Archive for the ‘Balkans’ Category

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Το Βελιγραδι απο τη δυση στην ανατολη

September 25, 2010

Ο ψηλός με το περίεργο ραδιενεργό ξανθό τσουλούφι και το βαριεστημένο μισομεθυσμένο βλέμμα που κάθεται απέναντι είναι αυτή τη στιγμή μια απο της πιο αναγνωρίσιμες φάτσες στη Σερβία. Δεν θα στοιχημάτιζα σε αυτό ούτε τα τελευταία πέντε μου ευρώ εάν δεν με πληροφορούσαν ότι πρόκειται για το μεγάλο χαμένο του Σέρβικου Μπικ Μπραδερ που παρεμπιπτόντως ήταν ένα απο τα πιο δημοφιλή προγράμματα στη χώρα. Τώρα το πως ένα δυτικοφερτο σόου έχει τέτοια πέραση σε μια χώρα που περισσότεροι απο τους μισούς κατοίκους νιώθουν αναγούλα στο άκουσμα της λέξης ‘δύση’ χωράει πολύ κουβέντα. Αργότερα στο ίδιο πάρτι ο Σάσα, ένας καλόκαρδος πιτσιρικάς που κόβοντας τον νομίζεις ότι δεν θα πείραζε ούτε μυρμήγκι εξομολογείται μεθυσμένα ‘εδώ στη Σερβία περιμένουμε πως και πως να σας κάνουν καμιά αλητεία οι Αλβανοί, δικέ μου εσείς οι Έλληνες θα τους λιώσετε, εμάς μας βρήκαν αδύναμους και μόνους και μας την φέρανε αλλά εσείς θα τους λιώσετε, και μετά τους λιώνουμε και παρέα.»

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The Balkans are in need of a modern paradigm

June 9, 2010

Apostolis Fotiadis

Some days ago the Turkish airlines declared interest to purchase the Serbian national carrier ‘JAT’. The same time the uncertain attempt of Greece to tap the bailout mechanism has spread panic in the country and beyond, deepening the undergoing crisis of the monetary union. Beyond their news worthy value, both are consequences provoked by gigantic geopolitical processes that rapidly shape tomorrow’s world. The first one is the result of Turkey’s steady return as a sincere regional power cemented in the strategic doctrine of Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu’s, that envisages the future of his country as a core regional power with ever increasing global ambitions. A strategy pursued by a sophisticated foreign policy that promotes the country’s economic interests and attempts to cure Turkey’s old wounds. Initiatives in the Middle East, rapprochement with Syria and opening up to Iraq, opting for a mediator’s position between the West and Iran over its nuclear ambitions and taking on Israel, because of its aggression against Lebanon and Palestine in various occasions, have been somewhat spectacular and attracted more public attention.

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Authoritarianism consolidates in Bulgaria

May 4, 2010

The authoritarian tendencies of the populist Borissov government in Bulgaria are becoming blatantly obvious after the recent developments:

– A spate of spectacular arrests against former government ministers, officials and magistrates were carried out by the police. Footage of the Hollywood-style nighttime raids was made available on the Ministry of Interior website and relayed by mass media. On one memorable occasion, Chief Prosecutor for the District of Sofia, Roman Vassilev, ordered the former defence minister on the floor and called him a “criminal”. He was later reprimanded by his superiors but such behaviour is more and more appreciated by the public at large. Online forums are bristling with calls for retribution and calls for summary justice (though my sample is very limited and, admittedly, there are those who are outraged by the brutal display of force by the police and government)

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“December was not an answer, it was a question”

December 9, 2009

A. Fotiadis

A year onwards people seem eager to attempt explanations of what happened last December in Athens. All sorts of conferences and political discussions have been organized offering interesting analysis about the legacy of those days. It is easy to say that what happened has been important, you can notice its marks on so many people around. Then again it’s not easy to argue that everyone looking back sees the same things and makes out same sense about what happened then.

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Freedom of Speech in Kosovo

October 5, 2009

Anonymous death threats address at Jeta Xharra and to her team of journalists from the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) have raised new concerns about the dependence of Kosovo’s media on a newborn political and business elite.

The threat followed the television show ‘Jeta në Kosovë’ (Life in Kosovo) produced by BIRN journalists, on government control over media outlets and the links of former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) to organ trafficking of Serbian and Albanian prisoners of war.

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Greece is becoming a garbage bin for migrants and it does so with European consent. It is high time to react.

June 5, 2009

By Apostolis Fotiadis

High Commissioner António Guterres has asked some days ago the European Commission to consider convening a meeting between Italy, Malta, Libya, UNHCR and other relevant partners to work on a joint strategy for a better  response to irregular migration across the Mediterranean, following Italy’s recent  ‘push-backs’ to Libya.

But while Italy is being internationally chastised for the refoulement of refugees that effectively annuls the country’s responsibilities arising from international treaties, most notably the Geneva convention, neighboring Greece is building up a state sponsored persecution of irregular migration which has so far got away provocatively unnoticed.

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International Women’s Day – Demo for Solidarity with Kuneva organised in Sofia

March 7, 2009

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