WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY
CORONAVIRUS – BiH: Citizens placed in quarantine at a student dorm in Sarajevo have gone on hunger strike. A Catholic bishop in Mostar has called for the reopening of churches. By the numbers: 1,309 confirmed cases, 49 deaths.
CORONAVIRUS – CROATIA: Croatia continues to experience a positive trend in COVID-19 cases. PM Andrej Plenkovic aims to have a plan to gradually reopen the country ready by next week. By the numbers: 1,881 confirmed cases, 47 deaths.
CORONAVIRUS – KOSOVO: By the numbers: 598 confirmed cases, 15 deaths.
CORONAVIRUS – N. MACEDONIA: The government has restricted entering and exiting Kumanovo, Tetovo, and Prilep, three cities hit hard by COVID-19. Meanwhile, PM Oliver Spasovski aims to reduce restrictive measures by May 1. By the numbers: 1,225 confirmed cases, 54 deaths.
CORONAVIRUS – SERBIA: PM Ana Brnabic was at the opening of the Clinical Center of Serbia which expects to double to number of COVID019 tests administered. The Serbian government eased lockdown restrictions by reopening green markets and small businesses. The Halyard Mission Foundation has teamed up with LifeLine Chicago to raise $9,500 for medical goods for the ICU in Nis. The Halyard Mission Foundation will also provide PPE to the John Kingsbury Medical Clinic in Pranjani. By the numbers: 6,630 confirmed cases, 125 deaths.
CORONAVIRUS – SLOVENIA: Stores have begun opening in Slovenia as restrictions against the COVID-19 pandemic ease. A new study in Slovenia reveals that more women have died than men from COVID-19. Five Slovenian MEPs have called for protection of small Slovenian breweries in the second EU Coronavirus package. By the numbers: 1,335 confirmed cases, 77 deaths.
MEANWHILE IN EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: The EU’s top foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, on Monday told the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, “We have to strengthen our capacity to explain our stabilizing role in the Western Balkans and also our will to cooperate to overcome one of the most difficult issues, the lack of a dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.” He added, “If you look on the streets of Belgrade you see billboards with pictures of President Xi of China saying Thanks Brother Xi which is very funny because I have never seen a billboard saying thank you EU for the help you provided and we have been providing a lot of help for Serbia and the rest of the Western Balkans.”
EUROPARL PRESS RELEASE: After the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee issued a press release on keeping the door open for enlargement, more engagement, countering corruption and promoting regional cooperation, and its response to COVID-19.
ANALYSIS: “Pandemic Wreaks Havoc With Ancient Balkan Funeral Traditions” in BIRN
SPORT: Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic is opposed to required vaccinations for COVID-19.