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Nettisanomat - Sanomisen ja julkaisemisen vapautta vuodesta 1999Ilmoita ilmaiseksi! - Arkisto
 N:o 732. Maanantai 2008-01-28
edellinen  seuraava   UUSIN   - "Punainen muisto". "Kuvanveistäjä Taisto Martiskaisen ”Crescendo” 1970.

Guardian Unlimited Monday January 28, 2008
Special Report Kosovo
Comment
Balkans on the mend
There is no need for gloom: the region has a great chance to achieve stability and prosperity

Olli Rehn
Monday January 28, 2008
The Guardian

People in the Balkans face a stark choice this year: their region could either finally resolve its outstanding problems from the wars of the 1990s or fall back into instability and extremes of nationalism. The first option would take them forward towards stability, prosperity and European integration. But many commentators believe the second is inevitable.

I disagree with the prophecies of doom. There is certainly a danger of instability, at the moment when Kosovo's future status is on the point of being resolved. But the repercussions need not be destabilising if the EU gives a decisive and unified steer to ensure a coordinated response, as foreign ministers meeting today should be aware.

No other international actor will be so directly affected by the outcome - neither Russia nor the United States - and we are ready to carry our responsibility to support stability and progress in the region. The western Balkans has made steady if uneven progress over recent years, and the goal of EU membership remains an important motivation to keep reforms on track. Clearly, the region's future lies in the EU, and most people would rather get there sooner than later.

In fact, all the countries could make faster progress along the road to Europe. By the end of this year, I hope they will all pass through the gateway towards candidacy for membership, by signing a stabilisation and association agreement with the EU. Albania and Montenegro have already done so, as has the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which could soon demonstrate its readiness to begin accession negotiations if it can maintain sufficient political will and cross-party dialogue to drive through serious reforms.

The EU is now waiting for Bosnia and Herzegovina and for Serbia to meet the remaining conditions to sign the agreement. I want to see both countries take a decisive step forward, not only because it would move them closer to the EU, but primarily for the benefit of their own citizens.

The doomsday prophecies for Bosnia and Herzegovina have so far been proven wrong. The country's leaders made important progress last year on police reform, with the goal of ensuring the rule of law and separating policing from politics. There is much at stake in Serbia. The EU foreign ministers should today give a strong signal of Serbia's European future by deciding to sign the stabilisation and association agreement shortly. Serbia is close to full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which is essential to allow the country to turn the page on one of the darkest periods in its history.

Serbia's institutional capacity gives it great potential to move faster towards the European Union. It has the chance to draw closer to qualifying for candidate status, maybe even during the course of this year. Seldom have citizens had as clear a choice as the Serbs do now, between a nationalist past and a European future.

The EU is ready to welcome the citizens of Serbia into Europe, not just through a contractual relationship with their state, but also individually. This is demonstrated by the commission's launch of a dialogue on visa-free travel for Serbs that will start this week.

The future for the Balkans can be far from dark. In the EU, there has never been a stronger political will to support the people of the western Balkans in opting for European values and living standards. But ultimately people in the region have to exercise their democratic choice to determine their countries' future course.

· Olli Rehn is the European commissioner responsible for enlargement and is the author of Europe's Next Frontiers
olli.rehn@ec.europa.eu


Comments

Simonis
January 28, 2008 10:40 AM

Well, Orwell seems to have been right about Newspeak, or EUspeak, a language Mr Rehn writes with great fluency; let's hope he wasn't right about the perpetual superpower war, but the signs aren't altogether encouraging. European this, European that, European the bleeding other. In this fairly poor part or Slovenia, the disillusionment with the EU is growing like a bureaucrat's pension plan. The Zeitgeist is nostalgia, not optimism, I'm afraid. Not that I want to spoil your lobster supper - churlishness wouldn't be very European of me, would it?


spencer
January 28, 2008 10:41 AM

Serbia has no place in an organisation which bombed it for 74 days and nights in the most brutal fashion. Targetting civilian infrastructure and civilians themselves. The EU is blackmailing Serbia in the hope that it will give up a piece of it's sovereign territory in order to create a non viable black hole in the heart of Europe. It flies in the face of the UN and Resolution 1244 which clearly states that Kosovo and Metohija is an unalienable part of Serbia.

We have a saying, a promise is a source of joy to an idiot. I hope that the Serbs have woken up and see where their future lies. It is not with two faced Europe which has no intention of accepting the Serbs as equal partners. Which demands that every soldier who was fighting for his country is delievered to the kangaroo court in the Hague.

No Mr. Rehn, this is not 1999! We are not alone and you can't blackmail us any longer.


camera
January 28, 2008 10:44 AM

Once those in the Balkans have exercised their democratic choice, maybe we can one day exercise our own democratic choice in the EU by voting for European commissioners?


tyusha
January 28, 2008 10:47 AM

It brings back to my mind all those tons of EU criticism of alleged Russian interference in the 2004 Ukrainian elections, however unsubstantiated they turned out to be. But what we see in the case of elections in Serbia, is the EU announcing a major decision on visa-free travel with Serbia, 2 days before the election, with the unspoken imperative that the pro-Western candidate MUST be elected in order for this to be fulfilled. Now they produced the carrot of "EU living standards" (whatever this is supposed to stand for; the difference in living standards between the UK and Romania is staggering). I don't know what they call that in the West, but we call it bribery, here in Moscow.



