Friday • June 13 • 2008
9 ISSN 1820-8339
No. 1 / Friday, 13, 2008 Weekly Issue Issue No. 22, Friday, Feb. 6June - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
Lure ofATadic Allianceof Splits Socialists Fistful Lute
Theyounger Belgrade GuitarSocialists Art Festival bringssupport together Oscar-winning composer of Western movie scores, Ennio Morricone, While joining a new, pro-EU government, old acclaimed lute player Edin Karamazov, and ledgendary rocker Sting, in one of Serbia’s most important annual musical events, offering concerts, master classes, lectures, competitions and exhibitions. Milosevic loyalists threaten revolt over the prospect.
Socialist leader Ivica Dacic remains the Serbian kingmaker
faces extinction unless it changes. to Serbia’s late president, Slobodan However, a strong current also Milosevic, and reformists who want flows in the opposite direction, led the party to become a modern Euroense negotiations on a new govby party veterans enraged by the pean social democrat organisation. ernment have divided the ranks prospect of a deal with Tadic. After eight years of stagnation, of the Socialist Party, which holds Mihajlo Markovic, a founder of the Socialists returned to centre stage the balance of power between the the party, recently warned of a crisis after winning 20 of the 250 seats in main blocs and has yet to announce if Dacic opts for the pro-European parliament in the May 11 elections. which side they will support. bloc, abandoning the Socialists’ “natWith the pro-European and nation“It looks as if the Socialists will ural” ideological partners. alist blocs almost evenly matched, move towards a government led by Markovic, a prominent supporter the Socialists now have the final say the Democrats,” political analyst MiOver years the Guitar Art Festival become one of high profile music eventsof in the city. Milosevic during the 1990s, is the fate ofthe themost country. lan the Nikolic, ofBelgrade the independent Cen- has on seen as representative of the “oldNikolic believes the Socialists, led tre of Policy Studies, said. “But such For night orwho guitar fanatics, from the Labyrinth, timers” in theowls party want to stay by Ivica Dacic, will come devoted over to a move might provoke deeper divi- Songs By David Galic every night of the festival features a entirely to lute compositions. true to the former regime’s policies, Tadic, if only out of a pragmatic desions and even split the party.” Reporting from Belgrade Morricone needs no introduc- ‘midnight guitar art cafe club’ open even4though ruinedArtthe sire to ensure political Simultaneous negotiations held tion, a.m. atthese Domalmost Omladine. being thetheir composer ofsurvival. some of until Socialists good. of younger with the pro-European and national- the “The mostgroup memorable and Socialists instantly ists, guestsfor and audience members his year’s line-upattention is by fartothe younger Socialist officials gathered around Dacic seemssoundto be willSome ist blocs have drawn a recognisable Hollywood be able to interact and mingle, most impressive in the festival’s tracks festivalfrustration participants get such as ‘Once Upon Time while have voiced overwill the conin the majority”, Nikolic said,Aadding deep rift inside the Socialists. nine-year history, featuring the In The West’. to spin their favourite tunes along tinuing impasse within their own that these reformists believe the party This divides “old-timers” loyal performance of rock icon Sting with In addition to the concerts held with professional DJs. Bosnian lute player and guitarist Edin during the festival, there will also There will be informal get-togethKaramazov and the legendary Italian be master classes in the morning ers every day at noon, and the festival composerTHIS EnnioISSUE Morricone. OF and evening,Insight as well as competi- also includes a “food art”Matters section, with Business Neighbourhood The Belgrade Police frontman Insightand the tions for guitar players in six dif- several Belgrade restaurants and emBosnian lute player collaborated on ferent age brackets, between 11 and bassies opening their doors to festival IS SUPPORTED BY: a project of 16th century music, re- 35 years old, with a total prize fund goers and participants so they may cording an album and film called of €25,000. sample cuisine from around the world. conomists are warning that prohile the football world watchlonged uncertainty over Serbia’s es events unfold at the Eurofuture could scare off investors, lead pean Championships in Austria and to higher inflation and jeopardise Despite Switzerland, Bosnia border is experiencing improved prosperity for years to come. a soccer rebellion, led policing, Albanians by fans, play“This year has been lost, from the continue ers and former stars wholives are enraged to risk their standpoint of economic policy,” says toby what they see as corrupt go abroad in order to leaders Stojan Stamenkovic of the Econom- pursue of the country’s football association dreams of a better ics Institute in Belgrade. leaders. life in the EU. page 5 page 10 By Rade Maroevic in Belgrade
Politics Out & About Going Out
party over which way to turn. “The situation in the party seems extremely complicated, as we try to convince the few remaining laggards that we need to move out of Milosevic’s shadow,” one Socialist Party official complained. “Dacic will eventually side with Tadic in a bid to guide his party into the European mainstream, but much of the membership and many officials may oppose that move.” Nikolic agreed: “The question is will the party split or will the ‘oldtimers’ back down,” he noted. Fearing they might not cross the 5-per-cent threshold to enter parliament, the Socialists teamed up with the Association of Pensioners and the United Serbia Party, led by businessman Dragan Markovic “Palma”. Pensioners leader, Jovan Krkobabic, Palma and Dacic are all pushing for a deal with the Democrats. The reported price is the post of deputy PM, with a brief in charge of security for the Socialist leader. In addition, the Socialists are bargaining for other ministries, including capital investments, Kosovo and education, Belgrade media reported. Tadic has denied talk of horsetrading with the Socialists, maintaining that ministries would go only to those committed to working for the government’s “strategic goal”. At the same time, Dacic seems reSource: www.unctv.org luctant to call off negotiations with the nationalists. An art don’t exhibition hasagreement already “If we reach an been set up in Dom Omladine with the DSS and Radicals, the parshowcasing a retrospective of the ty leadership decide on future festival’s visualwill identity through the steps”, Dacic announced, following years of its existence. An exhibition session of country’s new paratthe thefirst Belgrade Cultural Centre on February 8thWednesday. , features local and forliament on eign guitar makers and publishing Source: Balkan Insight (www.balkaninsight.com) houses showcasing their products to aficionados. Organisers expect record numbers of visitors, so tickets for all concerts should be bought well in advance.
