Analysis 14 Apr 17

Political Strife Overshadows Easter Joy in Balkans

While millions of Christians prepare for Easter celebrations across the Balkans, political, economic and ethnic tensions are casting a dark shadow over the season of goodwill. 

BIRN Team
BIRN
Belgrade, Bucharest, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofia, Tirana
Serbians protest in Belgrade on April 10. Photo: Beta

Easter holds a special place in the hearts of most people in the Balkans, offering a combination of much-loved tradition, joyful moments with family and friends, feasting and beautiful scenery.

In many Balkan countries, however, the calm of the Christian holiday, which should bring people of different ethnicities and religions together, is being marred by an combination of political, social and interethnic tensions, which the EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn has likened to a «frying pan full of oil».

While Balkan people know how to celebrate and will surely make the best out of the upcoming holidays, a variety of troubling issues may keep some of them awake at night.

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