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18-October-2019 19:03 BELGRADE - Investment activity on the Belgrade Stock Exchange (BELEX) was somewhat livelier on the last day of the trading week and both indices nudged up but were marginally down w-o-w. The overall turnover was around 34 mln dinars (288.9 thousand euros). The BELEX15 index gained 0.1 pct, closing at 748.57 points, and BELEXline rose by the same percentage to 1,607.21 points.
18-October-2019 19:00 BELGRADE - A Belgrade Security Forum panel on a transition to a green, more developed Western Balkans on Friday addressed the challenges facing the region in the field of the green economy. Julian Popov from the Brussels-based European Climate Fund said the Western Balkans was rich in renewable energy sources and that the region could be a significant factor in an EU transition concerning the fight against climate change. Vlatka Matkovic-Puljic from the Health and Environment Alliance said pollution in the region did not remain in the Western Balkans but moved on into the EU and elsewhere.
18-October-2019 18:56 BELGRADE - A total 2,136 building permits were issued in Serbia in August 2019, which was a 9.1 pct increase compared to August last year, the national statistical office RZS has said. "The index of the anticipated value of works in August 2019 increased by 124.1 pct relative to August 2018," it said. "Observed by types of constructions, in August 2019, 80.6 pct of building permits related to buildings and 19.4 pct to civil engineering," a statement on the RZS website said.
18-October-2019 18:50 BELGRADE - The number of merchant POS terminals in Serbia was 89,367 at the end of Q2 2019, which is a 12.4 pct rise from 79,486 in the same period of 2018, the NBS has said. "After a little less than a year since the start of implementation of the Law on Multilateral Interchange Fees and Special Operating Rules for Card-Based Payment Transactions, the figures indicate very positive trends in further development and increased efficiency of cashless payments in Serbia. Limiting interchange fees which are an important component of total merchants’ costs of accepting payment transactions - merchant fees, the Law was intended to facilitate merchants to attract new consumers and better position themselves in the market by s.
18-October-2019 18:48 BELGRADE - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Friday spoke with Susanne Schutz, an envoy for southeastern Europe, Turkey and EFTA states at the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a discussion about the regional situation, Vucic said Serbia cared about a solution to the Kosovo-Metohija issue for the sake of its own stability, as well as for the sake of peace in the Western Balkans, but that Pristina had moved the dialogue away from its substance by introducing taxes on Serbian goods and through other unilateral, provocative acts. He cited the most recent example of a media manipulation concerning an alleged poisoning suffered by the ethnic Albanian members of the Kosovo-Metohija electoral commission.
18-October-2019 18:46 BELGRADE - The future of the Western Balkans is in the EU, and the global credibility of the EU is at stake in the enlargement process, according to the conclusions of the 9th Belgrade Security Forum, which closed Friday. "It is in the security, political and economic interest of the EU to integrate the WB into its membership," the conclusions said. "By failing to deliver on its promises once Western Balkans countries deliver historic compromises and necessary reforms, the EU is supporting anti-EU forces promoting nationalism and the unaccountable behavior of political elites.
17-October-2019 21:03 BELGRADE - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Thursday said that, to him, Kosovo is a part of Serbia, but noted that he would not lie to the people and say "everything is ours." "I am not going to lie to the people and say that everything is ours, that it is going to be easy for us and that we should play the heroes. I cannot stand that because such easy solutions usually lead to an abyss. I am telling the people: not everything is ours, but not everything is theirs, either," Vucic told Pink TV. Our job is to try to find compromise, but compromise does not mean losing everything, he said.
17-October-2019 21:01 BELGRADE - Software experts at Namics Serbia have won two major awards at prestigious international IT competitions. Since the agency's coming to Serbia, "our colleagues from the Belgrade office have been regularly winning awards at the largest international and European competitions," says CEO Jan Keller. A Namics Serbia .Net team that designed the website of one of Switzerland's oldest watch and jewellery retailers Bucherer won the Sitecore Experience Award 2019 in the Best Commerce Experience category.
17-October-2019 20:59 BELGRADE - Nearly all countries of the world, including Serbia - which has lost around 6 bln dollars as a result of natural disasters since 2000 - will face serious consequences unless global temperature growth in this century is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as stipulated by the 2015 Paris Agreement, the Belgrade Security Forum was told Thursday.
17-October-2019 20:57 BELGRADE - US State Department official David Kostelancik on Thursday said the US was taking no position on a delineation or partition in Kosovo and that the issue should be resolved by Belgrade and Pristina. Kostelancik was speaking to reporters during a break in the Belgrade Security Forum. When asked if the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue was set to enter a more dynamic phase following the naming of a US presidential envoy for the talks, Kostelancik responded there was a great chance for progress.
17-October-2019 16:36 BELGRADE - Climate change has a negative impact on the national security of countries worldwide, on their economies and on human health, a Belgrade Security Forum panel was told Thursday. Climate change is also inciting migration, the participants said. "Limited access to natural resources, including water, food, energy and raw materials, as well as climate change and a deterioration of the environment, are threatening the stability of some countries and entire regions and directly impacting national security in that regard. Serbia is not and cannot be excluded from such an impact," said Serbian Minister of Environmental Protection Goran Trivan.
17-October-2019 15:27 BELGRADE - The TurkStream pipeline will bring no major changes to the Serbian gas market, says the head of the Energy Community Secretariat, Janez Kopac, urging more competition in the field. "Russian gas is here, Gazprom has a monopoly now, and things will be the same after the construction of TurkStream. So far, gas has been coming via Ukraine, but it will be coming along another route in the future," Kopac told Tanjug at the 9th Belgrade Security Forum Thursday. A Srbijagas monopoly on the energy market is a problem and Serbia should allow third party access to the existing gas pipeline at the interconnection with Hungary at Horgos, he said at a panel titled Climate Security: Adapt, Mitigate, Change.
17-October-2019 14:14 BELGRADE - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Thursday received Slovak FM and OSCE Chairperson-In-Office Miroslav Lajcak. Vucic expressed great concern over developments in northern Kosovo-Metohija, warning that Pristina's unilateral, provocative actions were causing tensions and a deterioration of the security situation. Vucic particularly pointed to manipulations concerning an alleged poisoning suffered exclusively by ethnic Albanians during a vote count in Kosovo-Metohija and called for a comprehensive investigation, the presidential press office said in a statement.
17-October-2019 13:26 BELGRADE - Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia and Montenegro alone are losing 4 bln euros a year as a result of a brain drain that is also faced by some EU member states, a Belgrade Security Forum panel was told late Wednesday. According to the results of a first major research on the issue, conducted by the Institute for Development and Innovation with support from the Westminister Foundation for Democracy, Serbia is losing up to 2 bln euros a year due to youth emigration. The research shows that as much as 78 pct of young people aged 18 to 29 are considering leaving Serbia and that around 49,000 people are leaving the country every year.
17-October-2019 12:48 BELGRADE - Former EU foreign policy and security chief Catherine Ashton, who facilitated the start of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue in 2012, said in Belgrade Thursday the two sides had not been requested to cross their red lines and that the objective had been to at least get their representatives to the same room and the same table.

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