Southeast Europe / News

Launch of “Operation Broom” cleanup in North Macedonia marred by MP drug scandal

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 24, 2019

PM Zoran Zaev pledged to sack party and government officials who have performed poorly after voters punished the ruling coalition’s candidate for the government’s domestic failings in the recent presidential election.

Kosovo considers extending 100% tariffs to Albanian products

bne IntelliNews May 23, 2019

Punitive tariffs already imposed on imports from Bosnia and Serbia could be extended to Kosovo’s closest ally Albania if it fails to remove barriers on Kosovan flour, beer and potatoes.

Moldova’s president asks Constitutional Court’s permission to dissolve parliament

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 23, 2019

Snap elections have become the baseline scenario in Moldova as none of the three major forces in the parliament managed to form a government after the February general election.

Istanbul revote: Ousted mayor says AKP spent TRY80mn in three years on city’s website

bne IntelliNews May 22, 2019

Ekrem Imamoglu, who will fight an election rerun in what observers say is a crucial test of remaining democracy in Turkey, unveils alleged misspending.

Voters prepare to punish their ruling parties in European Parliament elections

bne IntelliNews May 22, 2019

Following domestic political scandals in several Central and Southeast European member states, many voters just want to give their ruling parties a kicking in this week's EU-wide vote.

North Macedonia’s new president signs off 21 laws his predecessor refused to endorse

bne IntelliNews May 21, 2019

Gjorge Ivanov refused to sign the bills, on topics including financial support for investments and reforms to the security services, in protest against the change of the country's name to North Macedonia.

Serbia must improve business climate and tackle brain drain to ensure long-term growth, IMF says

bne IntelliNews May 21, 2019

Serbia has a positive near-term outlook after growth rebounded to a 10-year high in 2018, but deep reforms are needed to create a solid basis for future growth.

Turkey has closed its ports to Iranian oil: reports

bne IntelliNews May 21, 2019

If the move is confirmed it would fly in the face of aggressive rhetoric from Ankara in which it has said the US cannot deny it the right to import energy shipments from its neighbour.

Turkish government’s gross debt stock hits new high in April after lira’s latest travails

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 20, 2019

State budget fiscal metrics currently more vulnerable to a currency crisis than they were before last summer’s nasty episode. And fresh market turmoil is widely expected.

Cyprus threatens “arrest warrants” over Turkish drilling

bne IntelliNews May 20, 2019

As Turkey’s first ever drillship, escorted by a naval frigate, prepares to start operations, Ankara declares it “does not recognise the unilateral and illegitimate exclusive economic zone claims of the Greek Cypriots”.

Economic and democratic failings dog Erdogan as he hits out at criticism from Turkey’s top business association

bne IntelliNews May 19, 2019

President targets tycoon who heads group’s advisory council. Tuncay Ozilhan raised concerns over Turkish industry’s debt woes and said country must abide by universal principles of democracy or “it becomes something else”.

Garanti latest Turkish bank to renew syndicated loan at higher costs, lower roll-over ratio

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 17, 2019

Despite Turkey’s economic strife, local lenders’ spring loan refinancing season is progressing undeterred. But Libor and Euribor rates have almost doubled compared to a year ago.

Albania to establish energy bourse to liberalise electricity market

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 16, 2019

The energy stock exchange is intended to increase security of the electricity supply and encourage investments in the sector.

Moldova’s president to dissolve parliament unless deadlock settled by mid-June

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 16, 2019

Since the February general election, none of the three main forces in the new parliament have been able to find sufficient common ground to form a majority.

Turkish industrial production contracts for 7th straight month

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 14, 2019

Calendar-adjusted index in positive territory. Fresh pre-election stimulus on the cards. Economy may have grown in Q1 but double-dip recession not ruled out. Istanbul revote impact may hinge on battle for Kurdish vote.

Slovenia, Israel and Turkey benefit from Kosovo’s politically motivated import tariffs

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 13, 2019

100% import tariffs on goods from Serbia and Bosnia have pushed consumer prices up in Kosovo, but politicians’ claims they would help local producers were never realised, think tank GAP finds.

Firebombs and fury on the streets of Tirana

bne IntelliNews May 13, 2019

Opposition protesters fight police with Molotov cocktails, defying international calls to refrain from violence. Political crisis threatens to derail EU integration process.

Turkey’s current account gap contracts 88% y/y in Q1 as lira crisis crushes imports

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 13, 2019

More market jitters on report that Treasury may tap central bank reserves to borrow 40bn lira as government budget deficit is deeper than expected. OMFIF op-ed says Erdogan’s mishandling of currency crisis heightens probability of Ankara default.

TURKEY INSIGHT: Claims over officials' lira manipulation via state banks hit international fan

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 10, 2019

Public lenders reportedly sold $1bn on May 9 and overnight to curb latest bout of depreciation. Officials have been up to no good for months, but it’s gone unreported.

Montenegrin court finds opposition leaders guilty of plotting coup

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia May 9, 2019

Long prison sentences issued for Democratic Front leaders and the Russians prosecutors said masterminded the failed 2016 coup attempt.