Politics Political Predictability By Mark R. Pullen
Out & About Going Out Sport A new investigation into the death of Dada Vujasinovic Neighbourhood raises questions of whether Many of us who have experishe committed suicide, or was enced numerous Serbian elections murdered.
rate ourselves as pundits when it Page 3 comes to predicting election results and post-election moves. We feel in-the-know because our experience of elections in Serbia has film shown us that (a.) Iranian director Alino single party talks or coalition will everInsight gain the Raffi to Belgrade majority required loving, to form aand governabout cooking, ment, and (b.) political negotiations the young Karl Marx. will never be quickly concluded. Page 4 Even when the Democrats achieved their surprising result at last month’s general election, it quickly became clear that the reIsolated neglected as a the sult was and actually more-or-less result of Kosovo’s disputes, same as every other election result Brezovica is inconclusive. crying out for in Serbia, i.e. the investment couldas long This is likely tothat continue transform it into a first-class as Serbia’s politicians form new winter politicalresort. parties every time they Page party 9 disagree with their current leader (there are currently 342 registered political parties in Serbia). Drawn-out negotiations are also the norm. One Belgrade-based Ambassador recently told me he was also alarmed by the distinct lack of urgency among Serbian politicians. “The country is at a standstill and I don’t understand their logic. If they are so eager to progress towards the EU and encourage investors, how come they go home at 5pm sharp and don’t work weekends?” Surely the situation is urgent Hands and without enoughdown to warrant a little overtime.
Politics Out & About Going Out
Sport Out & About
Politics Neighbourhood Going Out
Sport Going Out
Politics Neighbourhood Out & About Sport
much discussion, Akademija is the most significant club in the history of Belgrade’s nightlife. Page 12
Continued on page 11
Sport Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Politicswill team up for the Jankovic first time on home soil when Out & About they take on Japan, in the Belgrade Arena.
Friday, Feb. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
Kosovo MP’s Call for Trade Embargo
Profile of the Week Aleksandar Tijanic
By Slobodan Georgijev
The Kosovan government is becoming increasingly frustrated at what it sees as breaches of the CEFTA agreement on free trade by Serbian Customs. Goods sealed with a Kosovan Customs stamp are being delayed or taxed by Serbian and Bosnian Serb authorities.
Kosovo parliamentary commission has recommended that the government implements an embargo on Serbian and Bosnian goods as a tit-for-tat response to Serbia and Bosnia blocking and taxing Kosovo’s exports. Serbia rejects the secession by Kosovo’s Albanian majority last February and has vowed never to accept it as an independent country. It is currently blocking goods that enter Serbia stamped with the seal of the Kosovo Customs authority, and has enlisted the Serb half of Bosnia to slap customs taxes on them despite a regional free trade deal. MPs in the parliament’s Commission for Economy, Trade and Industry, asked Kosovo’s Minister of Trade Lutfi Zharku to proceed with the embargo as retaliation for the two months that Serbia and Bosnia have blocked or taxed goods sealed “Made in Kosova”, in direct breach of the Central European Free Trade Agreement, CEFTA. “All our activities have been in accordance with our international
partners, from whom we have full support,” Zharku said after meeting the MPs, “I believe that this week, or at the beginning of next week, we will explain the situation and will have a decision on the possible measures to be taken by the government.” Elaborating on possible counter-measures, Zharku said Kosovo could “impose a 10 per cent tax on Bosnian goods and block Serbian goods, as they are doing to us.” With more than 90 per cent of foodstuffs coming from Serbia, analysts say the blockade could be a double-edged sword for the poorest country in Europe. In an interview for Balkan Insight two weeks ago, Zharku said consumers would not be hit directly, as “measures to prohibit imports from a certain country will be linked to the facilitation of imports from other countries, so as not to create price imbalances”. Aside from holding up Kosovostamped goods at the border, Serbia is not allowing them to transit
through Serbia’s territory, leading to fears among Kosovo firms that they could lose their trading partners in Western Europe. Worried about the lost revenue and cancellations of orders, business leaders have asked for a clear answer as soon as possible. Kosovo authorities have said the blockade is unacceptable because all three countries were signatories to CEFTA, which stipulates the free movement of goods and services throughout the Balkans. At the time of the signing, the United Nations mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, signed on behalf of Pristina, making it unclear whether Kosovo as a state is considered a signatory and has recourse to legal measures. To see how it can move forward in the row, Kosovo officials asked the European Commission to clarify exactly who in Kosovo is the signatory of the Central European Free Trade Agreement - Kosovo’s government in Pristina or the UN supervisory mission. On the other hand, Serbia’s Trade Minister Slobodan Milosavljevic
said it is in Serbia’s interest to sell its products in Kosovo since this trade brings Belgrade millions each year. However, Serbia has said it will continue to block Kosovo-made goods until they revert to being stamped with the seal of the UNMIK customs authority, and Milosavljevic did not comment on the possibility of an embargo. “Trade with Kosovo is going on without major problems,” Serbian Trade Minister Slobodan Milosavljevic told Serbia’s Tanjug news agency. “That part of Serbia is extremely important for the Serbian economy, since goods worth more than $600 million (€467 million) are put on the province’s market annually.” Trade with Kosovo is not a classic export, Milosavljevic said, but “sale of products on a part of our territory that is under a special UN customs protectorate.” “If some other problems appear, we’ll react to them,” he said, “but our interest is now to cover that part of the market with good quality products from Serbia.”
Weekly Press Roundup Borba - Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said that investment in transport and energy infrastructure would be a priority for his government. He said that by next winter the first phase of construction of the Banatski Dvor gas storage facility would be finished, and road and rail links on the pan-European Corridor 10, would be financed from the budget and loans from international financial institutions. Borba - In January, at least one person died every day in Serbia due to traffic accidents. Borba - The 2009 University Games that will be held in Belgrade this summer will be organised with only a quarter of the originally allocated budget, some €50 million instead of €200 million. Borba - Filibustering in the parliament over recent months has cost Serbian taxpayers some €800,000,
while laws remain deadlocked and reforms stalled. Blic - The impact of the global financial crisis on Serbia could mean that some 200,000 people could lose their jobs this year. The most pessimistic forecasts suggest that the number could be even higher. Blic - GazpromNeft has transferred a €400 million payment to Serbia for the majority stake in oil monopoly NIS. Analysts say the money could help stabilise Serbia’s dinar, that has been sliding for weeks. Blic - The local real estate market is shrinking, with transactions slowing to a halt as less and less people opt to take out a loan due to high interest rates and the weak dinar. Blic - ”The government must fall if the euro crosses the 100 dinar thresh-
old,” the paper said in an editorial. The falling dinar is fueling public discontent and impatience with the government’s economic policies. Vecernje Novosti - Serbia plans to get some €1.6 billion in foreign investment this year, deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic said after his return from the World Economic Forum in Davos. Vecernje Novosti - Parliament President Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic met with the management of state television RTS to discuss their refusal last week to cover the parliament session live, opting instead to broadcast Australian Open tennis matches. Politika - A Serbian expert says that the depleted uranium bombs used in the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia caused an increase in cancer, genetic abnormalities and other radiation-related illnesses.
