Croatian ship maker in trouble after losing contractsAdriatic Journal 18 September 2018
Rijeka shipyard, 3rdMay, in Croatia is in danger of having no valid contracts as soon as next month. Canadian company Algoma has cancelled two new construction orders while the future of another two that are already under construction is uncertain. If 3rdMay doesn’t secure finance that would enable it to purchase materials to finalise the work on the remaining vessels, the Canadian company is likely to cancel those, too. This comes amid the decision last week by the Norwegian company Siem to cancel three orders, with only one remaining for a vessel that is 70% constructed. However, Novi List reports it is unclear where the finance to complete this order will come from. The ship maker is not only losing contracts but staff also. Predrag Knežević from the syndicate committee for salvation of 3rd May said that as many as 49 workers left the shipyard just this month, and most of those are highly qualified, Novi List reports.
Deutsche Welle reports an agreement has been reached between Serbia and the EU on the deployment of members of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) on Serbia’s borders. According to the publication, members of Frontex will be placed on interstate borders in Europe to assist with patrols and document controls. Frontex will operate in the territory of “third countries”, which means in the Western Balkans, part of the migrants’ Balkan route. According to the new plan, Frontex units would be equipped with airplanes, ships, and weapons. The head of Serbia’s Ministry of Interior Department for International Cooperation, Zoran Lazarov, denied the reports, stating there is a procedure whereby this type of agreement first has to be initiated and then signed, which would then have to be ratified in the Serbian parliament by a binding procedure, without which it would not come into force.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, who is in China attending the Summer Davos Forum in Tianjin, met today with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Praising the relations between China and Serbia, Xi said the two countries have seen beneficial outcomes of pragmatic cooperation. He added China is willing to work with Serbia to support each other on issues involving each country’s interests and concerns, and jointly safeguard multilateralism and international justice.Xi mentioned a good cooperation between China’s Hebei Iron and Steel Group and Serbian Smederevo steel plant, a project that has become Serbia’s second-largest exporter. He added that China and Serbia should join hands in the Belt and Road construction, and synergize their development strategies to deepen bilateral cooperation and better benefit the two nations. Vučić said the revival of the Smederevo steel plant served as a strong evidence that the Belt and Road Initiative contributed to an increase of jobs and economic growth in Serbia. He said Serbia will actively participate in the initiative and explore new cooperation areas with China under the China-Central and Eastern European Countries cooperation framework.
Prime Minister of FYROM, Zoran Zaev met with US Defence Secretary, James Mattis assuring him that September 30th referendum will have a positive outcome and that next year the country will be a part of NATO. In a joint news conference Mattis thanked Zaev for the warm reception and said the US values Zaev’s leadership, considering him a factor of stability for the entire Balkans. Mattis also thanked the PM for the support given to NATO and the US forces in Afghanistan.