Bosnia Real Estate – FK Leotar Wed, 16 Nov 2022 07:53:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bosnia Real Estate – FK Leotar 32 32 Serbia and Albania must resist EU visa blackmail Wed, 16 Nov 2022 07:53:49 +0000

EU leaders are forcing Serbia and Albania to tighten their visa regimes while deliberately blocking the enlargement process.

The European Union already has enough on its plate, both in terms of geopolitical and socio-economic challenges that member states face. Skyrocketing inflation, energy insecurity, a devalued currency at par with the US dollar and a full-scale military conflict on its doorstep are among the bloc’s most pressing problems this winter.

From Prague to Paris, people across the continent are taking to the streets in droves amid growing discontent with the war-induced austerity measures they are now bearing the brunt of. Meanwhile, Eurocrats have resorted to the book’s oldest trick in an economic downturn: fear of illegal immigration.

The EU’s latest blame game has no legs to stand on, not least because the current refugee crisis dates back seven years, when those in power had a radically different attitude towards migrants. Serbia and Kosovo have nevertheless received an ultimatum to either harmonize their entry conditions with those of an entity of which they are not even a part, or risk losing visa-free access to the Schengen area.

Such brutality amounts to glorified blackmail and can further alienate an already disenfranchised Belgrade and Tirana. Their heads of state have no illusions about their forthcoming EU membership and have even put aside their differences to defend the Open Balkans initiative alongside North Macedonia.

The bone of contention here is that the Serbian and Albanian governments have unilaterally exempted a handful of suspected “high-risk” nationalities from short-stay visas in a bid to boost tourism. This decision is totally above any advice in that they are only exercising their sovereign right to determine who can and cannot enter their territory on facilitated terms. However, German politicians have recently sounded the alarm over mainly Asian and African travelers abusing this privilege and seeking asylum further afield.

Serbia has somewhat capitulated to such outlandish concerns by reintroducing strict entry protocols for Tunisians and Burundians last week while Albania has yet to budge.

There is no doubt that the poor and politically unstable jurisdictions to which visa waivers have been extended boast their fair share of bad apples. News of special travel arrangements travels like wildfire in most developing countries and invariably reaches some ill-intentioned people by word of mouth.

That being said, visa overruns from countries like India, Cuba and Turkey are only a fringe and pale in comparison to the influx of refugees from the Middle East and Afghanistan. The rise in irregular migration via the Balkan route is interestingly discussed at a time when Europe’s most successful economies are reeling from a thoughtless sanctions crusade against Russia.

Set a dangerous precedent

The Western Balkans remain heavily dependent on the European Union, not only for funding, but also as guarantors of stability in an area dubbed Europe’s ‘Pandora’s box’. As such, his constituents generally tend to toe the line and succumb to pressure from their overlords in Brussels.

Although the bloc still has a huge influence on many ex-Yugoslavian republics, they are not the only spectacle in town. Excessive belligerence towards Serbia and Albania is a signal for other strategic partners, namely Russia and China, to enter the fray. Both dictatorships are determined to expand their sphere of influence and have the financial clout to finance infrastructure development projects throughout South East Europe, but with clear conditions.

The EU cannot afford to make an enemy of its immediate neighbors and must therefore strike a balance between safeguarding its own interests and mobilizing the support of the rest of the free world to contain Vladimir Putin’s reckless adventurism in Ukraine and anticipate a possible Chinese incursion into Taiwan or Hong Kong.

Balkan hopefuls are heading down a slippery slope by blindly adhering to the dictates of an outside body that does not necessarily have their best interests at heart. Adjusting visa rules may seem like a trivial matter in the grand scheme of things, especially as the countries in question still remain cautiously optimistic about full membership despite the odds stacked against them.

Giving up independence and decision-making powers will only tempt Brussels to force more concessions in the future and tighten its grip on all potential candidates. The deadlock in the accession negotiations is not only due to insufficient progress in the fight against corruption and organized crime.

The whole Balkan Peninsula is flooded with internal conflicts – territorial or otherwise. Whether it’s Kosovo, Republika Srpska’s possible secession from Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Albania and North Macedonia squabbling over Mother Theresa’s ethnic origins, bad blood is rife among its newly independent republics and here to stay.

