Aleksandar's Feed
Dec 15, 2014

Cash-strapped Balkans seeks Chinese funds for infrastructure projects

BELGRADE (Reuters) – China is preparing a fresh investment push into central and eastern Europe, promising more than $10 billion in loans for energy and infrastructure projects to be discussed in Belgrade this week.

China is seeking a new foothold on the continent, outside the European Union, under a strategy adopted in 2012.

Dec 12, 2014

Eastern Europe counts cost of a pipeline’s demise

BELGRADE, Dec 12 (Reuters) – As recently as Nov. 21, the
Gazprom subsidiary tasked with building the Serbian leg of
Russia’s South Stream gas pipeline issued a call for mechanics,
builders and welders.

Branko Tasevski was among dozens of businessmen hoping to
get a contract for his Veco Welding Company in the northern city
of Zrenjanin, near the planned path of the 422-km stretch of the
pipeline.

Dec 11, 2014

Serbian central bank keeps rates on hold with dinar weak

BELGRADE, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Serbia’s central bank kept
interest rates on hold on Thursday in the face of low inflation
and a bleak economic outlook, taking a cautious approach as the
dinar currency weakens daily and with next year’s budget still
in the works.

The decision to keep the benchmark rate at 8
percent was in line with the expectations of 11 of 14 analysts
and traders polled by Reuters this week and last. Three analysts
had predicted a cut of 25 basis points.

Dec 4, 2014

“Superhuman” electricity workers restore power to Serbian town

BELGRADE, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Electricity workers struggling
through snow, ice and treacherous terrain in Serbia restored
electricity on Thursday to an eastern town shivering without
power, heating or running water for four days.

Majdanpek was cut off from the grid on Monday afternoon as
ice and high winds brought down power lines in the hilly region
near Serbia’s eastern border with Romania.

Dec 4, 2014

Serbia in ‘superhuman’ fight to restore power to eastern town

BELGRADE (Reuters) – Electricity workers in Serbia struggled through snow, ice and treacherous terrain on Thursday to restore electricity to an eastern town left shivering without power, heating or running water for a fourth day.

Majdanpek was cut off from the grid on Monday afternoon as ice and high winds brought down power lines in the hilly region near Serbia’s eastern border with Romania. Power was briefly restored late Wednesday, only to go down again within an hour.

Dec 3, 2014

Serbian town shivers without power for third day

BELGRADE, Dec 3 (Reuters) – Emergency services in Serbia
worked to restore power on Wednesday to an eastern region left
without electricity, heating or running water for a third day by
a cold snap that brought down power lines.

Authorities said they hoped to restore power to some 5,000
people in the municipality of Majedanpek during the day, having
previously promised power would be back on Tuesday evening.

Nov 21, 2014

Fugitive Ukraine tycoon wins, then loses, Serbian citizenship

BELGRADE (Reuters) – A multi-millionaire gas tycoon who is wanted by police in his native Ukraine and blacklisted by the EU was briefly granted citizenship in Serbia, only for the government on Friday to reverse a decision that risked drawing fire from the West.

The strange case of 29-year-old Serhiy Kurchenko appeared to highlight the power of connections in the Balkan country, a candidate for membership of the European Union but with close ties to Russia.

Nov 14, 2014

EU hopeful Serbia hosts military drill with Russia

NIKINCI, Serbia, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Russian soldiers
parachuted into open fields in western Serbia on Friday as part
of an unprecedented joint military drill that has stirred
controversy in the European Union candidate-country given the
West-Russia standoff over Ukraine.

The one-day anti-terrorist exercise, around 50 km (30
miles)from Serbia’s border with NATO-member Croatia, illustrated
the balancing-act Belgrade faces; safeguarding relations with
its big-power ally while pursuing closer integration with Europe
at a time of deep West-Russia tension.

Nov 10, 2014

Albanian, Serbian leaders clash over Kosovo during historic visit

BELGRADE (Reuters) – Billed as a new chapter in the history of the Balkans, the first visit on Monday by an Albanian leader to Serbia in 68 years descended into a televised row between prime ministers over the independence of the majority-Albanian former Serbian province of Kosovo.

Serbia considers Kosovo the cradle of its nation and faith, but the vast majority of its 1.8 million people are ethnic Albanians who seceded in 2008 with the backing of the West almost a decade after NATO went to war to halt a wave of ethnic cleansing.

Nov 6, 2014

Serbian inmates say lawyers’ strike keeping them in jail

BELGRADE (Reuters) – Dozens of prison inmates in Serbia appealed to the country’s top human rights official on Thursday, saying they faced spending more time behind bars than necessary due to an almost two-month-old strike by lawyers.

Lawyers in the Balkan country have been on strike since Sept. 10, boycotting most court proceedings in a dispute with the government over taxes and the role of notaries.