International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Minister tells German ambassador thousands leaving Serbia every year

March 19, 2021

Serbian Minister of Family Welfare and Demography Ratko Dmitrovic told German Ambassador Thomas Schieb that tens of thousands of people leave Serbia every year for economic reasons, a large part of them going to his country.

A ministry press release said that Dmitrovic asked the Ambassador to help bring German companies to the interior of Serbia, not just the big cities, and quoted Schieb as saying that he would encourage companies to invest across the country but added that road infrastructure is crucial to investors.

The ambassador said that German companies opened 20,000 new jobs in Serbia over the past two and a half years, currently employing 68,000 people from laborers to IT experts. “Serbia is trying to improve its demographics while Germany needs a greater labor force which is why a reintegration program is being implemented with support for your citizens who decide to return home if they are economically strong enough,” he said.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/minister-tells-german-ambassador-thousands-leaving-serbia-every-year/

Coronavirus on March 18: Slovenia

March 18, 2021

Over the past 24 hours there have been 972 new coronavirus cases registered in Slovenia and three more deaths, health authorities reported. Experts are now warning that a new surge looks likely, and that anti-epidemic rules need to be strictly followed.

“The number of cases involving new virus strains is growing. The situation is serious, and it’s deteriorating, and we are probably facing a third wave of the epidemic,” the head of Slovenia’s institute for public health, Milan Krek, told a news conference on Thursday.

However, Krek said he was nevertheless optimistic that the peak of the upcoming wave could turn out to be milder than before if Slovenians stick to the restrictions currently in place.

“I think that we are controlling the situation for now,” Krek said.

Krek warned that the disease seems to be increasing its hold over the past few weeks in across Europe. ”

“The situation in neighboring countries is not good, and Slovenia is not showing any signs of the situation improving,” Krek said.

Slovenia’s government reported that over the past 24 hours 5,442 tests were done, with 972 coming back positive – slightly down from Wednesday’s numbers.

However, the caseloads have increased compared to last week, and the average daily number of new cases is still high at 753.

There are currently 462 Covid patients in hospital care, including 85 in intensive care.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-pandemic-daily-regional-update-on-march-18-2021/


Coronavirus: Croatia logs 1,197 new cases, 17 deaths

March 18, 2021

In the past 24 hours 1,197 new coronavirus cases and 17 Covid deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national coronavirus task force said on Thursday.

The number of active cases is now 6,116, including 894 hospitalized patients, including 84 on ventilators, while 20,528 people are self-isolating.

Since the beginning of the epidemic in Croatia in February 2019, Croatia has registered 254,507 coronavirus cases, 5,726 Covid-19 deaths and 242,665 recoveries, – including 554 over the past 24 hours.

Health authorities say 1,454,984 persons have been tested for the virus so far, including 7,619 in the past 24 hours. The positive rate of tests over the last 24 hours was 15.7 percent.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-croatia-logs-1197-new-cases-17-deaths/

Coronavirus UPDATE: 30 deaths, 5,346 newly infected in Serbia

March 18, 2021

Over the last 24 hours, 30 patients died from COVID-19-related complications and out of 18,017 tested, 5,346 people were infected with the coronavirus, Serbia's Health Ministry said on Thursday.

To date, COVID-19 claimed a total of 4,840 lives with a mortality rate of 0.90 percent.

On Wednesday, 5,099 patients were hospitalized, 222 of whom on ventilators.

Since the epidemic outbreak in March 2020, 3.218.400 people have been tested, and 536.904 samples have returned positive for the new virus.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-update-30-deaths-5346-newly-infected-in-serbia/

Bosnia logs 1,738 new Covid cases as authorities discuss stricter measures

March 18, 2021

Bosnia and Herzegovina has recorded 1,738 new coronavirus cases, another daily figure that exceeds 1,000, while 57 Covid-19 patients died, the healthcare authorities confirmed on Thursday.

The new results came from 5,346 lab tests performed on those who reported infection symptoms.

With the new spike in coronavirus cases across the country, Bosnia and Herzegovina now has 20,739 active Covid-19 patients.

Due to the dramatic increase in new coronavirus cases lasting for over a week now, authorities in both Bosnia's semi-autonomous regions, the Federation (FBiH) and Republika Srpska (RS), are tightening measures and proposing new restrictions.

The FBiH Parliament which is in a session on Thursday night even proposes a lockdown in that part of the country, according to some announcements prior to the session, but will also discuss the measures to protect the economy in case of partial or full lockdowns. Healthcare authorities in RS have already proposed stricter measures.

A total of 149,901 infections has been reported in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the epidemic outbreak, with 123,433 those who have recovered to date – 753 in the last 24 hours.

The country’s Covid-19 death toll stands at 5,729.

Source: https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/bosnia-logs-1738-new-covid-cases-as-authorities-discuss-stricter-measures/

Coronavirus on March 18: Montenegro

March 18, 2021

Montenegro’s Public Health Institute said on Thursday that over the last 24 hours nine patients died from COVID-19-related complications and out of 2,019 tested people 521 were infected with the coronavirus.

