Domestic trouble continues in Greece. For the last week Greek farmers have conducted tractor protests in various parts of the country. On January 26, Greek farmers took a page from the military handbook and blocked roads on the Isthmus of Corinth, effectively stopping traffic flow from northern Greece into the Peloponnesian peninsula. Farmer-led protests are also going on in the north, specifically in Greek Macedonia. The farmers object to low commodity prices (cotton, wheat, etc), but the government lacks the means to change that.
January 27, 2009: Former Serb general Vlastimir Djodjevic went on trial for war crimes. Djodjevic is charged with killing several hundred Kosovar Albanians in 1999 as well as deporting (expelling from their homes) several hundred thousand civilians.
January 19, 2009: The Turkish government acknowledged that it has made joining the European Union a top priority. Well, joining the EU was always a priority, but since formal ascension talks began in 2004 Turkey has been at odds with several western European countries over their failure to act against the PKK and over what Turkey regards as European neglect of the Turkish Cypriot community. However, Cyprus peace talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders are continuing and several European countries have taken actions against PKK political and financing operations. On its part, Turkey has agreed to accelerate political reforms (democratic liberalization). Russias gas pipeline antics with Ukraine also play a role. Turkey is also supporting a new gas pipeline that will bring natural gas supplies from Central Asian countries to western Europe.
January 14, 2009: Bulgarian police fought with 2000 demonstrators in the capital. The demonstrators were protesting governmental corruption and the lack of jobs.
The Greek terror gang Revolutionary Struggle issued a statement claiming that one of its members did wound a Greek policemen in a machinegun attack on January 5.
January 8, 2009: Bulgaria recommended that the decommissioned nuclear reactors at Kozloduy, judged unsafe by the European Union, be put back in operation to cover energy shortages resulting from Russian cutbacks in natural gas shipments.
January 7, 2009: The Turkish government said that another 30 people have been detained in the Ergenekon ultra-nationalist coup investigation
January 5, 2009: The Bulgarian government confirmed that it will increase its forces committed to Afghanistan. Bulgaria currently has 460 troops fighting with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). 116 Bulgarian soldiers continue to perform peacekeeping duties in Bosnia.
A Greek policeman was shot and wounded by far-left extremists using a submachinegun. Police said the weapon used to wound the policeman was used in an attack in April 2007 on a police station in Athens. The far-left terrorist group Revolutionary Struggle took credit for the 2007 attack. Revolutionary Struggle is the new name for the November 17 terror gang. The government is concerned that extremist organizations are trying to use last months demonstrations to reignite Cold War era left-wing organizations and revive domestic terror organizations. There is no question that the Greek public is disgusted with governmental corruption and the declining economy, but it's unclear if there's much enthusiasm for the return of leftist terrorists.