Abulafia
January 28, 2008 11:10 AM

Have you checked the pulse of the "people in your region" recently?
You say that "in the EU, there has never been a stronger political will to support the people of the western Balkans in opting for European values and living standards. But ultimately people in the region have to exercise their democratic choice to determine their countries' future course".
Yet, you forget that the people in the EU have the same choice. There is nothing that indicates that French, Portuguese, Checks, Greeks or Romanians will be happy to go along with the EU's political will. If the EU's political class can not warrant the "EU people" support for enlargement, than your promises to the "Balkan people" are at best misleading or perhaps even cheating.


nimn2003
January 28, 2008 11:16 AM

Dear Mr Rehn. Which planet do you inhabit? Why would a county (Serbia) which has been illegally bobmed - killing civilians and destroying non-military 'targets' actually WANT to belong to the 'club' that did the deed?

Why would Serbia want to belong to an organisation that set about destabalising an internationally recognised country (Yugoslavia) and in its final act wants to steal 15% of its land and give it to another country?

Why would anyone n Serbia trust a representative from an organisation (EU) several of whos members actively supported secession (Germany in particular).

Why would Serbia want to trust an organisation that lied to its own people in order to 'justify' an illegal war? This was all in the 1990's NOT the 19th Century!!

Maybe if the EU admitted it had been biased againstSerbia and Serbs, and acknowlsged the legitimate greivances that Serbia has, maybe, just maybe, there would be a more positive approach to the EU.


Princip
January 28, 2008 11:35 AM

"This is demonstrated by the commission's launch of a dialogue on visa-free travel for Serbs that will start this week."

- dialogue - talk about talks no less - hardly a great demonstration! Could Rehn give any assurances and dates for accession ? I note he failed to mention Croatia - were they not meant to be joining in 2009? Opps has the "demonstrated" commissions dialogued time frame slipped? Ah that answers why he forgot to mention Croatia!

Beyond that the EU needs to be quite clear that it respects Serbia's sovereignity and territorial integrity if it truly does want Serbia to be a "partner" in this Union of equal states - or is it that some States are more equal then others?



DeepDark
January 28, 2008 11:56 AM

Decision to start talks about visa-free travel a couple of days before the elections will not help, simply because it reminds Serbs that 7 years after Serbia has become a peaceful democracy and market economy they cannot even travel to the EU without being humiliated.

It is much wiser that the subject of visa-free travel is not mentioned by anyone, including the EU, at this point.

It can easily irritate even the most enthusiastic supporter of Serbia's EU aspirations, let alone others.



Ian70
January 28, 2008 12:09 PM

"Dear Mr Rehn. Which planet do you inhabit? Why would a county (Serbia) which has been illegally bobmed - killing civilians and destroying non-military 'targets' actually WANT to belong to the 'club' that did the deed?"

Election after election, and opinion poll after opinion poll confirm that a majority of Serbs are keen for their country to join the EU. Perhaps they understand their own situation better than the person asking this rhetorical question.

If you'd been through the experience Serbia has, then you too would like the normality, stability etc that comes from EU membership. Isolation and the Millwall approach to diplomacy were a failure on multiple levels for Serbia.

As for Ollie Rehn, an article like this would be more appropriate after the second round of voting when the situation is clearer. I'm not as hopeful as he is.

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Despo

January 28, 2008 12:22 PM

Simonis, Mr Rehn is the EU Commissioner for Enlargement discussing Serbia's prospects of EU membership. As such, of course he would be talking about Europe this and Europe that, because his article is about Europe. As for your suggestion that Slovenians are disillusioned with the EU (I take it you yourself are not actually Slovenian, but would hazard a guess that Slovenia's membership of the EU makes your presence there easier), my Slovenian friend is delighted that Slovenia now has the euro and she can travel to Vienna with no hassle. And I am sure many Slovenians are proud and appreciate the value to their country of the fact that Slovenia is the current EU president. More to the point, the issue of Serbia and Kosovo, and the important role the EU has in all this, is of more importance to Slovenians than many other Europeans.

Spencer, I don't know which organisation you are referring to, but the EU never bombed Serbia. NATO did, yet Serbia is now a member of the Partnership for Peace programme, which is a stepping stone to NATO membership.

Camera, you do realise, don't you, that by voting for EU Commissioners you will also have to accept that they should be given greater powers. You should also argue that in the UK (only people from the EU say things like you do) members of the cabinet should not be selected by the Prime Minister, but voted by the electorate. Commissioners are selected by their respective governments and their task is to implement the policies formulated by the Council meetings of the EU governments. If you don't like European Commission policy, complain to your government.

If Serbia wants to, it can take the EU road, although the country still has a long way to go before it can start to sort itself out properly. Otherwise, the other alternative for Serbia is to join the Russian Federation. I wish Serbs would seriously consider that option, then, perhaps, they will be able to see what is actually in their best interests.

