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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Switzerland Helps Albania Build Gas Market

Switzerland has granted Albania 6.6 million euro to build up its infrastructure so that it can 'reap the benefits' of the new Trans Adriatic Pipeline running from Turkey to Italy.

Read more: Switzerland Helps Albania Build Gas Market

Greek parliament passes anti-austerity bill

The Greek parliament on 18 March 2015 overwhelmingly adopted a "humanitarian crisis" bill to help its poorest people, ignoring apparent pressure from the European Union to halt the legislation.

Read more: Greek parliament passes anti-austerity bill

Heavy investments raise questions about Turkey’s official mourning of Saudi king

Increasing investments from Saudi Arabia in the Turkish stock market have aroused suspicions regarding Turkey's official declaration of mourning for the recently deceased King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, as Central Registry Agency (MKK) figures indicate investments hitting record numbers in recent months.

Read more: Heavy investments raise questions about Turkey’s official mourning of Saudi king

Bulgarian President: Full consensus reached on Bulgaria joining EU’s SSM

”We reached a full consensus on Bulgaria joining the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) of the EU in the month of political consultations,” said Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, delivering at the plenary hall an address to the National Assembly on 19.03.2015.

Read more: Bulgarian President: Full consensus reached on Bulgaria joining EU’s SSM

Chinese to Build Albanian Highway to Macedonia

 

 

 

Albania aims to fast-track procedures to give the China State Construction Company the concession to build a highway running from Tirana to Debar in western Macedonia.

Read more: Chinese to Build Albanian Highway to Macedonia

Ankara launches TANAP, negotiates Turkish Stream terms

 

 

 

On March 17, 2015, Turkish, Azerbaijani and Georgian Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ilham Aliyev and Giorgi Margvelashvili attended the launch of the construction of the TANAP pipeline costing over $10 billion which will pump natural gas from the massive Azerbaijani Shah Deniz 2 field across Anatolia to Turkish and EU consumers.

Read more: Ankara launches TANAP, negotiates Turkish Stream terms

Albania Seeks 550 Million Euros of Credit

 

 

 

The finance ministry has opened an international bid for a 250 million euro partially-guaranteed loan and is seeking to reissue about 300 million euro of sovereign bonds to tackle the budget deficit.

Read more: Albania Seeks 550 Million Euros of Credit

Turkey: Unemployment again hits four-year high, rises to 10.9 percent

 

 

 

The rate was slightly lower than forecasts of 11.1 percent, although the figures marked the second month in a row that Turkey's unemployment rate hit a four-year high. Around 3.15 million people were without jobs in December.

Read more: Turkey: Unemployment again hits four-year high, rises to 10.9 percent

Greece makes repayment to IMF as cash reserves risk running dry

 

 

 

Greece repaid a loan due Monday to the International Monetary Fund, further depleting cash reserves that risk running out this month unless a deal is reached with European partners.

Read more: Greece makes repayment to IMF as cash reserves risk running dry

Bulgaria: USD/BGN could spike to 2.40 in 2017

 

 

 

The euro and respectively the Bulgarian currency, which is pegged to it, will continue its slide against the US dollar in the years to come, 24 Chasa Daily reads, quoting the latest forecasts of major global players like Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.

Read more: Bulgaria: USD/BGN could spike to 2.40 in 2017

Greece allows lenders back as PM tries to win allies

 

 

 

Greece's creditors returned to Athens Thursday (12.03.2015) for the first time since the left-wing Syriza party came to power, with the radical new government denying it had allowed back the hated "troika" it had vowed to shun.

Read more: Greece allows lenders back as PM tries to win allies

Unemployment rose in fourth quarter as economy weakened

Greece’s jobless rate increased in the fourth quarter as the economy began shrinking again and a political standoff rekindled concern the country could leave the euro area.

Read more: Unemployment rose in fourth quarter as economy weakened

"Стройтрансгаз" начинает строить газопровод в Македонии за $75 млн

 

 

 

12.03.2015 "Стройтрансгаз" планирует уже в конце этой недели начать работы по строительству магистрального газопровода в Македонии. Первая очередь газопровода Клечовце-Неготино будет иметь длину в 61 километр и диаметр 508 миллиметров. Срок строительства - чуть более года.

Read more: "Стройтрансгаз" начинает строить газопровод в Македонии за $75 млн

Stop 'wasting time', Dijsselbloem tells Greece

Officials representing Greece’s creditors will return to Athens this week as Alexis Tsipras’ left-wing government is told to stop wasting time in talks over implementing the country’s controversial bailout programme.

Read more: Stop 'wasting time', Dijsselbloem tells Greece

Is Turkey A Positive Addition for Europe’s Energy Security? Two Different Viewpoints

 

 

 

Europe’s gas needs are probably meant to decrease over time, as the European Commission is trying to decouple GDP growth from energy consumption. In this sense, the Russian decision to cancel the South Stream and bet on a pipeline to Turkey makes complete sense, as in the long term the Russian gas could be mainly directed to the Turkish market.  

Read more: Is Turkey A Positive Addition for Europe’s Energy Security? Two Different Viewpoints

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