Τρίτη, 30 Αυγούστου 2011

MP immunity: impunity from justice?

se times
22/08/2011

Kosovo has ordered the constitutional court to weigh in on parliamentary immunity after EULEX requested a clarification of the issue.
By Muhamet Brajshori for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 22/08/11
EULEX was prompted to ask for a ruling on immunity after it could not proceed with an arrest warrant for former minister of transport and current MP Fatmir Limaj, who, as a former KLA commander, is accused along with nine other people of war crimes in Malisevo. The nine others have already been arrested, but Limaj's arrest has been held up due to the immunity granted to him as a MP....more...
read more: se times
http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2011/08/22/feature-03

Controversy erupts over Vojvodina's Brussels office

se times
22/08/2011

Serbia's northern province will inaugurate its Brussels office within weeks, but some see the move as a step towards separatism.
By Igor Jovanovic for Southeast European Times in Belgrade -- 22/08/11
Vojvodina officials say they harbour great expectations regarding the opening of an office in Brussels in mid-October, primarily to access European funds.
They say this is a normal European practice and over 300 regions from various European states have offices in Brussels....more...
read more: se times
http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2011/08/22/feature-04

Bloggers debate the Ohrid Framework Agreement

se times
20/08/2011

The 10th anniversary of the agreement elicits different reactions, though most remain critical of its purpose and results.
By Klaudija Lutovska for Southeast European Times in Bitola – 20/08/11
Macedonia marked the 10th anniversary of signing the Ohrid Framework Agreement by organizing a meeting and a reception hosted by President Gjorge Ivanov.

Although no representatives from Macedonia's four major parties that signed the August 13th agreement were at the event, US envoy James Pardew, the driving force behind the accord, attended.....more...
read more: se times
http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/blogreview/2011/08/20/blog-03

Kosovo becoming asylum transit country

se times
20/08/2011

Kosovo has achieved the dubious distinction as a transit country, but is unprepared to handle the situation.
By Muhamet Brajshori for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 20/08/11
Since 1999, Kosovo has seen an increasing number of asylum seekers from Asia and Africa. They have other destinations in mind, but use Kosovo as transit point and often end up being arrested by police at the borders for illegal passage.....more...
read more: se times
http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2011/08/20/feature-01

Survey measures public pulse in Kosovo

se times
19/08/2011

Despite economic and political woes, the most recent UNDP poll shows a slight increase in public trust when it comes to government institutions.
By Muhamet Brajshori for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 19/08/11
With the unemployment rate still over 40%, a slowdown in international recognitions, and obstacles on the path to EU integration, prospects remain uncertain for the people of Kosovo. According to the most recent UN Development Programme Public Pulse opinion poll, discontent remains high....more...
read more: se times
http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2011/08/19/feature-02

Serbia's "red gold" trouble

se times
18/08/2011

Although this year's raspberry fruit is better quality, prices are lower than last year.
By Biljana Pekusic for Southeast European Times in Belgrade – 18/08/11
Strikes and protests by Serbia's raspberry growers, who clashed with police, failed to set the purchase price for this year's raspberry harvest at last year's figure of 1.5 euros per kilogram. Instead, a kilogram of raspberries this year will go for one euro.....more...
read more: se times
http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2011/08/18/feature-02

ICTY prosecutors ask to split Mladic trial

se times
18/08/2011

If UN judges approve splitting-up the war crimes case against Ratko Mladic, his first trial could begin as early as January 2012.
(Blic - 18/08/11; Reuters, AP, DPA, AFP, CNN, AKI, Deutsche Welle, Dutchnews.nl, RFE/RL, VOA, Beta, B92, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia - 17/08/11)
Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said on Wednesday (August 17th) that they have asked for permission to divide Ratko Mladic's indictment into two parts in order to expedite the litigation process....more...
read more: se times
http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2011/08/18/feature-03

Reeker: Kosovo will not be divided

se times
18/08/2011

A top US diplomat joins France and Germany in rejecting partition and calling for rule of law in the north.
By Linda Karadaku for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 18/08/11
Partitioning Kosovo is not an option and Pristina has a legitimate right to govern the north, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker said on Wednesday (August 17th).

