On today’s episode, we talk mostly about the various mass protest movements happening in Albania, Serbia and Montenegro as well as smaller things kicking off in Ukraine and Croatia. Also, cheer up Guy!

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Nonsense Section

ALDE Drama

Macron rules out en Marche being a formal part of ALDE if they keep getting money from shady multinationals (www.euronews.com )

ALDE, and they’re all powerful leader Guy are concerned (alarmed) by their Estonian party’s talks with EKRE euobserver.com

Naftogaz (Ukraine national gas company) is running anti Gazprom ads on politico podcasts

Peoples vote march has money for adverts in Westminster tube


Topic 1

It’s still kicking off

##Montenegro’s “Odupri se!” [Resist!]

The Montenegrin protestors are demanding the resignations of President Milo Đukanović, his prime minister Duško Marković, the Supreme State Prosecutor Ivica Stanković, and the Montenegrin chief prosecutor for organized crime, Milivoje Katnić. This is due to allegations of abuse of office, graft and cronyism. Djukanovic, 57, has ruled the tiny Adriatic country for three decades, serving either as prime minister or president. Members of the protest openly call him a dictator

This is the fifth demonstration in 2 months in Podgorica, the first lasted 4 weeks (basically all of February).

Civic activists and journalists, who say they are not affiliated with political parties, marched through the centre of the city chanting “Milo thief” and “We are the state.” Opposition parties are encouraged to stay away from the protests.

The protests started after Dusko Knezevic, a businessman and a former ally of Đukanović, accused the country’s long-serving president and his Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) of abuse of office and murky financial deals. Montenegrin prosecutors accused Knezevic of fraud and money laundering and issued an international arrest for the fugitive banker who fled to Britain. Knezevic has said he will produce more evidence about alleged high-level corruption by Đukanović and his allies. A video clip from 2016 aired in January showed Dusko Knezevic, chairman of the Montenegro-based Atlas Group, appearing to hand the then mayor of Podgorica, Slavoljub Stijepovic, an envelope containing what Knezevic later said was $100,000, to fund a DPS election campaign. ____

www.reuters.com

www.euronews.com

balkaninsight.com

##Serbia’s “1 of 5 Million”

The demonstrations in Serbia have lasted for three months, urging more democracy in the Balkan country that is firmly under control of the autocratic rule of President Aleksandar Vucic and his ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS).

The protests started last December after assailants beat up an opposition politician. Opponents have accused Vucic’s government of fostering hate speech and divisions while curbing democratic freedoms.

Demonstrators carried a banner reading “1 of 5 Million” after Vucic previously argued that he would not give in to criticism even if five million people objected.

TV BUILDING

Several thousand people have surrounded Serbia’s state TV building on Saturday 9th of March. The crowd booed and jeered for one hour Saturday outside the TV building in central Belgrade to express their discontent with what they say is the station’s biased reporting. On Saturday 16th of March they burst into state-run TV headquarters in Belgrade on Saturday to denounce a broadcaster whose reporting they consider highly biased.

Riot police arrived at the scene in the Serbian capital and tried to evict hundreds of people, including some opposition leaders. Some protest leaders said they won’t leave until they are given time on the main evening news. Thousands of opposition supporters who gathered in front of the building chanted to the police officers: “shame on you, arrest Vucic!”

Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin told the pro-government Pink TV that the protesters are “fascists” who should be severely punished. Vucic has made “defend the country’s law and order” style comments on Sunday.

HUMAN CHAIN

Skirmishes with riot police were reported over the weekend, including officers firing tear gas against the protesters who sought to form a human chain around the presidency to prevent Vucic from leaving the building.

Pink TV showed a photo of Vucic playing chess with the interior minister apparently inside the presidency. Vucic posted a video message on Instagram, saying “I’m here and I won’t move from a place they want to occupy.”

Later, he was seen leaving the building as most of the protesters dispersed from the scene.

“They (protesters) have no power, can do nothing … as you can see, they have no courage, no courage for anything,” Vucic said as he got into his car. “Nothing will come of it, nothing.” During his televised address, Vucic repeatedly branded opposition leaders as “fascists, hooligans and thieves.”

JusticeForMarija.