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Despo
January 28, 2008 12:26 PM

A correction - only people from the UK say the sorts of things that camera does, hence my assumption that he/she is from the UK. Actually, the other type of people who want to vote for commissioners are European federalists. Are you a European federalist, camera?

 

spencer
January 28, 2008 12:28 PM

Ian70 perhaps it's because we have lived through all of this whether we live in Serbia or not we are saying these things. Who needs empty promises? Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

There is nothing of substance here. Just empty promises. Serbia has not moved from the starting block except to privatise her national assets. This was all done through Tadic and his cronies who have robbed the country blind.

We have no middle class. There are the ultra rich (very small minority) and a huge majority of very poor people.

Living standards that Yugoslavia enjoyed are a thing of the past and as simonis says the part that broke away first is very nostalgic for the good old days.

What the EU is doing in interfereing in the internal matters, i.e. elections, of a sovereign state. Surely this is something nobody could agree with?

 

belgianblokesback
January 28, 2008 12:34 PM

balkans = powderkeg , take the foreign forces out and within 10 minutes you'll have full blown civil war .

Peace in the balkans is very artificial .

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camera
January 28, 2008 12:53 PM

Despo; "Camera, you do realise, don't you, that by voting for EU Commissioners you will also have to accept that they should be given greater powers."

I do. I have no qualms about a powerful EU if it were democratic. But is isn't.

"You should also argue that in the UK (only people from the EU say things like you do) members of the cabinet should not be selected by the Prime Minister, but voted by the electorate."

The vast majority of UK cabinet members are voted by the electorate as members of parliament. Which voters are commissioners directly accountable to? Which voters is the President of the European Commission accountable to?

"Commissioners are selected by their respective governments and their task is to implement the policies formulated by the Council meetings of the EU governments"

You probably know as well as I do that much policy-making occurs in setting the agenda.

"If you don't like European Commission policy, complain to your government."

What's the bloody point if two referendums on the constitution were totally ignored by the national governments?

"A correction - only people from the UK say the sorts of things that camera does, hence my assumption that he/she is from the UK. Actually, the other type of people who want to vote for commissioners are European federalists. Are you a European federalist, camera?"

An own goal there - I am indeed a European federalist - but not the European federalism presented by the overpaid, unelected and unaccountable officials of the EU as it stands today.

 

Despo
January 28, 2008 12:53 PM

Spencer, in what way is the EU interfering in the Serbian elections? For a start, Rehn is here also sending a message to EU governments (e.g. the Dutch) who believe that Mladic should be caught before the stabilisation and association agreement is signed. And I'm sure there are opposition politicians and supporters in Serbia who would argue that if the agreement were signed before the elections then this would be interfering in favour of Tadic. Just like I'm sure some are already doing with the visa deal. Vote for Nikolic if you like, but don't be surprised if by voting for someone who takes an anti-Europe line you damage your chances of joining the EU. Seriously, you should consider joining the Russian Federation. Won't that give you the kind of Serbia you want?

 

melbourne
January 28, 2008 1:20 PM


Serbia should not be allowed near the EU until it hands over to the Hague tribunal ex General Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, two of the architects of the genocide against the Muslim population of Bosnia and who were also responsible for the massacre of 8,000 Bosniak men and boys in Srebnica.

Both of these gentlemen are hiding in Serbia, Mladic supposedly on an amry pension; Karadzic dividing his time between there, Montenegro and the bosnian borderland.

Until this pair are incarcerated in the Hague, Serbia shoul dbe told in no uncertain terms that EU membership is out of the question.

yours,


CarefulReader
January 28, 2008 1:32 PM

@Despo, re Slovenia:

People here in Slovenia are ambivalent about the euro: on one hand, it's less hassle to travel and shop abroad now, on the other, since the introduction of the euro, prices have risen sharply, and Slovenians are now much worse off than a year ago.

And of course, as everywhere, people like the free movement across the borders, but are either ignorant or indignant about the workings of the EU commission.


garsidepotter
January 28, 2008 1:39 PM

spencer - where is serbia's future then? Within the sphere of influence of Russia? If you want to know what blackmail feels like, as Ukrainians and others who have become dependent on Russian oil.

 

tyusha
January 28, 2008 1:51 PM

"Seriously, you should consider joining the Russian Federation".

The Russian Federation is not a club one can join, even if one wants it too bad (like Belarus or Abkhazia do). Putin made it sufficiently clear that the country is not interested in feeding all those drones any more. But Russia is a stable partner which procured independence for Serbia in the 19th century and went into WWI for Serbia's sake. There is no similar historical record to suggest that the EU is a friend that Belgrade can trust in the times of need. On the country, the EU and its leaders made a point of partitioning Yugoslavia and humilating the Serbian people. Now it's time to pay up. It's not like a European country should strive to join "the club" at all cost, ceding its historical heartland to the Muslims in the process: look at Switzerland and Norway for an example of a prospering non-EU country.

