BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia’s prime minister appeared to row back on Wednesday from talk of a deal allowing Kosovo to join the United Nations, saying it was “illusory” to even discuss the issue without a comprehensive settlement on its former province.
Remarks by Ivica Dacic on Tuesday, in which he held out the prospect of U.N. membership for Kosovo, raised eyebrows in Serbia and angered nationalists for whom the majority Albanian state is the cradle of the Serbian nation and its Orthodox faith.
BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia indicated on Wednesday it was ready to loosen its hold on a minority Serb region of neighboring Kosovo in what may mark a major concession by Belgrade as it pushes for talks on joining the European Union.
Majority-Albanian Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Belgrade does not recognize the secession and continues to wield control over a Serb-populated area in the north of the young country.
RTANJ, Serbia (Reuters) – If doomsday really falls on Friday, the residents of this Serbian mountain region are cashing in while they can.
“We’re booked out December 20-23. We have a New Age convention and guests are coming because of the end of the world,” said Nebojsa Gajic, manager of the 160-bed, Communist-era Millennium Hotel on the slopes of Mount Rtanj.
BELGRADE (Reuters) – Billionaire retail tycoon Miroslav Miskovic, one of Serbia’s most influential figures, was arrested with his son and seven other people on Wednesday as part of an anti-graft probe, a government official said.
“They are suspected of siphoning funds and property from privatized road maintenance companies and making financial gains of as much as 30 million euros ($39 million),” the official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.
BELGRADE, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Serbia’s richest man, Miroslav
Miskovic, will appear for police questioning over his business
activities, his Delta Holding said on Thursday, weeks after the
deputy prime minister vowed to investigate corruption
allegations against Delta affiliates.
Last month, Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia’s deputy prime minister
and defence minister, accused Miskovic of plotting to remove him
from office and topple the ruling nationalist Serbian
Progressive Party because of its efforts to fight corruption.
BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia’s pro-Western Democratic Party elected mayor of Belgrade Dragan Djilas as its new leader on Sunday who pledged to reform the party following an election defeat in May.
Addressing a party congress, 45-year-old Djilas said the Democrats had to take their share of responsibility for unemployment, now over 25 percent, double-digit inflation and a public debt seen at 60 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of this year.
BELGRADE, Nov 8 (Reuters) – The Serbian parliament approved
on Thursday sovereign guarantees worth 190 million euro ($242.34
million) for loans the country’s state-run gas monopoly needs to
repay overdue debts.
Under the borrowing plan, the Srbijagas will seek five-year
loans from seven banks, which will be indexed to the euro but
paid out in the local dinar currency.
BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia’s defense minister accused the police on Friday of phone-tapping him and other senior officials, including President Tomislav Nikolic, and said a group within the interior ministry were responsible.
The Socialist-nationalist government that came to power in July has pledged to root out high-level corruption, nepotism and organized crime, a precondition for Serbia’s entry into the European Union.
PODGORICA (Reuters) – Montenegro’s ruling alliance will have to form a coalition government with lawmakers from ethnic minorities after voters disillusioned with economic stagnation and corruption denied it a majority for the first time in 11 years.
With nearly all the votes counted after Sunday’s election, the alliance of Milo Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) and two small parties looked set to get 39 seats in the 81-seat parliament.
PODGORICA (Reuters) – Montenegro’s ruling party leader Milo Djukanovic claimed victory in a parliamentary election on Sunday, extending his DPS party’s 23-year old rule in the ex-Yugoslav republic as it starts European Union accession talks.
The new government faces a stagnant economy and rising unemployment and will have to work hard to strengthen the rule of law and fight corruption, as required by Brussels.