These frictions could be used as a pretext to further prolong their absorption into the EU and file more unreasonable demands beyond the stipulated admission requirements. The bloc’s sad situation makes accepting any newcomers all the more onerous, not only financially, but also in terms of merging former socialist states that might not be fully receptive to the increasingly liberal manifesto of the bloc. ‘Europe.

It is ironic that four of the six Western Balkan nations fought tooth and nail for the eventual dissolution of Yugoslavia, only to find themselves victims of similar totalitarianism two decades later from another fledgling superstate.

go for it all

The relatively liberal visa policy of Serbia and Albania is not aimed at short-term gains from inbound arrivals. This initiative is an integral part of forging closer ties with some non-EU countries while putting itself on the map for the right reasons.

The eradication of bureaucracy is conducive to outsmarting their Western counterparts and vying for the lion’s share of international visitors as well as digital nomads in the aftermath of Covid-19. Although the Balkan states rarely appear on travellers’ lists and remain off the beaten track, the abolition of visas is a step in the right direction to showcase their untouched topography, rich history and abundance of world heritage sites in UNESCO to a wider target audience.

Given the ongoing seismic socio-economic reforms, the easing of restrictions could also attract interest from foreign investors looking to get in on the act and seize lucrative opportunities in a booming region.

Albania is already considering citizenship for foreigners ready to inject significant capital into their real estate market. No one knows if Belgrade will follow suit by introducing such a scheme for deep-pocketed Russians affected by travel constraints. The de facto sale of passports does not sit well with Brussels, but being placed on a waiting list indefinitely is causing candidate countries to go all-in and redouble their efforts to spit out the European Union in retaliation for the raw deal that was inflicted on them.

Britain targets Albanians

If history has taught us anything, it’s that new entrants are usually viewed through a peripheral lens by the Anglo-Saxon elite and subjected to smear campaigns by the mainstream media. This was the case for Bulgarians and Romanians in the run-up to Brexit, as both countries suffer from an acute brain drain compounded by the EU’s principle of free movement.

An almost identical phenomenon prevails across the Balkans that could ultimately stir up greater resentment towards its diaspora in Western Europe. Britain has already started targeting Albanians believed to be descending on its shores in disproportionate numbers of late. Apprehensions of a so-called “invasion” can easily seep into the continent and be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unfair discrimination of a particular community.

Insinuating that Belgrade and Tirana require EU surveillance to protect their borders is another sign of the condescension with which its leaders look down on the East.

Visa waivers are by no means synonymous with speeding through immigration checkpoints. Reported citizens are regularly bombarded with intrusive questions and forced to present documents authenticating the purpose of their trip.

Such agreements are not set in stone either and can be instantly canceled by the host country when ridiculed. The fact that Serbia stripped Iranian nationals of this facility a year after it was ratified in early 2017 shows that they are more vigilant and more active than Brussels credits them.

By insisting on uniformity in all facets of foreign and domestic policy, the EU is knowingly dragging its feet in its expansion into the Western Balkans. Dialogue aimed at establishing some kind of common ground between the two sides, as opposed to petty and knee-jerk reactions, is the way to go.

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4 Best Real Estate Investing Apps Tue, 15 Nov 2022 12:00:00 +0000

Investing in real estate is a great way to both diversify your portfolio and earn passive income and/or capital gains. However, owning real estate can present some challenges, especially for a first-time investor.

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For starters, the best way to generate profits from real estate is to have expert knowledge of properties that are good deals. In other words, while everyone knows that “location, location, location” is what makes real estate investments a winner, a new investor may not have a clue what “location” is. ‘location’ is ideal.

That’s why the use of real estate apps has been so popular. Now you can collectively invest in an expertly managed real estate portfolio at your fingertips, often at a lower cost. But as with other forms of investing, some platforms are better options to use than others. Here is a list of some of the best real estate investment apps you can choose from, depending on the type of investor you are.

happy nest

Happy Nest is a good property investment app to check out because it doesn’t charge any fees. In just minutes—and with just $10—you can create an account and immediately begin investing in a diversified portfolio of income-producing investments. Much like the pioneering savings app Acorns, Happy Nest also lets you link your credit or debit cards and round up your purchases to the nearest dollar, with the extra money invested directly into your Happy Nest real estate account. .

Happy Nest primarily invests in properties leased from Fortune 100 companies like FedEx and CVS. Recently, the company has expanded its portfolio to include industrial and multi-family properties, with the belief that this type of diversification reduces risk, increases stability and increases long-term returns.