espite the impression that Serbia’s current authorities no longer look on him with favour, the director of Radio Television Serbia, RTS, remains in his post and in some ways seems stronger than ever. Both those who like him as well as those who would like to bury him, largely agree that his newspaper texts are not to be missed. His sharp comments about his adversaries, often of only borderline decency, have brought Tijanic both great popularity and many enemies. “In the world, there are two preserved specimens of a head of a Neanderthal: one is kept in the British Museum. The other rests on the shoulders of Zoran Zivkovic”, he wrote few years ago about then prime minister of Serbia. However, the main controversy surrounding this “poor columnist”, as he often refers to himself, (while driving an expensive Mitsubishi), relates to his continuous close ties to the governing elite. Tijanic was the first journalist in the late 1980s to interview Mirjana Markovic, wife of Slobodan Milosevic. Some believe that his connection to Serbia’s ruling family brought him the position of editor-inchief of TV Politika in the 1990s, as well as a four-month stint as information minister in the government of Mirko Marjanovic. He also had excellent relations with the then opposition leader Zoran Djindjic, however. He helped him to get a large number of deputies in the 1993 elections via a campaign entitled “Posteno” (“Honestly”). During the 1990s, Tijanic formed close ties to Serbia’s then richest man, Bogoljub Karic, who hired him to run his BK Television. The late 1990s found him in conflict with the Milosevic government and, together with his associate, the journalist Slavko Curuvija, murdered in 1999, he wrote a memorable open letter to Milosevic in 1998, predicting doomsday if Milosevic did not step down. After the October 5 changes, Tijanic worked as a media advisor to Vojislav Kostunica, then the new president of Yugoslavia. His close ties to Kostunica brought him the top job in RTS in 2004, even though he did not have a university diploma - one of the key prerequisites for the job. Tijanic has presided over the restoration of RTS’s high ratings while engaging in constant conflict with its biggest media rival, TV Pink and its owner Zeljko Mitrovic. The latest changes of regime in Serbia have, as yet, brought no changes at the helm of RTS, as many once expected. His current conflict with the Serbian parliament on live coverage of parliamentary sessions is only the latest victory; even politically liberal Serbia – not his normal constituency – approves of his stance on this issue. Meanwhile, his decision to strategically distance himself from the politically fading Kostunica, now rarely seen on RTS, looks like another move, and one that makes him suitable to remain as director of Serbia’s Public Broadcaster under President Tadic.
Friday, Feb. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
Journalist’s Mysterious Death Haunts Serbia
the surveillance of Curuvija nicknamed “Curan” (Turkey) was published. This showed the Serbian Secret police had organised surveillance of Curuvija and that the information was passed onto the chief of the secret service. However, no charges were ever brought in connection with the killing. The investigation into the murder of Jagodina-based journalist Milan Pantic in 2001, killed in front of his house shortly after publishing several articles on criminal groups operating in the central Serbian town, also ended without charges being laid. According to police reports, more than 2,000 people were interviewed during investigation but without result.
As a new investigation is announced into death of Dada Vujasinovic, her family and lawyers maintain that the secret services hold the answer to whether she committed suicide, or was murdered, in 1994. By Zelimir Bojovic
Reporting from Belgrade
erbia’s state prosecutors office has announced that the police have requested a new investigation into the death, 14 years ago, of the journalist Dada Vujasinovic. The new investigation is based on fresh information contained in a June 2008 report produced by ballistics expert Vlada Kostic. His report concluded that her death was probably “caused by another person”. Vujasinovic was found dead in her New Belgrade apartment on April 8th, 1994. While forensic experts and police initially recorded a verdict of suicide, Vujasinovic’s family, legal representatives, friends, media associations and a former head of the secret services, disagreed, pointing the finger at the country’s security apparatus, both the Army and state intelligence services. While some hope that things have moved on sufficiently in Serbia to allow a new investigation to deliver the truth, many warn that nothing has really changed – the intelligence services have seen little reform since the war, and the truth could be buried forever.
On The Wrong Side Goran Petrovic, a former head of the State Security Service, said the answer to Vujasinovic’s death lay in the articles that she had been working on shortly before she died, although he has insisted that the state security service was not behind her death and points the finger at the army’s security service. “She did not write about the state security service, she was writing about the army intelligence service and the arms trade in the Sandzak region – in which they were involved,” he says. A close friend, the journalist Vesna Malisic, editor of the magazine Prestup, recalled that Vujasinovic was digging in dangerous territory shortly before her death.
Malisic said Vujasinovic was also writing about the involvement of significant criminal figures in the war, the work of the secret services in general, and, towards the end, on the arms trade in Novi Pazar. She had apparently collected tape recordings detailing information on individual police officers involved in the illicit arms trade. Those recordings have subsequently disappeared. The family of the deceased journalist point their fingers at the secret services. “We have put together this puzzle and now we know what happened – state security was behind this crime,” Vujasinovic’s father, Radislav, told Balkan Insight.
Too Late For Hope?
Intelligence Services Suspected In 1995, district prosecutors dropped the criminal investigation into her death. However in 1996, a new review of the evidence was carried out after experts hired by the Vujasinovic family concluded that a murder had taken place. In July 2002, prosecutors asked the police to interrogate certain people who had claimed to know the truth about the death of Vujasinovic and in November 2006, the courts requested a further review. This later report ruled out the possibility of suicide, suggesting she was murdered. The report produced by ballistics expert Vlada Kostic was submitted to the District Court in Belgrade on June 9, 2008. Presenting the report to the public, Branislav Tapuskovic, the Vujasinovic family’s legal representative said the findings indicated Vujasinovic had been killed with a shotgun. “The key findings from this report indicate that the case was most probably murder … [as] she was shot with two shotgun bursts, which inflicted a severe wound,” Tapuskovic said. Tapuskovic said several clues pointed to a cover-up and the involvement of the secret services. Nadezda Gace, president of the Independent Association of Serbian Journalists, is of a similar opinion.
