The Balkans Today: 13th - 17th June 2016
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The Balkans Today

Up to the minute news and updates from the Balkan region

The Balkans Today: 13th - 17th June 2016

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

  • Parliament of #Hungary ratifies Protocol on Accession of #Montenegro to #NATO. Thank you!…

  • Police in northern Greece are clearing makeshift migrant camps along the border with Macedonia after creating more shelter space to house stranded refugees and migrants, news agency Reuters reported.

    Scores of riot police were deployed Monday as more than 400 Syrians and Iraqis were moved from a camp set up around a gas station near the Greek border with Macedonia and moved by bus to a shelter near the northern city of Thessaloniki.

    Authorities said a site previously used to store grain had been modified by the army and was being used as a shelter where the migrants were being taken.

    Journalists were not allowed access to the site during the police operation. Read more.

  • protest of support for editors and journalists sacked over the past few months from Radio Television of Vojvodina, RTV, the TV station in Serbia’s northernprovince, is to be held at 7pm in the city of Novi Sad on Monday evening.

    This is the third “Support RTV” protest in which Serbian journalists and citizens will voice their opposition to the alleged politically inspired purge of editorial staff from the broadcaster.

    The dismissals at RTV came after Prime Minister Vucic's Serbian Progressive Party won political control of the province following elections in Vojvodina in recent provincial elections, ending 16 years of dominance in the province by the Democratic Party.

    Support RTV banner on a previous protest. Photo: Facebook 

  • The mayor of Albania’s capital Tirana, Erion Veliaj, announced via Twitter on Tuesday that the number of stray dogs in the city has finally started to decline as a result of a neutering process that was started in February.

    Packs of stray dogs have been terrorizing Tirana’s citizens for over a decade, with almost daily recorded accounts of people being bitten. To tackle the ongoing problem, city authorities implemented a process whereby stray dogs are collected and taken to a centre on the outskirts of Tirana to be neutered. 

    While Veliaj did not give concrete figures as to how many dogs now roam the Tirana’s streets, but animal rights activists claim the number is around 5,000, although official data on the issue does not exist.
    A stray dog in the municipality shelter. Photo: Tirana Municipality 
  • The Prime Ministers of Bosnia’s two entities, the Federation’s Fadil Novalic and Republika Srpska’s Zeljka Cvijanovic, organised a video conference with Bosnian premier Denis Zvizdic, to find an agreement on the country’s coordination mechanism, one of the conditions imposed by the EU to allow Bosnia to proceed in its path to EU integration.

    The three could not reach consensus and a new meeting will be organised soon, although a date has not been set, Bosnian media report. 

    Bosnia’s Minister of Finance Vjekoslav Bevanda, Republika Srpska’s finance minister Milan Tegeltija and his counterpart in the Federation Jelka Milicevic, as well as the EU special representative for Bosnia, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, also attended Tuesday's meeting.

    Bosnian PM Denis Zvizdic. Photo: Anadolu. 

  • Top stories from the Balkans this Thursday:
    • Complicated relations between Russia, the EU and United States are delaying the formation of a new government in Serbia. Read more.
    • Although Albania was electrified in the mid-1970s, three villages in the Burrel area lost their power years ago - and have only just got it back. Read more.

    • Montenegrin institutions are under pressure to recover around 230 million euros in unpaid taxes from companies seen as close to the ruling elites. Read more.

    • The current neglect of Macedonia by the EU and US undermines democracy and stability in the Balkans. Read more

  • The court in Skopje has pronounced Macedonia’s Special Prosecution – tasked to investigate high-level crime - as incompetent to pursue the case codenamed “Fortress” in which five people, including former Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska, are being investigated for alleged illegal destruction of equipment used for large-scale illegal wiretapping.

    In March, the prosecution said that it suspects five people misused their office to organise the destruction of surveillance equipment between March and May 2015 that was used for illegal eavesdropping that was revealed that year by the opposition.

    Macedonian special prosecutors. Photo by: MIA

  • During his address to Croatian parliament during its session to vote on his no-confidence motion, Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said that all accusations against him that form the basis for demands for him to resign are "false and unfounded".

    He said that one of the reasons that the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, filed the no-confidence motion against him is because he "didn't succumb to the pressure" to appoint non-qualified persons to the head of the Security and Intelligence Agency, SOA.

    Oreskovic claimed that the bid for his removal is a result of his will to protect national interests and resolve the issue surrounding Croatian energy company INA, which is currently the subject of a dispute over its management rights between Croatia and Hungarian energy company MOL.

    "The government fell because of the personal interests of individuals, and I wanted to prevent it," he added.

    Tihomir Oreskovic addresses the parliament. Photo: BETAPHOTO/HINA/Damir SENCAR/DS 

  • Croatian independent MP Stipe Petrina made a montage of a photo of himself in mockery of his statement to the chair of Croatia’s parliament, Zeljko Reiner, that "he'll be back" after Reiner ordered him to leave the parliamentary hall for arguing.

  • Top stories from the Balkans this Friday:
    • Serbia is raising security measures to the highest level ahead of Friday’s 'historic' arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Read more.

    • As parliament readies to approve concession contracts for oil and gas drilling in the Adriatic Sea, the watchdog body MANS has questioned the public interest in the deal. Read more.

    • Anti-government protesters in Macedonia say that if the authorities have not met their key demands by Saturday, they can expect more trouble. Read more.

    • Former landowners' organizations have again denounced the terms offered under the new compensation law - which the government has now started to enforce. Read more.
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