Serbian elites’ long war on clarity

Although it is 170 years since a simplified Serbian language became the norm, Serbian elites still prefer muddying the rhetorical waters  In 1847, after three decades of struggle, Vuk Karadžić and his allies, Petar Petrović Njegoš, Branko Radičević and Đura Daničić, decisively won the battle for the standardisation of Serbian folk language and its literary use. Their victory was achieved by proving that the language … Continue reading Serbian elites’ long war on clarity

Ana Brnabić: the least bad news for Serbia

Appointment of a competent pro-Western openly gay female PM is a good thing, even though Serbia’s democracy is sliding back Today, after a long unwarranted delay Serbia’s president/PM Aleksandar Vučić decided to appoint Ana Brnabić as his successor who is to from the new Serbian government. This function will be almost ceremonial, as Vučić clearly showed intention to keep all the reigns in his hands. … Continue reading Ana Brnabić: the least bad news for Serbia

April in Belgrade: Photos from pro-democracy protests

After a sort of Easter break, the protests for media freedom and democracy continue today. They started on 3 April, after PM Aleksandar Vučić won the Presidential election, and  gathered large crowds across Serbia demanding free media, democratic control, fair elections and social justice. In Belgrade, on Saturday 9 April there were a few tens of thousands marching from the main Serbian government building in … Continue reading April in Belgrade: Photos from pro-democracy protests

Belgrade 2014: A winter portrait

I always disliked going back to Belgrade in winter: grayness of the weather usually only exacerbated the decrepit look of the facades around the city. Furthermore, the lack of summer terraces, would not only condemn us to trawling the streets to find anywhere decent to sit, but, a place, once found, would be enveloped in smoke and all conversation would have been drowned in the … Continue reading Belgrade 2014: A winter portrait

Kosovo and Serbia: The strong, the weak and all that

“Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.” As far as the social sciences and the dark arts of international relations go, this quote of Thucydides’, written some 24 centuries ago, is the closest thing to a law of motion. Thus the recent developments in Kosovo, from the … Continue reading Kosovo and Serbia: The strong, the weak and all that

Mladic: So long

Today the world, or at least the part that cares more about the Balkans and/or human rights than about Cheryl Cole’s downfall, was stunned by the capture of Ratko Mladic (alias: Milorad Komadic) near Zrenjanin in northern Serbia, first reported by the Croatian press.  The news made many happy, relieved or vindicated, as a man responsible for brutal killing of over 8000 men and boys in Srebrenica … Continue reading Mladic: So long

Hungry for change, fed up with elections

Whatever one may think about the SNS (Srpska Napredna Stranka [Serbian Progressive Party], a more moderate and politically viable spin-off from Seselj’s toxic SRS), it is truly the only opposition party in Serbia which is large enough to be able to create some momentum for reform and/or represent an alternative policy opinion in Serbia, and as such one would expect it to play a valuable role in … Continue reading Hungry for change, fed up with elections