Category: Balkans
Balkans 14.08.20 | 23:22

PCR tests required for Macedonian nationals upon entering Kosovo, announced border opening relates to customs procedures

Friday’s decision by the Kosovo government to open its borders with Macedonia, Albania and Serbia relates to the facilitation of certain customs procedures with these countries and not that the PCR tests for Macedonian nationals will be scrapped, a government official has told MIA. Halil Matoshi, Deputy...

Balkans 14.08.20 | 20:19

Kosovo opens borders with Macedonia, Albania and Serbia

The Kosovo government decided Friday to open its borders with Macedonia, Albania and Serbia, MIA reports from Pristina. Media outlets say the decision means that nationals of the three neighboring countries will not have to present a COVID-19 test upon entering Kosovo. However, the government press release...

Balkans 07.08.20 | 13:40

Bulgarian police clear protest camp blockades in capital

The Bulgarian police on Friday cleared illegal protest camps that were blocking roads and enraging citizens during weeks of anti-government demonstrations. Two dozen tents were removed from three main intersections in the capital Sofia, which were erected a week ago without authorization in order to...

Balkans 05.08.20 | 19:19

Borisov says he’s prepared to resign, will not form a coalition with the ethnic minority DPS party

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said that he is prepared to resign to avoid an escalation of the protests that have been going on for weeks. Borisov accused the opposition Socialist Party and President Rumen Radev of stoking the protests and insisted that he will not join the DPS party, which...

Balkans 30.07.20 | 11:55

Bulgaria: Borisov defies protests, says he will hold out until the 2021 elections

Protesters in Bulgaria have pitched tents in downtown Sofia and plan a drawn out protest against Boyko Borisov’s Government. The protests were sparked by a powerful oligarch who appropriated a publicly owned beach and used his state provided security detail to kick out protesters. The opposition...

Balkans 29.07.20 | 11:12

EU socialists criticize investigation into activist groups and media in Serbia

Left leaning members of the European Parliament are calling Serbia out for its alleged investigation into the sources of funding of dozens of activist organizations, most of them also on the left. According to reports in the Serbian media, citing leaks from the Finance Ministry’s money laundering...

Balkans 27.07.20 | 17:34

Thaci unveils military vehicles Kosovo purchased from US

A contingent of armored vehicles from the US, purchased by the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) arrived last week in Kosovo. These military vehicles were exposed Monday by Kosovo president Hashim Thaci, Gazeta Express reports. Thaci in a statement posted on Facebook said that in addition to military equipment...

Balkans 26.07.20 | 12:00

Protesters in Sofia shower government building with toilet paper rolls

Several hundred people protested the government in the Bulgarian capital on July 25 despite a cabinet reshuffle meant to appease them. Protesters shouted “Resign!” and “Mafia” as some threw tomatoes and rolls of toilet paper at the Council of Ministers building in central Sofia. The...

Balkans 25.07.20 | 15:29

Turkey and Greece row over reconversion of Hagia Sophia to mosque

Turkey and Greece criticized each other on Saturday after the first Muslim prayers were held at Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia since its reconversion to a mosque. The Foreign Ministry in Ankara condemned Athens for its “hostility towards Islam and Turkey.” It rebuked Greece’s government and parliament...

Balkans 24.07.20 | 19:29

After their failed summit, US tries to coordinate with the EU on the issue of Kosovo

US Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker is in Brussels for meetings with EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak, over the dispute between Kosovo and Serbia. The US were caught flat footed when the summit between the two countries they were organizing without much coordination with the EU collapsed...

Balkans 24.07.20 | 11:45

Hagia Sophia opens for Muslim prayers after 86 years as a museum

The Hagia Sophia opened for Muslim prayers on Friday for the first time in 86 years after the Istanbul museum was reconverted into a mosque by a controversial presidential decree. The azan resounded calling Muslim worshippers to prayer, as hundreds of faithful crowded outside the former 6th-century Byzantine...

Balkans 24.07.20 | 09:53

New Croatian government voted in

After a debate that lasted the whole day, the Croatian 151-seat parliament on Thursday evening gave a vote of confidence in Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and his second cabinet. Thus, 76 MPs, who make up the ruling majority, voted for the new government, and 59 voted against, with no abstentions. After...

Balkans 23.07.20 | 10:27

Expert teams in Brussels working on Belgrade-Pristina dialogue

Expert teams from Serbia and Kosovo will continue their work today and tomorrow in Brussels on the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. Today, the experts will discuss the topics that were started at the first high-level physical meeting. Kosovo and Serbia have been invited to send their experts to continue addressing...

Balkans 22.07.20 | 10:41

Montenegro declares a state of epidemic due to increase of COVID-19 incidence

Montenegro’s COVID-19 crisis management team on Tuesday declared a state of epidemic following a resurgence in the reported cases of this infection. Therefore, wearing protective masks is mandatory in all open and enclosed public spaces except on beaches and in national parks provided that social distancing...

Balkans 22.07.20 | 10:14

The coronavirus doesn’t stop migrants from going to Italy through the Balkan route

From Idomeni, migrants attempt to cross the border to Macedonia. At night, groups of people attempt to climb on commercial trains as blind passengers or they pierce holes in the wall along the border at night, online portal ‘InfoMigrants’ reports. “They jump on the train at the risk of being electrocuted...

Balkans 20.07.20 | 21:22

Dua Lipa’s nationalist post inflamed the internet

Kosovo born star Dua Lipa continues to rile the internet a day after her message that showed the map of Greater Albania, incorporating parts of Macedonia, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro. The map, widely used by Albanian nationalists, was accompanied by the word Autochtonous, meant to declare that the...

Balkans 19.07.20 | 12:05

Seven protesters arrested during rallies in Bulgaria

Bulgarian police arrested seven protesters yesterday evening, during the tenth opposition rally held in the capital Sofia and in other cities. The arrests were made for disturbing the otherwise mostly orderly protests. Protesters demand resignations from the Boyko Borisov Government and the Public Prosecutor...

Balkans 16.07.20 | 18:36

Albania’s President Ilir Meta congratulates Albanian parties on high representation in Macedonian Parliament

Albanian President Ilir Meta has extended a message of congratulations to Macedonia on administering free and democratic elections. Meta congratulated parties of ethnic Albanians on their result at the elections. Congratulations to North Macedonia on the free, democratic and competitive elections. Many...

Balkans 14.07.20 | 20:46

Turkey allows visitors to Hagia Sophia outside prayers, icons remain

Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia will open to visitors outside Muslim prayers, and Christian symbols and mosaics can remain in the building, Turkey’s religious authority Diyanet said on Tuesday. Christian icons at the UNESCO World Heritage site could be covered by curtains or obscured using lighting,...

Balkans 14.07.20 | 11:44

Greek Government joins patriarch Bartholomew in his push over Hagia Sophia

The Greek Government joined the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his opposition to the Turkish decision to repurpose the Hagia Sophia cathedral into a mosque. The cathedral was declared a museum by the Turkish authorities in the 1930-ies, but now under President Erdogan it is again turned into a mosque. Greek...

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