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Deadly fall costs two workers their lives at the Belgrade Waterfront construction site

The two workers, age of 25 and 47, died after falling from the 22nd floor of the building under construction within Belgrade Waterfront complex. At the same time, one worker died at the construction site in Lucani, south-west of Belgrade.

Reporters have not been allowed to access Belgrade Waterfront today.

After one worker has died in a building under construction in Belgrade at the end of August, the government has ordered inspection of all construction sites.

The access to reporters has been denied by the security staff; the reason was, as they explained, the fact that Belgrade Waterfront is “private property”. Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) has condemned the move demanding from authorities to declare who has ordered it.

Belgrade Waterfront is the luxurious business lots and living condos project initiated in 2014 by the Serbian government and the Abu Dhabi-based Eagle Hills company. Government and Belgrade City officials have visited the construction site many times. However, none of them commented today’s accident.

“That is interesting. Now, when the media need to report about the accident in the Belgrade Waterfront, it is “private property”. But when every cornerstone at the opening ceremony had to be photographed, it was "a project of strategic and national importance", tweeted the opposition member of parliament, Djordje Vukadinovic.

If Belgrade Waterfront is private property, then what was the complete leadership of the country, headed by president Aleksandar Vucic, were doing there “during the first tenants’ ceremonial moving in”, Vukadinovic added.

He recalled that “half of the city is being moved and destroyed” due to the Belgrade Waterfront construction. The main railway station is closed after it has been operating for 133 years; international departures have been transferred to the station in Belgrade’s periphery. The main bus station will also be moved. “Why are two stations being moved due to private property?”, Vukadinovic wondered./IBNA

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New EBRD loan in energy area

People and businesses in the Republika Srpska will benefit from a more reliable power supply and improved energy efficiency thanks to a loan provided by the EBRD with the support of Taiwan ICDF.

The EBRD issued the press release saying that the loan of €15 million will finance the reconstruction of the medium and low-voltage power network in Elektro Bijelijina’s distribution area, as well as the installation of smart meters. Losses in the distribution of power and high consumption due to outdated and inaccurate meters, EBRD stress, are major contributors to the high-energy intensity in BiH, which causes additional costs to consumers.

“Investing in a more modern, efficient and flexible power distribution network will promote improved efficiency through reduced power losses and greater awareness of energy consumption patterns. It will also facilitate the penetration of higher levels of distributed renewable energy”, EBRD says.

Head of the EBRD Office in BiH, Jan Brown, said that the loan would be used to finance the reconstruction of the distribution network and the supply of meters, saying it will provide a reduction in distributive losses to a technical minimum of 6.5 percent, which is standard in Western Europe. The financing is provided as a loan to ZEDP Elektro – Bijeljina A. D. Bijeljina, the entity-owned power distribution company in RS. Up to €7.5 million of the loan will be provided by the Green Energy Special Fund, established and administered by the EBRD with the contribution of TaiwanI CDF. Previously, the EBRD also provided a loan to ZP Elektrokrajina A.D. Banja Luka for a similar purpose.

RS Minister of energy, industry and mining, Petar Đokić, said after the contract signing ceremony in Bijeljina that in this way RS rises the total value of energy system, strengthening its capacities, improving the function and doing all of this in favour of quality supply of all consumers with electricity.

"Implementation of this project will contribute to the improvement of key parameters, such as the reduction of distribution losses, through the reconstruction of low voltage and medium voltage installations and replacement of the meter to the consumer", Dokić said.

EBRD added that supporting energy saving and improved energy efficiency, as well as promoting sustainable sources of energy is a key activity of the Bank.

“Last year alone, the Bank committed 43 per cent of its €9.7 billion in new investments under its Green Economy Transition (GET) approach. The Bank is a major investor in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since the beginning of its operations in the country the EBRD has invested €2.1 billion in around 150 projects”, EBRD concludes./IBNA

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Tsakalotos raised the issue of pensions cuts to Scholz

The issue of the abolition of the pension cuts measure raised to his German counterpart, Greek Finance Minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, calling for the dialogue to be concluded as soon as possible, not only for the 2019 fiscal space, but until 2022.

Mr Tsakalotos defended the government's position, arguing that the surpluses would exceed 3.5% in 2019, but in the next three years as well, to convince Scholz and Moscovici, with whom he met today on the sidelines of the ministerial network meeting Of Economic Affairs of the European Socialist Party (PES Ecofin Ministerial Network).

During the meeting, he expressed the view of the Greek government that based on the latest data, there is a budgetary space beyond the target of 3.5%, both for the year 2019 as well as for the following years, the exact size of which is discussed and will continue to be discussed with the institutions. He also expressed the view that it would be a good idea to start a debate on how best to make the best use of this space, not only for 2019 but also for the years up to 2022.

However, the issue of pensions is unlikely to close in the Eurogroup on November 5, but on the one in December 3, 2018, on technical grounds, as the financial data are not sufficient to draw clear conclusions. The government's next goal is to postpone the measure of pension cuts and re-examine it in the first quarter of 2019./IBNA

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Albania with the highest number of convicts in the region

Albania has the highest number of convicts per 100 thousand residents among Western Balkan countries.

This is suggested by the latest figures published by World Prison Brief.

According to the report, in the list of Western Balkans countries, Albania is followed by Montenegro with 174 convicts per 100 thousand residents. Serbia comes third with 174 convicts per 100 thousand residents, while FYROM ranks fourth with 134 convicts per 100 thousand convicts.

Meanwhile, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina have the lowest number of convicts per 100 thousand residents with 106 and 73 respectively.

The US has the highest number of convicts in the world with 655 convicts per 100 thousand residents. Latin America countries also have a high number of convicts with Brazil leading the list with 323 convicts per 100 thousand residents. /ibna/

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Albanian president receives US State Department official Elisabeth Millard

President of Albania, Ilir Meta received today in a meeting the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the State Department's Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Elisabeth Millard.

During this meeting, the pair discussed the importance of the reforms for the rule of law and European integration.

President Meta assured Mrs. Millard that Albania is determined in delivering its obligations set out in the Strategic Partnership document between Albania and the US.

The meeting also discussed the developments in Western Balkan region. President Meta stressed the importance of the finalization of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia through an agreement which guarantees European perspective.

The pair also underlined the important of a successful referendum in neighbouring FYROM considering it as crucial for the European future of the entire region. /ibna/

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Germany reiterates its support for the integration of Albania

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ditmir Bushati received Germany’s Foreign minister, Heiko Maas who arrived in an official visit to Tirana.

Minister Maas’ visit coincides with the 31st anniversary of the signature of the Economic Cooperation for Development Protocol between the two countries.

Minister Bushati praised the excellent relations that exist between Germany and Albania and thanked the German minister for the great support offered by the German government in the difficult process of the implementation of reforms for more democracy, rule of law and good governance.

On his part, the German minister praised the efforts made by the Albanian government for the reforms about the country’s European integration, stressing that Germany will continue to offer its support for Albania in this path.

At the end of the meeting, the two ministers delivered a joint news conference. /ibna/

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