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.

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.

Swiss ICT group ALSO acquires Serbia's PIN Computers

bne IntelliNews May 3, 2021

Acquisition of Novi Sad-based PIN Computers to help ALSO's expansion in Eastern Europe.

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.

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.

Montenegro spent €25mn to help politicians and magistrates buy property

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 21, 2021

Officials say previous governments gave out apartments and loans to magistrates and political figures at a total cost of around €25mn.

Montenegro’s public debt spikes at 82.48% of GDP in 2020

bne IntelliNews April 19, 2021

Montenegro's biggest creditor is China’s Exim Bank, which lent the country most of the funds for the Smokovac-Matesevo highway.

Commissioner says EU looking at ways to help Montenegro repay China debt

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 18, 2021

Podgorica asked the EU to help it repay a loan to China’s Exim Bank taken out to pay for the construction of the first priority stretch of the Bar-Boljare motorway.

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".

Protesters attack Montenegrin PM Krivokapic's car

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 8, 2021

PM Zdravko Krivokapic blamed former President Milo Djukanovic's party for the incident involving a group of people who were travelling to the capital Podgorica to join a protest against the government.

Minister’s Sarajevo genocide denial creates new rift in Montenegro’s ruling coalition

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 6, 2021

PM Zdravko Krivokapic caught between need to prove his government’s pro-EU orientation and the hardline Democratic Front that appointed Justice Minister Vladimir Leposavic.

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.

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.

Montenegro asks EU for help to repay Chinese motorway loan

bne IntelliNews March 30, 2021

Montenegro, one of the worst hit emerging Europe countries by the coronacrisis, has a heavy debt burden from the Bar-Boljare motorway.

Montenegro's government accuses chief special prosecutor of blocking probes into President Djukanovic

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 24, 2021

At least four corruption probes involving the president are on chief special prosecutor Milivoje Katnic's desk, claimed Deputy PM Dritan Abazovic.

Weekend of protests against corona restrictions in Southeast Europe

bne IntelliNews March 21, 2021

Protesters express anger against tighter restrictions and vaccinations as well as a broad range of local issues in Southeast European cities.

E-commerce rising stars of the Western Balkans

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje, Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 21, 2021

Despite numerous challenges, there are a growing number of successful e-commerce platforms in the Western Balkans region.

MITTELEUROPEAN INSIGHTS: Central and Southeastern Europe head for a V-shaped recovery

Gunter Deuber and Nicolae Covrig of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna and Bucharest March 19, 2021

The moderate GDP setbacks in 2020 imply that for some CEE countries there will not be such drastic recovery and rebound effects in 2021 as in hard-hit countries in Western Europe.