 

Simonis
January 28, 2008 1:54 PM

Despo, I've got no problem with the focus of the commissioner's article being Europe, but was trying to criticize the, as I see it, increasingly insular and self-obsessed rhetoric of many EU bureaucrats and staunch pro-EUers, encapsulated on another thread by one raving about the "threat from China" and hinted at here by Mr Rehn's "European values and living standards". Which are what, exactly?

I have lived in Slovenian for over 12 years and have to say that your guess that Slovenia's membership of the EU makes my "presence" here easier is wrong. Your Slovenian friend may well be delighted that "Slovenia now has the euro and she can travel to Vienna with no hassle" (the hassle being a ten-minute wait at Å entil, I take it?), but her summer trips to the coast have just become even more of a hassle, this assuming she's not one of the ever-increasing number of Slovenes who cannot afford foreign, or indeed any, holidays.

And while you're probably right that "many Slovenians are proud and appreciate the value to their country of the fact that Slovenia is the current EU president", I maintain that more and more are regretting accession (undertaken after a typically one-sided public debate - the political class being a main EU beneficiary, after all - and I suspect for slightly dubious reasons in many cases). While the vote for EU membership was overwhelming, the simultaneous one for NATO membership was a much closer affair, reflecting a level of caution about perceived Western imperialism and widespread disapproval of the bombing of Serbia, the consequences of which are, as we see, still far from resolved.

For what it's worth, I am very much in favour of as wide a union of some sort as possible (probably more EFTA-like), but am disappointed by the EU's record on many issues and, as I said earlier, rather revolted by the fortress Europe rhetoric.


lad86
January 28, 2008 2:43 PM

@Oli,

Please stop looking after our benefit. It's none of your business.

Best explanation of our stance regarding EU is presented at the link below.

http://fuck.eu

Thanks to Dutch they saved us today (along with our old savior general Mladic).

Kind regards from Serbia


nishville
January 28, 2008 3:12 PM

melbourne,

Mr. Karadzic is not and has never been a citizen of Serbia. If any country should be responsible for his arrest it must be Bosnia whose citizen he actually is. If the USA and GB officials should ever be indicted before ICC for Kosovo and Iraq, should USA be responsible for the arrest of Tony Blair?
If EU really wants Serbia to join in, maybe it should persuade USA to dismantle Bondsteel, an American army base illegally built on the teritory of the sovereign country (Serbia) without that country's permission.

 

Despo
January 28, 2008 3:17 PM

Simonis, Rehn's article (and his post) is all about expanding Europe, letting more nations and people in. This article is about enlarging the EU into the Balkans. You can hardly call this a "fortress Europe" then.

Oh yes, I'm sure lots of people in all EU member-states moan on occasion about the EU, the Commission, and whatever else. Just as people in all countries moan about their governments, their government's allies, any military or trade alliances their countries might be in. It's par for the course. It doesn't mean their analysis of the situation is right, and I bet you very few Slovenians, for example, who allegedly complain about the EU wish that their country weren't in it.

The same goes with the euro, I doubt the Slovenians or whoever else would wish to withdraw from the eurozone if it came down to it. More to the point, price rises there are probably due to the same cause as everywhere else where price rises have been noted on the introduction of the euro - unscrupulous storekeepers and cafe owner taking the opportunity to round prices up by a few euro cents. On the other hand, Slovenians should also have noticed that prices have gone down on many things, especially more expensive items such as computers, cars, clothes. And any global economic crisis we are all currently experiencing is not due to the euro. Rather the euro has shielded the eurozone countries, especially the smaller ones, and it is the notoriously anti-euro United Kingdom which is suffering economically more than anyone else at present.

Abulafia, speaking at least for the people of Greece, I am sure they would be delighted if Serbia were to join the EU.

Anyway, this is an article about Serbia and its relations with the EU. It's a shame that there are some people in Europe who are so ignorant about the EU and what it's about that they use this opportunity to moan about entirely different things.

 

nomadic440
January 28, 2008 3:41 PM

Oh poor Serbia it has had such a hard life being perpetually bullied and persecuted by the evil empire Europe. BOLLOCKS some of you poeple are so full of shit.

 

Abulafia
January 28, 2008 3:56 PM

Despo: "Abulafia, speaking at least for the people of Greece, I am sure they would be delighted if Serbia were to join the EU."

Can you say the same for Albania or MACEDONIA?
If you can't, that means that your enlargement enthusiasm is purely and completely founded on your national political preferences and not on "common European values".


Simonis
January 28, 2008 4:01 PM

Despo, I understand "fortress Europe" as putting the interests of the sub-continent above those of humanity in general, implying a conflict of interests with, for example China, the US and the world's poor which I personally regard as incompatible with sustainable development. In this light, expansion can be seen, rather cynically I admit, as reinforcing the fortress. And this particularly applies to the situation under consideration here, since we have the old Yugoslavia (which is by no means dead in many people's emotions, if that makes sense) split between an EU member, variously "hopeful" members and a state which may well choose to remain in every sense beyond the fortress walls. Hence the relevance of my posts to the thread. (And I would take you up on your bet that "very few Slovenians... who allegedly (sic)complain about the EU wish that their country weren't in it.)