“The key findings from this report indicate that the case was most probably murder … [as] she was shot with two shotgun bursts, which inflicted a severe wound.” Branislav Tapuskovic, the Vujasinovic family’s legal representative
Vujasinovic’s death was originally adjudged by a Belgrade court to have been suicide. Her friends and family have long campaigned for the case to be reinvestigated.
She believes the secret services have been behind several recent deaths of journalists in Serbia – and their subsequent cover-up. “Just as I am convinced that Slavko Curuvija and Milan Pantic were murdered by the state,” she said, “I am certain Dada Vujasinovic was killed the same way too.
The secret services did it and covered up the evidence.” Curuvija, editor of the daily Dnevni Telegraf and the magazine Evropljanin, was killed by two shots in the head in front of his apartment during the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia in April 1999. Several years ago, a dossier on
“Just as I am convinced that Slavko Curuvija and Milan Pantic were murdered by the state, I am certain Dada Vujasinovic was killed the same way too. The secret services were doing all that, and covering up the evidence.” Nadezda Gace, president of the Independent Association of Serbian Journalists
Many people hope that a rootand-branch reform of the secret services would shed some light on the truth about the death of the journalists but so far, the Serbian police have shown no readiness to reveal information on this or any other similar cases. Balkan Insight contacted police authorities and submitted questions regarding the Dada Vujasinovic case on December 24. However, no response has been received to date. The family of the deceased journalist nevertheless remain hopeful that the truth will finally out. Her father says they are keeping back one remaining item of crucial evidence, which will prove that their daughter was murdered. “We don’t want to reveal names or details publicly right now because we expect an official investigation to do that,” Radislav Vujasinovic said. However, Milos Vasic, a veteran journalist on the weekly magazine Vreme, told Balkan Insight that the time for serious reform of the secret services was after October 5th, 2000, when the Milosevic regime was toppled, and that the opportunity had been missed. However, Nadezda Gace says hopeful statements from the new police minister, Ivica Dacic, and the appointment of a new head of state security, Sasa Vukadinovic, suggest that reform is on the way. If so, it may help uncover fresh facts about who killed Vujasinovic. “If it’s true we now have a more cooperative police and state security service, let them show us that times have changed,” Gace said. Goran Petrovic is more sceptical about talk of reform. He says the security intelligence agency is almost an empty shell these days, with nothing to reform any more, while reform of the army security service remains difficult because of its internal “mafia-like code of silence”. “Those people have used phantom companies to earn enormous amounts of money, so some are very powerful oligarchs today and won’t allow any change,” he said. Lawyer Branislav Tapuskovic also appears discouraged and is not hopeful that the true story behind the death of Dada Vujasinovic will ever be revealed. “Given that the police have been incapable of solving so many murders in Belgrade, I wonder what they can achieve with this case, 14 years on, especially when they earlier refused to accept evidence suggesting that Dada Vujasinovic had been murdered,” he said. Source: www.BalkanInsight.com
Friday, Feb. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
You Love the Way You Eat
Iranian film director Ali Raffi talks to Belgrade Insight about cooking, loving, and the young Karl Marx.
Marx’s theory was that only after the discovery of fire, did humans start expressing feelings. Once they started cooking meat, people began to gather around the fire, around the smells, to eat together. “It’s not the same whether you eat alone or in company. And the smell is the strongest of our senses; it could be the smell of food, of perfume or of our friend’s body,” Raffi said. “There are two kinds of people – one kind eats only to stop being hungry, the other kind appreciates the taste and smell of food. They deal with love, sex, feelings the same way.” The movie’s hero is Aziz, who comes back to his hometown on the Caspian Sea in northern Iran after more than 20 years spent abroad.
By Ljilja Cvekic
“Let me be clear – I hate politically engaged films and plays. There’s something vulgar in that. But I do like theatre that opens a question in one’s mind.” Ali Raffi
Source: Iranian Cultural Centre
Ali Raffi speaks exclusively to Belgrade Insight at the recent Iranian Film Festival in Begrade.
n an old-fashioned kitchen with a wooden floor, a woman is busy cooking, flitting between a big work table and wall-to-wall shelves with hundreds of jars filled with spices. While she tends to her three big pots, another woman artistically arranges the colourful meal on plates, while two others rush in and out carrying huge round trays. In the film “When Fish Fall in Love” that opened the Iranian Film Festival in Belgrade this week, the kitchen is the centre of the action, or what Raffi calls “the soul, the central place in a house, same as a stomach is the central point of our bodies.” “Food is very important,” he told Belgrade Insight in an interview. “Each meal has its history, its biography. Its smell remains in our memory forever. The same way we experience food and eat, we also feel and love.” Raffi was inspired by an article he read long time ago, written by the young Karl Marx, “when he was still romantic and not yet a marxist”, and always wished to spin a story out of it.
“There are two kinds of people – one kind eats only to stop being hungry, another kind appreciates the taste and smell of food. They deal with love, sex, feelings, the same way.” Ali Raffi
He finds out that his ex-fiancee has opened a restaurant with her daughter and two other women, in a house owned by his parents, that was deserted after their death. The daughter, Tuka, assumes the role of Scheherazade in The Tales of 1001 Nights, to prevent him from selling the house. Instead of telling a different story each night to postpone her death, each day Tuka prepares another tasty and imaginative meal, tempting Aziz to postpone closing the restaurant for one more day. “The Fish Fall in Love” was Raffi’s debut motion picture, shot in 2005 after he had spent 40 years as a theatre director. Why the fish? - “I had a special fish in mind – a wild trout,” he says. “It is the only fish that swims against the stream. The struggle of the trout that might even die on the way is similar to how a person in love acts and struggles to reach their loved one.” As in his theatre plays, Raffi did the stage design and costumes himself, even preparing the food served in film. “Colours and scenes are very important to me. I always say, theatre is for watching, not for listening.” He even financed the film himself, spending his life’s savings. After it was made, he wrote another five screenplays and so far two of them have been approved by the Iranian Culture Ministry. In Iran, films must have permission from the government. But he has trouble finding producers. “Filming 100 minutes of my film costs the same as 10 minutes of some western European film or 30 seconds of an American one.” His next film, “The River”, is the true story of a man from Raffi’s hometown Isfahan, whose job was to prepare weddings and who was making big money as a matchmaker. He is punished for his disregard of love when a beautiful woman he fell madly in love with ruins him, and his daughter runs away along the river to avoid marrying someone she did not love. “The river that flows through Isfahan starts its life in the Yellow Mountains as a fast and wild river, becomes more and more polluted on its way and disappears suddenly into the ground just 40 kilometres outside the city,” Raffi says. “The life of that river is similar to lives of many people.”
