Southeast Europe / News

Trading in Agrokor Group companies suspended

bne IntelliNews February 21, 2018

Zagreb Stock Exchange suspended trading of all listed Agrokor Group companies after the emergency manager of the debt-stricken food and retail giant resigned.

MTG confirms sale of Bulgaria’s Nova Group to Petr Kellner

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 19, 2018

Deal gives Central Europe's richest man significant influence on the Bulgarian media market, which is on the brink of a new wave of M&A.

Thousands join far-right march in Bulgarian capital

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 18, 2018

March to commemorate pro-Nazi WW2 general was officially condemned by the authorities but one organiser claimed it had top level political support.

Tillerson’s Turkey visit raises hopes of a reset in relations

Akin Nazli in Belgrade February 16, 2018

Turkey and the US agreed to normalise bilateral relations, strained by the Turkish campaign against the US-armed YPG Kurdish militia in Syria.

Agrokor seeks more time to reach deal with creditors

bne IntelliNews February 16, 2018

Stricken Croatian food and retail giant wants three-month extension as it seeks to restructure around €5.5bn worth of debt.

Progress on normalising situation in Transnistria gains momentum

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest February 16, 2018

The Moldovan authorities stepped up the economic pressure on the Russian-backed separatist republic last year, encouraging the authorities in Tiraspol to compromise.

Romania's ruling coalition amplifies rhetoric against anti-corruption prosecutors

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest February 14, 2018

Political leaders are expected to use the growing scandal at the DNA's regional Ploiesti office to attempt to force out DNA chief Laura Kovesi.

Aegean boat crash sparks diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Greece

Akin Nazli in Belgrade February 13, 2018

War of words erupts after Turkish coast patrol vessel rammed a Greek coastguard boat close to islands claimed by both countries, amid rising tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Bulgaria’s Deputy PM admits his hard right United Patriots are "unstable"

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 13, 2018

Growing rifts among the nationalist United Patriots put their future as the junior coalition partner of Boyko Borissov's Gerb at risk but the prime minister has other options to keep his government in office.

Top Croatian officials welcome Serbia’s president amid protests

bne IntelliNews February 13, 2018

Past conflicts loom large as Croatia's Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic and Serbia's Aleksandar Vucic meet in Zagreb.

EU warns Turkey to avoid threats against Cyprus in Eastern Mediterranean

Akin Nazli in Belgrade February 12, 2018

European Council President Donald Tusk issues warning after Nicosia accused the Turkish military of obstructing Italian energy company Eni's gas exploration ship in the Eastern Mediterranean.

A new PR disaster for Bulgaria's EU presidency as deputy PM launches racist attack on German MEP

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 11, 2018

Boyko Borissov’s government attempts damage control after far-right coalition partner Valeri Simeonov calls for “green jihadist” Ska Keller to be deported to Turkey for joining protests against ski resort in Bulgarian national park.

Poor infrastructure holds back economic growth in Western Balkans

bne IntelliNews February 8, 2018

Better transportation, energy, and telecommunications networks would help Western Balkan countries raise productivity and attract more investment, IMF says.

US starts reviewing Bulgarian tycoon Vassilev’s plea for help

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 8, 2018

Vassilev, the majority shareholder of bankrupt Corpbank through which billions of euros of taxpayers’ money were allegedly siphoned off, asked for help under the Magnitsky act after being indicted in Bulgaria.

EIB to go ahead with controversial €1.5bn loan for TAP pipeline

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest February 7, 2018

Funding decision made despite heavy pressure from environmental groups who argued that the development bank should avoid investing in major fossil fuel projects.

European Commission unveils Western Balkans enlargement strategy

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje, Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 6, 2018

The strategy comes after years of neglecting the region and is expected to counter the growing influence of Russia and China in Southeast Europe.

Auto-parts producer to close Romanian factory due to worker shortage

Carmen Simion in Bucharest February 5, 2018

Early warning signs that the talent shortage in the Visegrad 4 countries is now being felt in Romania.

OLAF starts investigation into EU-funded metro project in Bucharest

Carmen Simion in Bucharest February 1, 2018

European Anti-fraud Office launched probe in response to complaints reportedly concerning inflated payments made to contractor on new line that will link central Bucharest to the western suburbs.

Unilever slurps up Romania’s Betty Ice

bne IntelliNews February 1, 2018

Romania’s €150mn ice-cream market increasingly in international hands as Unilever's purchase of largest local producer Betty Ice follows sale of no. 2 player Alpin57Lux to Latvia's Food Union.

Kosovo suspends wage hikes for top government officials

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje February 1, 2018

PM Ramush Haradinaj's pre-tax salary would have been doubled under the proposed changes, which drew harsh criticism from the opposition and Kosovo's Anti-Corruption Agency.