International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Montenegro again among countries with highest number of daily infections

September 19, 2021

Since the start of August, nine COVID-19 patients under 40 have died in Montenegro and not one was vaccinated, the country's public health institute said on Sunday.

Montenegro is again among the countries with the highest number of daily infections.

Most of the patients are aged 30-39 and this group is also the least vaccinated, the institute said.

Epidemiologists said 86.5% of those who died since early May, when mass immunisation began, were not vaccinated and that over 90% of those hospitalised and ill were also not vaccinated.

Montenegro has vaccinated 45% of its adult population.

In two months, the number of infections has jumped from less than 500 to over 8,000, ranking Montenegro third in the world according to the number of cases per million population, an average of 995.6 per day.

Last week Montenegro closed its borders for everyone who has not been vaccinated, does not have a COVID certificate or a negative test.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/montenegro-again-among-countries-with-highest-number-of-daily-infections/

BiH second worst country in the world in terms of Covid mortality

September 18, 2021

Bosnia and Herzegovina has become the second-worst country in the world in terms of coronavirus mortality per one million inhabitants.

According to Worldometers statistics, BiH has reached 3,134 deaths per one million inhabitants, which is more than the second-worst Hungary, which has 3,128 deaths per one million inhabitants, Radio Free Europe reports.

The only country worse than Bosnia in the world is Peru with 5,934 deaths per onr million inhabitants.

Worldometers adds that Bosnia and Herzegovina has had 225,857 cases of infection so far and that 10,203 people have died.

A total of 192,218 patients recovered, and 1,188,929 tests were performed. There are currently 23,436 active cases in the country.

BiH authorities urge citizens to adhere to measures and calls for vaccination.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/bih-second-worst-country-in-the-world-in-terms-of-covid-mortality-rate/

Slovenia logs 1,248 new coronavirus cases

September 18, 2021

In the past 24 hours 1,248 coronavirus cases and two related deaths have been confirmed in Slovenia as public protests against tighter restrictions continued in Ljubljana on Saturday.

Dozens of people gathered outside parliament in the morning to protest against mandatory COVID certificates.

On Thursday, peaceful demonstrations by thousands of people turned into incidents, while regular, peaceful cyclist protests against the government were held in downtown Ljubljana on Friday.

The government's harshest critics demand that it step down.

In the past 24 hours, one in five coronavirus tests has come back positive and the 14-day incidence has increased to 614. Epidemiologists don't expect infections and hospitalisations to drop before mid-October.

There are 360 hospitalised COVID patients, 12 more than on Friday.

Despite a higher interest in vaccination due to the tighter restrictions, the immunisation rate remains low at 45.8% of adults.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/croatia-reports-1455-new-coronavirus-cases-12-deaths/

Croatia logs 875 new coronavirus cases, 7 deaths

September 19, 2021

In the past 24 hours 875 coronavirus cases and seven deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Sunday.

There are 8,286 active cases and 683 hospitalised patients, including 81 on ventilators, while 21,151 persons are self-isolating.

Croatia has registered 391,984 coronavirus cases to date, including 8,500 deaths and 375,198 recoveries, of which 1,028 in the past 24 hours.

To date 2,72,130 persons have been tested for the virus, including 9,621 in the past 24 hours, and 43.92% of the population has been vaccinated, including 52.72% of adults, of whom 49.48% fully.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/croatia-logs-875-new-coronavirus-cases-7-deaths/#coral_thread

Coronavirus UPDATE: 37 deaths, 5,255 newly infected in Serbia

September 19, 2021

Over the last 24 hours, 37 patients died from COVID-19-related complications and out of 16,642 tested, 5,255 people were infected with the coronavirus, Serbia's Health Ministry said on Sunday.

To date, COVID-19 claimed a total of 7,770 lives with a mortality rate of 0,90 percent.

On Saturday, 4,401 patients were hospitalised, 183 of whom on ventilators.

Since the epidemic outbreak in March 2020, 5.407,881 people have been tested, and 865.686 samples have returned positive for the new virus.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-update-37-deaths-5255-newly-infected-in-serbia/

Bosnia won't become centralised, says High Rep

September 19, 2021

The High Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, has said that BiH will not become centralised on its EU journey and that Croatia has an important role in that process.

Asked on BN Television about fears of BiH becoming unitary, Schmidt said it would not happen during his term.