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DiversyFund is another option that may appeal to newbie investors as it is simple to use and has a minimum investment of just $500. Like Happy Nest, DiversyFund also does not charge any management or transaction fees. However, DiversyFund focuses exclusively on multi-family assets, which the company says have historically outperformed the S&P 500 index and provide a hedge against inflation.

Currently, the company’s portfolio consists of the following:

  • 12 multi-family assets
  • $175 million in estimated value
  • 1 million square feet of rental storage space
  • Diversified assets in six states
  • Over 500,000 community members

The app offers an auto-invest feature so you can continually add to your portfolio. It also contains detailed information about real estate in general, so you can deepen your understanding as you build your portfolio.

Ground floor

Groundfloor calls itself a “savings” app, as it offers everything from a basic savings account and loan options to an investment account backed by prime real estate. The investment app allows users to choose between individual renovation projects or automatic investments according to your own personal criteria. The assets are invested in residential real estate.

Groundfloor pays out investments every four to 12 months on average, so if you invest continuously for four consecutive months, you should start receiving distributions monthly thereafter. The app boasts average annual returns of 10% over the past eight years, and it has no investment fees or maximum balance restrictions.

The app has over 200,000 investors and over $240 million under management, and it only requires $10 to get started.

crowd street

CrowdStreet is an interesting option because it is the opposite of the beginner apps listed above. To begin with, CrowdStreet only invests in commercial real estate properties. However, rather than handing over your money to a blind pool entirely managed by professional managers, CrowdStreet gives you direct access to specific sponsored real estate listings in which you must choose to invest on your own. If your offer is accepted, you become the direct owner of this listing, along with other investors who have pooled their money to make the investment.

For example, you can choose to invest in the “Evanston Multifamily Portfolio,” which consists of a multifamily portfolio of five properties in downtown Evanston, Illinois. This type of investment requires more knowledge from the investor, so CrowdStreet is only available to accredited investors who can invest at least $25,000.

As of September 2022, the app has raised $3.93 billion, initiated 661 transactions, and delivered an internal rate of return of 18.5%.

One thing to note is that although CrowdStreet does not charge any management fees, you will have to pay the list sponsors to access their offers. But if you’re already an experienced real estate investor, CrowdStreet might appeal to you more than some of the other apps out there.

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This article originally appeared on 4 Best Real Estate Investing Apps

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Slovenian Interenergo buys 25 MW Ivan Sedlo wind farm project in Bosnia Fri, 11 Nov 2022 11:50:00 +0000

SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), November 11 (SeeNews) – Slovenian energy group Interenergo, part of Austria’s Kelag, has signed a 40.6 million euro ($41.8 million) contract for the purchase of a 25 MW wind farm project, Ivan Sedlo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenian media reported.

The contract was signed at the end of October, the STA news agency reported on Wednesday, without disclosing the purchase price.

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The wind farm should be connected to the Bosnian grid in 2025.

The Sarajevo canton government said in September that Suzlon Wind Energy BH, a subsidiary of renewable energy solutions provider Suzlon Energy, had started construction of the Ivan Sedlo wind farm. The wind power plant will produce about 70 GWh per year, enough to supply about 6% of the total electricity demand in the township. The cantonal government granted a 30-year concession to Suzlon Wind Energy BH for the construction and operation of the Ivan Sedlo wind farm in 2018.

The wind farm is located in the Ivan Sedlo mountain pass, about 20 km west of Sarajevo. The canton of Sarajevo is one of the ten cantons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the two entities of the country. The other is the Serbian Republic.

In March 2021, Interenergo started building a 30 MW wind farm worth more than €40 million in North Macedonia together with real estate investment company Trigal, a joint venture between Slovenian insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav and German KGAL Beteiligungsverwaltungs. The company also operates a 10 MW wind farm in Croatia.

($ = 0.9717 euros)

Kuwaiti investors interested in buying failed factory in Bosnia – ARAB TIMES Tue, 08 Nov 2022 20:23:53 +0000

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Workers’ issues not yet resolved

KUWAIT CITY, November 8: The Sarajevo Times website has revealed that Kuwaiti investors are interested in buying several properties and land in Bosnia and Herzegovina, ranging from land belonging to a “bankrupt” iron factory, to hotels in the center of cities and others. in the heart of nature, reports the daily Al-Qabas.

