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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

Bulgaria, the state sentenced to compensate Turkish journalist

05/08/2021 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

The European Court of Human Rights condemned Bulgaria for the 2016 extradition of a Turkish journalist, hastily handed over to the Turkish authorities who accused him of being part of the Fehtullah Gülen movement, in violation of national and international rules

North Macedonia, Europe is more than a football field

01/07/2021 -  Francesco Martino

North Macedonia is now fully part of Europe only in football. The country is condemned to a long wait which highlights all the contradictions of the EU enlargement strategy to the Western Balkans. A comment

Bulgaria, dismantling the "Borisov system"

09/06/2021 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

Bulgaria is approaching new early elections – scheduled for 11 July – amidst scandals and twists, such as the sanctions imposed on six Bulgarian citizens by the US Treasury Department. An uncertain scenario, but one that suggests the political decline of ex-premier Boyko Borisov

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