“That concern among citizens is not justified and that will not happen. I have understanding for regional specificities and they must be respected,” he said, adding that he was from Bavaria where those rights were emphasised.

“As a Bavarian, I know very well that in a federal state rights can be given and guaranteed to federal provinces, as is the case in Germany or in the BiH entities.”

Schmidt said it was important that BiH continued with reforms.

“Croatia, Serbia and Turkey play a very important role in all those processes,” he said, adding that, under the Dayton peace agreement, the EU and the international community also had an important role.

“BiH's road leads from Dayton to Brussels. If those three countries support that, I'll be satisfied.”

Schmidt said he had broad Bonn powers, including the option to sack politicians or impose laws and decisions. He dismissed the possibility of sacking politicians over corruption.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/bosnia-wont-become-centralised-says-high-rep/

U.S. appoints Matthew Palmer to oversee Bosnia election reform

September 17, 2021

The U.S. administration has tasked Matthew Palmer, former envoy for the Western Balkans, with supervising the election reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina, deputy assistant secretary of state for south and central Europe Gabriel Escobar has said.

Speaking to Radio Slobodna Evropa, Escobar said he was very happy about Palmer's appointment as he had an enormous knowledge, numerous contacts and a brilliant vision of how elections in BiH should work.

He said Palmer's appointment was a clear sign of Washington's commitment to the Western Balkans.

He said the election reform in BiH was one of the first steps that needed to be taken so that the Western Balkans became more functional.

The U.S. commitment and policy has been consistent not only to BiH but all of the Western Balkans since the break-up of Yugoslavia, even the end of the Cold War, Escobar said.

The BiH election law must be amended in line with a ruling of the Constitutional Court to guarantee legitimate political representation, prevent Croats from being outvoted, and eliminate discrimination against minority representatives pursuant to European Court of Human Rights rulings.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/u-s-appoints-matthew-palmer-to-oversee-bosnia-election-reform/

Bosniak coalition in Srebrenica does not support new local assembly head

September 17, 2021

After the head of the local assembly in Srebrenica, Camil Durakovic, was dismissed, the Bosniak political coalition in the eastern town, ‘My Address: Srebrenica’, said it does not support the new assembly speaker, Salko Tursunovic.

According to the Vice President of the Assembly, Radomir Pavlovic, 15 councillors voted for Durakovic’s dismissal, while one voted against it.

The Thursday session became heated, and representatives of the My Address: Srebrenica left because they did not agree on the agenda. Serb councillors demanded that the proposal to dismiss Durakovic be one of the first points on the agenda, which Bosniak councillors did not agree with.

My Address: Srebrenica said it reached three conclusions after the session.

– At the suggestion of the Party for BiH (which Salko Tursunovic is a member of), the Club of Councilors of the coalition “My Address: Srebrenica” excludes Salko Tursunovic from this club.

– Salko Tursunović does not have the support of the Club of Councilors of the coalition “My Address: Srebrenica” and the Democratic Front (DF) in the Municipal Assembly of Srebrenica.

– The club of councillors of the coalition “My address: Srebrenica” and DF continue to support Bosniak officials who were appointed on a proposal by this club.

“Considering that the Club of Councilors of the coalition “My Address: Srebrenica” and DF advocates the realization of the rights of Bosniaks through collective, joint action of Bosniak councillors, and not through an individual monopoly by taking over political powers, we call on Salko Tursunovic to resign as President of the Assembly, as he was not appointed to that position on a proposal of this club and he does not have the support of any Bosniak councillor in performing that function,” the coalition said.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/bosniak-coalition-in-srebrenica-does-not-support-new-local-assembly-head/

So-called anti-globalist agenda in Serbia linked with the West

September 19, 2021

The Vreme weekly’s journalist Jovana Gligorijevic told N1 that people calling themselves anti-globalists, claiming to be autochthonous Orthodox Serbs, have an agenda that has been completely imported from the West.

Last night, a protest of anti-globalists and anti-vaxers was held in Belgrade, and some participants remained on the streets after the official end of the rally, protesting against the „Belgrade Pride“ which was held at the same time in the „Manjez“ park, and clashed with police and journalists.

Speaking to N1, Gligorijevic noted that this is something that is happening on a global level and that we have seen similar images during the protests in London or Berlin.

