Stories written by Vesna Peric Zimonjic
Vesna Peric Zimonjic is a freelance journalist working from the Balkan region with more than three decades of experience. She has contributed to IPS since the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia in 1991. Vesna also conducts political analyses of the region and contributes to the London-based daily The Independent, BBC World Service and German Deutsche Welle radio and television.

Students Flock to Online Black Market

Former university graduates, current students and professors are embroiled in an unusual scandal this exam season, as news reports filtering in from around the Balkans reveal a major online trade in stolen final papers.

New Serbian President Promises Change

Serbs awoke on Monday morning to a regime change. A close ballot in the presidential run-off Sunday spelled the end for incumbent Boris Tadic, who served two terms as head of the Democratic Party that toppled former dictator Slobodan Milosevic in 2000, as Serbs cast their votes for the populist Tomislav Nikolic, who begins his five-year term today.

Nazi Propaganda Gets a Makeover in Serbia

As the May 6 date for Serbia’s general election inches closer, two young Belgrade playwrights have capitalised on the electoral war of words between the pro-European camp and conservative nationalists to highlight the dark side of propaganda and expose the omnipotence of party membership.

Serbs travel up to 100 kilometres to the Bulgarian open-air market Ilijanci to buy cheap clothes and shoes.  Credit:  Vesna Peric Zimonjic/IPS

‘Shopping Tourism’ Promotes Regional Unity in the Balkans

The region of former Yugoslavia has developed a new phenomenon in response to economic hardships that continue to linger in Europe years after the climax of the global financial crash in 2008.

Greece Takes the Shine Off Serbian EU Candidacy

Serbia has reached its historic goal of becoming a European Union (EU) member candidate after being a pariah state for years. But analysts warn that the undisputed political success may not bring immediate results.

Greece Takes the Shine Off Serbian EU Candidacy

Serbia has reached its historic goal of becoming a European Union (EU) member candidate after being a pariah state for years. But analysts warn that the undisputed political success may not bring immediate results.

BALKANS-ECONOMY: One-Dollar Steel Mill Exposes Cracks in Privatisation

For the first time in its history, Serbia has bought back a company sold to a foreign investor almost ten years ago, for the symbolic price of a single dollar. But while the purchase has stirred a sense of national pride, it is hardly a success story for the Balkan economy; rather, it has exposed the failure of a decade-long effort to privatise the national economy.

BALKANS-SOCIETY: First Abused, Then Imprisoned

The women languishing in Serbia’s Pozarevac Penal Correctional Institution are victims twice over: survivors of decades of domestic violence, they have been imprisoned for killing their partners and often spend up to 15 years in jail.

BALKANS: The Dark Side of Serbia’s Oil Shale Fairy Tale

According to an old Serbian fairy tale, God tells a poor man who enters a gold mine that no matter what he chooses to do inside, he'll be sorry when he leaves. If he takes some gold, he'll be sorry for not taking more; if he doesn't, he'll be sorry for not taking any at all.

SERBIA: Royalty Rehabilitated in Retrospect

Serbia saw the first rehabilitation of a member of its royal family earlier this month, in a move by the supreme court described by historians as "deeply moral" and necessary - for generations who remember the Karadjordjevics as well as those who have learned about them from the history books.

BALKANS: Kosovo Serbs Turn to Russia for Protection

On Dec. 1, the government in Moscow turned down a petition for Russian statehood by some 22,000 Kosovo Serbs who argue that their lives as ethnic minorities in Kosovo have become "unbearable".

BALKANS: Fearing the ‘White al-Qaeda’

Mevludin Jasarevic (23) is in police custody in Sarajevo, scarcely revealing how he came to the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina and went on a shooting spree in front of the United States embassy last month.

 Credit:  Astroturfer/CC BY 2.0

BALKANS: Who’s Afraid of Serbian Violins

The path of reconciliation in former Yugoslavia has taken a musical turn, as the philharmonic orchestras of Ljubljana, Zagreb and Belgrade team up for their first joint season since 1991.

BALKANS: Serbs Turn From the State Towards Themselves

Dismayed by the lack of beer and chips at a football game three years ago, Dragan Stancic and Uros Petrovic, two young Belgradians, hatched a plan to take matters into their own hands.

SERBIA: Mixed Feelings on Restitution Law for WWII Property

The Serbian parliament has adopted one of the most long awaited – and most controversial – laws in its recent history: the law on restitution of property confiscated by the communist regime after World War II.

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