The death toll stood at 1,178, and 85,774 people have been positive for the virus since the epidemic outbreak.

The Institute said that on Thursday there were  8,396 active infection cases.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-pandemic-daily-regional-update-on-march-18-2021/

Coronavirus on March 18: Kosovo

March 18, 2021

Over the last 24 hours, five patients died from COVID-19-related complications, while out of 4,291 people tested, 704 were infected with the coronavirus in Kosovo, Public Health Institute said on Thursday.

The death toll stood at 1,736, while since the epidemic outbreak, 370,865 people have been tested and 79,793 samples have returned positive for the virus.

At the same time, 66,321 patients have recovered.

On Thursday, the Institute reported 11,736 active cases of the infection.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-pandemic-daily-regional-update-on-march-18-2021/

Coronavirus on March 18: North Macedonia

March 18, 2021

North Macedonia’s Health Ministry said on Thursday that over the last 24 hours, 15 patients died from COVID-19-related complications while out of 3,761 tested people 1,216 were infected with the coronavirus.

The death toll stood at 3,403, and 99,126 have recovered since the epidemic outbreak.

At the same time, 116,438 people have been confirmed positive for the virus.

On Thursday, there were 13,909 active infection cases.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-pandemic-daily-regional-update-on-march-18-2021/

Sarajevo tightens anti-epidemic measures, closes bars and restaurants

March 18, 2021

Sarajevo Canton authorities introduced new restrictions on Thursday amid the latest coronavirus surge, banning the work of all bars and restaurants for the next 14 days and extending the curfew from 9 pm until 5 am.

The new measures are coming into effect as of Friday.

The Canton was the first region in the country to tighten the measures, imposing the partial lockdown last weekend in an attempt to contain the virus spread and intensifying the control of how all the measures are being obeyed throughout the week. 

Although the daily figures are increasing in all parts of Bosnia, the situation seems to be the most dramatic in the capital, where healthcare authorities have been recording three-digit coronavirus case daily for weeks.

Over the last 24 hours, the Public Health Institute of Sarajevo Canton reported 689 new cases, bringing the total of currently active cases to 5,129.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/sarajevo-tightens-anti-epidemic-measures-closes-bars-and-restaurants/

Contract signed for 2 million more doses of Sinopharm vaccine

March 18, 2021

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that another two million doses of the Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine would be delivered by the Chinese company following the signing of a contract on Thursday.

A press release said that Vucic discussed the procurement of the vaccine and the construction of a vaccine production plant in Serbia during an online meeting with Sinopharm managers. It quoted Sinopharm Group Chairman Liu Jingzhen as expressing appreciation for “the trust in our product. “We are happy that we can provide the necessary support to the people in Serbia in the fight against the virus,” he said.

Vucic is quoted as saying that a large number of the citizens of Serbia were inoculated with the Sinopharm vaccine, adding that the signing of the contract for the new delivery of the vaccine is important.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/contract-signed-for-2-million-more-doses-of-sinopharm-vaccine/

Crisis Team doctor says partial lockdown will be extended

March 18, 2021

Serbian government Crisis Team epidemiologist Branislav Tiodorovic said on Thursday that the five-day partial lockdown will have to be extended, adding that it will not show results by Monday.

The partial lockdown was imposed between Wednesday and Monday with only food retail outlets, banks and gas stations left open. Medical experts called for a lockdown of at least two weeks to put the deteriorating situation under control and stem the spread of the coronavirus.

“We will certainly have to extend the measures into next week,” Tiodorovic told TV Prva. He said that the doctors on the Crisis Team have been constantly calling for strict implementation of existing measures. “We would be in a much better situation now if we had implemented the measures for at least 14 days,” he said.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/crisis-team-doctor-says-partial-lockdown-will-be-extended/

Serbian ministers welcome EU coronavirus certificates

March 18, 2021

Two Serbian cabinet ministers welcomed the European Union decision on coronavirus certificates and expressed the hope that a solution would be found which would allow Serbian nationals to travel in the EU.

European Integration Minister Jadranka Joksimovic told the state TV (RTS) that the European Union and World Health Organization said that a model would be found for mutual certificates, adding that she expects a solution to be found to allow Serbian citizens who have been inoculated with Russian and Chinese vaccines to travel.

Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Minister Tatjana Matic told the N1 morning show that the EU proposal for green digital certificates is good news for Serbians because people living outside the EU can get them. She recalled that individual EU member states would decide the conditions to cross their borders. “The European Commission proposal should not worry us… The purpose of the document is to make movement easier for people who are safe in terms of health,” she said. According to Matic, the Russian Sputnik V is undergoing the European Medicines Agency procedure and the Chinese Sinopharm is expected to get approval from the World Health Organization in April. “That shows that all the vaccines on the market which are in use across the world can be part of the digital certificate,” she said.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbian-ministers-welcome-eu-coronavirus-certificates/

WHO ‘particularly worried’ about Covid situation in Balkans and Central Europe

March 18, 2021

The World Health Organization said it is "particularly worried" about the Covid-19 situation in the Balkans and Central Europe.

