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  • #341693

    Anonymous

    Fifteen years after the fighting ended, it seems that the wounds from the Balkan war might finally be starting to heal. The past year has seen relations between the countries of the former Yugoslavia improve significantly. Is it time to talk of a Balkan revival?

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    Both President Serbian Boris Tadić and Croatian Ivo Josipović have apologised for the war crimes committed during the nineties

    If you drive around Serbia, you will quickly notice a series of billboard signs which all say one thing, in huge letters: “Lustracija”. The word translates as “lustration” (“to purify”) but in a land which experienced a bitter war it’s come to represent the concept of facing one’s past; coming to terms with the acts committed by your nation’s soldiers, and those committed against your people.

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    Prime ministers Borut Pahor and Croatian Jadranka Kosor met seven times in 2010

    The word isn’t just big on billboards. It has also become a cornerstone of Serbian foreign policy. Earlier this year, the country’s president Boris Tadić formerly apologised for the Serbian massacre of Muslim men and boys at the Srebrenica camp in Bosnia. Recently he went a step further, apologising for war crimes committed by Serbs in Vukovar, Croatia.

    Time to say sorry

    It is clear that Tadić believes that lustration is crucial to the future not only of his own country but of all those nations in the former Yugoslavia. Speaking during his trip to Croatia, he reflected that the two countries had experienced misunderstandings and the awful pain of war but that: “We [have now] sent an apology, which is an extremely important step for overall relations between the two countries. Without settling international and bilateral relations and economic cooperation between the two countries there will be no progress.”

    Inevitably, some criticised the president’s actions. Some Serbs were offended that Tadić apologised for crimes which they argue were not committed by “real” Serbs but by Serbs living in Croatia. Some Croats, meanwhile, felt the president’s apology was too little too late. But the majority of people in both countries have welcomed Tadić’s efforts to make amends – as has the international community.

    And the Croatian president has followed suit. Ivo Josipović recently apologised to the families of Serbs killed by the Croatian army in Paulin Dvor near Osijek in 1991. Josipović sent a strong message, condemning all crimes and promising that his country will pursue those who committed them, regardless of nationality.

    Progress

    It is not just Croatian/Serbian relations which have been improving in the past year, however. Slovenia has also been closely involved in this Balkan revival. Slovenia and Serbia have intensified cooperation – among many initiatives, the countries’ agencies for the promotion of exports have recently signed an agreement to work together; Slovenia continues to be one of the biggest investors in Serbia; and the countries’ railway operators, together with Croatia, have signed an agreement to ease border crossings for cargo trains. Visits have been frequent: Prime Minister Borut Pahor has visited Tadić in Serbia three times this year alone, while the Serbian political has come to Slovenia six times.

    Slovenia has become closer to Croatia too. Prime ministers Borut Pahor and Jadranka Kosor have met a whopping seven times in the past twelve months. They have agreed on how to resolve the border issue, have even talked about sharing airspace, and have shown a willingness to finally resolve the long running dispute over Ljubljanska Banka’s debts to Croatian citizens.

    Meetings

    Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia are now organising regular trilateral meetings to discuss important issues relating both to the individual nations and to the region. Pahor says the meetings are a step towards strengthening trust between the three countries. He also argues they are a signal to others that mutual trust among leaders can help resolve important issues more easily and more quickly.

    Tadić agrees, saying that the get togethers contribute to a political relaxation not only in the three countries but throughout southeast Europe. He believes this will help European integration of the region’s countries – Slovenia has been credited for helping ease the visa regime for Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro and hopes to do the same for Bosnian citizens – as well as helping secure major investments and new jobs. Many feel the meetings are particularly important in light of the financial crisis, given that all of the region’s countries have been facing similar challenges.
    After twelve months of significant lustracija progress, most hope that the dawning new year will bring the same.

    http://www.sloveniatimes.com/en/inside.cp2?uid=150B53DC-4F39-3AE1-8ABA-3A969BD34B28&linkid=news&cid=BEAF1BF5-A047-2FFA-3BC2-D2EA2CC627CE

    #351624

    Anonymous

    Good to hear and about time for something like this in South Slavic Europe. No more Slavic brother wars!

    #351625

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Good to hear and about time for something like this in South Slavic Europe. No more Slavic brother wars!

    This two presidents are nothing but a puppets, people on Balkan still hate each other, and this apologies most people see as shameful and treacherous acts.

