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After the Pandemic: Perils and Promise for Western Balkans

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Pandemic Wreaks Havoc With Ancient Balkan Funeral Traditions

Once huge funerals these days are mostly attended only by a small circle of close family members and friends, who have to observe social distancing measures.

The funeral processions are now done in the shortest time possible, and in some countries, police monitor the burials to make sure everyone obeys the rules.

Croatia Takes Down Cathedral Spire Damaged in Quake

The first spire was toppled during the earthquake, and the second, which was significantly damaged, on expert recommendations, was partly removed weeks ago.

A small amount of explosive was put on the spire to separate it from the cathedral building and it was then lowered to the ground by a crane.

Ethnic Intolerance, Hate Speech Persists in Croatia: Report

Human Rights House Zagreb said in its annual report published on Friday that "as in previous years, war crimes prosecutions were stagnant" in Croatia in 2019, while hate speech and intolerance toward minorities persisted in the public arena and the digital environment.

Hungary’s Medical Aid Reopens Bosnia’s Wounds

Amid a row in Bosnia over whether aid was being sent to the country on a selective basis, Hungary on Thursday sent a plane load of 200,000 masks and 10,000 protective suits.

Balkan Economies Expected to Contract in Pandemic, IMF warns

The "World Economic Outlook", the latest report of the IMF about the global economic situation, predicts sharp contractions in most Balkan economies as a result of the pandemic in line with the severe downturn expected in the rest of the European and world economies.

Croatia Charges Right-Wingers for Pro-Priest Protest

Charges have been pressed against 13 people who rallied in front of a Catholic church in Sirobuja, a suburb of the coastal city of Split, flouting a ban on public gatherings during the coronavirus epidemic, Croatian media reported on Tuesday.

As Corona spreads, Refugees Hit the End of the Road on the Balkan Route

Stray dogs walk the dirt road to the migrant camp in Velika Kladuša, Bosnia, on the border with Croatia. Passed a precarious bridge, a canine shelter is visible first. Puppies cover the trail, obstructing cars as they trot along obliviously. There are ten kennels with roofs and space to roam, but dozens of dogs lie around outside.

Bosnia May Seek Arbitration on Croatia Nuclear Waste Dispute

Bosnia may request international arbitration if Croatia proceeds with a plan to create a nuclear waste disposal site just across the border from Novi Grad in north-west Bosnia, Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Minister Stasa Kosarac was reported as saying.

Balkan Tourism Sector Braces for Summer Season Write-Off

Dragan Ivancevic's Hotel Adria in the Montenegrin coastal town of Budva stands empty, its doors shut by a government-imposed lockdown to fight the spread of COVID-19.

For years, the money spent by tourists flocking to Montenegro's Adriatic coastline has been a mainstay of the former Yugoslav republic's economy, accounting for 21 per cent of national output last year.

More than 1,600 unaccompanied minor migrants to be relocated to EU countries.

A plan is under way to relocate at least 1,600 unaccompanied minors from Greek refugee camps to several European Unon countries, European Commission spokesman Jahnz Adalbert has said.

The relocation was decided on March 6 but has been delayed by the spread of the coronavirus. 

No Coronavirus Cases Found Yet Among Migrants, Refugees in Bosnia

The International Organization for Migration, IOM, which manages temporary reception centres, TRCs, for migrants and refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina, told BIRN it had found no cases of coronavirus among the roughly 6,500 migrants held in them.

Croats Remain Traumatised by Quake Damage to Capital

While the soil continues to shake occasionally, and earthquakes of lesser intensity are still being felt, many Croats still suffer from high anxiety as a result of events on March 22, when a quake of at least 5.3 magnitude struck close to the capital, damaging buildings and injuring dozens of people and causing one death.

Nearly 800,000 infected

The highest number of infected people in the United States amounts to 164.253, with a total of 3.167 deceased so far.
Italy follows with 101.739 cases of infected with COVID-19, and in that country, mostly in the north, 11.591 persons died, while 14.620 recovered.