WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

Happy Eid al-Adha to all of our readers who celebrated over the weekend.

  • Incumbent Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic announces her plan to seek a second term in office.
  • PM of N. Macedonia Zoran Zaev was named in the latest video released in relation to the extortion case of the Special Prosecutor’s Office. 
  • New British PM Boris Johnson spoke at length with Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic. The primary focus was Brexit. 
  • Johann Sattlerwill be the new EU Special Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, he will lead the EU delegation in Sarajevo.
  • Former Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra was granted Serbian citizenship despite being wanted in her home country on corruption charges. But her documentation the Serbian government website appears to have been taken down.
  • Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic clarified his earlier statement on urging Serbs to vote for President Trump: “When Jews vote for Trump, that’s not interference or when Albanians vote for the Clintons or Engel. I’m not talking about Serbia as a state, I’m talking about US citizens of Serbian origin. That’s simply how things work in America. Albanians always bring Engel victory in his constituency.”
  • Johns Hopkins SAIS Professor Daniel Serwer alsocriticized  called Dacic’s words and labelled them as  “not wise.”
  • Serbian protesters officially gave a list of demands to President Aleksandar Vucic. The 1 in 5 million protests have been going on weekly. 
  • Vucic focuses on infrastructure: “We are in position to easily ensure at least 10 or even 12 billion euros ($13.4 billion) of funding for new investments. We are building more roads and railroads than in the times of Tito.”
  • Former Kosovo PM Ramush Haradinaj denies that he intimidated witnesses. 
  • Bosniak political leader Bakir Izetbegovic confirms that BiH would reduce its cooperation with NATO should it implement the deal to create a government that he signed with HDZ BiH leader Dragan Covic and SNSD’s Milorad Dodik.
  • Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova:on the Kosovo Specialist Chambers: “We want to bring to your attention that the work of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office … has yielded no results yet. No charges have been brought against those involved in the killings of people for their organs, which were sold on the black market.”
  • Meanwhile, “The Stajerska Guard, known as an anti-migrant paramilitary group in Slovenia led by a far-right politician, Andrej Sisko, has set up a camp near the town of Podcetrtak some 20 kilometres of the Slovenia-Croatia border, the Zagreb-based Jutarnji List daily reported on Saturday.” (N1)
  • The number of citizens of N. Macedonia opting for Bulgarian passports reaches 2,556 in the first six months of 2019. Last year, a total of 3,619 citizens of N. Macedonia obtained Bulgarian citizenship.


BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • Travel: A German tourist took it upon himself to clean trash on a Croatian beach. 
  • Lifestyle: Montenegro is poised to ban smoking in enclosed public places starting August 14.
  • Human Interest: On the 108 meter Zagreb Cathedral, a daredevil jumped after climbing scaffolding.