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Latest Features from the Balkans

pope-will-find-fast-changing-church-in-albania
18 Sep 14

Pope Will Find Fast-Changing Church in Albania

When Pope Francis arrives in Albania this Sunday he will find a very different Catholic Church from the one that his predecessor John Paul II visited two decades ago.

childless-macedonians-spy-hope-in-surrogacy-law
18 Sep 14

Childless Macedonians Spy Hope in Surrogacy Law

Macedonia may be about to become the first country in the Balkans to legalise surrogacy – but the issue remains fraught with unresolved dilemmas.

croatia-s-roma-children-battle-to-make-the-grade
17 Sep 14

Croatia’s Roma Children Battle to Make the Grade

Few Croatian Roma get a decent education – the only pathway out of their isolated ghetto-like communities - but some are struggling against the odds.

rafting-draws-tourists-to-albania-s-wild-river-canyons
12 Sep 14

Rafting Draws Tourists to Albania’s Wild River Canyons

One man’s passion for rafting has spawned a tourist industry in one the most beautiful but remote parts of Albania.

tending-comrade-tito-s-garden
11 Sep 14

Tending Comrade Tito’s Garden

Milomir Pavlovic looks back on career as a gardener for President Tito, his subsequent friendship with his wife, Jovanka - and the trouble they all experienced with the couple’s pet dogs.

bosnia-steps-up-crackdown-on-islamic-militants
08 Sep 14

Bosnia Steps Up Crackdown on Islamic Militants

The arrests of 16 Bosnians suspected of recruiting Muslim radicals to fight in Syria and Iraq have been criticised by their families, but the authorities plan to continue their crackdown.

old-style-markets-thrive-in-albania-s-mountain-villages
05 Sep 14

Old-Style Markets Thrive in Albania’s Mountain Villages

In remote villages near Elbasan, ‘shopping’ is not a drive to the local chain store but a stroll to the weekly market - where villagers trade livestock and ply their ancient crafts, as in times past.

chefs-test-each-other-s-balls-in-serbia
05 Sep 14

Chefs Test Each Other’s Balls in Serbia

It’s been another gripping year at the World Championship Testicle Cooking contest, held last weekend in the Sumadija region of central Serbia.

hard-times-turn-albania-s-tobacco-farmers-to-thyme
04 Sep 14

Hard Times Turn Albania’s Tobacco Farmers to Thyme

Centuries after Albania’s northern highlands started cultivating tobacco, farmers are struggling to make ends meet and are turning to growing herbs instead.

rich-albanians-breathe-new-life-into-forgotten-village
03 Sep 14

Rich Albanians Breathe New Life into Forgotten Village

Tourists and second-home owners have discovered the picturesque village of Dardhe - providing its mainly elderly residents with welcome new job opportunities.

killer-fish-meets-its-match-among-albania-s-fishermen
02 Sep 14

Killer Fish Meets Its Match Among Albania’s Fishermen

Zander - predatory invasive fish that have been decimating local stocks in recent years - appear to have met their equal, at last.

wax-tablets-reveal-secrets-of-ancient-illyria
01 Sep 14

Wax Tablets Reveal Secrets of Ancient Illyria

A new study of five wax tablets from the Second Century, found in the Albanian city of Durres, offers fascinating insights into the role of women in ancient Illyrian culture.

bosnia-s-dramas-draw-diaspora-home-to-help
01 Sep 14

Bosnia’s Dramas Draw Diaspora Home to Help

Protests and floods have spurred some of the two million Bosnians abroad to come back and engage with the big issues.

men-from-has-bake-their-way-across-europe
28 Aug 14

Men from Has Bake their Way Across Europe

People from the Has region on the Kosovo Albania border have taken their bread-making skills all over the Balkans, Hungary and beyond.

no-end-at-sight-for-skopje-s-classical-makeover
27 Aug 14

No End at Sight for Skopje’s Classical Makeover

Skopje 2014 is going to have to change its name, because the constantly growing government-funded revamp of Macedonia’s capital is nowhere near completion.