"Kosovo is a sovereign, independent country and has the right to extend its authority throughout its country," he told reporters after meeting with Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in Pristina. "This is about rule of law, which is such a fundamental, key concept not just here, but throughout all of Europe."...more...
read more: se times
http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2011/08/18/feature-04

Regional countries compete to satisfy Kosovo's market demand

se times
17/08/2011

Kosovo's reciprocity trade measures against Serbia and BiH create opportunities for other suppliers in the region.
By Misko Taleski for Southeast European Times in Skopje – 17/08/11
Given the recent enforcement of trade reciprocity measures against Serbia and BiH, a regional race has begun to replace these countries' products and satisfy market demand in Kosovo.

Macedonia, Croatia and Montenegro are the lead contenders, but other Balkan countries including Turkey should not be discounted. "In the coming period, we expect a visible increase in the percentage of exports of Macedonian products to the Kosovo market," Macedonian Chamber of Commerce official Jadranka Arizankovska told SETimes.....more...
read more: se times
http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2011/08/17/feature-03

Diaspora MP in the Macedonian parliament

se times
16/08/2011

For the first time, the diaspora is represented in Macedonia's parliament by three MPs. Newly-elected member Pavle Sazdov represents the Americas.
By Goran Trajkov for Southeast European Times in Skopje -- 16/08/11
SETimes: How did you become a Macedonian MP?

Pavle Sazdov: VMRO-DPMNE, the party that I am a member of for over ten years, had an internal announcement open to all members. Having lived in Canada for ten years, I understand the needs and challenges of the Macedonian community in North America, so I decided to apply. I submitted a proposed platform, resume, short biography and motivational letter to a party panel. Once all interviews were finalised -- the last one with the party president -- I was notified that my candidacy was accepted....more...
read more: se times
http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2011/08/16/feature-02

Northern Kosovo situation unites political elite in Pristina

se times
16/08/2011

Political heavyweights stand behind the Kosovo government's actions in the north, but some say it will have consequences.
By Linda Karadaku for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 16/08/11
They may disagree on most other questions, but the major political forces in Kosovo share a consensus on at least one matter: the government's move last month to take control of two border crossings in the north.

Arbana Vidishiqi, head of the Kosovo bureau of Radio Free Europe, says the intervention in the north marked the first time that the country's political elite has stood united in their support for the current administration....more...
read more: se times
http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2011/08/16/feature-03

For "Girl from Bondsteel", curiosity was stronger than prejudice

se times
15/08/2011

Tanja Jankovic recalls her experiences as a Serb translator working at the largest US military base in the Balkans.
By Ivana Jovanovic for Southeast European Times in Belgrade -- 15/08/11
Tanja Jankovic, 32, graduated from the Belgrade Faculty of Political Sciences. As a student she worked at the Bujanovac International Press Centre, and then as a translator at the international missions in Kosovo, including the Kosovo US military base Bondsteel.

read more: se times
http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/articles/2011/08/15/reportage-01

Δευτέρα, 29 Αυγούστου 2011

Serbia: longing for the past

deutsche welle
EUROPEAN JOURNAL

Retailers in Belgrade can earn good money selling Yugoslavian flags and other symbols of the former multi-ethnic state. Many have yet to come to terms with the breakup of the country.

After arresting and handing over the last war crimes suspect to The Hague, Belgrade is another step closer towards membership of the European Union. But many Serbs still mourn the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, particularly those who are not doing so well economically....more...
read more: deutsche welle
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15316650,00.html

Once Celebrated, World's 6 Billionth Baby Now Lives In Poverty In Bosnia -audio-

radio free europe
August 27, 2011

By RFE/RL
VISOKO, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- Adnan Nevic is a sturdy, good-natured 11-year-old living in the Bosnian town of Visoko, just outside the capital, Sarajevo.
Like many children around the world, Adnan worries over his grades at school -- and willingly admits there's some room for improvement.
"I have straight A's at school. I only have a B in English," he says. "My favorite subjects are sports, history, and geography. I have a huge responsibility to be a better student, that's all."...more...
read more: radio free europe
http://www.rferl.org/content/bosnia_baby_6_billion_now_lives_in_poverty/24309780.html