Source: Iranian Cultural Centre
Scene from “When Fish Falls in Love”
Raffi had an unconventional start to his career, moving to France in his late teens with a basketball scholarship. An injury in a skiing accident led him to quit sports studies and pursue his master’s degree in sociology in the Sorbonne. A chance visit to a nightclub in the mountains brought him suddenly into the film world, when French actor and director Roger Vadim saw him and offered him a role in a film. “I earned in that film as much as I would earn working 18 years as a night watchman,” said Raffi, who supported himself that way as a student. “But I knew I was a lousy actor.” He made a fast theatre career as a director and worked for 14 years in the national theatre in Paris, until he accepted, in 1975, an offer
from the Iranian government to be a director of both the City Theatre and the faculty of Dramatic Arts in Tehran. The 1979 revolution in Iran, when all universities were closed down, brought him back to Paris, where he taught at the Sorbonne, but eventually, he returned again to his country, some 10 years ago. He is working now on a new play that will premier in Tehran next week. “It is a 250-year old story placed in our time, in a morgue, where the entire space is plastered with white ceramic tiles,” said Raffi with gusto, “it opens up questions of power and machiavellism.” “Let me be clear – I hate politically engaged films and plays,” he concludes. “There’s something vulgar in that. But I do like theatre that opens a question in one’s mind.”
Friday, Feb. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
Publisher to Print Sequel Roma Lose Homes In to “The Jewel of Medina” Belgrade Slum Fire
Serbian publisher, the first in the world to publish a controversial novel based on the Prophet Mohammed’s life, has plans to publish the sequel. “The Jewel of Medina”, the debut novel of American journalist Sherry Jones, hit bookstores in Serbia last August, a week before Random House cancelled its US launch. As in other countries, the Muslim community in Serbia also requested the book’s ban, saying they were offended by the novel, especially the details describing the intimacy be-
tween Mohammed and his young wife A’isha. The BeoBook publishing house withdrew the book from the stores, saying it had no intention to insult anyone, but released it again a month later, when publishers in other countries announced they were going ahead with distribution plans. Jones’s follow-up, “A’isha and A’lli”, will follow A’isha’s life after the prophet’s death. “I think the manuscript will be ready in few weeks and we’ll immediately contact the author to buy the rights and prepare a translation,” publisher Aleksandar Jasic told Belgrade Insight. “We plan to have it ready for the Belgrade Book fair in October.” Jasic opened his publishing house two years ago with what he describes as an ambition to publish quality literature by foreign authors but also books that might provoke special interest or get people to consider controversial topics. He bought the rights to the manuscript of “The Jewel of Medina” before the book’s global launch, explaining he saw its bestseller potential as the first fictional account of Mohammad’s private life. The book still tops Serbian bestseller lists.
Ann Pesic Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Ireland Nationality: Irish In Belgrade: 1978 – 1980, 1985 - present
fire that broke out on Wednesday morning completely destroyed eleven dwellings in the Roma slum situated under the Gazela bridge in the centre of Belgrade. The slum, estimated to house between 900 and 2,000 people, is set back from the bank of the Sava river, close to the city’s expensive hotel and business district. The single-storey dwellings can best be desrcibed as huts made of cardboard and aluminum sheeting, held down by tires, rocks and bits of plastic. The homes have no plumbing or running water, and electricity comes from rigged up connections to nearby
pylons. Most residents make a living by selling items recovered from bins and tips. Many Roma have little education and literacy levels are low as mutual mistrust and prejudice between the Roma and Serbs makes schooling a difficult experience for most Roma children. Nobody was hurt, and ten fire trucks arrived minutes after the fire broke out, Belgrade media reported. Fires are a common occurrance in the slum dwellings as many residents light open fires to provide warmth over the winter months. Fire destroyed four dwellings on the night of Serbian Orthodox Christmas on January 7th.
Belgrade Diary The City’s Big Hope is Booze The city’s famous ‘scene’ may be ultra-cool, but it will never be very inclusive until alcohol triumphs over the caffeine culture.
By Colin Graham
t’s the nightlife that has everyone raving about Belgrade, whether it’s clubs that are throbbing away underground or juddering up and down on the Sava. Guidebooks do it, even national newspapers do it, they all writhe in desperate homage to the hedonistic Mecca that is the Serbian capital. It’s a natural development, really. Serbia, outcast of Europe in the 1990s, was always going to become the next big thing in rampant partying after the other post-Communist countries had descended into their own, sometimes peculiar, brands of respectability. With British stag-nighters making an unholy mess of the likes of Krakow and Vilnius, the discerning clubber, perhaps weaned onto Serbian fare via the EXIT festival, has found Belgrade a more wholesome alternative. A place where you can dance without some drunken idiot giving you bother, where the locals have yet to be turned off by your presence and where a night out is still not going to break the bank, the Serbian capital would seem to have it all for the punter who just wants to party in peace. However, that is not the whole story. I for one have often been puzzled by the hype surrounding the
fabled Belgrade “scene”. Yes, you can have a great time here and the clubs are refreshingly free of violence and pretension in the main. The music can be the bee’s knees and all that. But is that it? I arrived here after stints in St. Petersburg – where impromptu stripping wasn’t unknown – and Warsaw – where the urge to dance on bars and tables seemed irresistible to many – and have so far have had little reason to raise my eyebrows at the nocturnal goings-on in this city. Because it isn’t really clubbing that defines the capital’s experience after dark, it’s the cafes, though they seem to do a roaring trade whether on a Monday morning at 11 or at 9 p.m. on a Friday. I wondered into Terazija in July, just after the end of the riot in support of Radovan Karadzic had ended, tripped over some rubble and noticed that loads of people were chin-wagging their way through the evening in the Hotel Moskva café and Biblioteka as if absolutely nothing had happened right there, just outside. Was it the abundant cigarette smoke that we have all come to know and love from living in Belgrade that prevented them from seeing that riot police and youths had been pummelling one another? Or was their nattering time, post-work, so precious that they did not pay heed to something as unseemly as an anti-social disturbance? Or were they just completely mad? Brushing rubble dust off myself, I could almost imagine a brick flying through the window of the Moskva and being nonchalantly caught by one of the patrons, while he/she (most probably she – I don’t know
Belgrade Through the Eyes of…
why – it just makes sense for some reason) lit up her next cigarette. “And anyway...”, she would continue. Belgrade café society may be ultra-cool but inclusive it is not. True, it avoids all that nonsense of posing and “people watching” that Paris and even London are supposed to get up to. Talk, caffeine and nicotine are the sources of this city’s main vibe. But, let’s face it, anything sociable that eschews alcohol, places itself off limits to strangers and often has its head right up its own backside. Booze is the fuel that drives us into the unknown, barges past convention, and gets us talking to the person we’ve just brushed against on the way to the toilet. It can also turn you into a boorish wreck, but that risk is evident the moment glass makes contact with lip. This is not something I have had much cause to say since I started living in Eastern Europe, but it could well be that Belgraders just aren’t consuming enough alcohol. There are positives in this. At least in this city a walk along the pavement does not resemble a scene from Dawn of the Dead, as it can in some parts of St Petersburg or Warsaw that I know of, such is the number of drunks sashaying from one end to the other. But, when I go to my favourite haunt in Belgrade, the Three Carrots Irish pub, I feel I can see Belgrade’s future. Sitting up at the bar there, is a homely experience, once you’ve done it a few times, and although it does afford the odd pleasure of anonymity as you blend in with the other amorphous boozers, you know
that at any minute someone could park themselves next to you and conversation will begin to flow. Yet aside from a few very pleasant exceptions, the companion has invariably turned out to be male. According to one of the bar staff I spoke to, women don’t want to drink at the bar because they are worried about being associated with the “drunks” who gravitate there. That includes me, clearly. Though apart from getting a bit sleepy after a jug too many, neither myself or any other of the Three Carrots stalwarts has done anything untoward, and it as trouble-free a joint as you will find anywhere in the city. So let the pub triumph over the cafe in Belgrade, 2009. Fags are foul, coffee is crud and beer is boss. Colin Graham is a British freelance journalist.
