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Latest Investigations from the Balkans

kosovo-ngo-lost-0-5m-in-failed-bid-to-become-a-bank-02-11-2016
12 Feb 16

Kosovo NGO Lost €0.5m in Failed Bid to Become a Bank

A charitable, Kosovan microfinance lender spent 500,000 euros on consultancy and IT fees in its failed attempt to convert to a bank.

a-scandal-untold-the-near-collapse-of-a-kosovo-lending-giant-02-08-2016
10 Feb 16

A Scandal Untold: The Near Collapse of a Kosovo Lending Giant

A microfinance charity created to help Kosovo’s poorest is facing legal battles, a backdated tax bill and a criminal investigation following its near collapse in 2011, BIRN can reveal.

fashion-victims-even-in-eu-garment-workers-face-tough-conditions-01-12-2016
09 Feb 16

Fashion Victims: Even in EU, Garment Workers Face Tough Conditions

Women in Romania and Bulgaria endure low pay, long hours and gruelling work to make clothes for luxury Western brands.

albania-pays-price-for-politically-motivated-sackings-02-05-2016
08 Feb 16

Albania Pays Price For Politically Driven Sackings

Despite the passage of laws designed to stop it, the practice of summarily sacking civil servants continues in Albania, burdening the budget and creating misery for those let go.

behind-the-scenes-at-the-museums-disarray-in-athens-and-belgrade-01-13-2016
29 Jan 16

Behind the Scenes at the Museums: Disarray in Athens and Belgrade

The saga behind a much-delayed showcase for contemporary art reflects many of modern Greece's woes — and has parallels with a troubled project in Serbia.

three-names-a-grave-and-an-arrest-warrant-01-26-2016
26 Jan 16

Three Names, a Grave and an Arrest Warrant

Adnan Sadiki may have died in 2014 - but in the view of the Macedonian Ministry of interior he remains alive with a right to vote.

few-but-fanatical-the-kosovo-women-who-go-over-to-isis-01-22-2016
26 Jan 16

Few but Fanatical – the Kosovo Women Who Go Over to ISIS

Kosovo has been one of Europe’s most pro-American states since the United States helped it break free of Serbian control. Yet in a generational shift in this largely secular country, Islamic radicalisation is making some in-roads among the young. And it’s not only men who have gone east to join ISIS

vicious-circle-albanian-victims-struggle-to-escape-shadow-of-sex-trade-12-15-2015
25 Jan 16

Vicious Circle: Albanian Victims Struggle to Escape Shadow of Sex Trade

Abused by gangsters, disowned by their families and let down by the state, women who were trafficked as sex slaves face an uphill battle to build new lives.

albanian-children-online-unsupervised-and-at-risk-01-21-2016
22 Jan 16

Albanian Children: Online, Unsupervised and at Risk

Children are vulnerable to predatory paedophiles and can too easily view pornography online, warn experts, yet access to parental control apps remains limited.

balkan-courts-packed-out-with-angry-police-not-criminals-01-20-2016
21 Jan 16

Balkan Courts Packed Out – With Angry Police, Not Criminals

In Serbia and Macedonia, thousands of police sue state for unpaid wages

bosnia-bank-probe-centres-on-dodik-villa-loan-01-20-2016
20 Jan 16

Bosnia Bank Probe Centres on Dodik Villa Loan

Bank investigation focused on loan taken by Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik for the purchase of his luxurious villa in Belgrade.

albania-s-digital-tv-beauty-contest-turns-ugly-01-06-2016
07 Jan 16

Albania’s Digital TV ‘Beauty Contest’ Turns Ugly

The process of awarding new digital frequencies to private television stations has been marred by rows, delays and court cases.

isis-holding-albanian-children-hostage-in-syria-01-04-2016
04 Jan 16

ISIS Holding Albanian Children ‘Hostage’ in Syria

A number of orphans of Albanians killed in Syria remain in camps in the country - and ISIS militants will not allow them to return home. 

well-connected-squatters-thwart-kosovo-privatisations-12-19-2015
21 Dec 15

Well-Connected “Squatters” Thwart Kosovo Privatisations

You can buy a business off Europe’s youngest state – but that doesn’t always mean you can have it.

war-gains-bulgarian-arms-add-fuel-to-middle-east-conflicts-12-16-2015
21 Dec 15

War Gains: Bulgarian Arms Add Fuel to Middle East Conflicts

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the US have bought millions of dollars of Bulgarian weaponry, much of it likely destined for the war in Syria, a BIRN investigation reveals.