Serbian President Defiant About Serb Role In Northern Kosovo

radio free europe
August 26, 2011

By RFE/RL
Serbia's President Boris Tadic has issued a defiant public statement about Belgrade's determination to maintain a role in northern Kosovo -- even if it means a delay in becoming a candidate for membership in the European Union.
Speaking to the Tanjug news agency on August 25, Tadic said officials in Belgrade must "frankly tell our citizens that there is a possibility we will not obtain candidate status by the end of this year, nor a date for the start of accession negotiations."...more...
read more: radio free europe
http://www.rferl.org/content/serbia_kosovo_tadic_eu_merkel/24308650.html

Serbia refuses to compromise on Kosovo despite German pressure

deutsche welle
BALKANS

26.08.2011
Serbia has once again vowed never to recognize Kosovo's independence, despite German Chancellor Angela Merkel's warning on Tuesday that Belgrade's rift with Pristina could threaten Serbia's bid to join the EU.

Serbian President Boris Tadic on Friday reiterated that his country would never accept an independent Kosovo, even if it meant endangering its hopes of joining the European Union....more...

read more: deutsche welle
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15346429,00.html

Angela Merkel ups the pressure on Serbia

deutsche welle
INSIDE EUROPE

27.08.2011
15:05
Angela Merkel has visited Croatia and Serbia as part of her first Balkans tour as German Chancellor. In Croatia on Monday, she congratulated the country for the progress it had made and for its prospective membership of the European Union in 2013. Then she headed to Belgrade to assure Serbia of Germany's support as it moves towards its goal of EU membership.

But she also pressed for more efforts to solve the ongoing dispute between Serbia and its former province of Kosovo. Mark Lowen reports from Belgrade....more...
read more: deutsche welle
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,6604121,00.html
audio

Kosovo's recklessness has set back negotiations with Serbia

guardian
A failed Kosovan police raid on border posts between north Kosovo and Serbia has destabilised the region

Andrea Capussela

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 25 August 2011 14.33 BST

Last month, on the night of 25 July, special units of Kosovo's police tried to take control of the two border posts linking north Kosovo with Serbia, to enforce a trade embargo.

This was an extremely rash move, because north Kosovo is inhabited by about 60,000 ethnic Serbs, who fiercely reject Kosovo's secession from Serbia. It is a largely lawless, self-governed territory where the Pristina government has no presence and only Belgrade and Nato exercise some control....more...
read more: guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/25/north-kosovo-police-raid

Libya's besieged journalists stir memories of Sarajevo

guardian.co.uk
The journalists holed up in Tripoli's Rixos hotel will be suffering the same frustration and claustrophobia I felt in Bosnia

Janine di Giovanni

guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 24 August 2011 15.13 BST

Sarajevo, winter 1993. The eminent New York Times reporter John Burns and the equally brave Roy Gutman of Newsday have won the Pulitzer prize – the highest award given to journalists – for their work in Bosnia. There is a good deal of gracious camaraderie, cheering and celebrating, as much as wartime allows. But the two can't go the awards ceremony back in America, because they are stuck in the besieged city of Sarajevo. More to the point, they are chained to the hotel where the journalists live: the Holiday Inn, a grim Soviet-style place smack in the middle of Sniper's Alley....more...
read more: guardian.co.uk
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/24/libya-besieged-journalists

Serb war crimes suspect Goran Hadzic pleads not guilty

telegraph
Serbia
The wartime leader of rebel Serbs in Croatia, Goran Hadzic pleads not guilty to the murder of hundreds of Croats in one of the first ethnic cleansing campaigns of the Balkan conflicts.
5:29PM BST 24 Aug 2011

At The Hague's UN Yugoslav war crimes tribunal Hadzic was charged with 14 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. They include the extermination, torture, murder and wilful killing of hundreds of Croat and other non-Serb civilians....more...
read more: telegraph
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/serbia/8720684/Serb-war-crimes-suspect-Goran-Hadzic-pleads-not-guilty.html

