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Latest Interviews from the Balkans

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A Grumpy American in Belgrade

Twelve years after he moved to Belgrade, Chris Farmer has published a book of humorous essays and blogs inspired by his life in the Serbian capital – a city with which he has a love-hate relationship.  

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Interview: Europe is the Only Hope for Bosnia

Europeanisation is the ‘only mechanism for moving things forward’ in the divided country’, Balkan expert Professor Adam Fagan says.

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Improving Justice System is Vital for Serbia

The Council of Europe Office’s new head in Belgrade, Tim Cartwright, says strengthening the rule of law will not only improve the justice system but stimulate investment, uphold a free media and help Serbia on its way to Europe.

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UN Drafts a Plan to Help Serbia’s Further Development

Irena Vojackova-Sollorano, UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia, tells BIRN about the UN’s programme aimed at helping Serbia with its reform plans.

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Ambassador: Macedonia Tolerates Violence to ‘Shut People up’

The outgoing Dutch Ambassador to Macedonia, Marriët Schuurman, tells BIRN of her concerns about the rule of law in the country.

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Junkyard Art Holds Message for the Planet

Vlado Kostov’s sculptures, all made from scrap metal, are not just interesting artworks; they tell of the need to save planet Earth.

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Radovan Karadzic ‘Optimistic’ as Trial Nears End

Closing arguments begin next week at Karazdic’s war crimes trial, and his legal adviser told BIRN that the former Bosnian Serb leader believes he’ll be acquitted if the court is fair.

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Genocide Survivor Stirs Up Bosnian Elections

Emir Suljagic – a rare Bosniak survivor of the Serbian massacre in Srebrenica – is galvanising voters on both sides of the ethnic divide in Bosnia.

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Serbia’s Electricity Market Slowly Opens Up

Serbia is liberalising its electricity market in line with EU norms, but as Dragan Vlaisavljevic told BIRN, the creation of a functioning free market in power is no easy task.

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Love Letter to Peaceful Protest Comes to Bosnia

After the Sarajevo premiere of the film ‘Everyday rebellion’, the Iranian-born director, Arash Riahi, discussed the ‘power on non-violence’ - and its relevance to Bosnia.

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Damir Fazlic: The Early Years

Controversial deal broker Damir Fazlic spoke publicly for the first time in seven years to Balkan Insight. In the first installment from the in-depth interview, Fazlic speaks of how the son of a Bosnian hotelier ended up studying at one of the world’s most prestigious private schools before being capitulated into negotiations  with Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

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Divisions Slow Rise of Balkan Energy ‘Community’

Countries in the region are beginning to coordinate common energy needs - but fragmented markets and uncompetitive practices are impeding progress, Simon Uzunov told BIRN in an interview.

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‘Internationals’ in Balkans Let Down Their Local Staff

LSE blogger says Western do-gooders in Balkans often did little good for their own local employees.

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Bosnia Prime Minister Bemoans Donors’ Mistrust

Vjekoslav Bevanda told Balkan Insight that he is disappointed that many donors will be bypassing Bosnia's own institutions when it comes to disbursing flood aid because they don’t trust them.

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How Albanian Discontent Fuelled Macedonia’s Ethnic Protests

Recent protests in Macedonia sparked by the terrorism convictions of six ethnic Albanians were caused by deep mistrust in the country’s judiciary, seasoned political observer Ismet Ramadani tells BIRN.