Southeast Europe / News

10,000 protest in Bucharest against planned changes to judicial laws

Carmen Simion in Bucharest December 11, 2017

Protests against plans to extend government control over the judiciary gather momentum in Romania as opposition leaders including former prime minister Dacian Ciolos join the crowds on Victory Square.

Macedonian prosecutors probe suspected money laundering by members of former government

bne IntelliNews December 10, 2017

Investigation launched after Serbian opposition leader Vuk Jeremic claimed former PM's cousin and other top officials from the VMRO-DPMNE government laundered money via firms in Serbia.

Blow for cryptocurrency exchanges in Bulgaria as FIBank cuts services

bne IntelliNews December 9, 2017

Several exchanges in the country's once promising cryptocurrency market have already been forced to suspend their operations as most local banks reportedly refuse to work with them.

Moscow court reportedly issues arrest warrant for Moldovan oligarch and political heavyweight Plahotniuc

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest December 7, 2017

Russian media speculate that the attempted murder charge against Plahotnuic is related to the assassination attempt against Russian banker Gherman Gorbuntsov, but Plahotnuic's party says he is a victim of harassment by the Russian authorities.

EU slams Bosnian politicians for putting nationalist rivalry ahead of reforms

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia December 4, 2017

Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn urges Bosnian government and opposition to focus on reform agenda to unlock EU funding and make progress towards candidate status.

Romanian cybersecurity giant gets new private equity backer

bne IntelliNews December 4, 2017

30% stake sold to Vitruvian Partners in deal that values Bucharest-based Bitdefender at over $600mn.

Turkey issues arrest warrant for ex-CIA officer over coup attempt

bne IntelliNews December 4, 2017

American author and intelligence operative Graham E. Fuller linked by prosecutor to Gulenist network blamed by Ankara for failed putsch and ongoing Iran sanctions busting trial in New York.

Turkey seizes assets of Iran sanctions trial witness Zarrab

bne IntelliNews December 3, 2017

Prosecutors ordered to make move as part of investigation of gold trader who at a trial in New York has implicated Turkey's President Erdogan while describing a complex money laundering scheme to a jury.

Macedonian opposition leader Gruevski announces his resignation

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje December 3, 2017

Gruevski, Macedonia's prime minister for a decade, will stand down after the conservative VMRO-DPMNE party's disastrous performance in the October local elections.

Turkey's Erdogan implicated by Zarrab in New York sanctions busting trial

Will Conroy in Prague December 1, 2017

Turkish-Iranian gold trader who has turned prosecution witness links Turkish president to gold-for-Iranian-oil plot.

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.

Bulgarian opposition calls for probe into Bulgartabac’s suspected smuggling links

bne IntelliNews November 30, 2017

Yes! Bulgaria pushes for investigation after Turkish police reveal alleged involvement of Bulgarian tobacco company in smuggling network, and claim top politicians are also connected.

Zarrab tells US court of $1bn scheme to evade Iran sanctions using Turkey’s Halkbank

bne IntelliNews November 30, 2017

Case that has roiled Turkish markets gets under way in New York with testimony that a former Turkey economy minister received more than $50mn in bribes.

Romania’s government drafts austere 2018 budget

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest November 30, 2017

Radical departure from previous expansionary policy is likely to spark more protests as public sector workers lose out on pay rises and benefits.

US think tank calls for military presence to counter “breathtaking” Russian meddling in Western Balkans

bne IntelliNews November 29, 2017

Atlantic Council report claims that Washington's neglect has allowed Russia to reshape the geopolitical landscape in the region, and argues that a permanent US military presence is needed.

Chechen president linked to suspected Montenegro coup plotters

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia November 29, 2017

One witness in the Montenegrin coup plot trial accused Ramzan Kadyrov, who is close to Russia's President Vladimir Putin, of attempting to bribe Montenegrin MPs to support the pro-Russian Democratic Front.

Substantial progress made in Transnistria settlement talks

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest November 29, 2017

Movement on several issues comes as the economic situation in the breakaway Moldovan republic reaches crisis point after the Russian aid it relies on is repeatedly postponed.

Turkish lira slides as Zarrab revealed as Iran sanctions case prosecution witness

bne IntelliNews November 29, 2017

Turkey's markets on edge as businessman prepares to tell story of involvement of government and Halkbank officials in multi-billion-dollar money laundering scheme.

Macedonian ex-interior minister among 36 arrested for violent incidents in parliament

bne IntelliNews November 28, 2017

Mitko Cavkov detained for allowing protesters close to the then ruling party to attack parliament and assault Social Democrat deputies in April.

Moldova considers further aid for troubled banks

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest November 28, 2017

State could temporarily take over stakes confiscated from non-transparent shareholders in systemically important banks, a proposal that raises questions about costs and transparency.