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Francesco Martino

Francesco Martino - Journalist

Degree in Media Studies from the University of Trieste. He worked in the field of international cooperation in Kosovo before becoming  a journalist. He has been living and working in Sofia since 2005 and in Bulgaria he has collaborated with various Italian and international media providers. He speaks Bulgarian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene and Macedonian. Based in Sofia, he has been working for Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso since 2006.


Articles by Francesco Martino

China and Central-Eastern Europe, "17+1" at the end of the line?

23/03/2021 -  Francesco Martino

It was created in 2012 to foster economic cooperation between China and Central-Eastern Europe. After the last edition, held online with disappointing results, the "17+1" initiative appears to be in decline, so much so that some analysts openly question its survival

Vaccines and Covid-19: the Western Balkans feel excluded

22/01/2021 -  Francesco Martino

Doubts, controversies, delays. Vaccination campaigns against Covid-19 in the Western Balkans have only started in Serbia and Albania, while the other countries in the area risk dangerous delays, despite some support initiatives promoted by the European Union

"One Coin", story of the cryptocurrency that deceived the world

29/12/2020 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

Bulgarian entrepreneur Ruja Ignatova wanted to "bury BitCoin" and created a new cryptocurrency that was to change the world: "OneCoin". Behind her sparkling dream, however, there was a scam for four billion dollars, which disappeared along with Ignatova herself

Bulgaria, chronicle of a lockdown foretold

09/12/2020 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

After a relatively calm first phase, Bulgaria is now facing a surge in COVID-19 cases, to such an extent that the country now tops both the European and global rankings for covid-related deaths. After controversies and indecision, the government is now set to introduce new measures

Bulgaria – North Macedonia, a short-sighted veto on the road to the EU

25/11/2020 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

With the veto on the opening of negotiations for North Macedonia's accession to the EU, the Bulgarian government plays the nationalist card, above all for contingent reasons of domestic politics. The consequences, however, are likely to be heavy in the medium and long term

#CyprusPapers, if the EU passport is for sale

15/10/2020 -  Francesco Martino

Cyprus has cancelled its controversial "citizenship for investment" programme after an investigation by Aljazeera – called #CyprusPapers – uncovered corruption and irregularities that allowed dozens of suspected or convicted individuals to obtain an EU passport

EU and the Western Balkans, a long engagement

14/10/2020 -  Francesco Martino

Cautious optimism and a new package of economic incentives for the Western Balkans: with the "2020 enlargement package", the EU tries to relaunch the integration of the region, but the prospects remain of slow, never predictable progress

Milo Đukanović: the defeat of the last "king of Montenegro"

03/09/2020 -  Francesco Martino

After thirty years of uncontested rule, with the elections of Sunday 30 August, president of Montenegro Milo Đukanović lost control of the Podgorica parliament. The parable of "King Milo" and the reasons for the historic defeat of a leader as long-lived as controversial

Protests in Bulgaria, the voices from the square

03/08/2020 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

Protests against the Borisov government have been going on for over 20 days in Bulgaria. Our correspondent was at the heart of the demonstrations – in the centre of capital Sofia – to collect the live voices of the protest

Bulgaria, if coronavirus tests freedom of expression

25/03/2020 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

Fines and prison for spreading "false news" about coronavirus, police access to sensitive phone and web traffic data: some norms of the COVID-19 "emergency package" by the Bulgarian government have stirred a debate on freedom and rights in the pandemic