We’d love to hear your thoughts too. Tell us what you like about Belgrade, what really makes you fizz with anger and what you would change if you were in charge. Send us your thoughts, tell us a little bit about yourself, and send a photo too, if you like. Send your contributions to: email@example.com
The best thing about Belgrade is: That it is still a city with a soul. It is not an elegant city, as are perhaps others in the region but it is safe to walk around even at night when there are still many people on the streets. The youth of Belgrade have a vitality that always cheers me up considering what most of them have lived through and how disadvantaged they are compared to their peers in other European countries. The most annoying thing about Belgrade is: The pollution, both the air and the noise. There is a constant cacophony of impatient drivers blowing their horns and noise at night of insensitive café owners who feel that it is their right to blast out music at one o’clock in the morning despite the fact that there are still some people who have to get up in the morning and go to work. If I was mayor for one day: I would try to set up a programme to re-house the unfortunate people who have lived for too many years under the bridges of Belgrade. If I could manage to re-house a few Roma families every year in social housing, to have them properly integrated, find employment and their children attending the local primary school, I would feel that I was doing my job.
Friday, Feb. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
Serbia ‘Unilaterally’ Implements European Union Trade Deal Belgrade hopes Brussels will appreciate moves to create a free-trade zone but some economists say it’s a bad time to cut customs revenues. By Nenad Vulovic
Reporting from Belgrade
good signal to investors, perhaps, but is it the right moment for Serbia to take such a gamble in the midst of a global economic crisis? That is the question being asked following Belgrade’s decision to unilaterally implement its transitional trade agreement with the EU. On 30 January, the government decided to activate the agreement, which centres on the phased reduction of import taxes on industrial and agricultural products over the next six years. The move was made firstly to prove to Brussels that closer association with the EU remains Serbia’s priority and secondly to encourage investment. But some economists fear it may prove unwise to deprive the budget of around €150 million in customs revenues at a time of economic crisis. There are also doubts over whether Serbian citizens will actually gain that much in terms of access to cheaper imported goods. The government is implementing the deal unilaterally because the EU “froze” the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, SAA, which Serbia signed on 29 April last year, until Belgrade is deemed to have fully cooperated with the Hague war crimes tribunal. This means the arrest of the remaining two war-crime suspects, the former Bosnian army commander, Ratko Mladic, and the former
“They should have thought about whether it is the right moment to cancel customs taxes, because the effect on consumers may be almost non-existent.” Milan Culibrk, of the Economist Media Group
Cheaper cars may be one of the few tangible benefits to consumers of Belgrade’s adoption of the SAA tariff regimes.
Croatian Serb leader, Goran Hadzic. Government officials defended the move, saying that if Serbia failed to implement the SAA, it could not apply for EU candidacy and open negotiations on eventual membership. Vladimir Medjak, adviser to the Serbian government’s office for European integration, recalled that Brussels has unilaterally allowed Serbia to export its goods to the EU without paying customs duties since 2000. “Over the next six years, it will enable Serbia to create a customsfree trade zone with the EU,” he said. “You cannot get candidate status if you do not show you are capable of implementing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement,” he added. The government hopes its trade liberalisation measures will also send an important message to potential investors. The past experiences of those countries that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 suggest implementation of an SAA boosts direct foreign investment. “The main message of this agreement is that Serbia is a safe country in which to invest,” Medjak continued. But while Serbia is awaiting those investors, some experts doubt whether ordinary people stand to profit much from access to cheaper imports.
