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. 

Shareholders rebel against Wizz Air CEO's bonus payment

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest July 21, 2020

Jozsef Varadi is expected to receive €533,000 in bonus payments on top of a base pay package is €2.8mn per year, despite the airline laying off staff and making use of the UK government's furlough scheme this spring.

Azerbaijan blames Georgia for helping arm Armenia

Giorgi Lomsadze for Eurasianet July 20, 2020

According to the allegations, Georgia allowed a shipment of Serbian rocket launchers destined for Armenia to transit its territory.

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.

Thousands show up to support Belarus' leading opposition presidential contender

bne IntelliNews July 20, 2020

Between 5,000 and 10,000 gathered in Minsk to support opposition presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, wife of arrested blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky. The other former opposition candidates have rallied behind her against incumbent Lukashenko.

Hungarian PM clashes with his Dutch peer over rule of law mechanism linked to EU budget

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest July 20, 2020

The so-called frugal states led by the Netherlands set conditions for the approval of the €750bn recovery fund to revive Europe's ailing economies. They want money to be withheld from countries that fail to live up to democratic standards.

Azerbaijan says 38,000 signed up for armed forces since fresh Armenia clashes

bne IntelIiNews July 19, 2020

Other developments include Baku threat to Armenian nuclear power station, Turkey pledging clear backing for “brother” Azeris and Russian military exercises.

Kosovan president claims he is innocent after questioning in The Hague war crimes court

bne IntelliNews July 19, 2020

The Hague-based Specialist Prosecutor’s Office indicted Thaci and other politicians for crimes against humanity and war crimes during and after the 1998-1999 independence war.

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.

Turkish aviation industry still almost idle in June

Akin Nazli in Belgrade July 17, 2020

Flag carrier, low-cost airline and airport passenger data show extent of ongoing impact of coronavirus crisis.

Turkish private lender Akbank hit with TRY156mn fine for violating ‘COVID-19’ stipulations

Akin Nazli in Belgrade July 17, 2020

Regulator has fined 20+ banks and financial institutions 330mn lira for transactions seen as contrary to orders during pandemic. Erdogan administration determined to step up credit-fuelling of already fragile economy.

Pro-EU opposition in Moldova attempts to overthrow government

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest July 17, 2020

PAS and PPDA might oust Ion Chicu's government but there is no combination of compatible parties that could form a new majority in the current parliament. The only certain outcome is that the challenge will strengthen President Dodon's position.

Subsidised bank credits to buy physical gold ‘new fashion in Turkey’

Akin Nazli in Belgrade July 16, 2020

Negative real bank deposit rates and exchange rate uncertainties driving trend.

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.

Ex-Ukrgazbank CEO Shevchenko elected NBU governor

bne IntelliNews July 16, 2020

MPs vote to install Kyrylo Shevchenko as head of the National Bank of Ukraine, but question of whether he will maintain the central bank’s independence remains open.

EU to support Rail Baltica with €184mn from Connecting Europe Facility

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius July 16, 2020

The EU is supporting the economic recovery in all member states by injecting almost €2.2bn into 140 key transport projects, including the Baltics’ two premier Rail Baltic railway projects.

North Macedonia’s ruling Social Democrats set to win snap election in close race with VMRO-DPMNE

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje July 16, 2020

Voters reward SDSM for progress towards EU accession, but with such a narrow lead over opposition VMRO-DPMNE forming a new government will be difficult.

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.

Dozens detained in Belarus as election protests continue

bne IntelliNews July 15, 2020

Protests were sparked by the barring of two opposition candidates — considered the strongest challengers to incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko — from the presidential ballot.

Foreign market players’ sentiment in Turkey still deteriorating

Akin Nazli in Belgrade July 15, 2020

Trade balances are improving in most emerging markets but Turkey is a notable exception, warns the IIF.