Blaming "unscrupulous storekeepers and cafe owner" for euro inflation seems rather naive to me (though there's obviously some truth in it), and your "Slovenians should also have noticed that prices have gone down on many things, especially more expensive items such as computers, cars, clothes" seems almost ironic in the light of these falls being largely a result of manufacture outside Europe. So what exactly is the commissioner offering Serbia? In a half-century of unprecedented economic growth, riding waves that may well be on the point of breaking, the EU has, it seems to me, squandered the opportunity to turn Western Europe into an example the rest of the world might be inspired to follow, rather than bullied into serving. And if the times of glut really are drawing to an end, perhaps other models of organisation might be re-examined as a result, making this debate about Serbia's inclusion the irrelevance.

 

Pirella
January 28, 2008 4:12 PM

Mr. Rehn is optimistic about the Balkan. I am not and the main reason is the actions of mr. Rehn and his collegues.

He sees much progress in Bosnia. I saw a coup last year by mr. Lajcak that was supported by the EU (allthough the US seemed to be the instigator). If he had ever studied colonial history or history of multi-ethnic countries mr. Rehn would know that such foreign interventions in favor of one group are lethal to inter-ethnic trust. Besides - most of the reforms aren't implemented yet.

Kosovo's status is at the point of being resolved. He may be right when it comes to the recognition by other countries. But even if Kosovo is recognized by all countries except for Serbia it will stay a problem for a long time. It will start the day when Kosovo becomes independent and about 35000 Serbs are expected to leave Kosovo. It wouldn't have been necessary if the EU had first implemented some protective policies.

But that is just the beginning. The Ahtisaari plan foresees in all kinds of autonomy except where it matters: safety. On that area his recommendation goes the opposite direction: the Serbs come under direct control from Pristina and all protection in the form of parallel institutions and peacekeepers will in the end be removed. Given Kosovo's ethnic climate it doesn't take a prophetic gift to predict that there will soon be very few Serbs left to enjoy that autonomy.

And what will the EU peacekeepers be doing? They will be in northern Kosovo - enforcing Pristina's rule and ensuring that Kosovo's cleansing minded leaders aren't left with such an ugly thing as a Serb majority area. In the mean time mr. Rehn will be in Brussel repeating the empty promisses of Kosovo's Albanian leaders.

In the world of development aid there is a saying "give a man a fish and he will eat one day; give him a net and he will have food for many days". The same thing applies to safety. Development aid (peacekeepers) alone doesn't work: over 90% percent of Kosovo's Serbs think that the peacekeepers are partial to their disadvantage. What would help is real autonomy that gives them the power to protect themselves. Check history: Kosovo's Serbs have been through similar bad times several times. Every time they managed to protect themselves. The present time is the first time that even that right have been taken from them.

The present climate reminds me of that before World War I. Politicians like mr. Rehn seem to have forgotten that the international system is a rather fragile system based on rules and trust. In the case of Kosovo both are violated: the first by unilateral independence; the second by the expected cleansing of Kosovo's Serbs. The consequences could be highly destabilising.

 

Pirella
January 28, 2008 4:12 PM

Mr. Rehn is optimistic about the Balkan. I am not and the main reason is the actions of mr. Rehn and his collegues.

He sees much progress in Bosnia. I saw a coup last year by mr. Lajcak that was supported by the EU (allthough the US seemed to be the instigator). If he had ever studied colonial history or history of multi-ethnic countries mr. Rehn would know that such foreign interventions in favor of one group are lethal to inter-ethnic trust. Besides - most of the reforms aren't implemented yet.

Kosovo's status is at the point of being resolved. He may be right when it comes to the recognition by other countries. But even if Kosovo is recognized by all countries except for Serbia it will stay a problem for a long time. It will start the day when Kosovo becomes independent and about 35000 Serbs are expected to leave Kosovo. It wouldn't have been necessary if the EU had first implemented some protective policies.

But that is just the beginning. The Ahtisaari plan foresees in all kinds of autonomy except where it matters: safety. On that area his recommendation goes the opposite direction: the Serbs come under direct control from Pristina and all protection in the form of parallel institutions and peacekeepers will in the end be removed. Given Kosovo's ethnic climate it doesn't take a prophetic gift to predict that there will soon be very few Serbs left to enjoy that autonomy.

And what will the EU peacekeepers be doing? They will be in northern Kosovo - enforcing Pristina's rule and ensuring that Kosovo's cleansing minded leaders aren't left with such an ugly thing as a Serb majority area. In the mean time mr. Rehn will be in Brussel repeating the empty promisses of Kosovo's Albanian leaders.

In the world of development aid there is a saying "give a man a fish and he will eat one day; give him a net and he will have food for many days". The same thing applies to safety. Development aid (peacekeepers) alone doesn't work: over 90% percent of Kosovo's Serbs think that the peacekeepers are partial to their disadvantage. What would help is real autonomy that gives them the power to protect themselves. Check history: Kosovo's Serbs have been through similar bad times several times. Every time they managed to protect themselves. The present time is the first time that even that right have been taken from them.

The present climate reminds me of that before World War I. Politicians like mr. Rehn seem to have forgotten that the international system is a rather fragile system based on rules and trust. In the case of Kosovo both are violated: the first by unilateral independence; the second by the expected cleansing of Kosovo's Serbs. The consequences could be highly destabilising.

