All News from Balkans

A useful tool but also a trap

I try to step into politicians' shoes sometimes to get some sense of their addiction to media exposure. It is much like other addictions in that even though it can harm them, they cannot say "no" to a request for a comment or interview. This is how they fall into the trap of overexposure.

Short-term property rental market saturated

The number of properties up for short-term lease in Greece has soared from just 130 in 2010 to over 200,000 by the end of 2019, according to a survey by the Center of Planning and Economic Research. Despite the huge changes this surge has brought to the property market, however, the regulatory framework has resisted change and adjustment to reality.

Benefit for debtors left homeless

Greece's creditors appear ready to agree to a solution on foreclosures in the form of a housing benefit for people in need that would not be associated with the protection of debtors' main residence.

Need for self-restraint

None of the major issues dogging Greece are likely to be resolved by the end of the conservative administration's four-year term.

Neither the disputes between Athens and Ankara nor the migration crisis can be solved by sheer determination on behalf of the ruling New Democracy party.

Reduction of contributions by 2 points is set to come earlier

The government is said to be pondering a further social security contribution reduction by about 2 percentage points, against an original plan for 1.09 percentage points in 2020, along with a delay to the reduction of the corporate tax rate from 24 to 20 percent, ahead of the submission of the midterm fiscal plan for 2021-2024 in April.

State arrears to be offset or paid by year-end

The Finance Ministry is attempting to drastically slash the time it takes for the state to pay off its debts to suppliers and to offset debts to taxpayers or suppliers with any dues to all general government entities, in order to stop the creation of new overdue arrears to and by the state.

This will be accomplished through an online platform that has been created for that purpose.

Vlhova takes Golden Fox slalom and overall trophy

Vlhova secured her 14th career win with an aggressive second run, attacking from fourth after the first. Sweden's Anna Swenn Larsson, who had the best first half of the race, was well on her way to beating Vlhova, but crashed just a few gates before the finish line.

Agenda

MONDAY

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras attends the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels.

The US Embassy in Athens and its Consular Section, the US Consulate General in Thessaloniki, and all US government offices in Greece will be closed in observance of Presidents' Day.

PM Orban stresses in Munich full legitimacy of Romania's aspirations for joining the Schengen area

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban stressed, in Munich, the full legitimacy of Romania's aspirations for joining the Schengen area, given that our country has long met the technical criteria in this regard. The Romanian prime minister participated as a guest of honor on Sunday in the panel discussion "Eurovision Contest: A Europe That Protects", within the Munich Security Conference.

Victor Ponta: We fight for the Pro Romania candidates

Pro Romania leader Victor Ponta called on his party colleagues "to rely only on themselves" in the electoral battles and to fight for the candidates of the party in the upcoming elections. "I am in Pro Romania and only in Pro Romania will I be, and I rely only on Pro Romania. If I relied on someone else it would mean making the same mistake every time.

Food Truck Anniversary | Athens | February 17

Food Truck celebrates its five-year anniversary along with head chef Giorgos Glinos' 46th birthday at Str.Eaters restaurant in Karitsi Square. Food by collaborators will be served on an all-you-can-eat basis. Free drinks and food will be offered by Food Truck's latest project, Food Truck Levant, with flavors inspired by Middle East and Mediterranean cuisine. The celebrations start at 7 p.m.

North Macedonia Passes Prosecution Law in Knife-Edge Vote

After a year of unsuccessful talks with the opposition and after a week of tense efforts to secure a majority in parliament, the ruling Social Democrats in North Macedonia narrowly shepherded an important law through parliament amid loud objections from the opposition about the regularity of the vote.

More than 6,000 remains discovered in six mass graves in Burundi

More than 6,000 bodies in six mass graves were discovered in Burundi, authorities said on Feb. 15.

It is the largest discovery since excavations were launched last month to find victims of ethnic violence.

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