The transitional agreement involves the progressive reduction of customs duties over a number of years. Import taxes on industrial goods
“Excise duties cannot compensate for a reduction of income from customs taxes, it would have been better had government not made that decision.” Miroslav Prokopijevic, director of the Free Market Centre
will be totally scrapped after six years, while taxes on agricultural goods will remain, albeit at reduced levels, of between 20 and 80 per cent of the 2008 rate. As of January 30, 2009, Serbia will remove import taxes on livestock used for breeding, tropical fruits, spices and some types of seeds. But these are seen as largely symbolic moves, unlikely to affect the average consumer. Shoppers are far more likely to notice the decision to immediately cut taxes on imported automobiles from 20 to 10 per cent. People will also be able to buy cheaper imported washing machines, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, airconditioners, telephones, bicycles and shoes. Customs taxes on these
goods will drop from an average of 15.7 per cent to around 13. Miroslav Prokopijevic, director of the Free Market Centre, said implementation of the agreement would certainly make many products cheaper. “Automobiles are already cheaper and industrial and some agricultural products should also become cheaper, though by a smaller percentage,” he said. But Milan Culibrk, of the Economist Media Group, said he was less convinced that average consumers stand to benefit. He said trade in foreign goods in Serbia was largely in the hands of a few near monopolies, and these “big importers will just use their position on the market to increase their margins”. He also fears the government may have started to implement the agreement at the worst possible moment, when most other countries are looking for ways to protect production. “They should have thought about whether it is the right moment to cancel import taxes, because the effect on consumers may be almost nonexistent,” he warned. Estimates of potential losses to the budget as a result of implementation of the trade agreement, drawn up during the drafting of the 2009 budget, amount to around €150 million. But that estimate is now believed to be out of date, as circumstances, related to the global downturn, have since changed. Meanwhile, imports have decreased due to the current crisis, so the total loss may be smaller then expected. In order to make up for the losses to the budget caused by the fall in customs revenues, parliament has amended the Law on excise, resulting in more expensive cigarettes, alcoholic drinks and petroleum products. But after many members of the public, and some tobacco manufacturers, voiced strong dissatisfaction, it is possible that this will be changed. When it comes to the implementation of the SAA, Miroslav Prokopijevic criticises the decision to respond to the fall in customs revenue by increasing excise duties. “Excise duties cannot compensate for a reduction of income from customs taxes,” he said. “It would have been better had government not made that decision.” Source: www.BalkanInsight.com
Friday, Feb. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
Serbia State Cash Injection for Ailing Firms Sees Long-Term Benefit In Fiat Deal
iat will pay €200 million for the Zastava car producer by the end of the year - an expected 10-month delay in new investment at the Kraguevac production facility. Aleksandar Ljubic, advisor to Serbia’s Privatisation Agency said that although the deal allows the Serbian government to impose penalties on Fiat, the country should refrain from doing that. “The aim is that Zastava becomes a part of a big producer such as Fiat,” he told B92 television’s talk show Poligraf. “A thousand people will be engaged in the production of the Punto, in Serbia, and all other workers will keep their jobs and work on preparation of the new line.” Under the terms of the billioneuro joint venture signed in September, Fiat, which will hold 67 per cent of Zastava, will start making 200,000 cars in Serbia in 2010 and must additionally invest €200 million in the new company. Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic recently told national television RTS that the government would support each Serbian-made Punto car owner with at least €1,000, lowering the vehicle’s price to €5,999 if purchased with a 7-year loan. The new Punto’s normal price is €7,300.
Djelic: Country Clinches Michelin Deal
ichelin, the world’s second-largest tyre producer will invest €10 million in Serbia within the next 18 months, Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic said recently. The deal, which is the first concrete investment in Serbia for several months, was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “I can see that even now, when the world demand has dropped by up to 30 per cent, CEOs of global firms are still looking at the possi-
he turnover on the Belgrade Stock Exchange in the week to February 5th was again low at 1.04 billion dinars. The most liquid issue was Sojaprotein where total trade of 557.6
Briefs Hydro-Electric Plant for Sale Emportal reports that the government will announce an international tender for a 70 per cent stake in the hydroelectric power plant at Bajina Basta, and has set €3.5 million as a base price for bids. The deadline for receipt of bids is April 16th.
Corridor 10 Saga Continues
Photo by FoNet
Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic says exports are the top priority in the government’s stimulus package.
erbia will give local firms loans of up to €2 million to ensure their liquidity during the financial crisis, and up to €4 million for their investments, Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic said. In addition, the government will adopt measures to help modernise the infrastructure of several companies, including RTB Bor, that are potentially big exporters, Dinkic recently told state television, RTS. bilities for new investments,” Djelic told Belgrade radio B92. He said the deal meant Michelin would open a logistics centre that would create 100 new jobs, and double its production at the Pirot factory to 12 million tyres annually. He also said that he expected Russia’s payment of €400 million for the majority stake in oil industry NIS would be made shortly. “I don’t know the technical details, but I … expect the money will be paid today,” he said. Gazprom Neft, the trading arm of the Russian gas export Gazprom, bought a 51 per cent stake of Serbia’s oil monopoly NIS for €400 million, with an obligation to invest further €547 million by 2012.
The first two tenders for the Bor copper complex failed and not a single company bid in the third tender last September. Since then, the minister said, the price of copper on the world market dropped from $8,000 to $3,000 per tonne, as a consequence of the crisis, making the privatisation of the mine and smelter even more difficult. Dinkic also addressed comments by Serbia’s central bank governor Radovan Jelasic in which he said that
hard currency reserves would not be used for propping up companies “as it has never been done before”. Dinkic said Serbia would secure the billion euros needed to cover the budget deficit and foreign debt without touching the reserves. He said some €300 million was in the budget, €400 million was the payment by Russia’s Gazprom for a stake in oil company NIS, and €300 million would come from foreign creditors.
million dinars accounted for more than half the exchange’s total volume. Sojaprotein has recently announced a rights issue of 5.39 million of shares with the aim of using the funds to improve production capacity and refining of the business. Issue price is 946 dinars but existing shareholders have the right to purchase at 851. The market does not seem too keen on the issue and the current share price of Sojaprotein is 831 dinars. Investor`s attention was also focused on AIK Bank whose price slid 4 per cent in the reviewed period.
In a further twist to the long running machinations over the “Corridor 10” infrastructure project, Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic, has requested additional funding from the World Bank for the further development of the project. The long running project is aimed at developing Serbia’s highways as part of a wider European arterial network.
NIS Sale Complete The Minister of Energy and Mining, Petar Skundrid, said that Gaspromneft have paid the €400 million agreed purchase price for a 51 per cent stake in NIS. Gazpromneft will appoint six of the eleven members of the Administrative Board including the President, who is thought likely to be Dmitrij Malisev.
Serbian PM Sees Stable Dinar
Djelic announced new investment by Michelin in a distribution centre in Pirot
BELEX: Another Week of Light Trading on the Exchange
By Tijana Cvetkovic
Generally, mood on the Exchange continued to be pessimistic with the Belex15, dropping by 1.66 per cent and the Belexline losing 1.04 per cent. Foreign investors’ participation in total turnover during the reviewed period was modest, accounting for 30 per cent with more intensive presence on the sell side. Confectionery company Bambi was the biggest gainer with a 53.8 per cent price increase, followed by Cacanska Bank and chemicals producer Galenika Fitofarmacija which rose 19.8 per cent and 9.3 per cent respectively. Mineral water producer Voda
Vrnjci was the top loser, dropping 12.7 per cent. Also in the top losers` group Agrobacka declined 12 per cent and Credy Bank was off by 11.8 per cent. Tijana Cvetkovic is an analyst with FIMA Fas Ltd. in Belgrade.
