further steps that need to be taken following the resignation of PM Ramush Haradinaj. President Thaci met with representatives of two minority parties and in the days to come, he’s expected to meet with other political parties. “We need to take the necessary steps in order to have a functional and effective government as soon as possible. This government must reflect the will of political parties for a new governing solution or the holding of elections which will enable the creation of a new government as soon as possible”, the president...
North Macedonia’s Zaev accepts request for snap poll
After repeated demands made by the opposition in the country for snap elections, North Macedonia’s PM, Zoran Zaev has accepted to hold them in October 2020, two months ahead of the scheduled elections. “We will do everything in order to find consensus with the opposition. If they want early elections, then these elections will be held on October 2020”, Zaev said. The opposition is conditioning early elections with the voting of the bill on Special Prosecutor’s Office and reforms concerning the justice system. VMRO-DPMNE spokesperson, Naum Stoilkovski said that Zaev’s decision to accept early elections is a reasonable basis to sit down and talk with...
Serbia’s conditions for resumption of dialogue with Kosovo
In order for Belgrade and Pristina to resume dialogue, it’s necessary to scrap the tax and the international community must be more involved. This was said by the head of the Parliamentary Committee for Kosovo in Serbia, Milovan Drecun, who has requested for Kosovo to lift its barriers on Serb imports. “If these actions are tolerated, then there’s no solution to this. I’m not sure the EU didn’t have the necessary mechanisms to influence on Pristina. The international community must show a strong reaction against Pristina”, Drecun said. The resignation of PM Haradinaj has blocked the initiative of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, who had...
Egemen Bağış: “Either to solve the Cyprus problem or go to a two-state solution before Israel and Palestine”
In his interview with TRT, World Former Turkish EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis has given an answer to Greek PM Kyriakis Mitsotakis. “I guess PM Mitsotakis has a memory problem and is in conflict with Greek Cypriots who voted against the Annan plan and therefore called for Turkish troops to stay on the island. No military would have remained on the island; not only Turkish but also Greek and British troops would have left by now if the Annan plan had not been turned down by a huge portion of Greek Cypriots... The sun shines on two functioning democracies on this beautiful island...