May 2, 2008
I find it very alarming that some people think that the Kosovo criss could be frozen like the division of Cyprus and postponed for later decades or generations. Just look at the per head gross income in Greece, Turkey, and the divided Cyprus:
Although the division of the island may serve well the nationalistic purposes of Greece and Turkey, it is the minority on the island who suffers from international isolation, lack of proper trade relations and political stability.
Now take a look at Serbia and Kosovo:
If the current stalemate goes on, Kosovo will be poorer than Serbia, because the unresolved relationship with Serbia will hurt its economy and trade, and it will also put off investors. However, if Northern Kosovo will not participate in the political and economic life of Kosovo, it will be even more isolated. It may well be that Serbia can postpone the full recognition of Kosovo, but the Serbian minority in Kosovo will suffer most.
It is very hard to imagine that Kosovo will return to Serbia, and Kosovars will participate in the political life of Serbia. (Should they choose so, they would hold the balance of power in the current Serbian election system as they would receive about 25% of the seats in the Serbian Parliament). However, if Kosovo will not return to Serbia any time soon, the Serbian minority within Kosovo has to chose between accepting the minority rights granted by the Ahtisaari-plan (which is now granted by the Kosovar constitution) or wait for a better deal. I think the Turkish minority in Northern Cyprus is a very bad example for that. It will be the minority of the major nation that will pay the price for nationalism.
I think the right conclusion is that Europe should help finding a workable solution on Cyprus, the EU and NATO should put pressure on Greece and Turkey to accept it, and apply the precedent within Kosovo.
Data: Gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita, the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year divided by the average population for the same year, using the CIA Factbook estimate, which is also available for Nothern-Cyprus.
A late clarification for those who are not that up-to-date in the Kosovo crisis: what I mean here is that a de facto divison of Kosovo to a Northern (Serb-speaking) and the Sourthern (Albanian-speaking) divided polity will have as bad effects as the division of Cyprus had. And I think the burden will fall disproportionately on the minority, which is the Serb ethnic group within Kosovo and the Turkish speaking group in Cyprus.Author : Dániel Antal