WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • Serbia marks twenty years since 16 people were killed in the NATO bombing of the Radio Television Serbia (RTS) building.
  • Montenegro arrests three in connection to more than 50kg of cocaine found on a naval ship. Two of them are members of the Army.
  • N. Macedonia Elections: SDSM-led coalition candidate Stevo Pendarovski expects a landslide victory in the second round. Meanwhile, VMRO-DPMNE candidate Dr. Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova has called for early parliamentary elections.
  • The Pope in N. Macedonia and Bulgaria: The Pope will spend may 5-6 in Bulgaria and May 7 in N. Macedonia before returning to Rome. A detailed updated schedule is available here.
  • Government Media: The Serbian government is set to buy a majority stake in the news publishing outlet Novosti. It currently owns a 30% share while Beko owns 60%.
  • Bosniak Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sefik Dzaferovic is confident that young people will stay in Bosnia if there is political stability and reforms.
  • Leader of the European Movement of Serbs from Kosovo Rada Trajkovic has accused Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic of directly obstructing the investigation into the murder of Oliver Ivanovic in Mitrovica, Kosovo. She also insists she is on a hit list.
  • The HDZ in Croatia maintain a lead in European Parliament elections. See the full poll here.
  • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will co-finance a motorway project and is ready to consider the financing of future concessionaire of Montenegro’s two international airports in Podgorica and Tivat.
  • Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva during a plenary meeting with Minister of European Integration ofSerbia Jadranka Joksimovic andreaffirmed Bulgaria’s support for Serbia on its European path.
  • Turkish and Bosnian firms have submitted bids to build north-south section of a highway that will total  $280 million.
  • Tourism accounted for 12.3% of its GDP, or $14.2 billion last year.


BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • DVIDS: “From Bosnia to Bethesda: One Army cardiologist’s path“: “Not much gets Army Capt. (Dr.) Zorana Mrsic nervous. In fact, one of the only things that makes the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center cardiology fellow a bit nervous, is the chance of mispronouncing a new patient’s name.Mrsic’s ability to overcome adversity is a skill she has honed her entire life.Born in Sanski Most, Bosnia in 1995 during the aftermath of the modern Balkan War, Zorana Mrsic (pronounced Mrch’-chich) and her family immigrated to Serbia when she was just 7 years old.”
  • Two thousand pre-schoolers in Kosovo got to experience the Olympics in Pristina at Fadil Vokrri Stadium in an event organized by the Kosovo Olympic Committee.
  • Bosnian citizen Milorad Stanivukovic was deported from Maine while awaiting trial for attempting to strangle a pregnant woman.