Blow on Bulgaria’s Ethnic Model
12 October 2011
Bulgarian cities were recently rife with protest demonstrations and incidents of violence against the Roma. The death of a Bulgarian youth on September 23, 2011 in the village of Katunitsa in what was purported to be an accident was what triggered the protests. The local Bulgarians blaming the killing on a Romani family and its firebrand member Kiril Raskov, notorious for underground and illegal activities, has set fire to their house as revenge. Hundreds of people were arrested in the ensuing incidents of violence. With an organization ensured over the Internet through the social networking sites, the acts of violence perpetrated in Katunitsa spread to the entire country, turning into the Bulgarian-Roma ethnic tension. Bulgarian high level officials fear the incidents may give way to eve
Skopje 2014: The Awakening of the Macedonian Identity
22 August 2011
The Macedonian government continues its efforts to give the center of capital city Skopje a new face, through the Skopje 2014 Project. By means of the project, the government is trying to give central Skopje an ancient appearance, with the construction of new buildings, marble statues and renovation of the old structures. The most striking of the statues is that of Alexander the Great, set to be officially inaugurated in September 2011. Although the government makes no mention of the cost of the Skopje 2014 project, the bill is estimated between 200-500 million Euros. Some object to the excessive spending on statues in the country, plagued by a 33 percent unemployment rate and where one third of people live under the poverty line. Whereas, minorities living in the country are uneasy about
Shadow of the Balkans in the Terrorist Attacks in Norway
05 August 2011
Anders Behring Breivik who painted Norway in blood with twin attacks has some remarkable views about the Balkans in his "manifesto of terror" posted on the Internet. Breivik says that he has taken his action upon the NATO bombing campaign of Serbia in 1999 and notes that the bombing deprived Serbs of their right to stop Islam on their territories. Meanwhile, Radovan Karadzic who is now standing trial for the crimes he committed during the Bosnian war is an honorable Christian who fought against Islam, according to Breivik. His views expressed in the manifesto indicate that among the factors which pushed him to a perversion such as carrying out an act of terrorism were also the events in the Balkans about which he obviously knew very little.
Trilateral Balkan Summit Held in Croatia
21 July 2011
The presidents of Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina met for a trilateral summit in the Brijuni islands in Croatia on July 18, 2011. A joint statement released at the end of the meeting says the sides will uphold the process of peace-making and work towards finding a solution to the existing problems. It says further that mutual support both political and technical will be lent during the EU membership process and joint infra-structure projects will be developed for the welfare of the region. It was also agreed at the tri-partite summit that meetings of this kind should be repeated at least once a year.
Srebrenica: 16 Years Later
11 July 2011
The 16th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide was commemorated on July 11, 2011. The remains of 613 people were buried in the monumental graveyard in Potoçari near Srebrenica. The DNA tests conducted by the International Commission on Missing Persons resulted in the identification of 6598 Srebrenica victims. This commission puts the approximate number of Bosnians killed in Srebrenice in July 1995 at 8100.