ViennEast Compass: CESEE outlook, planning for new normal

Marcus How of Vienneast in Vienna August 3, 2020

There is no end to the COVID-19 pandemic in sight, but the new normal that will emerge could benefit the countries of Central Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CESEE), due to the new opportunities that will arise.

Omelette for the Bulgarian government and the PM's dirty laundry on 22nd day of protests

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 30, 2020

Young protesters hung up Boyko Borissov’s “dirty laundry” – 14 publications in local media quoting statements by the prime minister from the last few years – as they press the government to resign.

Demonstrators block roads, set up protest camp in Bulgarian capital

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 29, 2020

The daily protests in Bulgaria reached their highest numbers yet on July 29, as protesters kept up the pressure on Boyko Borissov’s government to resign.

Albania has some of the least affordable internet in the world

bne IntelliNews July 29, 2020

Online security specialist Surf Shark measured how much time people need to work to be able to afford an internet connection.

Taped threat by Bulgarian PM to “burn” opposition MEP confirmed as authentic

bne IntelliNews July 26, 2020

MEP Elena Yoncheva to alert prosecutors in Brussels over leaked audio recording, saying she doesn't trust the independence of the Bulgarian prosecution.

Bulgaria’s PM replaces five ministers in attempt to soothe public anger

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 23, 2020

Boyko Borissov tries to save his government with reshuffle after two weeks of mass protests, but critics say the move comes too late.

Risk analysis identifies Turkey, Iran and Russia among 37 nations likely to face mass ‘post-Covid’ protests

bne IntelIiNews July 22, 2020

“It’s a tinderbox” says analyst who determined projections of civil unrest and ability of countries to bounce back from pandemic.

EU leaders strike deal on post-coronavirus stimulus plan

bne IntelliNews July 21, 2020

European Union leaders reached agreement on a massive stimulus plan for the bloc’s economies in the early hours of July 21, after almost five days of intense talks. 

Bulgarian protesters blockade parliament, block roads ahead of no-confidence vote

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 20, 2020

Acts of civil disobedience across the country added to nightly mass protests. Opposition politician Hristo Ivanov likens developments to the toppling of the communist regime in 1989.

Bulgarian ruling coalition tries to distance itself from DPS as protests continue

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 18, 2020

Protesters accuse PM Boyko Borissov of being dependent on opposition DPS party that has become a symbol of high-level corruption. Far-right NFSB leader talks of government actions “serving” DPS chairman of honour Ahmed Dogan.

Bulgaria’s PM Borissov digs in against persistent protests

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 16, 2020

Boyko Borissov withdraws demand for ministerial resignations as they fail to appease protesters. Mass demonstrations pushing for Borissov and his government to go continue for eighth night.

COMMENT: After ERM2 entry is before the very fiddly euro entry path

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna July 16, 2020

Euphoria greeted the long-awaited accession of Bulgaria and Croatia to ERM2 and the ECB-led Banking Union last week, but an intense period of further reforms lies ahead for the two countries.

Bulgaria’s PM demands resignations of 3 key ministers as protests swell

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 15, 2020

Boyko Borissov seeks to calm tensions — and save his government — by jettisoning ministers for finance, economy and the interior.

Protesters try to storm Bulgarian parliament

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 14, 2020

Suspected provocateurs try to break into parliament building but pushed back by police. Crowd swells to at least 20,000 in Sofia, and thousands more in 17 other towns.

Protests in Bulgaria expand to more cities, get support from US embassy

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 13, 2020

"No one is above the law," said US embassy statement, as tens of thousands rallied in Bulgaria's biggest cities on July 13, demanding the immediate resignation of the government.

Anti-government protests spread across Bulgaria

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 13, 2020

Thousands of Bulgarians flooded onto the streets of major cities on July 12. After years of political apathy, the current wave of demonstrations is looking increasingly similar to the 2013 mass protests that forced the then government to resign.

Bulgaria and Croatia accepted into ERM2

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 11, 2020

The two Southeast European countries must spend at least two years in the Exchange Rate Mechanism to become members of the eurozone in what will be its first enlargement since 2015.

Protests in Bulgaria escalate with police violence, clashes among rival groups

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 11, 2020

Tens of thousands gather to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and chief prosecutor Ivan Gechev, accusing them of corruption and dependence on criminal groups.

Bulgarian President Radev backs anti-government protesters

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 9, 2020

Radev takes on Bulgarian government and chief prosecutor after raid on presidential offices. Protesters demand resignation of politicians they say are completely dependent on corrupt businessmen.

Bulgarian president’s advisors arrested after raid on presidency

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 9, 2020

There is speculation that the probe is intended to silence President Rumen Radev, the loudest critic of the government and the prosecution.