Mitsotakis: EU Should Commit to Accession Prospects of W. Balkan Nations

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia —Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis urged the EU to speed up the debate on European strategic autonomy, and to make clear commitments on the accession prospects of western Balkan countries, speaking from Slovenia on Tuesday.

At doorstep statements upon his arrival at the European People's Party conference, the Greek premier underlined that it has been 18 years since the EU-Western Balkans Summit held in Thessaloniki in 2003, which he said "opened the European gates to western Balkan countries for the first time."

"Time is running out," he stressed further, "and if the European Union is absent from this region, there is no doubt that others will rush to fill the void."

Mitsotakis is in Slovenia to also attend the informal European Council meeting and the EU-Western Balkans summit taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, in Brdo.

Among other things, he will also brief his European counterparts on the Greek-French strategic agreement recently signed in Paris.

Police fired tear gas and water cannons at anti-government protesters in Slovenia’s capital on Tuesday, the eve of a major European Union summit.

Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters were opposed to the government’s tough anti-coronavirus measures in the small EU nation and this was the third such incident in Ljubljana within a month.

EU leaders have been gathering for a summit with Balkan officials on how to keep engaging with their Western Balkans neighbors. The 27-nation bloc’s once-successful enlargement policy faces an impasse.

The protest isn't directly linked with the EU summit, but protest leaders apparently sought the opportunity to get more media attention from reporters covering the event.

Slovenian police have placed checkpoints and limited traffic and movement in Ljubljana and at the venue where Wednesday's summit will take place a few miles away from the capital.

A leader of the protest has reportedly been detained and police stopped about 30 buses from bringing in the protesters from other Slovenian cities.

A police helicopter hovered over the capital’s downtown as police fired tear gas and water cannons as protesters tried to march through downtown Ljubljana.

Slovenian authorities have introduced tough requirements for the use of COVID-19 passes, including for going to work in all state-run firms. People must show that they are either fully vaccinated or that they have taken an expensive PCR test.

The protesters carried banners reading “Stop Corona Fascism” and demanded equal rights for both those who are vaccinated and those who are not.

Like much of Central and Eastern Europe, Slovenia in recent weeks has seen a rise in new coronavirus infections. The country of 2 million people has fully vaccinated nearly 48% of its population, a smaller share than in many other EU nations.

Slovenia currently chairs the EU presidency.


ATHENS - "We want to change our country and our compatriots everyday life and if this remain our target we will succeed" main opposition SYRIZA leader Stefanos Kasselakis addressing his party's Central Committee meeting on Saturday.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.


From Urchin Crushing to Lab-Grown Kelp, Efforts to Save California’s Kelp Forests Show Promise

CASPAR BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A welding hammer strapped to her wrist, Joy Hollenback slipped on blue fins and swam into the churning, chilly Pacific surf one fall morning to do her part to save Northern California's vanishing kelp forests.

NEW YORK – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on December 8 announced the formation of the Advisory Committee on Mission Fulfillment for St.

LONDON (AP) — Mohamed Salah scored his 200th Liverpool goal on Saturday as Jurgen Klopp’s team came from behind to beat 10-man Crystal Palace 2-1 in the Premier League.

ROME (AP) — A fire broke out in a hospital on Rome's outskirts, killing at least three people and forcing the overnight evacuation of the smoke-filled facility and its nearly 200 patients, officials said Saturday.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States vetoed a United Nations resolution Friday backed by almost all other Security Council members and dozens of other nations demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.