The website said in a report that Kuwaiti investors were looking to buy a property in Zenica, north of Sarajevo, Bosnia, where the Zelgizara Zenica iron factory is located, which has been closed for a long time due to a bankrupt, and its workers are still waiting. to finalize the sale of its properties to pay their wages and late payment indemnities. He added that the problems of the workers, who number more than 280 people, have not yet been resolved and the files of some of them have been sent to the country’s employment services to find them jobs.

The website added that each worker dismissed from the factory needed compensation from the closed iron factory, ranging from 40,000 Bosnian marks ($20,400) to 45,000 marks ($23,000). . Factory workers’ union representative Avdija Halilovic reportedly said that the sale of assets and land of the bankrupt factory is progressing very slowly, while buyers of those assets and land expect to get something for nothing, but that not happen. He added: “Purchasers of the factory assets will get nothing less than the costs of the bankruptcy, including payment of the wages of the laid-off workers and the buyers of the assets and land of the bankrupt factory must know that nothing is free.

The factory real estate has been appraised, and they know the asking price, and if they want to buy it, they will. He explained that selling small parts of the factory’s real estate and land, worth about one million Bosnian marks ($510,000), is better now, and this money will be spent on the pensions of the bankrupt factory workers, pointing out that part of the factory land has been sold and a private hospital is being built there.

Foreign buyers are interested in larger properties in the surrounding area. Halilovic went on to say, “We are awaiting inquiries from Kuwaiti investors regarding the purchase of other properties in Zenica, one of which is the closed International Hotel, which was built in 1978, and the other is the abandoned hotel complex Bistrichac, which is located in the heart of picturesque nature. “We know that Kuwaiti investors exploring investment opportunities in Bosnia and Herzegovina are very interested in these properties. I think the $9 million ($4.5 million) price tag for the international hotel is realistic, given its large size and the presence of several features, such as underground parking, its location in the town center and its proximity to a football stadium, which is often full during matches, tournaments and local and European football matches.

Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project Thu, 03 Nov 2022 15:23:42 +0000

A senior police officer in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina threatened to cut the throat of a journalist. Widely hailed as a war hero, Zoran Čegar has spent years in positions of responsibility despite repeated scandals, underscoring a pervasive culture of impunity.

Barely detained by his own lawyer, Čegar throws himself on a CIN journalist before the Dubrovnik municipal court. (Photo: CIN)

“Do you have any idea who you’re playing with, fool?” Don’t make me rip your throat out!

October 26 was warm and sunny in the dreamy coastal city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, but the exchange outside its modernist Municipal Court building quickly turned dark.

Zoran Čegar, a senior police official from neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, was on trial that day for allegedly defrauding a local businessman. But questioned outside the courthouse by two Bosnian reporters, the seriousness of the case did not prevent him from bursting into a series of crude threats.

“Why didn’t she write that I was a general for 20 years, that I was a national hero and that I defended Bosnia? Čegar then asked turning to his lawyer. “That I was injured three times?

“I had no proof…”, replied the journalist.

“No proof that I’m a hero?” he cried, throwing himself on her. A colleague tried to intervene, but Čegar insisted, calling him a “bastard”, deploying an ethnic slur and threatening to “tear [her] the throat” again.

The scene would have been shocking no matter who Čegar was. But his violent threats against journalists from the Bosnian Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN) were all the more disturbing as they came from one of the country’s top law enforcement officials.

Senior officials have since called for Čegar to be fired, and he has been suspended while police investigate. But it is unclear whether he will face any real consequences. During his long and controversial police career – underpinned by a reputation as a heroic defender of Sarajevo at the start of the 1992–96 war – Čegar was repeatedly accused of violence, misconduct and corruption. But the investigations never seemed to get far, even after he was filmed repeatedly punching a civilian in a Sarajevo parking lot earlier this year.

Many say Čegar enjoys political protection, though the internal dynamics of the country’s multiple law enforcement agencies are difficult for outsiders to understand. What is certain is that his continued influence – just three years ago he was a candidate to head the entire police force of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina – demonstrates a culture of impunity in Bosnian law enforcement which has not diminished over the years.

The issue is urgent as the European Union moves closer to approving Bosnia and Herzegovina’s membership bid, even as it makes it clear that rule of law reform is high on its wish list .

International attention has recently focused on the Serbian-majority region of the country, Republika Srpska, where nationalist leader Milorad Dodik has repeatedly threatened to secede, but Čegar’s latest provocation highlights the serious problems that remain in the other large entity of the country, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The last comprehensive international effort to reform its law enforcement apparatus ended years ago.

