CONFERENCE CALL: Losing the Western Balkans

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow May 5, 2021

The EU’s slow and sometimes confusing response to the coronacrisis in the Western Balkans made room for China to increase its influence.

COMMENT: “Patronagists” scandal brings back memories of the communist era in Albania

Jona Koprencka in Tirana May 5, 2021

Ahead of the April general election Albania’s ruling Socialists were revealed to be keeping the population under surveillance.

Commissioner Varhelyi brings first EU-donated vaccines on Western Balkans tour

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 4, 2021

Tour of the region is also aimed at supporting the Western Balkans countries’ EU integration processes.

Albanian ruling party starts procedures to impeach president

bne IntelliNews May 3, 2021

President Ilir Meta was one of the most vocal critics of Prime Minister Edi Rama ahead of the April general election.

Subdued recovery expected in Western Balkans after pandemic ended a decade of progress

bne IntelliNews April 28, 2021

The Western Balkans countries can expect only moderate growth between 2021 and 2023 as the damage caused by coronavirus pandemic will continue to depress investments and employment, a World Bank report warned.

BALKAN BLOG: All eyes on opposition response as Albanian Socialists prepare to declare victory

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow April 27, 2021

Prime Minister Edi Rama announced a victory rally after scoring an unprecedented third term in Albania’s general election, but will the opposition accept the result?

Climate change to amplify border tensions in Southeast Europe

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow April 27, 2021

OSCE report identifies border hotspots across the region where rising temperatures and more extreme weather events risk adding to border tensions.

Preliminary results show lead for ruling Socialists in Albania

bne IntelliNews April 26, 2021

Socialist leader Edi Rama could be heading for historic third term, but with only around one third of the ballot boxes counted there is still time for the picture to change.

Exit poll indicates very close race in Albanian general election

bne IntelliNews April 25, 2021

At this stage either the ruling Socialists or the main opposition parties could come out on top.

ISTANBUL BLOG: As cryptocurrency skeletons fall from closets, it's scandal upon scandal in Turkey

Akin Nazli April 25, 2021

Interpol red notice put out for 27-year-old founder of Thodex who may be in Albania after putting a lock on $2bn of investors’ money.

Fears Albania will erupt as brutal election campaign heads towards knife-edge result

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow April 23, 2021

Shootings and incendiary rhetoric mar final days of a tight race between ruling Socialists and main opposition parties, in which neither side is expected to concede easily.

Socialist Party worker shot dead ahead of Albanian general election

bne IntelliNews April 21, 2021

One person was killed and four others injured in a shooting in the city of Elbasan, four days before Albanians vote in the April 25 general election.

M&A hits €8.5bn in CEE in Q1, says Mergermarket

bne IntelliNews April 16, 2021

Trend towards bigger deals and more fund investment continues, as deal value rises by half to give best Q1 since 2013.

wiiw raises 2021 CEE growth forecast to 3.8%

Robert Anderson in Prague April 16, 2021

But pandemic has delayed restart of convergence with Western Europe until 2023.

Slovenian PM denies Bosnian media reports on ‘non-paper’ about dividing Bosnia

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje April 14, 2021

Populist premier, who will take over EU rotating presidency in July, is accused of proposing "final disintegration of former Yugoslavia".

Army sent into Tirana airport after strike grounds all flights

bne IntelliNews April 7, 2021

Strike grounded flights at Albania’s only operational international airport as air traffic controllers protested against layoffs and pay cuts.

Albanians’ online purchases surged in 2020

bne IntelliNews April 6, 2021

Online purchases were made by 19.5% of the population aged 16-74 in 2020, as the pandemic caused an uptick in online retail across the region.

CEE reels as third wave of COVID-19 breaks

bne IntelliNews April 3, 2021

A third wave of the coronavirus pandemic is sweeping through Emerging Europe. While Russia is expecting to reach herd immunity in the next two months, most other countries of the region have only just started their mass immunisation programmes.

“Extensive” solar opportunities, potential for wind and geothermal power in Albania

bne IntelliNews March 30, 2021

Irena report identifies opportunities for solar, wind and geothermal energy as Albania moves away from reliance on hydropower.

Vaccination campaigns launched across Western Balkans

bne IntelliNews March 30, 2021

After months of delays, all of the Western Balkans countries have embarked on the vaccination of their populations against coronavirus.