Balkan 'Wild Beauty' Montenegro faces waste woes
10 November 2014
By PREDRAG MILIC
In this photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, a boat sails near a pile of jumbo bags filled with hazardous grit in an shipyard in Bijela, Montenegro.
(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) -- Montenegro takes pride in its majestic Adriatic coastline and towering mountains rising from the sea, lined with rivers, streams and lakes.
But the so-called Balkan Wild Beauty is now faced with the problem of waste disposal that is threatening both its natural wonders and its lucrative tourism industry.
Tons of hazardous and other waste is blemishing the spectacular scenery of Montenegro - a small country which declared itself an ecological state more than two decades ago - lying unprotected close to towns and villages, rivers and lakes, or newly-built luxurious sea resorts.
Like most Balkan countries in transition, Montenegro has done little over the past decades to deal with waste disposal and other environmental woes, allowing the problem to grow. As the country now seeks to join the European Union, it must deal with the issue to advance in its membership bid. "We are far from being proud of our environmental situation," State Secretary for Environment Daliborka Pejovic said. "I am quite confident that the EU will not accept the countries which have unresolved problems with hazardous waste."
EU’s biggest foreign mission in turmoil over corruption row
by Julian Borger
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
The EU’s new foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said she would urgently despatch an independent legal expert to oversee the Eulex inquiry.
Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
The EU is struggling to contain its worst foreign policy crisis in recent years after a whistleblower claimed that evidence of corruption in its biggest foreign mission – which is intended to strengthen the rule of law in Kosovo – was covered up.
The whistleblower, Maria Bamieh, learned in August that she would be made redundant from the Eulex mission, despite an impressive record of convictions, after revealing evidence of possible bribe-taking at top levels in the mission. Bamieh, a British prosecutor, claimed her dismissal followed two years of unfair treatment, including full-scale investigations into her conduct for petty misdemeanours such as parking infringements.
Eulex has cost more than €1bn (£753m) since it was established in 2009 with a promise of pursuing the “big fish” among Kosovo politicians who are alleged to be involved in graft and organised crime. Bamieh’s claims, along with the appearance of compromising documents in the Kosovan media, have reinforced a strong impression in parts of the former Yugoslav province that Eulex has become part of the problem rather than the solution. During Eulex’s six-year tenure, analysts in Pristina say, corruption and organised crime in the political system since independence in 2008 has worsened.
Albanian shepherd killed by Italian farm owner 'as target practice'
5 November 2014
Bari, Italy (ANSA) - The owner of a sheep farm near Bari was arrested Wednesday for allegedly murdering an Albanian shepherd he was using for target practice in April.
Qamil Hyraj, 23, was killed by a single shot to the head by Giuseppe Roi, 31. Roi claimed he was firing at a discarded refrigerator and did not mean to hit Hyraj but police said he was deliberately risking hitting him and therefore faces possible charges of culpable homicide (manslaughter).