Sarajevo PolicePolice in Sarajevo. (Photo: Diogo Pereira/

A CIN investigation on Čegar, published a few days before the confrontation at the Dubrovnik court, seems to say it all.

In “The Double Life of Officer Čegar”, reporters used court records and witness interviews to expose how the senior police official spent years engaging in seemingly fraudulent business dealings.

Case after case, former friends or business partners accused Čegar of deceptive practices, including manipulation through deceptive contracts and failure to keep promised payments. Their stories converge on a common tactic: instead of paying cash, Čegar preferred to acquire valuable properties – and in one case, a boat – offering to trade them for assets he didn’t actually own.

Among the men allegedly defrauded by Čegar was Dragan Vikić, his former wartime commander, who claims that Čegar took control of a plot of land that Vikić paid for. Vikić is a legendary figure who even features in a patriotic rock song, but he was unable to prove his case against Čegar in court.

Another case, involving an allegedly appropriated Čegar villa through a misleading power of attorney document, is still in dispute.

And an alleged victim of the police officer didn’t even try the courts. Mehmedalija Žmirić, a businessman from whom Čegar obtained a country estate with an artificial lake, two houses and a stable, left for Germany without recovering the real estate which, according to him, had been taken from him practically under the threat of a weapon.

“It was an armed buy,” Žmirić told reporters, explaining that Čegar had implicitly threatened to have him investigated for growing marijuana. He ended up selling his holdings to Čegar at a bargain price.

Although this case never went to court, CIN reporters discovered that Čegar had used fraudulent documents to secure his title to the property.

Nišici EstateThe property that Čegar obtained, allegedly by abusing his position, on the plateau of Nišići, north of Sarajevo. (Photo: CIN)

Contacted by journalists about these allegations, Čegar hardly bothered to deny them, resorting instead to threats: “I know everything”, he said, adding that “different people” kept him informed of the comings and goings of journalists.

Although Čegar was never convicted of any crime, his ownership of properties across the country – including a luxury villa and multi-storey house in Sarajevo, apartments in other cities and the estate of campaign he allegedly stole – is hard to explain given his official salary. As he admitted in court, he only earns 3,200 Bosnian convertible marks a month, or about $1,600.

“What CIN reported was not common knowledge,” said Aida Čerkez, a longtime local journalist and keen observer of Bosnian cultural and political life. (She is also the editor of OCCRP.) “This is not one of those cases where an investigation reports what everyone already knows. It’s new and they’ve done a great job.

For her, Čegar represents a class of men who may have fought bravely in defense of their city, but whose continued presence in the corridors of power had become harmful.

“He was someone Bosnia needed during the war, violent and resolute,” she says. “But very quickly he became a threat.”

Jasmin Mujanović, a Bosnian political scientist, views Čegar in similar terms. “He is part of a generation… of wartime figures who put themselves on a pedestal that is not appropriate in a democratic society where we are all supposed to be equal before the law,” he says.

For many members of the general public, Čegar is still best known for his war record and his decision to stay and defend Sarajevo even though he was not a Bosnian. In a December 2007 interview with a Croatian daily, he is described as “one of the legends of the Sarajevo war” who helped prevent the Serbs from occupying the city in 1992. In a story circulating in Sarajevo, Čegar helped rebuild the Bosnian police early in the war, when it was devastated by the sudden departure of much of its Serbian staff.

Police checkpointA police checkpoint in besieged Sarajevo in 1993. (Photo: Johnny Saunderson / Alamy Stock Photo)

But others wonder about the extent of its role. CIN reported that he left the country soon after the war began, spending most of the following years in Germany and Australia.

A number of observers point to another aspect of his reputation, noting an incident where, in retaliation for the arrest of members of his family, he rounded up Serb civilians and detained them at the Zetra sports hall in the town ; only the intervention of other officials ensured their release.

The controversy did not end there.

As early as 2003, shortly after returning from his years abroad, Čegar was at the center of a media storm for “violent and inappropriate behavior” after he allegedly broke into a parliamentary meeting.

Around the same time, according to documents obtained by CIN, Čegar’s own police department investigated him for alleged extortion and blackmail. But he was never charged and the case was dropped after being cut short by another scandal.