„We have certain interest groups that profit by very consciously and intentionally destroying people’s trust in science, medicine and the media,“ she warned.

She also noticed that people in Serbia who call themselves anti-globalists and claim to be autochthonous Orthodox Serbs, have an agenda that has been completely imported from the West.

„Even that Christianity was imported from conservative radical right-wing circles in America, and that agenda is spreading from there. They claim that they are autochthonous, real Serbs, Orthodox, but their agenda was imported from the West,“ the Vreme journalist pointed out.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/so-called-anti-globalist-agenda-in-serbia-linked-with-the-west/

Nis mayor’s son-in-law on social housing list, cancer patient ‘below the line’

September 19, 2021

The Freedom and Justice Party (SPP) announced Sunday that it is shameful and inhumane for the son-in-law of the mayor of Nis, Dragana Sotirovski, who is also a local official, to be on the ranking list for social housing, while people who are really endangered remain without such accommodation.

„We were contacted by a single mother, an oncology patient who is semi-mobile and a tenant, and she remained ‘below the line’. What exactly were the criteria used by the commission if a young, healthy official is on the ranking list above a single, sick mother? She is not the only example,“ the SPP said.

A web portal Juzne vesti previously announced that the mayor’s daughter could move into a two-bedroom apartment after the competition for the purchase of social housing in Nis, because her husband, Vedran Ivanovic, who is also the assistant director of the Pharmacy Institution of Niš, is on the published ranking list proposal.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/nis-mayors-son-in-law-on-social-housing-list-cancer-patient-below-the-line/

Djilas won’t cooperate with opposition that enters EP proposed bodies

September 18, 2021

The leader of the Party of Freedom and Justice (SSP), Dragan Djilas, told N1 Sunday there will be no cooperation with the part of the opposition that accepts the participation in the Republic Election Commission (REC) and the media oversight body, as proposed by MEPs within the dialogue on election conditions in Serbia.

He assessed that the European mediators „gave another blow“ to everyone who believes that Serbia has a place in the EU and that it is „the best way to live better.“

„It’s not fair towards the people who’ve been fighting for the EU in Serbia for the past 30 years, who only want the freedom to express their will. [It’s not fair] to make a document containing none of that, in which the proposals are meaningless,“ Djilas told N1.

On Saturday, the majority of the opposition in Serbia, which participated in the inter-party dialogue with the mediation of the European parliamentarians, rejected the proposed document for improving the election conditions.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/djilas-wont-cooperate-with-opposition-that-enters-ep-proposed-bodies/

Vucicc, Erdogan: Friendship with Turkey is a guarantee of peace in the region

September 18, 2021

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, stated in Istanbul on Saturday, after the meeting with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that the friendship between Belgrade and Ankara is an additional guarantee of stability and preservation of peace in the entire Western Balkans.

Vucic told the press that he expects Erdogan to visit Serbia by the end of the year, adding that it would be an opportunity for the two sides to additionally discuss important issues for the Balkans.

He said that he talked with Erdogan about all the regional issues, relations in the Western Balkans, and political and all other relations between Serbia and Turkey.

„We also talked about certain things that I would not like to inform the public about,“ Vucic stated.

The Serbian President noted that he raised the issue of the faster flow of goods and services between the two countries.

„We will discuss how to cross our borders with the least possible documents and thus establish our friendship at a higher level,“ Vucic stated.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/vucicc-erdogan-friendship-with-turkey-is-a-guarantee-of-peace-in-the-region/

Most of Serbia’s opposition rejects document on election conditions

September 18, 2021

Most of the opposition in Serbia, which participates in the inter-party dialogue with the mediation of MEPs, rejected the document for improving the election conditions. The authorities have previously accepted the formation of a body that will supervise the media, as well as changes in the composition of the Republic Election Commission (REC) so that representatives of the opposition are included as well. The parties that refused on Friday to take part in the continuation of the inter-party dialogue were joined on Saturday by a part of those who sat down at the negotiating table with representatives of the authorities and the European Parliament, who also rejected the proposal.

Nebojsa Zelenovic from the party ‘Together for Serbia’ stated after the session of the inter-party dialogue on Saturday that the proposal for improving the election conditions does not contain anything that was proposed by the opposition and that the government „does not allow fair elections“.

