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The Turkish president announces his country’s new investment programme

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's public mandate on the "Investment Programme Preparations for the 2019-2021 Period" was published in the Official Gazette (in Turkey) on Thursday, October 11.

Turkey is ready "to implement a new economic programme" the head of state says in the mandate, in order "to preserve macroeconomic stability, raise production", and improve welfare.

Turkish authorities are looking forward to maintaining price stability "while reducing inflation and to further strengthen fiscal discipline", Erdogan has said.

Anadolu reads: Underscoring that Turkey's main target is save on public expenditures and to decrease inflation, the Erdogan's mandate further noted that "new projects will not be included in the 2019 Investment Program except for the compulsory cases within the scope of savings measures."

Ankara will focus on "efficient use of resources allocated to public investments". The president has added that, "Projects which do not directly serve the urgent needs of our citizens and do not directly serve the added value increase in the economy will not be offered." Thus, he sent the message of a stricter control state mechanism driven by the immediate public financial needs and concentrated on the betterment of the system as a whole, that should be reciprocal and compensatory.

Turkey's Development Bank

This Thursday has already been a "landmark" day in the very recent history of Turkey, since the parliament of the country ratified a bill early this morning that seeks to restructure the Turkish Development Bank.

The new Minister of Finance and Treasury who was currently handed this ministry's portfolio following the recent election (previously, he had served as Turkey's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. He is Erdogan's son-in-law) had inclined the public in the country and abroad towards changes the government was examining in order to strengthen the banking system.

This is the tangible example.

"According to the bill, the Development Fund of Turkey will be established under the bank", Anadolu reads.

The DBoT will fund strategic sectors and plans and developments projects with the intention to beef up and support economic growth and the and manufacturing industry…. / IBNA

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FYROM: Reactions following the voting of the Prespa agreement by parliament

FYROM’s Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev was the first one to congratulate MPs for the voting of the constitutional amendments which give way to the approval of the new country’s name, “Republic of North Macedonia”, based on the Prespa agreement.

“Our journey toward the EU and NATO has just started. We still have a lot of work to do in order to make this journey shorter”, Zaev said.

On the other hand, the leader of the largest party, VMRO-DPMNE, Hristijan Mickoski said that this is the saddest day for the country, while announcing that all the MPs who voted in favour of these amendments were expelled from the party.

Meanwhile, a number of international figures have also praised the parliament’s decision. NATO’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg posted on Twitter that the government and political leaders should finalize this process which guarantees the country’s future in the NATO.

“I welcome the vote by parliament in Skopje on the proposed constitutional changes. It's up to the government and political leaders to complete national procedures on the name agreement and seize this historic opportunity to bring the country into NATO”, Stoltenberg posted on Twitter. /ibna/

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Parliament in FYROM votes in favour of the Prespa agreement

Parliament in FYROM has voted late on Friday the decision to make the necessary constitutional amendments for the implementation of the Prespa agreement. These amendments will enable the country’s name change to “Republic of North Macedonia”, which is part of agreement signed between Skopje and Athens in Prespa in June of this year.

MPs have initially voted electronically, but afterwards, VMRO-DPMNE’s whip insisted that MPs vote individually. In both voting stages, the governing coalition managed to secure 8 extra votes from VMRO-DPMNE in opposition, taking the total number of votes in favour of the agreement to 80. PM Zoran Zaev and Foreign minister Nikola Dimitrov were also present in this parliamentary sitting. /ibna/

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The Assembly said YES to the constitutional changes to name Macedonia’s North

A majority vote of 80 MPs has approved the decision to open the constitution for constitutional amendments to the name under the Prespa Agreement.

These changes will enable the country's name change in the Republic of North Macedonia in accordance with the Prespa Agreement reached between Skopje and Athens.

Initially, it was voted through the electronic system, and with the insistence of the VMRO-DPMNE parliamentary group leader, the deputies voted separately.

In the two voting phases, 80 required votes of the ruling coalition, the Albanian opposition parties, and the votes of 8 deputies of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE coalition were secured. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov also attended the session./IBNA

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Tsipras, Draghi and the reason behind their meeting

The meeting of Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras with the head of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi in Brussels could be nothing but accidental during the first summit, in the European capital.

Surely, there have been positive signals about the good course of the Greek economy, however, there is an issue that remains thorny for Athens and is related to the preparation of the next issue of a bond, which is scheduled for the beginning of the new year.

And why would Mario Draghi could have a say in this….

At the moment, all four Greek systemic banks (National, Eurobank, Piraeus and Alpha Bank) have in their portfolios approximately 7.5 billion euros in Greek government securities. But the ECB does not give the "green light" for their increase.

The above came into force in February 2015 during the time Yannis Varoufakis was at the helm of the Finance ministry, when Frankfurt expressed its concern that the Finance Ministry could filled banks with treasury bills and bonds in order to solve the liquidity problem of the state. This seems of no usefulness today.

As this restriction is lifted, players in the domestic securities market will become more and bond yields will fall to manageable levels, as the 10-year yield is currently close to 4.5%.

Therefore, the Greek side has well founded reasons to wish to see Draghi's stance changed…. / IBNA

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The frozen conflict between Serbia and Kosovo poses a “stability risk”

Washington appeals on both Belgrade and Pristina to use a "historic opportunity" and reach an agreement which would be a win-win solution, said Matthew Palmer, deputy assistant of the American secretary of state. Palmer spoke during the Belgrade Security Forum today. He has also met President Aleksandar Vucic.

"If somebody wins, and the other side loses, then nobody wins", Palmer said at the panel "Building on momentum in the Balkans".

The American official said that his country does not "push" towards any specific result of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. "We do encourage both sides to find way forward as well as durable and sustainable solution", Palmer said.

The solution must be acceptable for the both sides, he went on. Washington is ready to "hear and assist", Palmer said, adding, however, that he cannot talk about details, especially on a possible swap of the territories.

Palmer explained that no plan of the territory swap has been presented so far. Although the United States do understand concerns that the territory swap could provoke a crisis in the other parts of the region, an unresolved dispute or "frozen conflict" could also "pose a risk for the regional stability", Palmer said.

He underlined that Serbia and Kosovo have a "European future" and that they both need assistance in that regard.

Palmer also referred to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. If Skopje wants to join both European Union and NATO, then the Prespa Agreement has no alternative, he emphasised. Palmer appealed on political leaders in Skopje to overcome parties' divisions for the sake of a "European future".

Referring to Bosnia, Palmer said that the "biggest problem" of that country are its "corrupt politicians who use a nationalistic rhetoric to create divisions". He added that the United States are "committed" to Bosnia's territorial integrity.

The "United States want to help everybody. Stronger Western Balkans means a stronger Europe and a stronger Trans-Atlantic partnership", the American diplomat concluded…. / IBNA

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