    #351626

    Anonymous

    Maybe, but this is still good way to move forward. Nothing is more stupid than hatred between peoples in Balkans because of wars 20 years ago. Most younger generations should grow out of this anyway.

    And there is nothing shameful and treacherous about apologising for crimes commited by nations during war. There is no such thing as innocent side in war and just symbolic nature of apologising on behalf of nation for wrongs done is already something very decent. It is also just first step anyway.

    #351627

    Anonymous
    Quote:

    Quote:
    Good to hear and about time for something like this in South Slavic Europe. No more Slavic brother wars!

    This two presidents are nothing but a puppets, people on Balkan still hate each other, and this apologies most people see as shameful and treacherous acts.

    Do you think, that war between Serbia and Croatia is possible somewhere in the near future? I personally dont think so. And that there is still some hostility between both sides is natural. Those wounds just need time to be healed.

    PS: Politicians all over europe ( and rest of the western world as well ) are pupets in general.

    #351628

    Anonymous
    Quote:

    Quote:

    Quote:
    Good to hear and about time for something like this in South Slavic Europe. No more Slavic brother wars!

    This two presidents are nothing but a puppets, people on Balkan still hate each other, and this apologies most people see as shameful and treacherous acts.

    Do you think, that war between Serbia and Croatia is possible somewhere in the near future? I personally dont think so. And that there is still some hostility between both sides is natural. Those wounds just need time to be healed.

    PS: Politicians all over europe ( and rest of the western world as well ) are pupets in general.

    No, I don't think there will be war between Croats and Serbs again. There are still many Serbs and Croats who have bad things to say about each other, but reality of it is that neither is threat anymore to another. War was fought, borders drawn, now there is really no sense or reason for conflict. In fact, I don't believe there is threat of war in general in Europe.

    Except of course for Kosovo.

    #351629

    Anonymous

    Well I think there will be no war between Serbs and Croats again but there is still lot of hatred between them and it won't heal so soon.

    #351630

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Well I think there will be no war between Serbs and Croats again but there is still lot of hatred between them and it won't heal so soon.

    As I wrote earlier, it simply needs time to heal. Look ar French and Germans or French and English. They hated each other for centuries and now is that hatred gone. Time can heal any wound.

    #351631

    Anonymous

    Well said, SitňaN.

    #351632

    Anonymous

    I don't think reconciliation in the Balkans is ever possible if artificial states continue to exist (read: Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo). Those very countries thrive on conflict and hating their neighbors and hijacking histories of neighbor states. Without hate in play those states would collapse overnight.

    #351633

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    I don't think reconciliation in the Balkans is ever possible if artificial states continue to exist (read: Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo). Those very countries thrive on conflict and hating their neighbors and hijacking histories of neighbor states. Without hate in play those states would collapse overnight.

    Sadly, you have a point.

    #351634

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    I don't think reconciliation in the Balkans is ever possible if artificial states continue to exist (read: Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo). Those very countries thrive on conflict and hating their neighbors and hijacking histories of neighbor states. Without hate in play those states would collapse overnight.

    Actually an independent Macedonia preserves peace between Serbia and Bulgaria, and keeps the Macedonians happy so they don't assassinate kings and prime ministers any more  ;)
    The Montenegrin Kingdom is actually quite old and there is nothing artificial about it.
    Agree on Kosovo though, it is a Serbian province.

    I guess the Bulgarian Principality was also considered an artificial state at one time too.

    #351635

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    I guess the Bulgarian Principality was also considered an artificial state at one time too.

    lol

    #351636

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Actually an independent Macedonia preserves peace between Serbia and Bulgaria, and keeps the Macedonians happy so they don't assassinate kings and prime ministers any more  ;)
    The Montenegrin Kingdom is actually quite old and there is nothing artificial about it.
    Agree on Kosovo though, it is a Serbian province.

    I guess the Bulgarian Principality was also considered an artificial state at one time too.

    Macedonia creates conflicts with Slavic-allies Greece, and animosity between Bulgarians and Serbs. I think if just the conflicts with Greece stop its fine though. Montenegro is fine but the current leadership need to become pro-Serb, until then they pose an instability problem. Kosovo is something that needs force.

    #351637

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Macedonia creates conflicts with Slavic-allies Greece, and animosity between Bulgarians and Serbs. I think if just the conflicts with Greece stop its fine though. Montenegro is fine but the current leadership need to become pro-Serb, until then they pose an instability problem. Kosovo is something that needs force.

    Slavic allies? You mean Serbian allies. They certainly are not allies of Macedonians, Croats and Bosniaks!

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