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Latest Profiles from the Balkans

balkan-rulers-who-just-won-t-say-goodbye-05-07-2017-1
08 May 17

Balkan Rulers Who Just Won’t Say Goodbye

Kings may have departed from the Balkan stage but many of the region’s current leaders weild power in monarchical style - clinging to office for decades. Here is the selection of ten politicans who think it is never the right time to bow out.

ivica-todoric-croatia-s-tycoon-who-wanted-too-much-04-25-2017
27 Apr 17

Ivica Todoric: Croatia's Tycoon Who Wanted Too Much

Ivica Todoric, the man who transformed his flower company into one of the Balkans' biggest business empires, Agrokor, now faces the possibility of seeing the debt-ridden firm go under.

belgrade-s-indestructible-mayor-faces-uncertain-future-03-25-2017
24 Apr 17

Belgrade’s ‘Indestructible’ Mayor Faces Uncertain Future

The political future of Mayor Sinisa Mali remains cloudy as protesters in Belgrade on Tuesday showed they were not about to forget his role in the notorious Savamala affair.

over-a-decade-on-journalism-facing-threats-04-12-2017
13 Apr 17

Crusading Journalist Defies Threatening Climate in Kosovo

‘Zeri’ editor Arbana Xharra says she won’t stop probing the dark side of Kosovo life despite the ‘public lynches that have become the new normality’ for investigative journalists in the country.

serbia-s-anti-vucic-protests-key-facts-04-12-2017
12 Apr 17

Serbia’s Anti-Vucic Protests: Key Facts

Thousands of people are hitting the streets nightly across Serbia, protesting against the rule of Serbia’s Prime Minister and President-elect, Aleksandar Vucic. BIRN has prepared a guide containing the main facts about the protest movement.

mystery-surrounds-moldova-assassination-plot-04-11-2017
11 Apr 17

Mystery Surrounds Moldova Assassination Plot

The attempted assassination of Moldova’s richest and most controversial politician, Vladimir Plahotniuc, has left a  number of questions unanswered.

vetevendosje-from-troublemaker-to-key-player-in-kosovo-04-10-2017
11 Apr 17

Vetevendosje: From Troublemaker to Key Player in Kosovo

Vetevendosje has come a long way from a street movement to potentially key political actor, raising questions about whether it will change its tactics now as it gets closer to power.

british-critics-hail-albania-s-jaho-in-puccini-opera-03-29-2017
30 Mar 17

British Critics Hail Albania’s Jaho in Puccini Opera

Albanian opera singer Ermonela Jaho has cemented her star status with rave reviews from London for her role in Madam Butterfly. 

rightist-threatens-croatian-ruling-party-s-plans-in-zagreb-03-27-2017
28 Mar 17

Rightist Threatens Croatian Ruling Party’s Plans in Zagreb

By running for the post of Mayor of Zagreb, far-right researcher Bruna Esih poses a threat to the plans of the country’s ruling centre-right party.

croatian-gazing-healer-braco-takes-the-world-03-07-2017
08 Mar 17

Silent Croatian 'Healer' Continues Pulling Crowds

Josip Grbavac 'Braco', whose admirers include supermodel Naomi Campbell, has amassed an international following with his claims to heal people by simply gazing at them.

milivoje-katnic-montenegro-s-tarnished-coup-investigator-02-26-2017-1
27 Feb 17

Milivoje Katnic, Montenegro’s Tarnished Coup Investigator

The Montenegrin prosecutor may have been lauded in the foreign media for exposing a Russian-backed coup plan – but at home his reputation is being torn to shreds.

martin-shkreli-the-hated-american-albanian-return-in-media-spotlight-01-09-2017
10 Jan 17

Twitter Bans 'Most Successful Albanian on Earth' Shkreli

Martin Shkreli, who once described himself as 'the most successful Albanian on earth' - and gained infamy for hiking the price of an AIDS drug - is back in hot water after being barred from Twitter for trolling a journalist.

controversial-tycoon-boguljub-karic-returns-to-serbia-12-30-2016
30 Dec 16

Controversial Tycoon Boguljub Karic Returns to Serbia

After a decade dodging arrest for alleged fraud, media and telecoms tycoon Bogoljub Karic returned from self-imposed exile in Russia as the investigation was cancelled, bringing promises of major investments in Serbia.

oleg-deripaska-montenegro-s-saviour-turned-enemy-12-09-2016
09 Dec 16

Oleg Deripaska, Montenegro’s Saviour Turned Enemy

The Russian billionaire who now claims hundreds of millions of euros from Montenegro was only ten years earlier welcomed as a friend and life-saving investor.

davor-bernardic-social-democrat-leader-unlikely-to-turn-left-11-29-2016
30 Nov 16

Davor Bernardic: Social Democrat Leader Unlikely to Turn Left

Davor Bernardic, the new leader of the main opposition Social Democratic Party, has promised a more left-wing agenda, but analysts say the party isn’t likely to veer off its moderate course.