WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

Balkan Insider is proud to invite you to our Diaspora Fireside Chat webinar series featuring one-on-one conversations with Diaspora leaders from the region. For more information and registration, click here. Coming up – Thursday, May 7, United Macedonian Diaspora President Meto Koloski. Monday, May 11, Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina President Ajla Delkic.

ICYMI: If you missed any our webinars with Croatian and Serbian leaders, check out our YouTube page for the full video. 

CORONAVIRUS – BiH: Bosnian Serb Member of the BiH Presidency Milorad Dodik says he will invite Russian military specialists to disinfect the hospitals in Mostar after they were rejected entry into the country because they did not have a permit. Sarajevo has been slowly reopening – check out some photos here. The OSCE has criticized migrant camps in BiH during the COVID-19 pandemic. By the numbers: 1,926 confirmed cases, 78 deaths.

CORONAVIRUS – CROATIA: PM Andrej Plenkovic says Croatia will donate 1 million euro to the EU to research coronavirus. A total of 7.4 billion euro was pledged. Hotels in Istria aim to open their doors again on May 11th. Croatia keeps its streak of single-digit increasers in COVID-19 cases in May.By the numbers: 2,101 confirmed cases, 80 deaths.

CORONAVIRUS – KOSOVO: Kosovo sees May 31st as a big test for reopening the country as a whole and a “return to normalcy.” By the numbers: 855 confirmed cases, 26 deaths.

CORONAVIRUS – N. MACEDONIA: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs awarded a handful of diplomats the title of “Diplomat of the Year” for their work in repatriating Macedonians during the COVID-19 crisis. Deputy PM Bujar Osmani called for softer measures to contain COVID-19. Meanwhile, Health Minister Venko Filipche says the new “Holy Trinity” to combat COVID-19 is wearing face masks, keeping a physical distance and mandatory hand disinfection. By the numbers: 1,518 confirmed cases, 85 deaths.

CORONAVIRUS – MONTENEGRO:  By the numbers: 323 confirmed cases, 8 deaths.

CORONAVIRUS – SERBIA: PM Ana Brnabic says Serbia will pledge 2 million euros to the EU to research the Coronavirus. Serbia aims to end the state of emergency on Saint George’s Day (Djurdjevdan), May 6. By the numbers: 9,557 confirmed cases, 197 deaths.

CORONAVIRUS – SLOVENIA: New easing of restrictions: museums, hair salons, libraries, and churches to open. In addition, bars and restaurants will open with masks required and separation of 1meter.  Slovenia has gone two days without a new case of COVID-19. By the numbers: 1,439 confirmed cases, 97 deaths.

CORONA CORRUPTION IN SLOVENIA?: The Slovenian government and Geneplanet, a major provider of personal protective equipment and ventilators to the Slovenia, has proposed to mutually terminate relevant contracts. Geneplanet wants to keep its reputation after the opposition has put forward a motion of no confidence in Economy Minister Zdravko Pocivalsek who allegedly intervened and the contract was given to Geneplanet.

GOCE DELCEV: Defense Minister Radmila Shekerinska led a group of government officials to Goce Delchev’s grave in Skopje on the 117th anniversary of the revolutionary’s death. She was interrupted by soccer fans of Vardar Skopje and FK Teteks (Tetovo) chanting “Never North, Only Macedonia” while giving interviews.

ELECTIONS IN SERBIA: President Aleksandar Vucic says parliamentary elections will be held on June 21st.

IN OTHER NEWS
OP-ED: “Balkans Face Same Problems, Only Worse, Once Pandemic Ends” by Vesko Garcevic in BIRNOP-ED: “Muddled Talk of Amnesties Won’t Heal Kosovo’s Wounds” by Nora Weller in Balkan Transnational Justice

ANALYSIS: “Slovenia’s PM Janša channels Orbán with attacks on media and migrants” by Sean Walker in The Guardian

ANALYSIS: “Forgotten Victims: Bosnian Croat Fighters Never Tried for Elderly Civilians’ Murders” by Predrag Blagovcanin in Balkan Transnational Justice

ANALYSIS: “Coronavirus: Greece and Croatia acted fast, now need to save summer” by Guy Delaney and Kostas Kallergis in BBC News

HUMAN INTEREST: “Meet Croatian healthcare workers on the frontline in America” in Croatia Week

CULTURE: “Sailing in Corona Times: After Sailing Online, YC Delfin is Now Back to Sea” by Antonela Stjepcevic in Total Montenegro News

TRAVEL: “Ljubljana – A Green, Active City is Waiting for You” by JL Flanner in Total Slovenia News