Hadzic Pleads Not Guilty To War Crimes

radio free europe
August 24, 2011

Former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic pleaded not guilty today to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
He made the not guilty plea before judge Guy Delvoie of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague....more...
read more: radio free europe
http://www.rferl.org/content/hadzic_war_crimes/24306887.html

Turkey Exacts a Toll on Kurdish Separatists

ny times
WORLD BRIEFING

EUROPE
By SEBNEM ARSU

Published: August 23, 2011
ISTANBUL — Hundreds of Turkish airstrikes and artillery assaults over the last week have killed at least 100 Kurdish separatists and injured more than 80, an army statement said Tuesday. ...more...
read more: ny times
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/24/world/europe/24turkey.html?_r=1&ref=europe

Merkel Urges Serbia-Kosovo Dialogue

radio free europe
Last updated (GMT/UTC): 23.08.2011 12:24

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Serbia must begin normalizing relations with Kosovo if it wants to move closer to European Union membership.

Merkel, speaking after talks with President Boris Tadic in Belgrade on August 23, said Serbia must resume a dialogue with Kosovo and also influence minority Kosovo Serbs to dismantle structures of parallel authority in northern Kosovo....more...
read more: radio free europe
http://www.rferl.org/content/merkel_balkans_croatia_serbia/24305119.html

Merkel urges Serbia to persevere with reforms to gain EU candidacy status

deutsche welle
CORRESPONDENTS REPORT

23.08.2011
Serbs see Germany as a key ally, but have their reservations about pressure from Berlin over Kosovo....more...
read more: deutsche welle
audio

Kosovo tensions visible as Merkel visits Belgrade

deutsche welle
BALKANS

23.08.2011
Chancellor Angela Merkel has appealed to the Serb government to redouble diplomatic efforts with Kosovo. President Boris Tadic, however, has reiterated he will not recognize the former Serb region as a separate country.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday publicly urged Serbian President Boris Tadic to engage more productively with Kosovo and resolve the ongoing conflict with the breakaway former Serb region....more...
read more: deutsche welle
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15337157,00.html

Merkel campaigns for regional stability in Croatia, Serbia

deutsche welle
BALKANS

23.08.2011
During a visit to Croatia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the country as an economic and political role model for nations in the politically troubled Balkan region. On Tuesday, she continues her tour in Serbia.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has praised Croatia as a role model for the politically troubled Balkan region and called on Zagreb to play a larger role in helping to resolve the ongoing border dispute between Serbia and Kosovo and ethnic tensions in Bosnia....more...
read more: deutsche welle
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15336008,00.html

Merkel's tour of Croatia and Serbia to focus on economic ties

deutsche welle
BALKANS

22.08.2011
Belgrade and Zagreb are key partners for Germany, even if ties are sometimes complex. Chancellor Angela Merkel has several goals for her trip to Croatia and Serbia, but what do her hosts want and expect from her?

Before Chancellor Angela Merkel's departure for Croatia and Serbia on Monday, her office announced that international, bilateral and trade ties would dominate the agenda. Government sources also acknowledged, however, that the touchiest topic in Belgrade would be Kosovo's claim to independence, recognized by Germany but not by Serbia....more...
read more: deutsche welle
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15334175,00.html

Merkel Set To Arrive In Croatia For Two-Day Balkan Trip

radio free europe
August 22, 2011

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is arriving in Croatia on August 22 for the start of a two-day Balkan visit.
She will meet top Croatian leaders today and is set to visit Serbia on August 23....more...
read more: radio free europe
http://www.rferl.org/content/merkel_set_to_arrive_in_croatia_for_two_day_balkan_trip/24304287.html

Bosnia: How to Wriggle Out of the Palestinian Statehood Vote

radio free europe
August 22, 2011

By Anes Alic
In the space of just one week, both Israeli and Palestinian officials have descended on Bosnia-Herzegovina in an attempt to influence officials in Sarajevo ahead of a September vote on Palestinian statehood at the United Nations. Both are counting on Bosnia's vote, and both have an equally strong chance of getting it.
In mid-August, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Bosnian Serb officials to court favor; a few days later, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas visited Sarajevo, where he met with various state officials to lobby for the statehood initiative....more...
read more: radio free europe
http://www.rferl.org/content/bosnia_wriggling_out_of_the_palestinian_statehood_vote/24304380.html

