Unemployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has hit a four-year high. The National Statistics Bureau (BHAS) published data on Monday (January 30th) revealing 532,476 people, or 43.5% of the total workforce in the country was unemployed in November last year.
The new Croatian government on Thursday (January 26th) announced a set of measures aimed at boosting the country’s economic recovery. The steps include cutting spending this year by 608m euros, reducing pension taxes and suspending them for two years for any new worker.
Turkey no longer fully supports the Nabucco gas pipeline project, which will transport natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe. Instead, it will focus on its own rival project, the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP), a government official announced on Monday (January 30th). Turkey will continue to be part of the consortium of six countries supporting Nabucco, but its priority will be TANAP, which is being developed jointly with Azerbaijan.
Albania and Montenegro have agreed to build a motorway connecting the cities of Plav and Podgorica in Montenegro, a significant part of which goes through Albania. The deal was inked at a meeting between Montenegrin Prime Minister Igor Luksic and Albanian counterpart Sali Berisha on January 25th.
Bulgarian lawmakers on Friday (January 27th) approved a plan to join the European Financial Stability Pact — an EU agreement introducing stricter rules for debt reduction in an effort to combat the eurozone debt crisis. The green light, however, came under the condition that Sofia will not be obliged to co-ordinate its tax and labour policies with the bloc.
Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and a delegation of businessmen arrived in Turkey on Sunday (January 29th) to present opportunities for investments in the country. The visit, which kicked off from Istanbul, also includes meetings in Izmir and Bursa.
Romania’s economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace in 2011, IMF mission chief to the country Jeffrey Franks said on Monday (January 30th). According to the estimates, GDP grew by about 2.5% last year compared to IMF forecasts of 1.5%.
Albania’s Central Bank cut its key interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to 4.5% on January 25th. The reduction, the second in three months, was prompted by falling inflation and the need to boost local economic activity.