The Balkans Today: 23rd - 30th May 2016
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The Balkans Today

Up to the minute news and updates from the Balkan region

The Balkans Today: 23rd - 30th May 2016

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

  • Romanian director Cristian Mungiu was presented the award for best director at the 2016 Cannes film festival on Sunday for his film “Bacalaureat” (Graduation), centred on the responsibilities of parenthood told through the story of a doctor from a small town who must decide the best way for his child to get on in life.

    “I want to thank the Jury but also my team, because I never work alone. I had excellent actors and an amazing crew. I want to thank my family who gave me a direction in life," Mungiu said in his acceptance speech. "I have the impression that auteur cinema has often been relegated to a niche and I am grateful to the Festival de Cannes for making it possible for auteur cinema to exist.”

    Mungiu's film was not the only Romanian production awarded during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival: “Toni Erdmann” by German director Maren Ade, co-produced by Romanian director Ada Solomon, recieved the FIPRESCI Award; the first feature length film by Romanian director, Bogdan Mirica, earned the Un Certain Regard/FIPRESCI Award; and another Romanian director, Alexandru Nanau, took home the Prix France Culture Cinema 2016 for his film “Toto si surorile lui” (Toto and his sisters).

    Romanian film-making was represented by five films at this year's event, two of which were selected for the main competition.

    Romanian Director Cristian Mungiu has participated for the third time in Cannes' official competition |Photo:
  • The Greek authorities began an operation at dawn on Tuesday to evacuate the Idomeni refugee camp on the Macedonian border, blocking access to the area and sending in more than 400 riot police, the Associated Press reported.

    The Greek government said in advance of the operation that police would not use force, and that the operation was expected to last about a week to 10 days. No violence has been reported so far.
  • Top stories from the Balkans this Tuesday:

    • Macedonian parties and mediators are mulling the formation of a new interim government that would assume the task of stalled reforms and early elections - but talks have yet to begin. Read more.
    • The sudden death of the pharma boss involved in a scandal over substandard disinfectants in Romanian hospitals has raised questions about the possible involvement of the intelligence services. Read more.

    • Members of Macedonia’s large diaspora are showing their sympathy for the Protestiram movement at home. Read more.

  • Idomeni #refugees moved to new site as evictees set up nearby camp #IdomeniEviction

  • Romania's National Anti-corruption Directorate, DNA, is prosecuting Romanian Senate speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu on charges of perjury and abetment to fraud after he allegedely made false statements when testifying in an illegal property restitution case involving Prince Paul of Romania.

    “While being heard on 15 April, 2016, in the deposition under oath, [Tariceanu] made statements non-compliant with the truth... and did not say everything he knew about the essential circumstances, thus aiming to hinder/prevent the investigations and the criminal prosecution of the defendants investigated in this file,” the DNA said in a press release on Tuesday.

    Prince Paul, businessman Remus Truica and former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase’s chief of staff are among the suspects allegedly involved in the case real estate fraud.

    Prosecutors say Prince Paul illegally claimed the restitution of 28.6 hectares of land in northern Bucharest arguing that the land had belonged to his grandfather, King Carol II, before being nationalized by the Communist regime.

  • Croatian government has raised the maximum citizens contribution to hospital bills from 256 euros to 400 euros, and introduced a fee for examinations conducted in the emergency department for non-urgent cases. 

    Health minister Dario Nakic explained that the measures were introduced in order to prevent citizens from abusing the healthcare system.
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