Merkel’s CDU puts pressure on Macedonia’s opposition partyAdriatic Journal 3 October 2018
Germany’s CDU party have appealed to Macedonian VMRO DPMNE to vote for the agreement with Greece about the name change which it has so far opposed. Deutsche Welle reported the European People’s Party (EPP), an association of the European conservative parties, is expected to pressure VMRO-DPMNE to accept the deal. The deputy chair of the Christian Democrat/Christian Social group in the German Bundestag, Johann Wadephul, said if the parliament did not vote in favour of the constitutional amendments, VMRE DPMNE “would be politically responsible for blocking this (NATO and EU) path for Macedonia in the long run and thus isolating the country from Europe”. Deutsche Welle reports that other European conservative parties are also expected to put pressure on VMRO DPMNE. The Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has said after the referendum he will give the opposition a few days to change its mind and, if that doesn’t happen, he will call for an early election.
A recent poll on voter turnout in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in upcoming elections shows that less than 50% of the electorate is expected to cast their vote. This is less than the turnout at the last elections in 2014 and even less than the elections in 2010, according to the research results conducted by Valicon and published by Bosnian portal Klix.ba. It is likely that around 40% of the electorate will vote due to the uncertainty amongst the left-leaning voters. The other reason for expected low turnout is that a big proportion of voters is still undecided about who to vote for. Klix.ba says the results demonstrate that BiH follows the general trend in ex- Yugoslav countries as well as the countries from the Warsaw Bloc – in most of them participating in the elections has a negative trend.
Resignation offer by Abelard Tahiri, Kosovo’s justice minister, as well as a possible resignation by Finance Minister Bedri Hamza and Innovation Minister Besim Beqaj, shows huge rifts between the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and the Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, according to a report in the Balkan Insight. Albert Krasniqi, from a think tank Kosovo Democratic Institute, told the Balkan Insight it is very likely that Tahiri’s resignation was coordinated with the President Hashim Thaci. “The goals are not clear, but it might be an attempt to blackmail the government in order to get it to support the President in his intentions, both for dialogue [with Serbia] and for other purposes,” Krasniqi told BIRN. However, Kadri Veseli, PDK’s leader said in an interview with Klan Kosova TV that Tahiri will not resign his post. “It is true there have been challenges and he has offered a readiness to resign, but he has not resigned and continues to be a minister and will continue to carry out the reforms initiated in the justice system,” Veseli said. He further added that none of his party’s ministers were resigning.
Tomislav Ćorić, Croatia’s Minister of Environment and Energy, met with Hungary’s Foreign and Trade Minister, Peter Szijjarto, to discuss possible joint energy projects and gas supplies from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Krk. Discussions included the status of the construction of a compressor station that will enable bi-directional gas flow at the interconnection of Croatia and Hungary, which is expected to be completed during next year. “By diversifying supply and transport routes we increase the security of supply, which ultimately results in a more flexible energy market,” Ćorić emphasized. Other topics included Croatia’s LNG terminal on Krk, whose conctruction is planned to commence in 2020. LNG terminal is of great significance to all of EU as it would reduce its energy dependence on Russia. The EU has secured EUR 101.4m for the project. According to Szijjarto, the LNG terminal represents the opportunity to diversify Hungary’s energy supply in the post-2020 period when a long-term gas supply agreement with Russia will expire.
Lidl will start with its operations in Serbia on October 11 by opening 16 stores in 12 cities across the country.Citizens of Belgrade, Bor, Zrenjanin, Kragujevac, Leskovac, Niš, Novi Sad, Smederevo, Sombor, Subotica, Užice and Šabac will be the first to have the chance to see the unique experience of buying the first modern discount in Serbia. The opening of completed stores in other cities will follow in November and will continue in the coming months, as Lidl Serbia announces further expansion of its retail network.