Connect with us

Region

Merkel kicks off Athens visit today

Published

on

German Chancellor Angela Merkel headed to Athens for a two-day official visit. News reports say Merkel will urge Greece to press on with tough economic reforms and maintain strict fiscal discipline when she visits Athens on Thursday.

Merkel will also encourage Greek politicians to support a name deal with Macedonia that Germany and the European Union hope will foster peace and stability in the Balkan region.

Germany is also concerned about the Tsipras government’s ability to push through parliament the Prespa agreement it clinched with neighbouring Macedonia that would change that country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia.

Tsipras’ right-wing coalition partner, the Independent Greeks party, has threatened to quit the government if the deal comes before parliament. Many Greeks want the country’s northern neighbour to drop ‘Macedonia’ from its name, saying it implies a territorial claim on a northern Greek province of the same name.

Germany regards the name deal as a diplomatic triumph that paves the way for Macedonia to join the European Union and NATO and limits the scope for Russian influence in the Balkans.
On Friday Merkel will meet the leader of the conservative New Democracy party, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose party is leading in opinion polls and is also opposed to the deal with Macedonia.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one × 5 =

Region

Stones hurled at Sofia Central Synagogue

Published

on

By

An unidentified man hurled stones through the window of a synagogue in Bulgarian capital Sofia on Saturday afternoon, local Jews said.

Alexander Oscar, the president of the Shalom Organization of Jews in Bulgaria, wrote on his Facebook page that the man who hurled stones left the scene without intervention from passersby. The sanctuary sustained light damage from the attack and no one was hurt.

Their inaction was one of the most worrisome aspects of the incident, Oscar has said.

“The language of hatred in Bulgaria already manifests itself in physical incidents with direct attacks on Jewish communal property,” he added.

Continue Reading

Region

Greece: Mitsotakis rejects Tsipras’ invitation to TV debate on Prespa accord

Published

on

By

Greece’s main opposition New Democracy party on Thursday turned down Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ invitation to a televised debate with New Democracy leaders Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

If the opposition leader agreed to a TV duel with the prime minister, the two were to debate the Prespa agreement Greece and Macedonia had signed to end perennial row over the latter’s name.

The announcement, released by the New Democracy press officer, says “international agreements are debated and ratified in Parliament, with participation of all parties and all MPs, who must assume a historic responsibility, particularly for an agreement as important as the one resolving the dispute with FYROM”.

The opposition party calls on Tsipras to explain to parliament why he intended to ratify the “damaging Prespes Agreement” and “hand over the so-called Macedonian ethnicity and language, a concession no Greek government has ever dared to consider”.

“If the prime minister was in a hurry for debate, he should call early elections and let the people have the final say.

Continue Reading

Region

Slovenia: Thieves make off with EUR1million stolen from security vehicle

Published

on

By

Thieves reportedly stole one million euros from armored vehicle of Slovenian Security Agency in Celje. Local media said Slovenia security van robbery, which happened in late December, netted around 1 million euros and that police are still searching for perpetrators.

The Maribor-based newspaper Vecer, two security employees had left the vehicle unsupervised at the Agency’s yard. They didn’t wait for their colleagues to take up the shift and the shipment.

Thieves made off with around EUR 1 million cash.

It is assumed that the thieves had insider source that helped them in the heist as they knew where the vehicle key was stored.

Continue Reading

Files