BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbian authorities suffered a setback in their bid to relocate hundreds of asylum seekers from a freezing forest on Thursday after a barracks they planned to use was torched following a protest by local residents.
The government in the European Union candidate country has faced growing criticism over its failure to house a rising tide of migrants, mainly from Africa and the Middle East, who have legally sought asylum.
BELGRADE (Reuters) – Work began on Sunday on the Serbian leg of Gazprom’s South Stream gas pipeline, a project set to tighten Russia’s grip on Balkan energy supplies and provide an alternative to a troublesome route via Ukraine.
The planned pipeline will transport some 63 billion cubic metres of gas per year through the Black Sea, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia into Italy, starting by 2016-17.
BELGRADE/PRAGUE, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Russia will take a step
toward tightening its grip on Balkan energy supplies and
strengthening its influence in southeastern Europe when
construction starts on the Serbian leg of Gazprom’s South Stream
pipeline on Sunday.
Balkan countries, which receive the bulk of their natural
gas deliveries from Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom,
have been eager to find new supply routes following repeated
disputes between Russia and Ukraine that have shut down the main
pipeline serving the region.
BELGRADE/TIRANA, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Bad loans have turned
the Balkans from high-yielding paradise to profit-sapping
purgatory for international banks, crimping their ability to
lend and weighing on the region’s economic potential.
In Albania, banks’ return on equity was 34 percent in early
2000 and stayed in double digits for most of the decade until
the financial crisis tightened its grip. It was minus 2 percent
in the third quarter of 2013, after what Seyhan Pencabligil,
president of a lobby group for Albania’s 16 banks, called an
“alarming increase in bad loans”.
BELGRADE (Reuters) – One of the Balkans’ richest men went on trial on Thursday in a high-profile case that the Serbian government says is a long-overdue drive to end more than two decades of lawlessness.
Miroslav Miskovic, who created a retail, insurance and real estate empire through the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s and Serbia’s emergence from isolation, faces up to 10 years in jail if found guilty on charges of fraud and tax evasion.
BELGRADE, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Serbia will need to borrow 662.5
billion dinars (5.8 billion euros) in 2014 to service debt and
finance a budget deficit set at 4.6 percent of output, under a
draft budget published on Monday.
The Balkan country, whose rising public debt has unnerved
investors, plans to borrow 330 billion dinars domestically, by
issuing bonds and T-bills in local currency.
BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia’s government delayed detailing painful spending cuts for a day while the country’s prime minister visited Brussels on Monday to tackle a problem over Kosovo that could delay talks on eventual EU entry.
Last week, powerful Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, who heads the Serbian Progressive Party, the senior partner in the coalition government, had said spending cuts would be announced on Monday.
PODGORICA, Sept 26 (Reuters) – There was once a time when a
job at Podgorica’s sprawling aluminium plant meant a free
apartment, a discount on holiday rentals and a large dose of
prestige in socialist Yugoslavia.
In its heyday in the late 1970s, Kombinat Aluminijuma
Podgorica (KAP) supported the families of 5,000 workers. Now,
with its workforce cut to a fifth, huge parts of the complex
resemble a ghost town, blanketed in dust and suffocated by debts
of more than 380 million euros ($513 million).
BELGRADE, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Serbian lawmakers endorsed
29-year-old former McKinsey consultant Lazar Krstic as finance
minister on Monday, handing him the task of reining in the
country’s ballooning deficit and public debt.
Krstic brings no political pedigree to the job but was
handpicked by the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), the biggest
party in Serbia’s ruling coalition.
BELGRADE (Reuters) – When 29-year old Lazar Krstic takes over Serbia’s finance ministry this week, he will need to find more courage than his predecessors to break news of spending cuts to two million pensioners and state employees.
The two groups make up one third of Serbia’s electorate and have never been the target of government austerity, even though the country has struggled to shore up its economy – the biggest of the ex-Yugoslav republics – and the state is running up debt.