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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel shakes hands with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic before their meeting in Belgrade, Serbia July 9, 2015

    Merkel Wants to Speed Serbian, Albanian Accession to EU to Counter Russia

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    Commenting on Chancellor Angela Merkel's tour of the Balkans, business newspaper Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (DWN) lamented that despite the serious problems faced by the European Union over Greece, Merkel is sticking to promises of EU membership for Serbia and Albania, "in order to prevent them from coming under the influence of Russia."

    "As if the EU did not have enough problems, Angela Merkel made promises for Albania and Serbia's accession to the EU," the newspaper noted on Thursday, on the eve of the wrap-up of the Chancellor's tour of Albania, Serbia and Bosnia. 

    On Wednesday in Tirana, Albania, Merkel promised that there would be no artificial delays in the Albanian and Serbian drive for membership in the supranational bloc. "I can tell you, nothing will be artificially delayed. There won't be any difficulties constructed," Merkel noted, adding that the countries' EU entry is related to the union's credibility.

    DWN argues that the Chancellor's growing attention toward the Balkan region can be explained by the fact that "countries such as Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are trying to gain influence in the region."

    The newspaper is wary of Merkel's promises, noting that "experience shows that the inclusion of new countries into the European Union for geopolitical reasons often comes at a tremendous cost: Greece also became a member of the EU at the insistence of the United States. The experience has not turned out particularly favorably." 

    DWN noted that as with the case of Greece prior to its entry, accounting of the statistical data provided by Serbia and Albania remains poor, and both countries are still very far from reaching EU standards in a number of areas. The paper also warned that regional corruption threatens to turn EU projects into a financial black hole. 

    In addition to Greece, other Balkan nations to have been granted EU membership include Slovenia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. Serbia and Albania are presently candidates for membership, but accession talks have not yet begun. German media reporting on the Chancellor's visit to the region have noted that apart from economic issues, the two countries also have problems of ethnic strife and territorial conflicts, which could hamper their ambitions to join the EU. In Serbia's case, this includes the continuing refusal to accept the independence of its southern region of Kosovo, which broke off and was given recognition by Western countries following a NATO bombing campaign in 1999.

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    Tags:
    promises, influence, EU membership, official visit, visit, geopolitics, European Union, Angela Merkel, Germany, Russia, Albania, Serbia
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    • bobbibrestel
      "Ascending" to the world of hoodlum rigged markets and proven political failure.

      Very much a step down.
    • danielmartin516
      Thanks but no thanks, we will rather join the Eurasian Union and have closer ties whit our traditional allie Russia and the BRICS countries, then the fascist EU-topia!
    • Baybars
      Albania?! Serbia? If you live in one of those countries, please don't take offence at my suprise but I get the same feeling about you two joining as I did/do about the Ukraine joining, which is confusion.

      You see, it takes money and established industrial infrastructure to join the European Economic Union, something which Greece lacked but lied about to join the E.U. and you know what the situation is there. Ukraine was going to be dragged into the E.U. but they lacked sufficient money and modern infrastructure which meant they would end up like Greece. Too bad Yanukovich wasn't strong enough to fend off Victoria Nuland and the U.S. subversion of the government and population...too bad the average Ukrainian was not better educated in world affairs to see what cost E.U. membership really carries.

      Now the two poorest countries, countries which have no money and no industrial infrastructure what so ever are going to be dragged into the E.U. to become the new Greece-ers, or if recent history is anything to go by, new Ukrainers. God help the people of Albania and Serbia now, because they will become the next Ukrainians.
    • bielec
      Merkel is trying to sabotage Russia's project of delivering natural gas to Europe through Turkey and Greece. Bulgaria is already under EU control. Controlling Serbia and Albania will further narrow the gap.
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