Author: Ana Potočnik
The Adriatic Journal team has put together the latest hot topics in the region from the past month. We are bringing you news from business, geopolitics and other stories that caught our eye in the past month and wanted to share it with you. Read it bellow while it’s still hot.
COVID-19 update for the Balkan region
The spread of COVID-19 is some parts of the southeast European region is becoming worrying again. As of 30 June, North Macedonia had 6,334 diagnosed cases, with 1,154 registered new cases in the last week of June. So far, 302 people have died due to the virus.
1,154 registered new cases in the last week of June.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the number of coronavirus cases is also rising, with 929 new cases in the last week of June, bringing the total to 4,605, with 188 deaths.
929 new cases in the last week of June.
Kosovo is also seeing a steep increase in June, registering 662 new cases in the last week of June, The total now stands at 2.878 with 52 deaths.
662 new cases in the last week of June.
Serbia had 14,564 confirmed coronavirus cases at the end of June and 277 deaths. 1574 new cases have been registered just in the last week of June. Several Serbian high ranking officials have also tested positive for the virus, including the defence minister Aleksander Vulin, the parliament speaker Maja Gojković, head of the government’s office for Kosovo Marko Djurić and chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Marko Čadež.
1,574 new cases in the last week of June.
In Croatia, new cases are also on the rise, with 441 new cases registered the last seven days of June. The total number of the infected people now stands at 2,831, 108 of whom have died.
441 new cases in the last week of June.
After being the first country in Europe to be free of coronavirus and having no new COVID-10 cases between 6 May and 14 June, the number of infected people in Montenegro is rising again. Just on the last day of June the country registered 47 new cases, bringing the total to 501 with 11 deaths.
104 new cases in the last week of June.
In Slovenia, the situation is somewhat better, though the new cases are on the increase. The number of newly infected during the last week of June reached 79, with the total number now at 1,600 and 111 deaths.
79 new cases in the last week of June.
Serbia holds parliamentary elections amid opposition boycott
Serbia held parliamentary election on 21 June, after postponing it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of parliamentary and non-parliamentary political parties boycotted the elections, including the major opposition coalition Alliance for Serbia, which cited as one of the reasons for not participating that there were no conditions for free and fair elections. The elections witnessed the lowest turnout since the establishment of a multi-party system in 1990, with 49% of the electorate taking part. The coalition led by the Serbian Progressive Party won one of the largest parliamentary majorities in Europe securing around 62% of the votes. Of the 250 seats in the parliament, the party gained 191 seats.
Just before the election, the ruling party lowered the threshold for parties to enter the parliament from 5% to 3%, in an apparent effort to boost representation of minor parties. After declaring victory, Aleksander Vučić, Serbia’s president, said that the new government will be formed with people from the lists that did not pass the 3% threshold. Vučić added that Serbia would have to work “faster, harder, and more effectively” on its way to the European Union.