The Balkans Today: 12th - 16th September 2016
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The Balkans Today

Up to the minute news and updates from the Balkan region

The Balkans Today: 12th - 16th September 2016

Our team brings you live updates of the most important events and developments in the Balkans as they happen.

    Top stories from the Balkans this Monday:
    • The centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, is in the lead in Croatia's general elections with 61 seats, followed by their main opponents, the centre-left Social Democratic Party, SDP, with 54 seats, according to the first preliminary results. Read more.
    • Bosnian parties have widely disrespected election law in the campaign but the authorities have turned a blind eye, Dario Jovanovic, from ‘Pod Lupom’ - which is monitoring the process - told BIRN. Read more.
    • In an interview with BIRN, Goran Danilovic, Montenegrin Interior Minister, says the deadly gang violence in Kotor has grown worse because the criminals have enjoyed support in state structures. Read more.
    • Residents of the village that became notorious as a hub for cannabis production fear a new movie, 'Lazarat Burning', will make them famous again for all the wrong reasons. Read more.
    Top stories from the Balkans this Wednesday:
    • Serbian ministers use hardline rhetoric that contradicts the government’s pro-European stance in order to portray Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic as a reliable moderate, experts claim. Read more.
    • Once a pro-West centrist, the president of Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity is now a hard-line nationalist whose policy aims include splitting the country. Read more.
    • Representatives of Croatia and Bosnia will meet next week to discuss the construction of an important and long-delayed new bridge linking the two countries across the River Sava. Read more.
    • A Kosovo parliamentary commission postponed voting on whether to send a government decision to grant extensive coal research licenses to a company chaired by retired US General Wesley Clark for parliamentary approval. Read more.
    Top stories from the Balkans this Thursday:
    • Despite the leader's claims to have moved the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, to the centre ground, a few far-right candidates have still entered the new parliament under its auspices. Read more.
    • The ongoing privatisation of media organisations in Serbia has forced many local, independent outlets to close - or become the tools of political parties. Read more.
    • The chief Nazi-hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Efraim Zuroff, told BIRN that the next Croatian government must confront politicians who try to rehabilitate the country’s World War II fascist regime. Read more.
    The ongoing privatisation of media organisations in Serbia has forced many local, independent outlets to close - or become the tools of political parties. - See more at:

    Launching the #Montenegro friendship group in EP w PM Djukanovic as our first guest

    Montenegro is making a good progress in EU accession negotiations with 24 chapters opened so far, said Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs in Thursday’s debate with the Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic.

    In his opening remarks Foreign Affairs Committee chair Elmar Brok (EPP, DE) welcomed the good progress made by Montenegro in EU accession negotiations, noting that it is “the most advanced country, when it comes to the process of negotiations”.

    Djukanovic reassured MEPs of Montenegro continued commitment to Euro-Atlantic integration, hoping this path will be sustained after the general elections to be held on 16 October. New efforts in fighting corruption and ensuring rule of law were amongst the examples highlighted by the Prime Minister, who also stressed that Montenegro is ready to start the negotiations on new chapters, on top of the 24 opened so far.

    Photo: Pixabay.

    Leaders of the victors in Croatia’s elections on Sunday, the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, met today with parliamentary representatives from eight national minority groups to discuss forming a potential joint government.

    HDZ president Andrej Plenkovic said that he wants all eight national minorities' MPs to join the future potential HDZ-led government.

    Meanwhile, Milorad Pupovac, leading MP for the Serbian minority, said that these first talks have shown that national minority MPs can have confidence in Plenkovic when it comes to the decision on the composition of the government.

    On Sunday elections, HDZ won 61 out of 151 seats in the Croatian parliament, and plans to form the country’s new government with minority MPs as well as centre-right Bridge of the Independent Lists, MOST, which won 13 seats.
    Andrej Plenkovic. Photo: BETAPHOTO/AP Photo/Darko Bandic
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