Splits apparent in EU over enlargement

bne IntelliNews April 17, 2018

European Commission recommends start of accession negotiations for Albania and Macedonia, but French President Macron says Paris will oppose any enlargement until the EU reconfigures post-Brexit.

Albanian MPs throw eggs, flour and water in chaotic parliament session

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje April 12, 2018

Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati and six opposition MPs evicted and temporarily banned from the assembly after debate over arrests of toll road protesters descends into food fight.

Macedonia defies illiberal trend in otherwise gloomy Freedom House report

bne IntelliNews April 12, 2018

Macedonia described as the "most promising chance for a democratic breakthrough" in Europe, as prospects for democracy look bleak in majority of post-communist states.

Growth slows in Western Balkans despite job creation

bne IntelliNews April 12, 2018

A harsh winter and a decline in investments slowed growth in the Western Balkans in 2017 even though 190,000 new jobs were created, says a report from the World Bank which has called for structural reforms in the region.

COMMENT: Does Germany hold the key for Albania’s accession to the EU?

bne IntelliNews April 10, 2018

The European Commission's new progress reports for the six Western Balkan countries, including Albania, are expected next week. Crucially, they will evaluate performance against delivery of the required reforms as part of the EU accession process

Albania posts annual inflation of 2% in March

bne IntelliNews April 10, 2018

After falling to record lows, annual inflation is expected to hover around 2.2% in 2018 and rise to 3% in 2019.

Violent protest erupts over Albania’s first toll road

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje April 2, 2018

Police made 23 arrests after protesters threw stones and burned down toll booths on the Durres-Kukes motorway.

Nato joins wave of Russian diplomat expulsions after Skripal poisoning

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 28, 2018

Several European states followed suit but others are still considering whether to take action over the poisoning of an ex-spy on British soil, which has already triggered over 100 expulsions by western countries.

Albania plans to float state-owned power distributor by end-year

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje March 27, 2018

OSHEE to be the first major state-owned company to hold an IPO on Tirana's new stock exchange, as Prime Minister Edi Rama outlines ambitious plans to develop the energy sector.

Ukraine plays tough as 21 countries unite to kick out Russian diplomats

bne IntelliNews March 26, 2018

More than 100 diplomats thrown out in the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history, as the US and countries across Europe show solidarity with London over the poisoning of the Skripals.

Albania’s gross external debt widens 0.6% y/y at end Q4

bne IntelliNews March 23, 2018

The IMF has warned that given the high level of Albanian public debt, negative shocks could necessitate a sharp fiscal adjustment.