Military renews attacks on Kurds

independent
 Saturday, 20 August 2011
Turkish warplanes and artillery pounded Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq for a second night, hours after the rebels mounted attacks on security forces in south-eastern Turkey....more...
read more: independent

Asylum should include witness protection

guardian
Edmond Demiraj's testimony against an Albanian criminal put his family at risk of reprisal, yet the US still plans to deport them

Sarah Wildman

guardian.co.uk, Saturday 20 August 2011 17.00 BST

In Houston, Texas, a family is deeply worried that a mother and her son will be deported. They are even more worried about what will happen if they are sent back to Albania.

The American asylum system is dysfunctional. Should 33-year-old Rudina Demiraj and her teenage son Rediol be forced to return to Albania, they will likely be kidnapped, trafficked into prostitution, and maybe even killed. And the US authorities know it....more...
read more: guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/aug/20/demiraj-asylum-deportation

Preparing for the next 700 years

the economist
Serb monks in Kosovo
Aug 19th 2011, 13:02 by T.J.
VISOKI DECANI
DAWN breaks over western Kosovo, and a bearded monk in black, flowing robes walks around the Serbian Orthodox monastery church of Visoki Decani hammering a long wooden board to call the faithful to prayer. But, as the monastery lies in majority-Albanian (and Muslim) western Kosovo, there are hardly any Serbs outside the perimeter wall to heed his call. ...more...
read more: the economist
http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2011/08/serb-monks-kosovo

Former PM's renewed war crimes trial saddens Kosovo Albanians

deutsche welle
BALKANS

18.08.2011
Former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj is about to face the UN war crimes tribunal in the Hague again for his role as leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army. But many people in Kosovo have lost faith in the court.

The decision that Ramush Haradinaj, the former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and later prime minister of Kosovo, should again stand trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague has shocked and disappointed most Kosovo Albanians....more...
read more: deutsche welle
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15323973,00.html

Benin 'Recognizes' Kosovo Secession

radio free europe
August 18, 2011

Kosovo's Deputy Prime Minister says the West African country of Benin has recognized the independence of his country, becoming the 80th nation to do so....more...
read more: radio free europe
http://www.rferl.org/content/benin_recognizes_kosovo_secession/24300940.html

Lawyer: Mladic Undergoes Hernia Surgery

radio free europe
August 18, 2011

Ratko Mladic's Serbian lawyer says the war crimes suspect had hernia surgery and is now feeling fine at the detention unit of the UN tribunal at The Hague.

Milos Saljic said Mladic underwent the operation on August 17. He gave no other details on the surgery, but said Mladic had called him on August 18 saying he was feeling fine....more...
read more: radio free europe
http://www.rferl.org/content/lawyer_says_mladic_undergoes_hernia_surgery/24300834.html

UN prosecutor may fast-track war crimes trial for Mladic

deutsche welle
WAR CRIMES

17.08.2011
Prosecutors at the UN's war crimes tribunal have proposed splitting the case against former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic in two. They argue this would speed up the often lengthy trial process and ensure a verdict.

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) have requested that former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic should be tried in two separate trials, documents revealed Wednesday....more...
read more: deutsche welle
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15323003,00.html

Bilingual road signs in Slovene and German to point to new era of harmony

deutsche welle
INTEGRATION

16.08.2011
Three years after the death of far-right leader Jörg Haider, the Austrian province of Carinthia and the neighboring country of Slovenia settle a long-running dispute about bilateral place-names signs....more...
read more: deutsche welle
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,6597421,00.html
audio
http://mediacenter.dw-world.de/english/audio/#!/223139/Bilingual_road_signs_in_Slovene_and_German_to_point_to_new_era_of_harmony

Prosecutors Seek Two War Crimes Trials Against Mladic

radio free europe
August 17, 2011

Prosecutors at the UN war crimes tribunal have proposed splitting the case against Ratko Mladic into two parts to speed up his trial.

Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military commander, is accused of orchestrating the murder of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995 and other war crimes during Bosnia's 1992-95 war.
He was arrested in May in Serbia after 16 years as a fugitive....more...
read more: radio free europe
http://www.rferl.org/content/mladic_war_crimes_trials/24299461.html

Romania's motorway blues

radio free europe
Romanian roads
Aug 16th 2011, 12:09 by V.P.

BUCHAREST
IF YOU want to discover Romania, don't drive, rent a helicopter. Such was the advice Traian Băsescu, the country's president, had for potential investors from the Gulf, back in March. "I've never discovered Romania the way I did from a helicopter," said Mr Băsescu, admitting that the country's transport infrastructure is badly underdeveloped.

It is certainly a sorry picture. Most of Romania's 300-odd kilometres of highway were built during the communist era, and are showing their age. The roads connecting Bucharest, the capital, with other cities are chronically clogged. Trains chug along at no more than 50-60km an hour, slower than when the railways were constructed. The Danube stuns the few cruise-ship tourists with its underexploited vastness....more...
read more: radio free europe
http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2011/08/romanian-roads

Bosnia Divided On Palestinian Request For Statehood Support

radio free europe
August 16, 2011

SARAJEVO -- Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas was told in Bosnia-Herzegovina that Bosnia's three ethnic groups have not reached agreement on whether to recognize Palestinian statehood, RFE/RL's Balkan Service reports.

Abbas met with Bosnia's three-member, interethnic presidency and Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj on August 15, the second day of his visit, and said after the meetings that he expected Bosnian help that was pledged for the Palestinian territories' planned declaration of statehood in the United Nations next month....more...
read more: radio free europe
http://www.rferl.org/content/bosnia_still_divided_on_palestinian_request_for_statehood/24298964.html

Interview: Morton Abramowitz On The 'End Of Bosnia'

radio free europe
August 13, 2011

Morton Abramowitz is a senior fellow at The Century Foundation and former president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He has served as ambassador to Turkey and Thailand and as assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research. The author of many books, he recently co-wrote an article in "The National Interest" titled "The Death of the Bosnian State." RFE/RL's Balkan Service director Gordana Knezevic asked him what he meant by this.....more...
read more: radio free europe
http://www.rferl.org/content/interview_abramowitz_end_of_bosnia/24295787.html

Macedonia statue: Alexander the Great or a warrior on a horse?

guardian
Lookalike statue reignites debate with Greece over Macedonian name as Skopje locals dismiss works as nationalistic kitsch

Helena Smith in Skopje

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 14 August 2011 14.50 BST

In a move that has upset the Greeks, Alexander the Great has made a huge comeback in Macedonia.

A giant statue bearing an uncanny resemblance to the warrior king – although, officially, no one dares call it that – has been erected in the heart of Skopje, Macedonia's capital. Seated upon his favourite steed, the classical hero surveys the capital from the vantage point of Plostad Makedonija, Skopje's central square. At 22 metres, or eight storeys high, the statue dwarfs its surroundings....more...
read more: guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/14/alexander-great-macedonia-warrior-horse

A profile of Gruevski

the economist
Macedonia's prime minister
Aug 12th 2011, 16:53 by T.J.

On July 28th "European Voice", the Economist's sister EU-affairs newspaper, published my profile of Nikola Gruevski, Macedonia's prime minister. With the odd adjustment for style, here it is.

