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Latest Blogs from the Balkans

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08 May 15

Macedonia’s Politics of Victimhood Cheat Citizens

Lura Pollozhani

If the latest protests mark an end to the old politics of ethnic victimhood, we can all finally become citizens.

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29 Apr 15

Look, man, I’ve got certain information

Nate Tabak

If he hasn’t done so already, Heikki Wendorf should watch “The Big Lebowski.” The Cohen Brothers’ 1998 film is not just an American comedy classic, it has a lot of lessons for the rule of law in Kosovo, which can be a tricky business.

02 Apr 15

How to make EU mediation work in Macedonia

Florian Bieber

Since Macedonian Prime Minister Gruevski accused the opposition of plotting the overthrow of the government and espionage and opposition leader Zoran Zaev began regularly releasing “bombs” of wiretapped calls that suggest corruption, abuse of office, electoral fraud and a range of other crimes by the prime minister and his associates, tensions in Macedonia have been increasing steadily. 

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27 Mar 15

Bitter-sweet Impressions of the Balkans

Tanja Fajon

Bosnia and Serbia are both taking steps backwards as well as forwards – but their future prospects look bright.

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25 Mar 15

Albania’s Nationalist Show: All Bark and no Bite

Gjergj Erebara

The pompous ‘joint meeting’ of the Kosovo and Albania governments may suggest nationalism is in the air – but it’s all petty politics designed for domestic consumption.

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26 Feb 15

My Secret Service ‘Diploma’ Shows What Macedonia Has Become

Meri Jordanovska

The folder I received containing my own wiretapped conversations doesn’t just show somebody is messing with our lives; it shows we are seen as enemies of the state in our own country.

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17 Feb 15

Two Cheers For Kosovo Independence Day

Kreshnik Hoxha

There might seem precious little to celebrate on independent Kosovo’s seventh birthday - but building a state was never going to be easy.

09 Feb 15

Ten rules by a 21st-century Machiavelli for the Balkan Prince

What would Machiavelli say about the Balkans today?, wonders Florian Bieber. In this letter for a modern Balkan Prince, he outlines ten rules that would allow the Prince to keep the power whatever the conditions. ‘Ruling is like dancing on the edge of a volcano’, he warns, suggesting, however, there are still ways to stay safe.

03 Feb 15

Overdue Justice for Srebrenica

Annkatrin Tritschoks

Almost 20 years after Bosnian Serb forces slaughtered more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) upheld the convictions of five men for genocide for what is considered the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II.

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08 Jan 15

Time to End Serbia’s Culture of Secrecy

Milan Antonijevic

Whatever the law says, asking questions remains a tricky business in Serbia.

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16 Dec 14

Croatian Politicians Play the Outrage Game

Sven Milekic

Croatia’s PM is boycotting an important economic summit in Belgrade over the rhetoric of Serbian nationalist Vojislav Seselj, but it’s no coincidence that his ‘patriotic’ move comes just before elections.

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15 Dec 14

Macedonian Student's Plenum - A Cry for Respect

Erwan Fouere

On December 10th, 2014 thousands of students defied the Government led by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and took to the streets of Skopje, Macedonia's capital city.

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12 Dec 14

Does Kosovo Need a Full-Time Parliament?

Mikra Krasniqi

A part-time assembly composed of MPs with other full-time careers would be more effective, more popular and less corrupt that the present arrangement.

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11 Dec 14

Magic and Male Dominance in a Kosovo Town

Jeta Abazi Gashi

Osman Musliu, a 52-year-old imam, is driving me to the town of Vushtrri in northern Kosovo. Musliu wears a warm smile and a red tie. We are going to what he calls a divorce ceremony.

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21 Nov 14

The Constitutional Court Failed Kosovo – Again

Nate Tabak

Refusal to hear case challenging the effective reappointment of international judges placed convenience over what was right.