Trade war between Croatia and the Western Balkans

Zagreb, Croatia [(Mick Baker)rooster, CC BY-ND]

Slovak farmers complain about heat waves

Estonian entrepreneurs disappointed with the government

Croatia

After Croatia raised 22 times fruit and vegetable import fee for 168 non-EU countries to “improve the quality of the imports”, the country’s closest neighbors Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Macedonia informed they have to respond with their own measures that would “counter Croatia’s decision”. The four countries of the Western Balkans demand that Croatia revoke the decision.

As Serbia Monitor reports, Croatia tries to work out a solution with the EU officials. A the spokesman for the European Commission (EC) Carlos Martinez reassures, the EC was in contact with the governments of the “countries affected”. It will be verified whether the measures introduced by Croatia are “in line with its obligations”. The sources of the Serbian Monitor claim that if trade dispute would not be resolved through negotiations, the EC will consider “various mechanisms under the Stabilization and Association Agreement”.

After introducing new measures, a sanitary inspection certificate for fruits and vegetables costs EUR270 (the previous price was EUR12).

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Slovakia

Slovak Spectator reports about problems of Slovak farmers due to the climate change and the heat waves affecting crops and animals. in August 2017 temperatures hit 37 Celsius degrees. The portal points out that in 2015 similar problems occurred. Slovak agriculture sector seems to be taken aback by extreme droughts. It needs urgent complex changes and water management.

Hydration is the major challenge.  As the data from the Slovak Agriculture and Food Chamber (SPPK) show, there are 440 irrigation systems in the country. Currently, Slovak farmers rent about 170 of them. The overall irrigation equipment that could irrigate 150,000 hectares, enables irrigation of only 60,000 hectares. Most of the systems need to be modernized.

Slovak Spectator quotes climatologist Jozef Pecho from the Slovak Hydro-Meteorological Institute (SHMÚ) saying in the Denník N daily: “I see the lack of suitable utility water as the biggest danger both in the short and long-term, mainly in some regions of southern and eastern Slovakia”.

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Estonia

Estonian businessmen are not so happy with the government. As the data from the Estonian Employers’ Confederation show, in Q2’2017 66 per cent of them considered government’s actions to have negative impact on the business environment. The number of those that are disappointed grows. In Q1’2017 50 per cent of the respondents had the same opinion. And in Q2’2016 only 35 per cent of them expressed their frustration over the cabinet’s policy. Err.ee points out also the confidence of entrepreneurs deteriorate.

According to Estonian entrepreneurs the worst are:

  • new tax package introduced in Q2’2017 (there are also updates that will enter into force on January 1st, 2018, and a new tax that will restrict tax free transfer of profits earned in the country to the other countries);
  • the annual migration quota (the number of working age individuals drops by 6,000 people every year, and Estonian businessmen claim that government is not dealing with this problem).

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What’s up in indexes

BET (of Bucharest) decreased from 8,454.63 index points Tuesday, August 8th to 8,399.24 index points Wednesday, August 9th. It’s down 0.66 per cent d/d and up 21.97 per cent y/y.

BUX (of Budapest) decreased from 36,771.27 index points Tuesday, August 8th to 36,578.47 index points Wednesday, August 9th. It’s down 0.52 per cent d/d and up 32.56 per cent y/y.

CROBEX (of Zagreb) increased from 1,890.40 index points Tuesday, August 8th to 1,892.34 index points Wednesday, August 9th. It’s up 0.10 per cent and up 6.01 per cent y/y.

OMXR (of Riga) increased from 1,000.93 index points Tuesday, August 8th to 1,006.24 index points Wednesday, August 9th. It’s up 0.53 per cent d/d and up 58.48 per cent y/y.

OMXT (of Tallinn) decreased from 1,244.23 index points Tuesday, August 8th to 1,243.58 It’s down 0.05 per cent d/d and up 22.86 per cent y/y.

OMXV (of Vilnius) increased from 643.86 index points Tuesday, August 8th to 648.68 index points Wednesday, August 9th. It’s up 0.75 per cent d/d and up 20.56 per cent y/y.

PX (of Prague) decreased from 1,043.57 index points Tuesday, August 8th to 1,029.87 index points Wednesday, August 9th. It’s down 1.31 per cent d/d and up 20.20 per cent y/y.

SAX (of Bratislava) closed at 335.43 index points Wednesday, August 9th. It’s the same result as Tuesday’s. It’s zero per cent change d/d and up 5.72 per cent y/y.

SOFIX (of Sofia) increased from 725.79 index points Tuesday, August 8th to 727.06 index points Wednesday, August 9th. It’s up 0.17 per cent d/d and up 59.12 per cent y/y.

UX (of Kyiv) decreased from 1,142.11 index points Tuesday, August 8th to 1,133.34 index points Wednesday, August 9th. It’s down 0.77 per cent d/d and up 60.59 per cent y/y.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) decreased from 2,425.02 index points Tuesday, August 8th to 2,408.11 index points Wednesday, August 9th. It’s down 0.70 per cent d/d and up 30.37 per cent y/y.