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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 media, law, and freedom of information

16/05/2022 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

In Bulgaria, media freedom has traditionally been restricted by grey areas, and journalists often come under severe pressure. This interview with Nelly Ognyanova, a leading Bulgarian expert on media law, discusses the legislative factors that define the working framework of journalism in the country

Science and work: how to relaunch Gabrovo, the "Bulgarian Manchester"

14/04/2022 -  Francesco Martino Gabrovo

Gabrovo, in central Bulgaria, used to be one of the country's main industrial centres: to relaunch it, the city university has launched a Centre of Competence, to reconnect the academia and the business world and foster research and training

Bulgaria, if war is near

10/03/2022 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

Putin's war in Ukraine has strong repercussions on Bulgaria: the government has strongly condemned the aggression, but the country, traditionally linked to Russia, is divided both from a political and a symbolic point of view. Meanwhile, 30,000 refugees are already on their way

Bulgaria, the consequences of the pandemic on young students

16/12/2021 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

Bulgaria has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially at the expense of young students. The disparities have been particularly apparent in the more fragile communities, such as the Roma and Turkish ones

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

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