In 2007, after learning he held Australian citizenship under the false name Tommy Brown, the police removed him for having a dual identity. However, he was later reinstated after a court ruled in his favor and eventually rose to the highest position he currently holds: Chief of the Uniformed Police Division of the Police Administration of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After the latest scandal last January, which involved Čegar punching a young parking attendant, he was publicly denounced by the interior minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina – but not fired. And CIN reporting made it clear that Čegar’s superiors didn’t even know he was facing serious charges of fraud in Croatia, a revocable offence.

With Bosnia and Herzegovina holding elections in early October, scholars say Čegar’s fate could be decided during the tortuous process of forming a new government.

“It could become an elaborate bargaining chip,” said Mujanović, the political scientist. But the general phenomenon [he highlights] is that the police are not sufficiently transparent and accountable,” he added.

This is important not only for Bosnia’s aspirations to join the European Union, but also for the well-being of its own citizens: “In terms of security and stability, you want to have maximum transparency, maximum of civilian control and maximum accountability built into [law enforcement] organization and operation,” he said.

The case of Čegar shows that there is still a long way to go.

The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN) is OCCRP’s member center in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Today in History – The Boston Globe Tue, 01 Nov 2022 04:02:01 +0000

In 1512, Michelangelo’s barely completed paintings on the ceiling of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel were publicly unveiled by the artist’s patron, Pope Julius II.

In 1604, William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Othello” premiered at Whitehall Palace in London.

In 1765, the Stamp Act, passed by the British Parliament, came into force, arousing strong resistance on the part of American settlers.

In 1861, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Major General George B. McClellan General-in-Chief of the Union Armies, succeeding Lieutenant General Winfield Scott.

In 1870, the United States Weather Bureau made its first weather observations.

In 1936, in a speech given in Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini described his country’s alliance with Nazi Germany as a common “axis” between Rome and Berlin.

In 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists attempted to force their way into Blair House in Washington, DC, in a failed attempt to assassinate President Harry S. Truman. (One of the two was killed, along with a White House police officer.)

In 1952, the United States detonated the first hydrogen bomb, codenamed “Ivy Mike”, on Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

In 1989, East Germany reopened its border with Czechoslovakia, prompting tens of thousands of refugees to flee west.

In 1991, Clarence Thomas took his place as the new Supreme Court justice.

In 1995, the Bosnia peace talks opened in Dayton, Ohio, with leaders from Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia in attendance.

In 2007, less than a week after workers ratified a new contract, Chrysler announced 12,000 job cuts, or about 15% of its workforce.

In 2012, Israel, lifting a nearly 25-year veil of secrecy, admitted killing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s deputy in a 1988 raid in Tunisia. (Khalil al-Wazir, better known by his nom de guerre Abu Jihad, founded Fatah, the dominant faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization.)

In 2017, federal prosecutors brought terrorism charges against the man accused of vandalizing a truck in Manhattan a day earlier that left eight people dead; Prosecutors said Sayfullo Saipov asked to display the Islamic State group’s flag in the hospital room where he was recovering from police gunfire. President Donald Trump has tweeted that the truck attack suspect should be sentenced to death. Inviting celebrations in a city still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, the Houston Astros won their first World Series championship, beating the Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 in Los Angeles.

Last year, the global death toll from COVID-19 topped 5 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. About 9,000 New York City municipal workers have been placed on unpaid leave for refusing to comply with a new COVID-19 vaccination mandate, and thousands of city firefighters have gone on leave. declared ill in apparent protest against the requirement. Real estate scion Robert Durst has been charged with murder in the disappearance of his first wife nearly four decades earlier; he was already serving a life sentence for killing a confidant who helped cover up this murder. (Durst died in January 2022.) At a UN summit in Scotland, President Joe Biden apologized for former President Donald Trump’s decision to quit the Paris climate change accord and for the role that the United States and other rich countries have played in contributing to climate change. change.

BIG Energia Holdings expands its portfolio with wind and solar projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania Mon, 31 Oct 2022 14:12:20 +0000

BIG Energia Holdings has won an international tender for the construction of a combined wind and solar project in Bileća in Bosnia and Herzegovina and has entered into a long-term lease on land in Romania for the construction of a solar power plant.

BIG Energia Holdings, a Hungarian subsidiary of Israel-based BIG Shopping Centers, has been selected in an international tender for a combined wind and solar project in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in partnership with Mega Or Holdings and through from a local business. The power plant is expected to be built on state-owned land near the village of Planik in Bileća.