 

garsidepotter
January 28, 2008 4:13 PM

nimn2003: 'which planet do you inhabit?' is a very weak way of beginning. It rather shows everything right at the start. Try to open with a more conciliatory sentence and only gradually work yourself into a later. Not a very Serbian approach I'll grant you, but it might be worth exploring.

nishville. I have a similar comment for you. try a bit more subtelty.

 

nishville
January 28, 2008 4:28 PM

garsidepotter,

If presenting the facts in an objective, impassionate manner is unsubtle, than I'm guilty as charged. Anyhow, can you explain which part of my post hurt your feelings the most?

 

camera
January 28, 2008 4:29 PM

Pirella,
Given that Kosovo independence is forthcoming with or without Putin's nod of approval, Belgrade should be negotiating a referendum in the three northern municipalities giving the population the possibilty to remain in Serbia - which would at least safeguard the interests of the Serbs living there. Instead it is persuing a policy of all or nothing, which will inevitably leave all the Serbs still living in Kosovo under the rule of Pristina.

Despo,
let's hope you don't work for public relations at the EU, because if so you are not very effective.

 

garsidepotter
January 28, 2008 4:37 PM

nishville:

'Mr. Karadzic is not and has never been a citizen of Serbia. If any country should be responsible for his arrest it must be Bosnia whose citizen he actually is. If the USA and GB officials should ever be indicted before ICC for Kosovo and Iraq, should USA be responsible for the arrest of Tony Blair?
If EU really wants Serbia to join in, maybe it should persuade USA to dismantle Bondsteel, an American army base illegally built on the teritory of the sovereign country (Serbia) without that country's permission'.

Well nish, it's like this. Three of your sentences have the form 'if...then...', 'if...maybe...', so you are hardly presetning facts in an objective manner. As for your claim about 'Mr. Karadzic', it is, shall we say, disingenuous. Apart from that you sound so cross and just a touch, shall we say, Serbian nationalist.

 

nishville
January 28, 2008 5:29 PM

gart,

How's this:

1. Sebia cannot be held responsible for the arrest of the war criminals who are the citizens of other countries.
2. Bondsteel is an American military base illegally built on the territory of a sovereign country (Serbia).

I hope those facts are now presented in a way that can earn your approval. And now, can you be so kind as to explain how do those two sentences justify your insulting and aggressive attitude? Give me arguments and counter-facts, not nagging about syntax and unfounded, wild accusations.

 

repunzal
January 28, 2008 6:18 PM

Rehn in a Fin who supports Turkish accession into Europe albeit, he wants to "initially" restrict "people movement" (Europe cannot manage to restrict "people movement" now, wrt slavery, sex trafficking, illegals, etc..But anyway!!) I have a better idea, why not apologise to the Serbs for employing American PR firms to sell the orchestrated war against them? For the managed "big lies" transmitted to and by MSM? For murdering their people and shattering their country? - Why not send Blair and a few others to the Hague (oddly enough, kill same birds with one stone, as it were, Many of the same war criminals involved in Iraq were involved in the slaughter of the Serbians) The same people who brought you "Nazi-Iraqis" are the same people who turned history on it's head to bring you "Nazi-Serbians"! Though it might be better to send Blair to the Hague before he becomes President of Europe - That really would be excruciatingly embarrassing!

A ridiculous and offensive article unless either the reader is employed in propaganda or is a chromosome short - in which case S/he might be forgiven for being ignorant of WHY and HOW and by WHOME the war against Serbia was perpetrated - ignorant about the Fascist methods which were employed to pave the way to the war against the Serbs/Yugoslavia.
This is rather interesting: http://neilclark66.blogspot.com/2008/01/crisis-of-wests-own-making.html

 

nishville
January 28, 2008 6:41 PM

garsidepotter.

Almost forgot: damn right I'm cross. First all Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Macedonians, Montenegrans and Slovenians got their nice little countries and destroyed mine - Yugoslavia - in the process. While doing this, they slaughtered each other for ten long, bloody, nerve-wracking years and all the time the outside world kept pouring gasoline on that fire so that not even a remote possibility for Yugoslavia to re-unite was left. And now I have to listen to useless, hypocrite Brussels bureaucrats spewing yet more b.s. every day about the remains of my country and, as if all that isn't enough, some jerk calls me a Sebian nationalist. Thanks, man, you really made my day.

 

nimn2003
January 28, 2008 7:30 PM

garsidepotter: "nimn2003: 'which planet do you inhabit?' is a very weak way of beginning. It rather shows everything right at the start. Try to open with a more conciliatory sentence and only gradually work yourself into a later. Not a very Serbian approach I'll grant you, but it might be worth exploring."

You seem to think I am Serbian - I am not. Au contraire, I am a UK citizen who just happens to be working in Kosovo i Metohija. Having been told lies by my government for years before I came to the Balkans, I was certain that the Serbs were the begining and end of the problems here. In fact the opposite is true. Having spent the last 10+ years in this region, it is evident to me (and indeed anyone who actually WANTS to see the reality) that the berbs are as much victim and villain.

