BALKAN BLOG: Southeast Europe heatwave a sign of climate change to come

bne IntelliNews August 1, 2021

Southeast Europe is suffering under a heatwave that has sent temperatures soaring to 40°C or higher.

Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia to launch borderless travel zone by 2023

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje July 29, 2021

Three countries founded the ‘mini-Schengen’ initiative to improve economic and regional cooperation in the Western Balkans after EU enlargement to the region stalled.

Surge in arrivals from Kosovo pushes Albanian tourist arrivals to pre-pandemic level

bne IntelliNews July 25, 2021

Arrivals from neighbouring countries shot up when Albania eased restrictions.

Looming new coronavirus wave prompts vaccination push in Southeast Europe

bne IntelliNews July 24, 2021

With the delta variant starting to spread in Southeast Europe, officials are warning of a new wave of the pandemic that may put pressure on hospitals as early as August or September.

Western Balkans scrap roaming tariffs

bne IntelliNews July 1, 2021

Politicians say lifting of roaming tariffs is just the first step as cooperation efforts deliver financial benefits for citizens of the EU-aspiring region.

Four Southeast European countries commit to exiting coal energy

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 1, 2021

The step is most significant for Montenegro and North Macedonia, which generate around half of their electricity from coal.

Albania’s GDP up 5.53% y/y in Q1

bne IntelIiNews June 30, 2021

Q1 growth driven by strong performance of industrial and construction sectors.

Under half of emerging Europe economies to achieve full recovery in 2021

bne IntelliNews June 29, 2021

EBRD says recovery from the coronacrisis is progressing faster than expected, but many emerging Europe economies won’t return to 2019 levels of GDP until 2022.

Murder and arson in Albania’s sun lounger wars

bne IntelliNews June 29, 2021

Interior minister promises police reform after four killed in turf wars over Albanian beaches.

Overwhelming majority in Western Balkans support regional co-operation

bne IntelliNews June 28, 2021

Latest Balkan Barometer shows 77% want regional -, and most value relations with the EU above those with China, Russia or Turkey.

PMs of Albania and North Macedonia lash out at EU over lack of accession progress

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje June 23, 2021

Bulgarian veto on start of accession talks with North Macedonia blocks both countries.

Bulgaria keeps veto on launch of EU accession talks with North Macedonia

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje June 22, 2021

No progress towards EU membership for North Macedonia or Albania despite pressure on Bulgaria from fellow member states to drop veto.

Albania launches first wind power tender

bne IntelliNews June 21, 2021

Tirana is seeking to set up wind and solar generation to reduce reliance on hydropower.

Albania introduces new high denomination banknote as demand for cash grows

bne IntelliNews June 16, 2021

Pandemic further boosted demand for cash that was already pushed up by combination of economic growth and low banking penetration.

International banking groups look to expand in Central and Southeast Europe despite pandemic

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow June 14, 2021

International banking groups remain committed to the region, with their strategies tilted towards expansion or stability despite the coronavirus pandemic, EIB survey shows.

Rethink of global supply chains creates opportunity for Western Balkans

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow June 13, 2021

Region is ideally positioned as a nearshoring destination for West European companies but reforms are needed if it is to attract potentially billions of euros in foreign direct investment.

European commissioner confirms €30bn EU investment plan for Western Balkans

bne IntelliNews June 11, 2021

Plan will only be effective if region works together Oliver Varhelyi tells summit marred by verbal clash between prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo.

COMMENT: Time to end Putin's impunity

Jeff Lovitt and Jan Piekło June 10, 2021

The price faced by Russia for aggression must be too high for the Kremlin to countenance, and this is the message that Biden should deliver to Putin – and act upon.

US to impose sanctions against individuals who destabilise Western Balkans

bne IntelliNews June 9, 2021

Executive order signed by US President Joe Biden shows Washington's increased engagement and no tolerance for corruption in the Western Balkans.

Albanian MPs impeach President Ilir Meta

bne IntelliNews June 9, 2021

MPs voted by an overwhelming majority to dismiss the president for violating the constitution, but Constitutional Court to make the final decision.