“We are particularly worried about the epidemiologic situation in the Balkans, as well as many other countries around Central Europe,” Catherine Smallwood, Senior Emergency Officer at WHO Europe, said during a news conference Thursday.

The current situation is “most acute in parts of the region that were successful in controlling the disease in the first six months of 2020. It is in central Europe, the Balkans and the Baltic states where case incidence, hospitalizations and deaths are now among the highest in the world,” WHO Europe director Hans Kluge said.

Kluge noted that case incidence in the region “continues its increasing trend and is moving eastwards. We have now seen three consecutive weeks of growth in Covid-19 cases with over 1.2 million new cases reported last week across Europe.”

The WHO's European region includes 53 countries, as well as Russia and several Central Asian nations.

While many countries around Europe are currently under “a partial or full nationwide lockdown,” some are gradually easing their Covid-19 restrictions, Kluge said.

“Some are doing so based on the assumption that increasing vaccination uptake in countries would immediately lead to an improved epidemiological situation. Such assumptions are too early to make. Let there be no doubt about it, vaccination by itself – particularly given the varied uptake in countries – does not replace public health and social measures,” Kluge said.

“Vaccines work, and will eventually allow a return to a new normal,” he added.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/who-particularly-worried-about-covid-situation-in-balkans-and-central-europe/

Croatia: Increasing number of media outlets express support for N1

March 18, 2021

Croatian news website Index.hr expressed support for N1 on Thursday, days after cable television provider A1 had announced that they would stop carrying N1 television on March 29. Along with Index.hr, other news websites such as Morski.hr, Tris.com.hr, and Antena Zadar also expressed support for N1... Thank you all!

“Government regulations which allow a monopoly or duopoly (on the media market) which can literally shut down a news outlet if the ruling party doesn’t like it is completely unacceptable to Index. This is not ‘normal business practice’ nor can be seen as ‘business relationships between companies’ – it’s merely a case of a corrupt failed state.

Apart from the symbolic support, which we have hereby stated in the clearest way so far, our colleagues (and secondly, competitors) at N1 can count on Index for any other type of concrete support. The symbolic support is here because we want to help highlight the problem. Without doing that, things like these can often end up shut down, trampled on, and forgotten. We won’t let that happen,” said founder of Index, Matija Babic, in a Facebook post.

Messages of support were also published by news websites Morski.hr, Tris.com.hr, and Antena Zadar.

Dear colleagues, thank you from our hearts!

We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all the messages of support pouring in from our readers and viewers.

Earlier this week, cable television provider A1 announced that they would stop carrying channels produced by United Media – N1 television and Sport Klub – on March 29, after negotiations to extend the existing contract had failed.

“The offer to carry a channel which is of national interest such as N1 had been forwarded by United Media to A1 on February 25, and they showed no interest to reach an agreement. They thanked us for our offer and refused to continue our cooperation.

We are very surprised by the decision made by A1 not to extend our contract on channel distribution, especially having in mind that they had been offered absolutely the same conditions that were in place until now. We had cooperated with them for many years, and we regret that we will not continue to do so – in spite of best efforts on our part to make it happen.

United Media believes that the promises made by the Croatian government, who had announced new legislation which would harmonize the rules with EU laws, would happen within the promised timeframe, in order to liberalize the market, allow healthy competition, and in the end, is in the interest of Croatia’s citizens,” United Media said.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/croatia-increasing-number-of-media-outlets-express-support-for-n1/

Intl envoy in Bosnia expresses support to association of musicians and composers

March 18, 2021

International community's envoy in Bosnia and Herzegovina Valentin Inzko met a delegation of Sarajevo-based association of musicians who are facing problems of losing an international license because they are unable to register their association's supervisory and steering boards as well as its assembly president in the State Register.

As they informed the High Representative, the Association of Composers – Musicians (AMUS) is facing existential problems because of the “decision of Justice Ministry of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which refuses to register the members of the Steering and Supervisory boards as well as president and vice president of the AMUS Assembly in the State Register.”

The Office of the High Representative (OHR) was established following the Bosnian 1992-95 war to oversee the implementation of the peace process, and the High Representative was named the final interpreter of the Dayton Peace Agreement, which established peace and contains the county's Constitution.

Currently acting as High Representative is Austrian diplomat Valentin Inzko.

“In a very constructive talk, which lasted longer than stipulated by protocol, the AMUS representatives informed Valentin Inzko about the problem the association got into,” the association said following the meeting, adding that the international envoy was informed that the AMUS is a full member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) and is representing the rights of its authors not only in Bosnia but across the world.

HR Inzko expressed support to the association and said the problems has to be solved by competent institutions without the involvement of politics or personal interests.

The association was represented in the meeting by musicians and composers Edin Dervishalidovic and Davor Sucic a.k.a. Dino Merlin and Sejo Sexon.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/intl-envoy-in-bosnia-expresses-support-to-association-of-musicians-and-composers/

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