In news from Skopje, Macedonia’s left-wing government renames Alexander the Great Airport to Skopje International in order to quell tensions with Greece.
European Commission officials are mulling over whether or not to temporarily suspend American and Canadian citizens’ right to enter EU states without a visa. In possible move to force the two North American countries to offer reciprocity for EU states; Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and two other EU member states, the commission entered into debate to move forward the stalled talks on the subject.
According to news from the Bank of Greece, receipts from travel in January decreased by 4.7% year on year, corresponding to a decline in arrivals of 7.8%. Currently Greece’s deficit is at €742 million, up some €461 million euro from the same time last year. The news comes at the worst possible time as economic and political pressures mount in the region.
The UK and other governments have issued a travel advisory for citizens traveling throughout Europe in the wake of the Brussels bombings. Explosions at Zaventem International Airport today, 22 March, 2016, accompanied by another blast at Maalbeek station in central Brussels, have caused fairly major travel disruptions and concern.
According to news from various sources, the 26-country Schengen area could suffer a huge blow to its tourism sector stemming from the migrant crisis. Border formalities once eliminated to facilitate ease of travel, may soon be re-instituted if the crisis persists. Some experts fear, if the Schengen zone goes, the EU won’t be far behind.
Belarus and Slovenia have begun talks to establish a Minsk-Ljubljana air service. The topic, raised in the 4th session of the Belarusian-Slovenian intergovernmental commission on trade, economic and sci-tech cooperation, could mean a bilateral agreement soon.
As the tensions in between Russia and western powers continue, news of another Russian tour operator supending operation does not ring a positive note for Europe travel in general. According to ITAR-TASS, some 4,000 plus customers of Russia’s bankrupt Yuzny Krest Travel tour operation, who are vacationing overseas, my need assistance returning home.
The “boomerang effect” of US and EU sanctions Russian President Vladimir Putin foretold of may be about to hit Europe travel businesses hard. The newly launched Russian low-cost Russian airline, has been forced to suspend its operations after the European Union (EU) sanctioned the airline over the Ukraine crisis.
The EU this week announced a pilot program, New Business Avenues into Southeast Asia for European SMEs in the Southeast Asian region via a hub in Singapore. According to the SingaporeCompanyIncorporation.sg, a leading Singapore incorporation portal, the new office hub there in Singapore makes strategic sense.
The Ukraine unrest unfolding, US and NATO versus Russia challenges and sanctions, threaten to unravel any hope of continued EU economic recovery. This, according to an ITAR-TASS report, must be weighed against European Commission contentions. Whatever the case for western EU nations, tourism and other sectors in eastern Europe will certainly be stifled.
The crisis in Ukraine now threatens western Balkans nations like Albania with further stalled economies and more. Even despite the recent announcement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Urban Development and Tourism of Albania to commit to working together to promote tourism in Albania, the gridlocked detentes in between the US, EU, Britain, and Russia over Ukraine may well spell disaster for all Balkan’s travel.
On Tuesday Croatia Airlines management and the CA pilots’ union mutually agreed on a collective agreement dispute we previously reported on. While pilots may now go back to flying, the airline authorities and flight attendants still are at odds over their issues. The bottom line is, Croatia Airlines has fliers now, but no support on board for passengers, planes will probably remain grounded.
Croatian Culture Week opened up last Saturday, and is scheduled to run through this coming Sunday in Darmastadt, Germany. To mark the forthcoming entry by Croatia into the EU, the German city is previewing Croatia’s music and arts to the local German citizenry.
This Saturday the Festival of Europe begins in Brussels and Luxembourg and to commemorate the fest the European Parliament and other EU institutions will be open to the public. For those interested in witnessing how the Parliament works, this is a unique opportunity for a hands-on experience.
According to a story from Vestnik Kavkaza, the European Union and Georgia will sign an early agreement to start the process of Georgia’s associate membership in November. With pressing tensions all around though, November seems far off where good relations between European countries is concerned.