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Balkan Developments

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has announced a plan to restart the economy. Measures totaling 17 billion euros are aimed at supporting job preservation and tourism. Taxes are being reduced and business loans are being provided. Monthly compensations of 534 euros are being granted and the state will continue to cover 60% of the salaries of employees that had to go part-time. Athens will open the country to foreign tourists on June 15. Minister of Tourism Harris Theoharis pointed out Balkan countries and particularly Bulgaria as an example of countries that Greece will soon resume the tourist flow with.

Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović said the Serbian Orthodox Church wanted to govern Montenegro and determine its directions and character. The statement came after authorities arrested Serbian clerics who staged a liturgical march in violation of a ban on public appearances during coronavirus epidemic. Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić said the rights of the Serbian people and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro were a priority for Belgrade. Dačić even warned of a possible fratricidal war with Montenegro. President Đukanović described the threat as an unacceptable formula for a future of blood in the Balkans and added that Podgorica, as a European country, would implement the controversial Law on Freedom of Religion.

Romania officially enters "state of alert"

Following the end of the Covid-19 state of emergency, the Romanian parliament approved the introduction of a 30-day "state of alert". One of the measures is the obligatory wearing of masks in closed public spaces, in public transport and at the workplace. Masks are not mandatory for children under 5 years of age, for employees working alone in an office or at a distance of at least 2 meters from colleagues, for people with respiratory problems or performing heavy physical activity, as well as for TV presenters and the people they interview. Mask are required to cover the nose and mouth and to be changed once every 4 hours.

At government's request, the Croatian parliament has dissolved. President Zoran Milanović has scheduled parliamentary vote for July 5th. This will be the third parliamentary elections in Croatia with preferential voting. Although there have been few new coronavirus infections detected in recent days, the election will be different than usual. The procedures will be coordinated by the State Election Commission and the Croatian Institute of Public Health. The ruling Croatian Democratic Union has decided to run in the early elections, which it hopes to win, due to its rising rating related to successfully dealing with the Covid-19 crisis.

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