Comment 05 May 17

EU Watches Idly As Balkans Slides Into Chaos

The recent violence in Macedonia, and the various crises in and between Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia, all suggest the Balkans may be sliding into turmoil and even conflict.

Srecko Latal
BIRN
Sarajevo
A police officer crosses a street near the parliament building in Skopje, Macedonia. Photo: Boris Grdanoski/AP

Macedonia's police on Tuesday reported that a makeshift explosive device had been defused on the first floor of the parliament building.

That alarming news, less than a week after MPs were injured in brutal violence in the parliament, only showed how close this ethnically divided and politically deadlocked country is to fresh violence.

Much of the rest of the Balkans seems to be descending into dangerous turmoil as well.

Albania’s ruling coalition is shaking as the main parties fight each other in the run-up to new elections. Political clashes - and rampant corruption – are meanwhile slowing key reforms, especially the long-awaited overhaul of the judiciary.

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