They are certainly not blameless, but then neither are the Croats (especially NOT) or the Bosnians, or the K-Albanians.

People who know little other than the propaganda from the MSM in the West think that there was only one 'problem' and therefore only one 'solution'. Unfortunately my experience is different.

I do not share the strange view of Mr. Rehn that all will be sweetness and light. It is this miopic thinking that has led to this impasse. We, that is the people of this region - I live here now, so consider it MY home as well - have just endures a civil war in which atrocities were committed on everyone WITHOUT EXCEPTION. To think that the 'offer' of EU membership (right after having 15% of your land stolen) is going to appease anyone in Serbia is living in cloud-cuckoo land.

I hope, although I do not expect, a peaceful few months once KiM declares 'independence'. I wait to see whether the IC actually enforces peace, or turns away as they did in 2004.

 

spencer
January 28, 2008 7:46 PM

Despo NATO consists of the countries of the EU and the US last time I looked. Tadic signed an agreement with NATO which bombed us. That, for me, is a sufficient reason not to trust him in any way.

As far as interference is concerned, do I really need to spell it out. Most of the papers in the country are foreign owned. The opposition parties claim that they have not had hardly any time to put their message across let alone equal time.

Serbia has been Europe's ally in both the world wars. They repay her by doing the unimagineable. Bombing, targetting civilians and civilian infrastructure. For goodness sake, they bombed schools and hospitals and markets. They used cluster bombs which are illegal.

In Kosovo they have illegally privatised state owned industry. UNMIK and NATO are behaving as if they own the joint. Bondsteel was built on land appropriated by the US.

We know what the EU wishes us, so yes, I will say, thank you but NO thank you.

 

garsidepotter
January 28, 2008 7:51 PM

nishville. I did not say that you were a serbian nationalist, I said that you sounded a touch like a serbian nationalist. There is a difference. Yesterday I was referred to as a BNP supporter, but I explained quite calmly why that was not accurate and the other person accepted my explanation. So just keep calm. I know it is not easy, and actually agree with you about the failings of the west vis a vis Yugoslavia, and how this must be a source of bitterness, as it should be. But it would be interesting to hear what you actually believe should happen now.

 

nimn2003
January 28, 2008 8:17 PM

garsidepotter: I can not answer for nish, but the time for a reasonable 'solution' has unfortunately passed by. Once the USA & UK told the K-Albanians that no matter what, they would support independence, any chance of a negotiated agreement went out the window.

KiM AND Serbia are 'between a rock and a hard place' to use ans american expression. IMHO the only possible solution that leaves a modicum of pride (and regrettably pride is BIG here) on both sides would be the suggestion that North Mitrovica remains part of Serbia. But even THIS compromise has been taken away as the IC declare (with supreme irony) that there can be NO PARTITION. Just what do they think taking KiM away from Serbia actually is then?

Without this small expression I doubt the UDI will pass quietly or peaceably. War is the last thing this region needs. Violence in KiM will spill over into Macedonia and Montenegro. Why can't the west keep its nose out of other countries affairs?

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Guardian Unlimited Monday January 28, 2008
Special Report Kosovo
Comment
Balkans on the mend
There is no need for gloom: the region has a great chance to achieve stability and prosperity

Olli Rehn
Monday January 28, 2008




Nettisanomat maanantaina 31.8.1999.

Soitellen sotahan: tuho, jonka tahdoimme?

Yhden totuuden julistajat ovat takoneet päähämme, että pommittaminen ja tappaminen olivat ainoat keinot lopettaa tappaminen. Niinpä maailman poliisi USA:n johdolla ryhdyttiin tositoimiin: laittamaan Serbiaa ja Kosovoa järjestykseen väkivaltaisesti.
Tuho oli hirvittävä ja niinkuin aina siviiliväestö kärsii eniten niin itse sodassa kuin sen jälkeenkin. Suomi oli innokkaimpien joukossa hyväksymään sotatoimet Iso-Britannian pääministeri Tony Blairin toimiessa eurooppalaisena ylipäällikkönä. Pieni maakaan ei enää luottanut YK:n mahdollisuuksiin vaan Euro-hurmassaan tunsi olevansa oikeassa leirissä oikeiden haukkojen joukossa.
Mukana olossa ovat vastuussa Suomen ulkopolitiikasta vastaavat presidentti Martti Ahtisaari, pääministeri Paavo Lipponen ja ulkoministeri Tarja Halonen sekä koko maan hallitus ja hallituksessa edustetut puolueet. Ratkaisiko operaatio ongelman? Halusimmeko me rauhaa rakastavat ihmiset tällaista ratkaisua? Olemmeko jo vähemmistössä vai ovatko johtajamme sokaisseet meidät uskomaan yhtä ainoaa totuutta?
Soitellen sotahan: tuho, jonka tahdoimme?

