EIB postpones decision on €1.5bn TAP pipeline loan

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest December 13, 2017

Part of a network of pipelines that will carry gas from Azerbaijan's offshore Shah Deniz field to Europe, TAP has been heavily criticised by civil society and environmental groups.

Oxfam urges EU to blacklist Balkan tax havens

bne IntelliNews December 11, 2017

Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are all among the 47 countries on the EU’s watchlist.

BOOK REVIEW: Russia plays a weak hand strongly in Southeast Europe

Clare Nuttall in Belgrade December 5, 2017

Russia has clawed its way back from its weak position after the end of the Cold War to make firm friends across Southeast Europe even in countries that are firmly in the Western camp.

Western Balkans need up to six decades to catch up with the EU

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje November 30, 2017

At current average growth rates, the Western Balkans countries won't achieve income convergence with the EU until the 2070s, finds a World Bank report that calls for structural reforms to boost GDP growth in the region.

Albanian prosecutors probe opposition Democrats over lobbying funds

bne IntelliNews November 30, 2017

Prosecutors have reportedly asked the Democratic Party for information over $675,000 used for lobbying in the US ahead of Albania's June general election.

Hungary announces first tender for Budapest-Belgrade railway upgrade

bne IntelliNews November 28, 2017

Railway tender and second phase of Chinese Investment Cooperation Fund announced at opening of China-CEE 16+1 summit in Budapest.

Albania reports 3.2% HICP inflation in October

bne IntelliNews November 24, 2017

Albanian inflation outstrips all but two countries in EU28.

SEE economies lag behind on attracting FDI

bne IntelliNews November 22, 2017

Only Albania and Serbia have attracted a significant increase in foreign investment compared to 2010, according to UNCTAD.

Sea to engulf Albania’s second and third cities in a +2°C world

bne IntelliNews November 22, 2017

Projections show that Albania would be worse affected than its neighbours along the eastern Adriatic should global warming melt icecaps.

Cannabis plantations almost wiped out in Albania

bne IntelliNews November 21, 2017

Albania's cannabis industry is dying, says Prime Minister Edi Rama as he appeals to EU counterparts to help Tirana progress towards accession.

Textiles and footwear sector drives hike in Albanian exports

bne IntelliNews November 20, 2017

Albania’s exports grew by a robust 14.2% y/y in October, but still remain less than half of imports.

Employment back to pre-crisis levels in Western Balkans

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia November 16, 2017

Unemployment is still "staggeringly high" in the region and one of its governments' main policy challenges despite the creation of 230,000 new jobs this year, World Bank says.

Credit growth in Western Balkans constrained by bad loans, IMF says

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia November 13, 2017

High levels of NPLs, inadequate bankruptcy procedures and insufficient funding constrain credit growth in the six Western Balkan countries at times when credit is most needed.