Serbia:  New Head of Security Service Appointed

On 22 May Aleksandar Vucic, President-Elect of Serbia, announced that he was appointing Bratislav Gasic (born 1967) as the new Director of the State Information – BIA.  The announcement has been controversial. Bratislav Gasic was Minister of Defence from April 2014  until February 2016. Gasic was dismissed from this position after he made sexist remarks … Continue reading Serbia:  New Head of Security Service Appointed

Macedonia: A Violent Act in a Long Running Drama  

A Night of Violence: On 27 April MPs from the Alliance of Social Democrats of Macedonia (SDSM) and the parties representing ethnic Albanians in Macedonia voted to elect Talat Xhaferi (born 1962) from the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) as the new Speaker of the Macedonian parliament. Shortly after the vote had been taken around … Continue reading Macedonia: A Violent Act in a Long Running Drama  

Germany: The Rise and Fall of the AfD?

On 19 April 2017 Frauke Petry (born 1975), the co-leader of the right populist Alternative for Germany (AfD), announced that she would not be putting herself forward as the party’s lead candidate Germany’s 24 September parliamentary elections. In spite of this, however, Petry appears set to remain as co-leader of the AfD alongside Jorg Meuthen … Continue reading Germany: The Rise and Fall of the AfD?

Moldova: Key Personality Profile – Vlad Plahotniuc

Vlad Plahotniuc (born 1966) is the current leader of the Democratic Party, and is also Moldova’s preeminent businessman and media owner. His career is illustrative of the relationship between money and power in former Soviet countries, and the dangers of institutional take-over in countries where state structures remain weak. A Communist Businessman: Vlad Plahotniuc forged … Continue reading Moldova: Key Personality Profile – Vlad Plahotniuc