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News 28 Aug 13

Serbian President’s Island Tweet Raises Twitter Storm

President Nikolic's uncomfortable analogy - likening Serbia to an island - has generated a good deal of fun among Serbian Twitter users.

Gordana Andric

One of the most popular hashtags for Serbian Twitter users in the last couple of days are the words: "If Serbia were an island".

This came after President Tomislav Nikolic posted a tweet during a visit to China stating that, “If we imagine Europe is the ocean, Serbia is an island from which China can supply the entire European ocean with its products.”

Nikolic's oddly-worded tweet provoked more than 1,500 twitter users to post their own witty formulations, all starting with: “If Serbia were in island”.

One jokey user posted: “If Serbia were an island, MPs in parliament would be throwing flip-flops at each other.”

Others tweeted that if Serbia were an island, "it would be called Atlantis,” while one wrote that the government would be “reconstructing the beach for the whole summer”, alluding to the fact that Serbia is undergoing through a lengthy cabinet reshuffle.

One posted a comment stating that “if Serbia were an island, it would have a maritime museum that would be closed,” referring to the fact that many museums in Serbia are closed or have been shut for repairs for years.

Another wrote that “Djilas would ban swimming after 10pm”, referring to the fact that the City of Belgrade, run by mayor Dragan Djilas, recently re-introduced a ban on late-night alcohol sales.

Twitter users didn’t pass up the chance to make gentle fun of Serbia's rocky relations to the rest of the region. One user wrote that if Serbia were an island, “Montenegro would be a ferry to it”, while another posted that “Croatia would be under the surface”.

One suggested that in that case, “Serbia wouldn’t have any problems with its neighbours”, while another tweeted that “If Serbia were an island, Kosovo would be its Sveti Stefan [the islet off the Montenegrin coast].”

Some tweets made fun of popular attitudes. One user wrote that if Serbia were an island "it would be impossible to approach it because of all the plastic bottles floating around,” while another suggested that “people would judge one another by the yachts they have”.

One tweet stated that “if Serbia were an island, it would believe it is a continent.” 

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