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Latest Investigations from the Balkans

montenegro-grants-citizenship-to-office-manager-of-abu-dhabi-sheikh-04-27-2016
28 Apr 16

Montenegro Grants Citizenship to “Office Manager” of Abu Dhabi Sheikh

Montenegro’s government handed honorary citizenship in 2014 to a Libyan-born “office manager” and his wife in what appears to have been an as yet unsuccessful attempt to lure investment from an Abu Dhabi sheikh, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network can reveal.

serbia-s-top-politicians-offer-humble-asset-declarations-04-19-2016
20 Apr 16

Serbia’s Top Politicians Offer Humble Asset Declarations

Publicly available records show that the leading contenders in Serbia’s upcoming parliamentary election only own modest assets - although the documents may not tell the whole story.

albania-s-gora-minority-takes-bulgarian-route-to-eu-04-18-2016
18 Apr 16

Albania’s Gora Minority Takes Bulgarian Route to EU

Members of a small community of obscure origin in northern Albania are applying in droves for Bulgarian passports, seeking a new life in the European Union.

balkan-energy-moguls-financial-woes-deepen-03-17-2016
18 Mar 16

Balkan Energy Moguls’ Financial Woes Deepen

The future of a planned multimillion-euro oil and gas terminal in Albania is now in doubt as the owners, high-profile Balkan businessmen Vojin Lazarevic and Damir Fazlic, face multiple debt recovery and repossession orders.

kosovo-turns-blind-eye-to-well-connected-squatters-03-10-2016
11 Mar 16

Kosovo Turns Blind Eye to Usurped State Land

BIRN research reveals that a recent official report - listing persons who have usurped state land - mysteriously fails to mention those with connections in high places.

world-bank-probes-role-in-kosovo-evictions-02-25-2016
29 Feb 16

World Bank Probes Role in Kosovo Evictions

Thousands are to be evicted from Kosovo villages surrounding a new power plant as the World Bank investigates its own actions in the ‘flawed’ resettlement programme.

rama-s-albania-rows-back-on-transparency-pledges-02-16-2016
17 Feb 16

Rama’s Albania Rows Back on Transparency Pledges

Despite passing two innovative laws in 2014, the centre-left government has not honoured its commitments to open up institutions to scrutiny.

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.

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.