„None of what the opposition was looking for was found in the document that was discussed,“ Zelenovic said.

He said that his party did not agree to „in any way“ support the document, because „there is nothing in the conclusions that can improve the election conditions.“

„Insufficient progress to change the decision“

The People’s Party Deputy Leader Miroslav Aleksic stated that the opposition received a document „which is the fruit of an agreement between the government and the MEPs“.

„Very little or almost nothing of what we proposed was found in the draft document. We could not accept such a document because it is more cosmetics than essence,“ said Aleksic.

They suggested, he added, that the dialogue continues.

Obradovic: This is not an agreement with the opposition

„This is not an agreement with the opposition, this is an agreement exclusively between the government and the MEPs,“ said Dveri leader Bosko Obradovic.

According to him, the paper they received Saturday at the end of the inter-party dialogue is better than the first one.
„It has an excellent diagnosis of all the problems that Serbia is facing in the election process, and that is the best proof that we have been right all these years when we said that the elections in Serbia are neither free nor fair. The MEPs confirmed that with this paper. However, they didn’t offer us any guarantees that essentially anything would change in the next six months. The opposition did not get a specific place in the control of the future process, and only in that way can we influence the improvement of the election conditions,“ Obradovic noted.

Some parties accept the proposal

The Leader of the Social Democratic Party, Boris Tadic, stated that his party will participate in the work of the assembly and supervisory bodies.

Tadic said that the platform that was adopted „does not mean that election conditions are ideal now,“ adding that the government can violate even the best platform.

The co-leader of the Party of Modern Serbia (SMS), Tatjana Macura, stated that she would not agree with the part of the opposition that did not agree to the proposed document.

„It seems to me that after two and a half years of negotiations with the authorities, concrete steps have been taken,“ said Macura, adding that she was sorry to hear that after two days of intensive talks, the participants gave up participating in the REC or supervisory bodies on which they persistently insisted all the time.

Among those who accepted the proposal of the MEPs are the representatives of the League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina (LSV), who said that they supported the proposal, although they were not completely satisfied with its text, but that it was „a matter of compromise.“

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/most-of-serbias-opposition-rejects-document-on-election-conditions/

Leader of Serbia’s ruling party to be elected in spring 2022

September 18, 2021

There were several proposals during the Saturday session of the Main Board of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) not to elect the party leader at the upcoming congress, which will be held from October 21 to 24, but to do so in the spring, after the presidential election, the SNS Vice President Milos Vucevic said.

After the Main Board session in Belgrade, which was not attended by the party leader Aleksandar Vucic, he said that the proposal was not voted on today, but it was decided that the SNS Presidency would make a decision on which party bodies would be elected at the congress.

„Most of the Main Board members, and above all the vast majority of the party membership, expect Vucic to continue leading the party. I think he has a moral obligation to accept the candidacy for the President of the Republic, he has a moral obligation towards a decent Serbia, towards all citizens who want to see Serbia as a normal, decent state, which is developing, making progress and winning,“ Vucevic pointed out.

He added that this would be discussed at some subsequent sessions of party bodies and that Vucic had not yet made that decision.

„We will all hear what Vucic’s position is on that. He must say that,“ said Vucevic.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/leader-of-serbias-ruling-party-to-be-elected-in-spring-2022/

Serbia’s Vucic ready to accept EP suggestions though it’s difficult for his SNS

September 17, 2021

Only hours after main opposition parties left the dialogue with Serbia's ruling coalition facilitated by the European Parliament (EP), saying the authorities rejected all suggestions for improving the election conditions, President Aleksandar Vucic said in Istanbul his Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) was "ready to accept EP suggestions no matter how difficult it is for us."

„We had a constructive meeting. I disagree with many assessments, but I’m ready to do everything to make everyone feels good,“ he told the pro-regime Belgrade Pink TV in Turkey.

Vucic is in Istanbul for a day visit and meeting with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

He added the opposition „wants power and to be loved by the people, but it is not so simple.“

One of the main EP suggestions related to media was securing its freedom and equal access to all media for the opposition.

Vucic claimed that before his SNS came to power in 2012, „there were no daily or weekly that was against the then government, while today’s weeklies and other media publish the worst trash with no purpose but to say something against me.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbias-vucic-ready-to-accept-ep-suggestions-though-its-difficult-for-his-sns/

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