The Balkans Today: 29th August - 2nd September 2016
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The Balkans Today

Up to the minute news and updates from the Balkan region

The Balkans Today: 29th August - 2nd September 2016

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

    A hand grenade was thrown at the home of the head of Kosovo's state broadcaster RTK, police said on Monday, the second incident in a week to target the TV channel or its executives, Reuters reported.

    Police said in a statement that no injuries were reported and no perpetrator found following the incident in a suburb of the capital Pristina at around 10 p.m. on Sunday.

    "It was a powerful explosion which shocked the entire neighborhood," said RTK director Mentor Shala, who owns the house. "We (the family) were all inside but luckily no one was injured."
    The Montenegrin government and Italy’s A2A have signed a new agreement to extend by five years the joint management of power utility EPCG, the government said on Monday.

    In 2009, A2A signed a deal to acquire a minority stake in EPCG from the Montenegrin government while taking on a significant role in its management. The Montenegrin government remains the majority owner of EPCG with a 57 per cent stake while A2A owns 41.75 per cent.
    Top stories from the Balkans this Tuesday: 
    • A Bosnian Serb referendum challenging the authority of the country’s Constitutional Court represents “direct political pressure” aimed at undermining the state-level institution, its president told BIRN. Read more.
    • The relationship between the woman about to be proclaimed a saint by the Vatican and the Communists who ruled Albania was difficult - but had odd twists. Read more.
    • COMMENT: Fear rather than ambition is driving Bulgaria’s juggling act between Turkey, Russia and the EU. Read more.
    Montenegrin police clashed on Tuesday with former employees of the aluminum smelter KAP, who have been protesting for days in front of the parliament building in the capital Podgorica, demanding 5.4 million euros in severance pay.

    Local media reported that police used pepper spray to stop them from entering the parliament building.

    The former KAP employees launched their protest last week, blocking traffic in the main street of Podgorica.

    by dusica.tomovic via null edited by emma.krstic 8/30/2016 10:50:29 AM
    Bulgaria’s leading party, GERB, headed by Boyko Borrisov, will announce its candidate for the presidential elections on October 2, just over a month before the polls scheduled for November 6.

    The decision, taken by the executive commission of the party, was announced on Tuesday.

    GERB has been postponing the nomination of its candidates for president and vice-president since June, when it was expected to announce the names.

    GERB’s Vice-President, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, said on Monday that the party has already decided on who will be its presidential candidate, but added that the nomination is being postponed so that “the government and the National Assembly work normally in the remaining months [until the election].”

    Boyko Borissov, leader of GERB and prime minister of Bulgaria. 
    Photo: Boyko Borissov's Facebook page

    Montenegro's national air carrier Montenegro Airlines will soon lose ownership of its headquarters, as well as a 502 square metre plot of land it owns in the capital Podgorica after activating a mortgage in return for credit.

    According to the Dnevne Novine daily, the company has already moved out of its HQ and recently took out an 800.000 euros loan.

    The state-owned carrier ended 2015 with a net loss of 10.3 million euros, while its accumulated debt totalled 60.4 million euros.
    Photo: Montenegro Airlines

    Serbian authorities held an urgent meeting on Tuesday on the issue of the planned referendum in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity Republika Srpska, which will challenge the authority of the state judiciary.

    During the meeting, it was decided that Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and President Tomislav Nikolic will convene on Thursday with representatives of Republika Srpska about the current crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Meanwhile, at a meeting of Bosnia's Peace Implementation Council, PIC, also on Tuesday, the referendum on whether the annual Day of Republika Srpska should continue to be celebrated on January 9 was deemed to be in conflict with the country’s constitution and Dayton Peace Treaty.

    However, Russia, also a member of the PIC, did not support this decision.
    by milivoje.pantovic via null edited by emma.krstic 8/31/2016 8:47:56 AM

    Firebomb attack on cafe in Serb north of #Kosovo's divided Mitrovica: reports

    Bulgaria’s economy grew by 3 per cent in the second quarter of 2016 compared with the same period in the year prior, the National Statistics Institute announced on Friday, confirming its initial data published earlier in August. 

    Compared to the first quarter of 2016, Bulgaria’s GDP registered 0.7 per cent growth.

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