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Latest Interviews from the Balkans

ramadani-macedonia-albanians-must-resist-gruevski-s-tricks-01-17-2017

Macedonia’s Albanians Urged to Reject Gruevski Coalition

With official talks on a new Macedonian government set to start within days, former MP Ismet Ramadani warned Albanian political parties against an alliance with embattled former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

commissioner-fears-slovenia-aliens-act-may-influence-balkans-01-16-2017

Balkan States ‘Could Emulate Slovenian Law Curbing Refugees’

Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, warns that Slovenia’s proposed new Aliens Act will likely cause an unwelcome 'domino effect' along the Balkan refugee route.

balkan-schoolbooks-still-fight-over-kosovo-s-history-12-27-2016

Balkan Schoolbooks Offer Conflicting Versions of Kosovo’s History

Shkelzen Gashi tells BIRN that his new report reveals how differently the history of Kosovo is taught all over the Western Balkans - with worrying implications for relations between neighbouring countries.

iraqi-star-writer-recalls-balkan-refugee-ordeal-12-26-2016

Iraqi Star Writer Recalls Balkan Refugee Ordeal

Award-winning writer Hassan Blasim has personal experience of the horrors of life on the Balkan refugee route, but - on a trip back to Sofia - he tells BIRN that he has never lost hope. 

serbian-rightist-readies-for-rigged-presidential-race-12-21-2016

Serbian Rightist Readies For ‘Rigged’ Presidential Race

Dveri leader Bosko Obradovic says the governing parties will stitch up the April 2017 presidential elections but that, if he wins, he will unite all Serbs in one state.

eu-integration-won-t-stop-authoritarianism-in-balkans-12-12-2016

EU Integration Won’t Stop Authoritarianism in Balkans

European integration will not stop Balkan governments from cracking down on independent voices unless societies have built up strong means of resistance, Kiril Koroteev, of the Moscow-based human rights centre Memorial told BIRN.

viktor-ivancic-journalism-is-on-the-road-to-suicide-12-09-2016

Viktor Ivancic: Journalism is On the Road To Suicide

Iconoclastic former editor of ‘Feral’ says old-style journalism is dead, Croatia’s Social Democrats should be smashed to pieces and calls Prime Minister Plenkovic a human ‘slot machine’.

sarajevo-siege-novel-celebrates-decency-under-fire-12-01-2016-2

Sarajevo Siege Novel Celebrates Decency Under Fire

Wartime Sarajevo-based correspondent Kevin Sullivan’s new novel The Longest Winter tries to reflect the humanity and courage of people living in the Bosnian capital during the 1992-95 siege.

jaksic-russia-has-important-topics-with-serbia-11-28-2016

Lavrov Puts Russia-Serbia Relations Into Sharp Focus

Russia’s Foreign Minister will be seeking to clarify Moscow’s increasingly complex relations with Serbia on his upcoming visit to Belgrade, explains Bosko Jaksic, a Belgrade-based foreign policy expert.

puhalo-bosnian-salafists-terror-tag-is-malicious--11-24-2016

Puhalo: Bosnian Salafists’ Terror Tag is ‘Malicious’

After spending two months with members of the Salafi movement in Bosnia, social psychologist Srdjan Puhalo says it is time to stop demonizing the community as terrorists.

bosnian-war-childhood-museum-edges-closer-to-opening-11-23-2016

Bosnian War Childhood Museum Edges Closer to Opening

Despite funding setbacks and broken promises of support, the War Childhood Museum will open in Sarajevo in December to exhibit people’s personal mementoes of growing up during the conflict, its director says.

albanian-first-woman-general-speaks-over-challenges-11-21-2016

America’s Eisenhower Inspires Albania’s First Woman General

Manushaqe Shehu, the first woman in the Balkans to become a General, says she owes her success to her family’s support - while also leaning on a motto of America’s wartime hero.

schwendiman-new-kosovo-war-court-not-anti-albanian--11-14-2016

Schwendiman: New Kosovo War Court ‘Not Anti-Albanian’

In his first interview since being appointed chief prosecutor of the new Kosovo special court, David Schwendiman told BIRN that suspected criminals are his target, not the Kosovo Liberation Army itself.

designers-of-handcrafted-shoes-find-their-feet-in-serbia-10-25-2016

Designers of Handcrafted Shoes Find Their Feet in Serbia

Custom-made shoes crafted from crocodile leather may be far beyond the wallets of most Serbs – but a handful of designers in Serbia say the market for it is growing.

kosovo-director-focuses-lens-on-post-war-trauma-11-04-2016

Kosovo Director Focuses Lens on Post-War Trauma

When director Gazmend Bajri met the subject of his latest film, he found an outlet for his feelings about how he himself suffered during the Kosovo war - and how he dealt with the trauma afterwards.