The future renewable energy facility includes an 80 MW solar farm and a 40 MW wind farm. The cost of development and construction will be around 108 million euros, the company told Balkan Green Energy News. It estimates that gross revenue from electricity sales would reach €14.6 million in the first year of operation after balancing payments to the electricity grid (based on a sale price of €60 per MWh). Total EBITDA is estimated at around 13 million euros per year.

Bileća, located in the eastern region of Herzegovina, is one of the favorite destinations in the country and beyond for solar energy investments.

A new solar project in Romania is worth 26 million euros

In addition, the company announced that its Hungarian subsidiary BIG Energia Holdings entered into a long-term land lease agreement, through a Romanian company it owns, with the aim of building a photovoltaic power plant. The cost of development and construction is estimated at 26 million euros. The contract is for 35 years with an option for an additional 25 years.

The company said gross revenues would reach around 3.5 million euros in the first year of operation after balancing payments to the electricity grid, based on a sale price of 60 euros per MWh. Total EBITDA is estimated at 3 million euros per year.

The solar farm near Roşiori and Troianul in southern Romania will have an estimated installed capacity of 40 MW.

BIG’s Renewable Energy Project Pipeline Reaches 1.4GW

The CEO of the company’s European operations, Yossi Edelstein, said that over the past year it has acquired projects amounting to 500 MW, translating into investments of 520 million euros in total. It manages a total project portfolio of 1.4 GW, reflecting the strategy to invest in green energy companies and become a major and dominant renewable energy player in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Construction of some projects is expected to begin in 2023.

Construction of some of the renewable power plants is expected to begin next year

Management plans to identify additional investment opportunities in the sector in Eastern Europe and the Balkans if they meet the company’s investment criteria.

Environmental policy is at the heart of the company’s DNA

“As an integral part of project development, we conduct environmental studies to the highest international standards, while taking into account all relevant factors and communicating with the local population who live in the area surrounding the projects we are working on. let’s develop. Environmental protection is at the heart of the company’s operations, which promotes green energy activity in the target countries within the framework of a well-defined environmental policy which is a central element of the company’s DNA. ‘company,’ the statement added.

The above information regarding the projects, including project data, signature of license agreement, likelihood of funding close, schedules, costs, revenues and total revenues, are all forward-looking information, as as defined in the Securities Act of 1968. , and only an estimate based on information, estimates and data available to management of the company as of the date of the report, BIG Shopping Centers said.

BIG Shopping Centers is focused on developing, operating and investing in outdoor shopping and lifestyle centers, logistics, offices, and residential and renewable energy.

BIG was established in 1994 by Yehuda Naftali. It is a leading real estate group in Israel, which focuses on the development, operation and investment in shopping and outdoor lifestyle centers, logistics, offices and energies residential and renewable. BIG has been a public company listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange since 2006, with a market capitalization of €3.1 billion as of December 31, 2021.

It is included in the prestigious TA-35 index of 35 leading companies listed on the stock exchange in Israel. BIG is the majority shareholder (approximately 85%) of AFI Properties Ltd. As of January 2021, AFI Properties is a leading entrepreneurial high yield real estate asset company, focusing primarily on the office and residential sectors.

The company operates in Israel, Serbia, Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic. AFI Properties was listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in 2004. Its market capitalization was €2.1 billion as of December 31, 2021.

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How have Arab investments in BiH been challenged? Sat, 29 Oct 2022 06:45:08 +0000

The tourist village of the city of Osenik, located in the HadzIvsi municipality, was called the first Arab town in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

After the published journalists that “Gulf real estate doo hadzIvsi” is among the largest debtors territorially covered by the Sarajevo Regional Center of the Indirect Tax Administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that their debt as of October 18e amounted to 3,549,669.99 BAM, they announced of this company.

In their statement, they accuse the media of bias.

Jhe media which published it, then those which disseminated the incomplete information, did not respect the journalistic principles which require an objective approach. Because they did not contact the GULF REAL ESTATE doo company which would provide relevant information on the subject of their interest.

Driven by the sensational lure of readers’ attention, the media was not guided by professional principles of objective reporting and right of reply, but presented the public with an unfounded media story, questioning Arab investments in BiH.

The published articles highlighted the debt of GULF REAL ESTATE while ignoring the tax debts of other companies, which are several times higher.