It started at the job interview when Marija Lukic’s boss locked the office door and tried to kiss her. He later promised it won’t happen again. But it did, over and over, until she decided it has to stop. Lukic says she has had as many as 15,000 phone messages to prove the harassment. For daring to speak out about her experiences, the 30-year-old mother of two has become a hero for many women in Serbia but also has received threats from both strangers and the accused. She’s spoken at the anti-government protests a couple of times now.


apnews.com

apnews.com

www.euronews.com

apnews.com

##Ukraine Far-Right Protests

CHERKASY

Ukrainian police said 15 officers were injured Saturday 9th of March in a clash with far-right demonstrators who disrupted a campaign appearance of President Petro Poroshenko. The clash took place in the city of Cherkasy, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) southeast of the capital Kiev. Several dozen members of the National Corps (in favour of the Intermarium, more prez powers and the right to bear arms) party tried to rush onto the stage where Poroshenko was speaking and tried to block his motorcade. Police fired tear gas to disperse them.

KIEV

Earlier on the same Saturday, police officers were injured in a clash with far-right demonstrators in Kiev. The violence occurred outside the presidential administration building in Kiev where several hundred demonstrators had gathered to call for arrests of top figures in an alleged military corruption scandal.

A media investigation last week detailed alleged embezzlement schemes in Ukraine’s military industry, including at a factory controlled by Poroshenko.

POLTAVA

Police in the Ukrainian city of Poltava have arrested 10 people as nationalist demonstrators attempted to interrupt a campaign appearance by President Petro Poroshenko. Police said the demonstrators aggressively tried to provoke a conflict with officers at the event Saturday in the city 350 kilometers (210 miles) east of Kiev, the capital.

In the capital, about 3,000 nationalists demonstrated outside the presidential administration building, demanding arrests in an alleged embezzlement scheme in Ukraine’s defense industries that allegedly involves figures close to Poroshenko and a factory controlled by him. Some of the demonstrators threw toy pigs, symbolizing corruption.


apnews.com

apnews.com

##Croatian YTOMWWGUJ Protests

Several hundred Croatian journalists have rallied in the capital Zagreb against what they say is pressure on journalists and curbing of media freedoms in the European Union country.

The gathering on Saturday dubbed “You took over media, we won’t give up journalism,” was organized by the Croatian Journalists’ Association in protest over more than 1,100 lawsuits filed against journalists in the country.

The issue came into focus after Croatia’s public broadcaster, HRT, filed more than 30 lawsuits against its own and other journalists, including Zovko who complained of censorship.


apnews.com

www.euronews.com

##Albania Protests

Student Protests

The 2018–19 student protests in Albania are a series of street protests, demonstrations and online activism events held by the students of the public universities from December 4th 2018 until February 2019, to oppose the high tuition rates. Students across Albania rallied against the moves that were made by the Albanian government to increase the cost of university education, by introducing new fees for exams. The fee comes on top of the dramatically risen university fees, which have failed to lead to any improvement in public education.

What didn’t help these protests go away was the reveal halfway through that found that many in government and senior faculty in universities in Albania had “fake” PhDs and degrees. This included the Deputy Education minister, Ervin Demo, and current minister of Social Health and Protection Ogerta Manastirliu (and many others).

Fees were cut and government backed monthly fee paying schemes were introduced but many facility/quality improvement related demands were not answered.

ANTI-GOV PROTESTS Albanian opposition supporters clashed with police while trying to storm the parliament building Saturday 17th of March to protest the government, which they accuse of being corrupt and linked to organized crime.

PM Edi Rama called the protest “immature” and says it hampers chances of negotiating membership with the EU.

Protesters, led by Democratic leader Lulzim Basha (who’s engaged in Soros conspiracy thinking before), then walked to the parliament building and tried to break through police lines while throwing smoke bombs and other objects. Police dispersed them with tear gas and water cannons. Police said three officers and some demonstrators were injured.

The opposition, whose lawmakers have relinquished their seats in parliament, declines to speak with Rama. They are calling for an early election and a special caretaking cabinet. Edi Rama’s Socialist Party has 74 out of 140 seats in parl.

EU and US have asked the opposition not to incite violence and to sit down with Rama. __ en.wikipedia.org

apnews.com