MACEDONIANS either love him or loathe him. To his detractors, Nikola Gruevski, who was confirmed as prime minister for a third term on July 28th, is corrupt, a populist, a ruthless Machiavellian and an enemy of a free media. “No, no, no,” say his supporters. He is as clean as a whistle, modest, the scourge of tax-dodging tycoons and a family-values man to his core....more...
read more: the economist
http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2011/08/macedonias-prime-minister

Goran Hadzic's prosecution: international justice at last

guardian
The capture of the last individual indicted for war crimes in the Balkans is a milestone for the UN war crimes tribunal

Mark Vlasic

guardian.co.uk, Saturday 13 August 2011 17.00 BST

The timing couldn't have been more auspicious. Just days after International Justice Day (the anniversary of the International Criminal Court's treaty adoption), justice caught up with Goran Hadzic, the UN war crimes tribunal's last remaining indictee....more...
read more: guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/aug/13/goran-hadzic-war-crimes

Ethnic Albanians see peace dividend in Macedonia

deutsche welle
CORRESPONDENTS REPORT

12.08.2011
Ten years ago Macedonians and ethnic Albanians signed the Ohrid agreement, averting a conflict that could have destabilized the whole Balkans region....more....
read more: deutsche welle
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,6595468,00.html
audio
http://mediacenter.dw-world.de/english/audio/#!/219069/Ethnic_Albanians_see_peace_dividend_in_Macedonia

Παρασκευή, 12 Αυγούστου 2011

The Bright Side of the Balkans

the new york review of books
Charles Simic

I went to Sarajevo this spring to take part in an international poetry festival, and to receive an award and launch a book of my selected poems that had just been published in Bosnia. This was my first visit to a city known for its extraordinary suffering during the siege by the Serbian forces led by Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić, which lasted from April 1992 to February 1996. Flying in on a clear day and seeing the way the mountains and hills press against Sarajevo on three sides, I could easily comprehend the destruction that artillery, mortars, heavy machine guns, and snipers could inflict on its inhabitants, who would have had great difficulty defending themselves. I could see the Serbian siege for what it was: a deliberate effort to collectively punish a city, and terrorize and starve its inhabitants, while taking satisfaction in firing from safe and unassailable heights....more...
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http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/aug/18/bright-side-balkans/

Fear and exodus: ethnic Serbs squeezed out of Kosovo -video-

russia today
Published: 11 August, 2011, 09:21

Ethnic Serbs in Kosovo are living in fear of losing their land and property as the situation in the region remains precarious.

Lyubica Kovacevic, 82, lives in a Serbian enclave in Kosovo. Every evening she hopes the night will be trouble free.
“It won’t stop them. If they want to steal they’ll do it anyway, as they have many times, but I feel better if I do this,” she explains as she fastens her tractor with a chain....more...
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http://rt.com/news/fear-ethnic-serbs-kosovo/

West's indifference could condemn Bosnia anew

reuters
By Daria Sito-Sucic

SARAJEVO

Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:47am EDT
(Reuters) - A lack of U.S. and European interest in Bosnia may embolden Serb and Croat separatist plans and result in the eventual disintegration of the fragile Balkan country, a former U.S. diplomat said.

"The United States doesn't care anymore, the whole attitude is that it's a European problem and Europeans should handle it," said William Stuebner, who held several diplomatic posts in Bosnia during and after the 1992-95 war, Europe's deadliest conflict since World War Two....more...
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http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/11/us-bosnia-stuebner-idUSTRE77A1KD20110811

German foreign minister calls on Kosovo and Serbia to resolve crisis

reuters
KOSOVO

11.08.2011
On a visit to Kosovo, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has urged both Pristina and Belgrade to settle their border crisis. He said all of Europe had an interest in a peaceful solution.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has called on Serbia and Kosovo to resolve their border dispute on the last leg of a three-day tour of the Balkans.

"What's at stake here is peace in Europe," he said after talks with Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in the Kosovar capital, Pristina, on Thursday. "The time for wars and conflicts along ethnic lines has to be over. There's no place for that in 21st century Europe. This is a European issue - the future of Europe will be decided here, and peace in Europe has to be protected here as well."...more...
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http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15310900,00.html

Germany rules out Kosovo partition on ethnic lines

reuters
By Fatos Bytyci

PRISTINA

Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:34am EDT
(Reuters) - Germany will oppose any partition of Kosovo, its foreign minister said Thursday following a warning by Kosovo Albanian leaders that Serbia wants its former province divided along ethnic lines.

Guido Westerwelle said the map of the Balkans had been decided and the issue of territorial changes was closed....more...
read more: reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/11/us-kosovo-germany-idUSTRE77A41E20110811