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Latest News from the Balkans

albania-prosecutors-raise-charges-against-former-central-bank-governor
29 Jul 15

Albania Charges Former Central Bank Governor

A year after a major bank theft was discovered, former governor Ardian Fullani was charged with abuse of office by prosecutors who allege that he bears some responsibility for the crime.

macedonia-mps-ignore-wiretapping-during-secret-police-visit
29 Jul 15

Macedonia MPs Stay Silent on Bugging at Spy HQ

Macedonia’s illegal mass surveillance scandal, which is at the centre of the country’s political crisis, was not discussed when MPs visited the headquarters of the country’s secret police.

oil-companies-drop-out-due-croatia-montenegro-border-dispute
29 Jul 15

Oil Firms Quit Croatia Over Montenegro Border Row

Austrian and US energy companies announced they have backed out of oil and gas exploration and exploitation in Croatia’s Adriatic Sea due to a maritime border dispute with Montenegro.

serbs-declare-mourning-for-storm-victims
29 Jul 15

Serbs Announce ‘Operation Storm’ Anniversary Mourning

Serbia and Bosnia’s Serb-led entity Republika Srpska will hold a day of mourning to commemorate Serb victims of the Croatian Army’s Operation Storm on its 20th anniversary in August.

sanader-s-retrial-won-t-affect-political-arena-analyst-say
29 Jul 15

Ex-PM Sanader Retrial ‘Won’t Affect Croatia Polls’

The retrial of former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader on corruption charges will not have a major impact on his political party’s prospects at upcoming general elections, analysts predicted.

montenegro-divided-over-nato-membership-survey-shows
29 Jul 15

Montenegro Evenly Divided Over NATO Membership

For the first time in Montenegro, about as many people support the idea of the country joining NATO as oppose it, a new survey suggested.

isis-real-threat-to-region-ministers-say
29 Jul 15

ISIS Poses Threat to Balkans, Ministers Say

The interior ministers of Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia said that ISIS was a real threat which could be fought only by cooperation between regional security services.

serbian-whistleblower-law-on-first-serious-test
29 Jul 15

Serbian Whistleblower Law Faces First Serious Test

The case of Radovan Nenadic, a court intern who was fired after he criticised alleged misconduct by a judge, could be a test-case for the recently-adopted Whistleblower Protection Act.

top-kosovo-war-crimes-defendants-to-appeal-verdict
28 Jul 15

Kosovo’s Drenica Group Appeal War Crimes Convictions

Former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army’s Drenica Group cell said they will appeal against their convictions for crimes against civilians during the 1998-99 conflict.

balkan-countries-shows-mixed-progress-in-fighting-against-human-trafficking
28 Jul 15

US Criticises Balkans over Human Trafficking

All Balkan countries except Macedonia do not meet minimum standards in combatting human trafficking and some fail to punish the perpetrators adequately, the US State Department said.

croatia-s-withdraw-from-arbitration-with-slovenia-legally-disputed
28 Jul 15

Croatia’s Exit from Slovenia Territory Arbitration Contested

Some Croatian legal experts said that Zagreb can unilaterally quit international arbitration with Ljubljana over disputed waters, but a source inside the arbitration court rejected this.

serbia-adopting-a-law-on-cutting-public-sector
28 Jul 15

Serbian Parliament Mulls Public Sector Layoffs

The Serbian parliament disussed a controversial law on establishing criteria for downsizing the public sector which envisages that 9,000 people will be fired by the end of the year.

key-reform-law-shakes-public-scene-in-bosnia-s-federation
28 Jul 15

Bosnia Federation Unions Vow to Stop Labour Law

Trade unions in Bosnia's Bosniak and Croat-dominated Federation entity have announced protests aimed at blocking the adoption of a new labour law - a key reform agreed with the EU and IMF.

cyrillic-documents-causes-confusion-in-kosovo-parliament
28 Jul 15

Kosovo Parliament Rejects Serb Minister’s Cyrillic

A ministerial document written in the Cyrillic alphabet used by Serbs was rejected by the commission for legislation, highlighting the language differences which continue to cause problems in Kosovo.

macedonia-junior-party-keeps-distance-after-killings
28 Jul 15

Macedonia Junior Ruling Party Keeps Silent on Killings

The junior party in the ruling coalition, the Democratic Union for Integration, will not formally discuss two deadly incidents which saw two of its members killed.

Premium

true-cost-of-skopje-2014-revealed
27 Jul 15

True Cost of ‘Skopje 2014’ Revealed

From the initially announced price tag of €80 million, the cost of giving the Macedonian capital a new/old look has risen to €560 million, a BIRN investigation shows.

Culture and Lifestyle

preparations-start-for-sarajevo-s-renowned-film-festival

Sarajevo Film Festival Expects 100,000 Visitors

One of the leading European film festivals will bring top cinematic works, renowned directors and movie stars to the Bosnian capital in August and attendance figures are expected to rise again this year.

Business

business-conditions-in-serbia-not-encouraging-experts-say

Business Conditions in Serbia 'Difficult', Experts Say

The economy minister promised that the government will prioritise developing small and medium-sized enterprises, but business experts warned that conditions remain tough.