Home Page
News 10 May 13

Thousands of Serbs Protest Against the Brussels Agreement

Several thousand people assembled in Belgrade’s main square, accusing Serbia’s top leaders of high treason for the recent EU brokered-deal with Kosovo. 

Nemanja Cabric BIRN Belgrade
Poster produced by far right organization SNP Nasi depicted Vucic, Dacic and Nicolic wearing traditional Albanian plis hats.

Organised by leaders from Serb-run northern Kosovo, the Orthodox Church and several right-wing groups, the protest took aim at Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, President Tomislav Nikolic and Prime Minister Ivica Dacic.

“Treason! Treason” many in the crowd in Belgrade’s Republic Square shouted, as protesters waved Serbian flags and signs with messages, including  “We will free Kosovo”  and  “I want Moscow, not Brussels.”

One poster depicted Vucic, Dacic and Nikolic - former leaders on the far right who now embrace an EU-centred agenda - wearing traditional Albanian plis hats.

Others symbolically ripped apart copies of EU-brokered agreement between Serbia and Kosovo.

The deal, reached on April 19, granted Serb-run communities limited autonomy but placed them under the auspices of Kosovo’s laws and constitution. Leaders from Kosovo and Serbia have yet to reach an agreement over an implementation plan. Kosovo Serbs, though, have come across strongly against the deal, calling it tacit recognition of Kosovo’s independence.

“We only ask to live normally like other people from Kraljevo, Vranje and Kragujevac,“ said Zvonimir Mihajlovic, mayor of Strpce, in southern Kosovo.

 

“They ask from us to shut down institutions that Albanian terror did not manage to eliminate, to accept Hashim Thaci as a premier, Bajram Rexhepi as  [interior] minister,“ he added.

The Mayor of Zubin Potok, Slavisa Ristic, said it was a “holy cause” for Kosovo to stay in Serbia.

“We came here to ask for your support. A greater number of Serbian people could not come, fearing they must stay home to guard and defend the doors of Kosovo for Serbia,” Ristic told the crowd.

The Serbian Orthodox Church's top cleric in Montenegro, Metropolitan Amfilohije, led prayers, saying that Kosovo - which the church’s holiest sites are located - stay inside the borders of Serbia.

People at the protest

“Kosovo is the destiny of this people,“ Amfilohije said.

“I am confident that Serbia and its authorities will rise up and fight under god.”

Protesters also demanded that the Serbia’s constitutional court issue rulings about the constitutionality of the recent agreement with Kosovo and other prior agreements, threatening to call for a national referendum if the court doesn’t respond.    

Another protest against the Kosovo deal is set for June 28 - which is Vidovdan, the Serbian Orthodox holiday commemorating the Battle of Kosovo in 1389.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

serbian-pm-to-visit-kosovo-next-week News 12 Jan 15 Serbian PM Readies for Kosovo Visit

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic will meet local Serbian political representatives this week on his first visit to Kosovo since taking up the premier's post last year.

high-security-in-kosovo-ahead-of-orthodox-christmas News 06 Jan 15 Kosovo on Alert Over Serb Orthodox Holiday

A heavy police presence is being deployed across Serbian municipalities in Kosovo, as local Serbs prepare for Orthodox Christmas and visits from Belgrade officials.

serbian-president-calls-for-kosovo-referendum News 29 Dec 14 Serbian President Demands Kosovo Referendum

In a sign of growing tension between him and the government, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic on Sunday declared that any major decisions made on Kosovo must go to a referendum.

kosovars-go-far-to-send-letters-to-serbia Feature 23 Dec 14 Kosovars Go Far to Send Letters to Serbia

With no agreement yet on mail cooperation between Kosovo and Serbia, sending a simple letter from one to the other remains a hassle.

belgrade-pristina-ready-to-resume-talks News 19 Dec 14 Kosovo, Serbia Ready to Resume EU Talks

After months of delay, Kosovo and Serbia are willing to continue the EU-mediated dialogue early next year in Brussels.

video-searching-for-solutions-in-the-balkans news 08 Dec 14 VIDEO: Searching for Solutions in the Balkans

Croatia made it across the finish line, but the rest of the Balkan countries seem to be far away from their European future. What kind of new approaches can be explored to ensure that the accession story ends well?

mogherini-calls-for-action-of-belgrade-pristina-deals News 19 Nov 14 Mogherini Urges Action on Kosovo-Serbia Deals

Federica Mogherini, the EU's new foreign policy chief, has called on Kosovo and Serbia to continue implementing deals brokered in Brussels ahead of a resumption of talks.

kosovo-serbia-dialogue-is-a-big-deal-but-the-momentum-is-waning News 13 Nov 14 Kosovo-Serbia Talks Need Reviving, Report Says

Only four of 16 accords reached in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue have been fully implemented according to Big Deal, a civil society project involving NGOs from Kosovo and Serbia.

few-kosovo-serbia-deals-implemented-report-warns News 13 Nov 14 Few Kosovo-Serbia Deals Implemented, Report Warns

A new report on Kosovo-Serbia deals shows that only a quarter of the agreements reached in Brussels have been fully put into action.

new-momentum-is-needed-in-kosovo-serbia-dialogue News 22 Oct 14 Kosovo-Serbia Talks Need Reviving, Report Says

New momentum is needed in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue after the timeout caused by elections in both countries, a report by Kosovo and Slovak think tanks suggests.