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Latest Features from the Balkans

falling-birth-rate-threatens-moldova-s-future-01-17-2018
24 Jan 18

Falling Birth Rate Threatens Moldova’s Future

Moldova is facing worrying demographic trends, as large-scale migration and changes in people’s mentality cause sharp falls in the numbers of new-borns.

albanian-high-flyer-émigrés-rescue-their-neglected-school-01-22-2018
24 Jan 18

Albanian High-Flyer Émigrés Rescue Their Neglected School

Alumni clubs are a new phenomenon in Albania – but one gathering successful former pupils of the Gjergj Kastrioti school in Durres is up and running, and gathering funds for their run-down alma mater.

albania-s-new-greek-cemeteries-risk-reviving-old-grudges-01-20-2018
22 Jan 18

Albania’s New Greek Cemeteries Risk Reviving Old Grudges

Albania’s government has promised to build new graveyards for Greek soldiers who died there during World War II – but some Albanians fear they could turn into pilgrimage sites for Greek nationalists, who have long coveted southern Albania.

parents-of-albanian-isis-martyrs-abandoned-to-grief-01-12-2018
15 Jan 18

Parents of Albanian ISIS ‘Martyrs’ Abandoned to Grief

Their sons went to fight for ISIS in Syria or Iraq, and some even had children in the conflict zone - then they were killed, leaving their impoverished relatives in Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia to suffer.

serbia-s-stateless-roma-struggle-for-visibility-01-09-2018
12 Jan 18

Serbia’s Stateless Roma Struggle for Visibility

While life is tough for Serbia’s large Roma community generally, the thousands of Roma who fled from Kosovo without any documents face particularly steep obstacles.

predrag-lucic-made-us-laugh-sing-and-cry-01-10-2018
10 Jan 18

Predrag Lucic – Made Us Laugh, Sing and Cry

The journalist, editor and one of the founders of the legendary anti-establishment magazine Feral Tribune, has gone – but leaves behind a rich legacy of satire, laughter and songs.

disabled-community-takes-a-stand-in-kosovo-01-09-2018
10 Jan 18

Disabled Community Takes a Stand in Kosovo

In impoverished Kosovo, the disabled community has been pushed to the back of the line – but a new generation of activists and NGOs is determined to change things.

flow-of-migrants-drains-bosnia-of-its-youth-01-09-2018
10 Jan 18

Flow of Migrants Drains Bosnia of its Youth

Dispirited by never-ending political quarrels and a dire economic and social situation, people are leaving Bosnia en masse, searching for better future abroad.

floods-worsen-woes-of-albania-s-decaying-heritage-sites-01-05-2018
08 Jan 18

Floods Worsen Woes of Albania’s Decaying Heritage Sites

December’s floods did serious damage to several heritage sites in Albania – but experts blame part of the damage on earlier failures to carry out preservation work, and mismanagement of resources.

christmas-comes-twice-in-divided-moldova-01-05-2018
05 Jan 18

Christmas Comes Twice in Divided Moldova

Even the celebrations of Christmas and New Year are a matter of siding with the ‘East’ or the ‘West’ in this former Soviet republic.

gagauz-resist-moldova-s-embrace-of-west-01-01-2018-1
03 Jan 18

Gagauz Resist Moldova’s Embrace of West

Turkey and Russia are competing influences in Moldova’s only autonomous region, where most locals eye Moldova’s courtship of the EU with suspicion.

entrepreneur-bucks-trend-among-business-shy-bosnians-12-26-2017
02 Jan 18

Entrepreneur Bucks Trend Among Business-Shy Bosnians

Many youngsters are unwilling to start a business in Bosnia because of the complex red tape and high taxes – but one woman says the obstacles poses less of problem than people think.

serbian-fan-group-rediscovers-romance-of-sport-01-01-2018
02 Jan 18

Serbian Fan Group Rediscovers Romance of Sport

Sport in Serbia is widely associated with violent behaviour, but one fan group of the popular club FK Partizan is taking a very different approach based on romanticism and poetry.

macedonia-probing-for-truth-about-ethnic-violence-trials-12-28-2017
29 Dec 17

Macedonia: Probing for Truth about Ethnic Violence Trials

The ousting of Nikola Gruevski’s regime in 2017 brought new hope for those who felt they were unjustly tried for terrorism in several murky, high-profile court cases that troubled inter-ethnic relations in Macedonia.

bosnia-ratko-mladic-verdict-highlights-ethnic-divisions-12-27-2017
28 Dec 17

Bosnia: Landmark Verdicts Highlight Post-War Divisions

The conviction of Ratko Mladic was cheered by Bosniaks but condemned by Bosnian Serb leaders, while rival reactions to the acquittal of Bosniak commander Naser Oric also highlighted the country’s continuing ethnic discord.