WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY
  • A 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocked Albania overnight on Tuesday. As of 8:20 a.m. Central European Time, 3 deaths and over 140 injuries have been reported. Tremors were felt in capitals across the region including Belgrade, Podgorica, Pristina, Sarajevo, and Skopje. We wish everyone a safe and quick recovery from the damage.

 

  • Despite plagiarizing his PhD and mounting calls from the public for his resignation, Serbian Finance Minister Sinisa Mali retains the support of Prime Minister Ana Brnabic who called the decision to revoke Mali’s PhD a a political one.
  • Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama had strong words for those against the mini-Schengen, including likely Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti. He said, “Who is against regional Schengen, does not understand me. The regional Schengen is a vision and a persistence from my side, from our side, since the first days of the Berlin process. It was Serbian president [Aleksandar Vucic] who was against the idea until recently. We cannot make an agreement on regional trade, if we do not make an agreement on freedom of movement. Whether this would enable unification of border between Kosovo and Albania? This means removing that obstacle. This puts Kosovo in a more favourable position. Kosovo is isolating itself within its border. One can continue appearing patriotic staying home with pajamas. The history is not written by staying home and being patriot with pajamas.”
  • Meanwhile, outgoing Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj appointed Kreshnik Gashi as the head of the Kosovo Intelligence Agency (KIA) and Burim Ramadami as the General Inspector of the KIA.
  • “The international community knows that the arbitration proceedings in the Croatia-Slovenia border dispute was compromised and now that has been confirmed in Slovenia’s parliament, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlic Radman said in Brussels on Monday.
  • ‘The arbitration proceedings have been compromised and the international community is aware of that fact and that fact has now been confirmed in Slovenia’s parliament. Who else needs to confirm that the arbitration proceedings were compromised if even the country that claims it wasn’t, no longer thinks so,’ Grlic Radman said commenting on a report by a parliamentary commission for the oversight of Slovenian secret services.” (N1)
  • Prime Minister of N. Macedonia Zoran Zaev said on Monday that he is hopeful the “historic mistake” of not opening EU accession talks can be reversed and insisted “old quarrels will not come back.”
  • Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias arrives in N. Macedonia today to meet with Prime Minister Zaev, President Stevo Pendarovski, and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov.
  • Thousands of teachers and their supporters protested on Monday in Zagreb, Croatia to increase wages over 6%. Regional media outlet, N1, reported there were 20,000 protestors.
  • Three Montenegrin ambassadors, including Montenegrin Ambassador to the US Nebojsa Kaludjerovic, could face a hearing in front of the Foreign Relations Committee after helping pay the fine of Adviser to Montenegrin MFA in Ankara Mirna Nikcevic for writing political messages on Facebook.
  • Former Prime Minister of N. Macedonia Nikola Gruevski paid 26.6 million EUR to national television stations between 2010 and 2017.
  • “The first UNESCO-sponsored international centre for artificial intelligence (AI) will be seated in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana, the UNESCO conference general decided in Paris on Monday. The International Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI) is to be established early next year.” (Slovenia Times)
IN OTHER NEWS…
  • ENTERTAINMENT: The head of the Croatian National Theater in ZagrebDubravka Vrgoc, was awarded the Order of the Star of Italy by  Italian Ambassador Adriano Chiodi Cianfarani. The award is for those who promote friendship between the two countries.