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Latest Interviews from the Balkans

leader-of-eu-greens-slams-bulgaria-over-ski-resort-expansion-01-18-2018

EU Green Leader Condemns Threat to Bulgarian National Park

The European Greens co-president Ska Keller tells BIRN of her grave concerns for the future of the UNESCO-protected Pirin National Park, after Bulgaria's government approved plans to expand the ski resort there.

macedonia-greece-must-seize-historic-opportunity-dimitrov-01-16-2018

Macedonia, Greece, ‘Must Seize Historic Opportunity’ – Dimitrov

In an interview with BIRN, Macedonia’s foreign minister, Nikola Dimitrov, says the two countries have a duty to use the current momentum to finally resolve their ancient disputes.

bosnian-judicial-overseer-vows-to-speed-up-prosecutions-01-10-2018

Bosnia’s Judicial Overseer Vows to Speed Up Prosecutions

Prosecutions of the most significant war crimes, corruption and organised crime cases slowed last year, but the head of Bosnia’s High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council insists that the focus in 2018 will be on dealing with high-level suspects.

architect-of-eu-turkey-deal-looks-to-bulgaria-12-29-2017

‘Architect’ of EU-Turkey Deal Looks to Bulgaria

Gerald Knaus, the man who came up with the plan to stem the migrant influx through the Aegean, tells BIRN that Bulgaria could use its EU presidency to make the refugee deal with Turkey work.

100-hectic-days-of-kosovo-pm-12-21-2017

Kosovo PM Reflects on First 100 Days

Looking back on his 100 days in office, Kosovo’s new Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj, admits he is far from solving the country's huge problems – but says at least he has 'scanned the situation' and knows what they are.

hague-prosecutor-balkan-states-still-celebrating-criminals-12-15-2017

Hague Prosecutor: Balkan States Still Celebrating Criminals

Reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia will be hard to achieve while war criminals are still treated as heroes, the chief prosecutor at the Hague Tribunal, Serge Brammertz, told BIRN ahead of its closure this month.

kosovo-serb-minister-learning-albanian-is-necessary-12-14-2017

Kosovo Serb Minister: Learning Albanian is Necessary

Kosovo government minister Dalibor Jevtic says Serbs and Albanians need to build trust - and that Kosovo Serb children should learn the Albanian language to ensure better communication for the future.

disabled-bosnians-face-uphill-battle-for-jobs-12-07-2017

Disabled Bosnians Face Uphill Battle For Jobs

The case of Ana Kotur Erkic, a young lawyer from Brcko, shows that people with disabilities still face stigma and discrimination in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

serbia-fostered-culture-of-denial-by-hiding-mladic-11-16-2017

Serbia ‘Fostered Culture of Denial’ by Hiding Mladic

Author and journalist Julian Borger argues that because Serbia was not penalised for shielding Ratko Mladic while he was on the run, it helped foster a culture of denial of war crimes and genocide.

predrag-matic-defending-vukovar-war-was-no-movie-11-15-2017

Defending Croatia’s Vukovar: ‘Real War is No Movie’

Twenty-six years after the Croatian town of Vukovar fell, Predrag Matic, who fought to defend it, was captured and imprisoned, and later became a government minister, recalls how the reality of war was a horrific surprise.

moldova-stands-at-a-crossroads-maia-sandu-11-09-2017

Moldova ‘Stands at a Crossroads’ – Maia Sandu

Ahead of next year’s general elections, the defeated pro-Western candidate in last year’s presidential election says voters must choose between ‘responsible government’ or life in an uncertain ‘buffer zone’.

romania-media-must-defend-its-independence-union-says-11-06-2017

Romania Media ‘Must Defend its Independence’, Union Says

MediaSind president Cristi Godinac tells BIRN in an interview that journalists must unite to defeat the ruling party’s plans to clip the wings of the public news agency Agerpres. 

russia-using-serbia-to-destroy-europe-ukraine-ambassador-10-31-2017

Russia ‘Using Serbia to Destroy Europe’, Ukraine Ambassador

Serbia is doing nothing to stop its citizens from fighting in East Ukraine while Moscow is ‘using Serbia’ for its battles elsewhere, Ukraine’s ambassador, Oleksandr Aleksandrovych, told BIRN in an interview.

world-jewish-congress-urges-croatia-to-debate-holocaust-10-29-2017

World Jewish Congress Urges Croatia to Debate Holocaust

The World Jewish Congress wants to trigger a debate about Holocaust revisionism in Croatia, to encourage acknowledgement of the crimes committed at the WWII Jasenovac concentration camp, activist Menachem Rosensaft told BIRN.

louder-than-guns-croatia-s-wartime-patriotic-singers-10-18-2017

‘Louder than Guns’: Croatia’s Patriotic Wartime Singers

A new documentary about huge number of Croatian patriotic songs recorded during the 1990s conflict shows how musicians volunteered their talents to support the ‘Homeland War’ for independence.