Lue myös!
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 Nettisanomat N:o 731. Sunnuntai 2008-01-27
"Punainen muisto". "Kuvanveistäjä Taisto Martiskaisen suunnittelema muistomerkki ”Crescendo” 1970.
1918
”Punaisten puolella taistelleiden, kaatuneiden ja vankileireillä tuhoutuneiden naisten ja miesten muistolle.”
Isoisäni, Juho Salon muistolle.
Isoäitini, Aliina Salon muistolle. Kuoli 1950-luvun jälkipuoliskolla.
Äitini, Laura Aliina Manninen 05.03.1916 - 18.11.2007, muistolle. Äidin muistolle
Isäni, Erkki Mannisen muistolle. Oli 7-vuotias kansalaissodan aikaan. Kertoi nähneensä ruumiita Helsingin kaduilla. Kuoli 1990-luvun alkupuoliskolla.
Isäni sedän, Ville Mannisen muistolle. Kuoli 1960-luvulla. Oli vankina Suomenlinnassa.
Pertti Manninen.
Kuvat sunnuntaina 2007-07-29. Helsinki. Auroran sairaalan, Jäähallin ja Olympiastadionin vieressä.


Nettisanomat N:o 730. Sunnuntai 2008-01-27

Sunday January 27, 2008
The Observer
Photographer Capa's lost treasure chest unearthed

A lost treasure trove containing thousands of negatives by one of the world's most famous photographers, Robert Capa, has been recovered.
Hailed as the 'holy grail' of photojournalism, the discovery of the long-mourned cache of photographs after almost 70 years has sent shockwaves through the photography world.
'This is the formative work of a photographer who, in a century defined by warfare, played a pivotal role in defining how war was seen, bringing its horrors nearer than ever,' said Brian Wallis, chief curator at the International Centre of Photography in midtown Manhattan, which was founded by Robert Capa's brother, Cornell.
...
The lost negatives were photographs that Capa took during the Spanish Civil War. They were left behind in a Paris darkroom after the photographer fled Europe for America in 1939. He assumed they were lost during the Nazi invasion and he died in 1954, on assignment in Vietnam, still believing that to be the case. Then, in 1995, Jerald R Green, a professor at Queens College, part of the City University of New York, received a letter from a Mexico City film-maker saying he had inherited three suitcases of negatives from his aunt and had identified the contents as Capa's masterpieces.


Photographer Capa's lost treasure chest unearthed
The Observer World



Nettisanomat   Sunnuntai 2008-01-13. Kuvia 2008.

BONNE ANNEE 2008. Ti 2008-01-01.

Harvinainen kuva toimittajasta.
Ke 2008-01-02.

Marski jalustalla. Ma 2008-01-07.

Eloon jäänyt isä muistelee lapsiaan. Pe 2008-01-11.

Kuvat 2008
Otsikot 2008

Nettisanomat. Maanantai 2008-01-28. N:o 732. - Olli Rehn - Balkans on the mend - Special Report Kosovo - Comment - Guardian Unlimited Monday January 28, 2008 - Comments
Vastaava päätoimittaja Pertti Manninen. Yhteys. nettisanomat@hotmail.com Sivut 2008-01-27, nettiin 2008-01-27, linkkejä 2008-01-27.

2008/01/28 - Nettisanomat - Olli Rehn - Balkans on the mend - Special Report Kosovo - Comment - Guardian Unlimited Monday January 28, 2008 - Comments - "Punainen muisto". "Kuvanveistäjä Taisto Martiskaisen suunnittelema muistomerkki ”Crescendo” 1970. - ”Punaisten puolella taistelleiden, kaatuneiden ja vankileireillä tuhoutuneiden naisten ja miesten muistolle.” - Isoisäni, Juho Salon muistolle. - Äidin muistolle - Pertti Manninen - Kuvat sunnuntaina 2007-07-29. Helsinki. Auroran sairaalan, Jäähallin ja Olympiastadionin vieressä. - Taisto Martiskainen - Aliina Salo - Ville Manninen - Erkki Manninen - Robert Capa - Nettisanomat maanantai 28.01.2008 - kuva - kuvat - pertti manninen - nettisanomat - 12.fi - Lakisanomat  

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POISTOT HO 19.11.2015. LINKKI LISÄTTY KESKIVIIKKONA 23.12.2015.
Koko vuosi 2008: Linkit tarkistettu ja korjattu keskiviikkona 17.02.2016.
Sivuston poistot joulukuu 2015 - helmikuu 2016. Lisäksi torstaina 03.03.2016

 

 

2012-05-02: Sivustolta on poistettu Keski-Suomen käräjäoikeuden 24.1.2012 antaman kunnianloukkausta koskevan tuomion 12/230 R11/268 johdosta tuomiossa mainittujen henkilöiden asianomaistiedot rikoksentekoajalta 6.5.2007 - 18.1.2012. Tuomio luettavissa osoitteessa: http://www.n3.fi/tuomiot/keskisuomiko20120124/etusivu.htm

 

 


POISTOT HO 19.11.2015. LINKKI LISÄTTY KESKIVIIKKONA 23.12.2015.
Koko vuosi 2008: Linkit tarkistettu ja korjattu keskiviikkona 17.02.2016.
Sivuston poistot joulukuu 2015 - helmikuu 2016. Lisäksi torstaina 03.03.2016