Central Europe Activ

A declaration of independence or high-profile diplomatic statements make it into the news, but the real stake of new states if they can deliver basic public services to their citizens. Krenar Gashi has? a moving writingon receiving a proper letter in Kosovo from the United Kingdom at last.

First series of stamps in Kosovo from 2000.Older Kosovars have lived in four different sovereign states without moving, which came with at least three street addresses.? It is a practical problem that Prishtina streets have three commonly known names: names given by the Communist regime, Serbia and Kosovars. The bigger problem was that the Serbian postal service has refused to recognize addresses in Kosovo. Lucky letters came (at least according to the envelope) via Z?rich instead of Belgrade or were addressed to the UN mission in Kosovo. For most Europeans it is so natural that their friends can send them a DVD, a book or a letter that we cannot imagine the feeling if could not receive them? Or not receiving a telephone call, or maybe a passport to visit friends. For the people of Kosovo it is a novelty that after many years they seem to have a postal service.

These stories make me think that Kosovo, or the Serbian part of Kosovo should not become a kind of Northern Cyprus for decades.

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  1. I have heard an interesting expression on Kosovo’s siuation few weeks ago.

    This is “demographic warfare”.

    and…I think the international community answered in a questionable way.. at least the results are shocking for the Serbs living in the territory of the present Kosovo.
    The whole situation is quite fragile, what is more any solution (or so called solution) would violate rights of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands people’s rights. By the way those rights has been violated already in several ways, independently from nationality. I believe, sometimes there is no proper/legal/peaceful solution at all.

    Antoher expression…read it on a T-shirt
    “Humanity is overrated.”
    Is it true?

  2. I think ‘demographic warfare’ is a misleading expression because it is true of any ethnic conflicts in the world. This had been said of Northern Ireland many times before. When I a member of the European Youth Parliament in 1995 (!) my Irish fellow delegates told me that this issue will be resolved by demography within 25 years. I think in a way they were right.

    You can look at the Kosovo conflict in two ways. Firstly, demographic changes have brought an overwhelming Albanian-speaking majority to Kosovo. But if you look at this from a Serbian point of view, you have another ‘demographic warfare’. Imagine for a second that Kosovo will return to Serbia and the Kosovar parties will participate in Serbian politics. They will immediately fetch 25% of the seats in the Serbian Parliament and they will hold the power of balance between the two political camps of today’s Serbia, who have approximately 55-45% support each. Now that is something that in fact nobody really wants in Serbia. What has lead to an attempted genocide is the fact that Serbian nationalism would like to keep Kosovo without the Kosovars.

    The Ahtisaari-plan resembles the Good Friday Agreement of Northern Ireland/Ulster in many ways. It builds on a demographic/realistic status quo when it gives something to the majority but also tries to protect the Serbian minority as a minority. The refusal of this plan (which is today enshrined in the Kosovar constitutions, so those who recognize Kosovo in its current form still endorse minority rights for Kosovar Serbs) is not more or less a demographic warfare than any long-standing ethnic conflicts.

  3. Hmm…what can I say now? I have not heard about this expression relevant to Ireland. Thanks for that.

    But, my opinion is still the same.

    Attepmted genocide? Yes.. as a completely stupid reaction. REACTION. On what? On UCK activities. Do not try to say that any of these people involved is inocent. Nobody is innocent here. Both sides are cruel. One side is lucky for no real reason.

    Let’s see what is about to happen in Macedonia, or within 4-5 years. The same scenario is already ongoing there and the Macedonian Government is alone… totally abbadoned nowadays. I wanted to emphasize that the example, which was established, (maybe not planned) by the international community is far away from a good solution. We can talk about human rights, but I am looking at this situation as a european citizen who does not feel safe, watchning these things happening so close to our borders. I am worried.
    I believe our point of view is very different, that is why you talk about political reasons and solutions, while I am listening to shootings during the peaceful celebration of independence. Trying to send comments without electricity from a Serbian “ghetto” so called encalve and so on.

    By the way… usually in the history, nations got country after a victorious war, not after hit an run, later cry…..I am afraid the number of population does not give the right to anyone to steal or occupy anything. I mean till now.

    I live here in Kosovo….if you ask people, you will know the truth. The media, and the politicans are not talking about that. Never. This turth is ugly. Far too ugly to say in TV.

  4. I had a post about Macedonia and although I did not write about the ethnic tension within the country I fully agree to your disappointment about the international community. I think nationalism leads to the ugliest things.

    I am very sad about the things you comment, and I do not want to pretend to know all the ‘right answers’. I think there are no ‘victorious wars’ in history, they are all the same as you describe the one in Kosovo.

    Some ethnic Hungarians had similar feeling in the recent decades, although they were not in physical insecurity. I think joining the EU and NATO has helped them in a very great deal, it opened their enclaves with Hungary and the rest of the world. I think that is the only future for Serbia and Kosovo. If most laws are local version of the acqui and borders have no significant meaning most of your troubles loose weight. (It still will not change the underlying demographic forces).

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