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Developments in the Balkans – Politics

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Prime Minister wins election battle between Prime Minister and President of Croatia
Andrej Plenković
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and the country’s President Zoran Milanović clashed in the country’s snap parliamentary elections. Plenković, who is seeking a third term, is accused of corruption, while Eurosceptic President Milanović stunned everyone with his unexpected decision to participate in the elections while categorically refusing to resign as president, reports public television BNT. Results show that the election was won by Plenković’s ruling center-right Croatian Democratic Union, taking 61 seats out of 151 in parliament, hrt,hr reports. But this is not enough to form an independent government, and Andrej Plenković said he would strive to form a parliamentary majority. The main opposition party, the Social Democratic Party of Zoran Milanović, with its coalition partners, won 42 seats. In third position comes the Nationalist Movement for the Fatherland with 41 seats. The Croatian Democratic Union has dominated Croatian politics since 1991, when the country declared independence from Yugoslavia. The party has ruled Croatia independently or in coalition for a total of 26 years.

Montenegro and Ukraine liberalize freight transport

Ukraine and Montenegro have reached an agreement on the liberalization of all cargo transportation between the two countries from June 1, 2024, the official website of the Ukrainian government announced.

Our goal is to no longer have any country on the map of Europe with which we have a transport permit system and that our transport companies can deliver goods to any country without additional restrictions, says the communicated. The parties also discussed the possibility of non-parity passenger transportation by Ukrainian companies. The parties agreed that if the Montenegrin carrier refuses to operate the route, the Ukrainian company will be able to operate the route independently, the statement said. Apart from transporting goods, the ministry team is working on developing regular and irregular bus services between the two states. The opening of the first regular line from kyiv to the Montenegrin resort of Budva on the Adriatic is expected soon.

Transport strike paralyzes Greece for 24 hours

Greeks formed a united front in the fight for their rights. A 24-hour strike by railway workers, sailors and public transport drivers brought Greece to a standstill on April 17 demanding higher wages. Unions organized impressive protest demonstrations in Athens and Thessaloniki. Thousands of Greeks demonstrated against low wages, against the hiring of more staff to meet the basic needs of the transport system and against the reduction of unemployment, reports BNR correspondent in Greece, Katya Peeva. As of April 1, the minimum gross monthly wage in Greece was increased by 6.4% to 830 euros, the third such increase in the last five years. However, protesters believe this increase is not enough to cope with the rising cost of living.

Baile Herculan – one of Romania’s hidden gems

Băile Herculane is one of the oldest spa resorts in Europe – evidence of its existence dates back to 150 BCE. This is how Radio Romania International presents one of the country’s least popular gems. The resort is famous for its mineral waters and ozone-rich air which improves sleep. Archaeological finds show that local thermal waters were used by the Romans. In the center of Băile Herculane there is a statue of Hercules who, according to legend, founded the resort. Next door, the first hydraulic elevator in Europe was built at the end of the 19th century. His cabin was lifted by the pressure of the water coming from the thermal springs. Other architectural sites in Băile Herculane include a casino, integrated 1862-1864 and the station – a replica of Empress Theresa’s hunting lodge near Vienna. From Herculane, a long climb on a vertical wooden ladder takes visitors to Inelet – a pristine village, untouched by modern technologies, where visitors can see what the Banat Mountains looked like, with their people and traditions, there is 100 years old.

Compiled by Miglena Ivanova

Translated and published by Milena Daynova

Photos: BGNES, pixabay, Radio România Internațional

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