The 100-year anniversary of World War I (1914-18) may have come and gone, but the role of Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip – the assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand – remains controversial in the turbulent history of the Balkans. For some he was a terrorist, for others a hero.
The Balkans region is living one of its most horrible springs ever, after the worst flooding in 120 years took 47 lives and witnessed evacuation of dozens of thousands of Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs in a matter of days last week.
In the early morning hours, as hundreds of people grab their breakfast at a busy bakery in Beogradska Street in the Serbian capital, a very special basket quickly fills up with croissants, rolls and breads. It is the ‘solidarity basket’.
This year, summer in the Balkans has been nice and warm, leaving behind a land of plenty, and enough food on the table. Except that people are talking about tomatoes “that don’t taste as they used to,” watermelons that are too watery, cabbages that are hard to slice through and onions that do not sting your eyes.
This holy month of Ramadan comes with a difference for some families in the Balkans. It is the first without their young sons, husbands or brothers who died far away from home fighting in Syria.
The influential Serbian Orthodox Church publicly crossed a line recently when two of its top clergymen took part in a Belgrade rally with messages amounting to direct threats against the lives of government officials.
The recent agreement for the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo has confirmed that the European Union (EU) is still acting as a “magnet”, attracting its external neighbours and transforming and integrating them. Thanks to its prospects for EU membership, the whole Balkan area has become more stable and secure. Unfortunately, this virtuous magnetism no longer exerts the same force of attraction on our own citizens.
After two months of waiting, people from the central Serbian town Valjevo followed the call of their bishop and went to local Orthodox Church to pray for rain.
In the decade following the break-up of Yugoslavia, it was rare for a statement made by a foreign politician to stir heated debate in the Eastern European bloc.
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.