The questions are not only addressed to employees of GULF REAL ESTATE, but also to the general public in BiH, why does GULF REAL ESTATE, whose debt is not even legally established, deserve to be the subject of a media campaign? Can and should unconfirmed and unjudged debt be blamed on dishonest Arab investments?

Why is the project of a tourist residential colony constantly presented negatively as an “Arab city” where only Arabs are allowed to enter? However, we know that, since 2015, the Festival of Friendship between the peoples of BiH and the peoples of the Arab countries has traditionally taken place in the still unfinished tourist resort. Everyone is welcome at this festival. Does false and negative highlighting of GULF REAL ESTATE and Arabic business prefix send a message that we are no longer welcome in BiH?

Citizens should seek answers to some of these questions, as part of their democratic right to accurate, objective and fair information. We remind the public in BiH that GULF REAL ESTATE doo is a company that has invested approximatelyimmediately 35 million BAMand this paid millions in taxes.

The most recognizable project is the tourist and residential complex Sarajevo Resort Osenik, which is not yet completely finished, but which has already gained regional recognition.

As a result of the above, it is evident that GULF REAL ESTATE respects and applies the legal standards of BiH. If it’s something that bothers someone, or if there are other intentions in matter, GULF REAL ESTATE will in all cases endeavor to protect its business from unfair media attention by pursuing legal remedies, and will take action as provided by law for causing material and immaterial damages and seek compensation appropriate compensation“,they concluded in the statement.

EU boosts border guard presence along busy Balkan route Wed, 26 Oct 2022 19:39:05 +0000 SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — The European Union on Wednesday signed an agreement with North Macedonia to deploy officers from the Frontex bloc border protection agency to the small Balkan country as it expands its scope in neighboring non-Member States.

The signing ceremony in Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, was attended by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson.

“This agreement is not only very important because it strengthens our cooperation on migration, but also because it shows that… we fully hope that North Macedonia will now move forward on the European path,” von der Leyen said. .

The country has long sought to join the 27-nation bloc and is expected to begin membership talks in July.

Illegal migration along the so-called Western Balkan route, which crosses much of the former Yugoslavia, has steadily increased since 2018. More than 105,000 illegal border crossings from the region into the EU have detected by Frontex between January and September, a sharp increase from the 2021 annual total of almost 62,000.

Frontex already has agreements with the Western Balkan countries Albania, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina – all of which are seeking to join the bloc – but wants to extend its powers there to have a presence in the border areas which are not only contiguous with EU member states.

It has also pledged to provide €350 million to support the fight against illegal immigration in these four partner countries between 2021 and 2024, increasing the amount initially budgeted by 60%.

Von der Leyen, who met with North Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski, also pledged continued EU support to Western Balkan countries to help develop alternatives to natural gas from Russia, a major supplier. regional, adding that the EU was committed to a new round of expansion.

She announced budget support worth €80 million to help North Macedonia cope with the impact of high energy prices on households and businesses, adding that grants of one A total of €500 million would be made available to non-member states in the region to invest in energy connections. , energy efficient infrastructure and renewable energy.

“I am deeply convinced that Europe and the European Union are not complete without North Macedonia,” she said. “We want to have you with us. We are friends, we are partners and one day we will be in one European Union.”

EU officials have not announced details of Frontex’s planned new deployment. Von der Leyen will then travel to Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro.


Gatopoulos brought from Athens, Greece


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Q&A with Oneida County Clerk Candidates Wed, 19 Oct 2022 09:08:51 +0000

Residents will have the option to nominate a new Oneida County Clerk when they vote on Election Day, November 8, or by early voting, available October 29 through November 6.

Mary Finegan, a Republican, and Merima Smajic-Oren, a Democrat, are running for Oneida County Clerk after Sandra J. DePerno officially announced her retirement at the end of 2021. DePerno, whose term expires Dec. 31, was elected in 2006.

Here’s what the candidates had to say about their decisions to run for the job, the biggest issues facing Oneida County, and what they think makes them best suited for the job.

Candidates are listed in alphabetical order and answered the same three questions. Their responses have been edited for clarity and length.

Mary Finegan, Republican

I am the youngest of seven children, born and raised in Oneida County and have always resided there. My father was a WWII veteran and my 95 year old mother remains the backbone of our family. For the past 17 years, I have served as the elected City Clerk of Whitestown, the county’s second most populous city.