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Latest News from the Balkans

22 May 15

Serbian PM Cool on President's Kosovo 'Platform'

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic queried the practicality of President Tomislav Nikolic’s new 'platform' on Kosovo, which experts say would complicate Serbia’s path to EU membership.

22 May 15

Croatia Party Leader Faces Queries Over Pricey Car

The head of the opposition Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, Tomislav Karamarko, faces questions over the expensive car that his fiancé has lent him.

22 May 15

Romania, Bulgaria Back New Gas Pipeline

Four ex-communist countries have signed a declaration of support for the construction of a gas pipeline across all four states that will ease dependence on energy coming from Russia.

22 May 15

Montenegro Opposition Offers SDP Role in New Govt

As the two governing parties in Montenegro quarrel ever more openly, the opposition Democratic Front is busily wooing the junior ruling Social Democrats.

22 May 15

Bosnian Serb Reform Laws Meet Some Opposition

The Republika Srpska parliament has adopted new laws to curb the so-called grey economy in the entity - but many businesses are not persuaded they will do more harm than good.

22 May 15

Serbia’s Falling Jobless Rate Queried

Official statistical data say the unemployment rate in Serbia is falling fast - but some analysts are questioning the methodology.

21 May 15

Serbian Army Minister Probed Over Relatives' Contracts

Serbian's Anti-Corruption Agency is investigating whether the Defence Minister had a conflict of interest, after BIRN revealed that when he was a mayor he awarded contracts to companies linked to his family.

21 May 15

Kosovo Families Seek Slain Gunmen’s Bodies in Macedonia

The families of Kosovo Albanian gunmen killed in recent clashes with security forces in Kumanovo have left for Macedonia with the goal of identifying and bringing home the bodies.

21 May 15

Czech Theme at This Year's Bucharest Book Fair

Bookfest, Romania’s largest book fair, has opened in Bucharest with a Czech flavour this year - but the fair takes place in a country where interest in reading seems to be fading.

21 May 15

Serbia Starts Mustering EU Accession Talks Team

Although it is not yet clear when Brussels will open accession talks with Serbia, Belgrade is already mulling its negotiating team, assuming that the talks open some time this year.

21 May 15

Germany Backs Probe Into Macedonia Bloodshed

The German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has said he supports Albania's call for an international inquiry into the fatal clashes in the Macedonian town of Kumanovo.

21 May 15

Croatia Underwrites New Loans for Indebted Highways

The government has pledged to guarantee new loans taken out by the state-owned highway company, which are needed to cover its existing loans.

21 May 15

Bosnia, Croatia Arrest Police in Drugs Crackdown

In an operation coordinated across the region, police in Bosnia and Croatia arrested more than 20 persons suspected of organized crime and drug trafficking, including four policemen.  

21 May 15

UN Human Rights Chief Visits Crisis-Torn Macedonia

The UN's Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights on Thursday began a visit to Macedonia that comes amid a deep political crisis and follows the bloody shoot-out in the town of Kumanovo.

21 May 15

Romania Doubles Child Benefit to Boost Population

Romania's parliament has approved a 100-per-cent rise in the monthly child allowance in the hope of encouraging families to have more children.

20 May 15

Albanian Court Jails Central Bank Thieves

A court in Tirana has jailed two former employees of the central bank for a total of 30 years for stealing 713 million leks, woth €5.1 million, over a period of four years.

20 May 15

Turkish President Cements Ties With Bosnia

On a visit to Sarajevo, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has shown the extent of Turkish support for Bosnia - while some suspect the visit is designed also to boost the hand of Erdogan's main Bosnian ally, Bakir Izetbegovic.

20 May 15

Romania Appoints First Muslim Woman Minister

Romania's new Regional Development minister, Sevil Shhaileh, an ethnic Turk, is the first Muslim woman to sit in the Romanian cabinet and is on charge of a major portfolio.