Latest News from Albania

North Macedonia elects caretaker government after Zaev resigns

North Macedonia's parliament on Friday approved a new caretaker government under the country's former interior minister, after Zoran Zaev resigned as prime minister ahead of previously agreed early elections on April 12.

Under a deal made by major political parties, the caretaker government will be headed by Oliver Spasovski, who served in Zaev's center-left administration.

Turkey Hails ‘Gulenist’ Deportation From Albania as MIT ‘Success’

Albania has denied that the Turkish state intelligence agency, the MIT, was involved in the extradition on January 1 of an alleged supporter of the exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Teacher Harun Celik was arrested in Albania in July 2019 while apparently trying to travel from Kazakhstan to Canada via Tirana on fake documents.

Zaev steps down ahead of April 12 vote

The prime minister of North Macedonia submitted his resignation Friday, paving the way for a new caretaker Cabinet to be named in order to organize a snap election.

EU to explore further enlargement in 2020

Croatia, the youngest EU member, vowed to advocate for the bloc's Balkan enlargement, and pledged to work for "a strong Europe in a world of challenges" in the upcoming six months, after taking over the European Council's rotating presidency on Jan. 1.

New York Times: Bulgaria is not Ready for a Big Earthquake

From Bucharest to Sofia and the Balkans, a number of governments have failed to address the risks of earthquake-prone buildings. This is what the New York Times found in an article entitled "The Lesson of an Albanian Earthquake: The Balkans Aren't Ready for the Big One," BTA reported.

Balkan Cities Rock into 2020

Midnight fireworks over Skopje during a New Year's Eve celebrations in North Macedonia's capital on January 1, 2020. Photo: EPA-EFE/Georgi Licovski.

Fireworks shower the skies over the Macedonian capital, Skopje, at midnight during a New Year's Eve celebration on Janurary 1, 2020. Photo: EPA-EFE/Georgi Licovski.

Timeline: A Year of Democracy in Central and Southeast Europe

JANUARY

January 11 - Romania begins a six-month EU Council presidency amid anti-government protests at home and calls from EU leaders to respect the rule of law.

January 17 - Human Rights Watch's World Report 2019 highlights threats to journalists and minority and immigrants' rights as key problems in the Balkans.

Human Freedom Index-2019: Bulgaria Ranks 39th

Bulgaria ranks 39th in the Human Freedom Index-2019. With a human freedom rating of 7.79 on a scale of 0 to 10, Bulgaria advances one position as compared to the 2018 Human Freedom Index. Romania is the Balkan country with highest rating-8.11 (30th position). Albania ranks 38th with rating of 7.84.

"A main prerequisite is to preserve peace and stability in the region" VIDEO

"Main condition for fulfilling this is to preserve peace and stability in the region," President Vucic said.
"A few days ago, we were attacked by some politicians from Bosnia-Herzegovina for the National Defense Strategy. Yesterday, Dodik attacked us and said, 'Why are you mentioning Bosnia and Herzegovina?' We just respect the Dayton Agreement", President explained.

Western Balkans Have Yet to Embrace Freedom of Information

Between January 2017 and June 2019, BIRN journalists submitted 854 official requests to access public documents in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. With the aid of the information gained from these requests, BIRN produced numerous investigative pieces and so exposed wrongdoing by governments, companies and powerful individuals.

Kosovo’s Missing Out in Spurning Balkan ‘Mini-Schengen’

Although this initiative appears new and has received a lot of attention in the media, the idea of Western Balkan countries coming closer together was in fact first floated at a regional summit in 2017 in Trieste, Italy.

Eleven to face court on April 2020 over Norman Atlantic disaster

The criminal trial of 11 Greek nationals over the deadly fire that broke out inside the Norman Atlantic passenger ferry five years ago will start on April 9, with the accused facing charges of manslaughter and negligent arson, according to the Greek indictment seen by Kathimerini.

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