We fly for your smile.
Serbia’s currency, which has lost 25 per cent of its value in the last three months, will soon become stable and the state will use all its efforts to keep it that way, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said. “We expect the dinar to become stable, ” he said recently in an interview with Danas, “but not as a consequence of endlessly spending huge amounts (of Serbia’s hard currency reserves), since we neither have that money to spend nor are we allowed to spend it.”
State to Support JAT The government announced that it will assist Serbia’s flag carrier JAT Airways by funding €100 per working year for employees that will be made redundant in restructuring. This will amount to a total €1.7 million worth of redundancy payments, with an additional €3.6 million coming from the budget as a loan to JAT for the same purpose.
Friday, Feb. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
Briefs Albania Struggles To Curb Illegal Migration Headscarved Pupil Pushes Limits In Macedonia
Despite improved border policing, Albanians continue to risk their lives to go abroad in order to pursue dreams of a better life in the EU.
The case of a teenage girl who wants to wear her headscarf to school is creating waves in Macedonia, with education authorities, local officials and teachers locked in a tug-of-war over religous freedom and the right to education. The girl, who attends a high school in the western Macedonian town of Tetovo, a predominantly ethnic Albanian area, wanted to wear her head scarf over her school uniform. After several warnings, the headmaster Ljatif Ismaili banned her from class until she removes the headscarf during school hours.
Bosnia Recession Brings Mass Job Losses More than 6,500 people have lost their jobs in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the last two months alone because of the worsening economic crisis in the country and abroad, local media reported recently.
World Bank Halts Controversial Albania Project The World Bank has announced the suspension of a loan from the International Development Association for a project that while meaning to safeguard Albania’s coast was found to have been used to demolish parts of a village and leave many families homeless. An internal IDA report, obtained by Balkan Insight, shows that a World Bank project on coastal zones management in southern Albania, aided the demolition of informal settlements in the village of Jale, in disregard to the bank’s policies of forced displacement.
Kosovo Suicide Rate On Rise Due To Depression Sociologists are ringing warning bells over the alarming rise in suicides and suicide attempts in Kosovo, after three people tried to kill themselves over the weekend. Kosovo lacks comprehensive nationwide suicide statistics, but local authorities in Pristina reported 15 suicides and 57 suicide attempts in the capital region alone in 2008.
Bulgarian Farmers Block Four Border Crossings Farmers from northern and southern Bulgaria staged new protests on February 4th. The main demand of the protest near Stara Zagora is for the Agriculture Ministry to finally update the cattle owners registry, which is used to identify the recipients and size of cattle farming subsidies.
Photo courtesy of the Albanian Defence Ministry
Albanian coast guards are engaged in a seemingly never-ending battle with people smugglers operating along the country’s coastline.
By Blerina Moka Reporting from Tirana
here is little chance that three-year-olds Andueneta and Klarisa understood the danger they faced as a snow storm blocked them and their mothers in the mountains of Southern Albania on December 16th. They were part of a group of 15 Albanians migrants attempting to cross the border illegally into Greece. An SOS sent from a cell phone to a local TV station alarmed the authorities of both countries who then launched a rescue operation, saving the migrants who had been stuck for more than 20 hours in the snow in temperatures well below freezing. The two girls and the 13 others can count themselves lucky. Three months previously, five would-be emigrants drowned in an accident in Lake Butrint, including a 22-yearold mother and her three-month-old baby. People smuggling has been rampant in Albania for more than two decades. Tens of thousands of migrants have been smuggled on speedboats from Albania across the Adriatic to Italy or across the mountains into Greece.
As an endless series of tragedies continues, debate rages over whether tougher policing of the borders will be enough to dam the stream of Albanians ready to risk their lives to escape a dire economic situation. An estimated 35 per cent of Albania’s population has emigrated since the Stalinist regime fell in 1991. Greece is estimated to host more 570,000 Albanian migrants and Italy, more than 270,000, the bulk of whom crossed these countries’ borders illegally. Remittances from migrants are a lifeline for Albania’s struggling economy, amounting to €947 million in 2007. Under pressure from the EU, however, Albania has banned speedboats on the Adriatic for the last three years to thwart the illegal smugglers. “The moratorium [on speedboats] needs to be extended because the border police are not yet equipped with the means to stop trafficking along the coast,” the Interior Minister, Bujar Nishani, said in October. The ban affected around 2,000 local speedboat owners and was intended to stop traffickers in both people and drugs from using their craft to reach the shores of Italy and Greece. The only small motorised vessels allowed to venture out into the sea from Albanian shores are police,
customs and fishing boats as well as foreign-owned yachts. Critics say the law is unnecessary and has hurt Albania’s tourism industry, creating more unemployment and subsequently more potential migrants. Nertian Ceka, deputy speaker of Albania’s parliament, says the measure is not curbing illegal migration but is only aggravating the troubles of an industry vital to Albania’s prosperity. The ban meanwhile discriminates between Albanian and foreign citizens.
Police also note that the moratorium has not completely solved the problem at sea while it has increased migratory pressures on the land border with Greece. “Traffickers coming from the border areas know the mountain passes on the borders very well, which makes it very difficult to police them,” Pullumb Nako, head of Albania’s border police, said. In 2008, Greek authorities stopped more than 11,000 illegal migrants on the border. Seasonal employment agreements between Albania and neighbouring countries have also failed to dent the number of illegal migrants because they often have functioned poorly. Many of those who have migrated temporarily using these agreements have sought to stay permanently in the host country, which makes the agreements difficult to renew. Experts warn that despite greater efforts from Tirana to strengthen its borders, illegal migration will continue as long as there are such high levels of unemployment and poverty in the country. Albania was the last country in Eastern Europe to emerge from Communism and even by the low standards of its former socialist neighbours, its economy was in tatters by the early 1990s, largely thanks to the regime’s isolationism. Despite recent economic growth averaging 5 per cent of GDP per year, chronic unemployment and under-development have kept poverty the norm, particularly in rural areas, home to 57 per cent of the population. The IMF estimates that almost 25 per cent of people live on less than 2 US dollars a day. According to the head of Albanian Institute of Statistics, Ines Nurja, unemployment remains high especially among young people under 30. This demographic group is the core market of the traffickers. For many of these jobless youngsters, the prospect of a dangerous, arduous passage abroad is a risk they are willing to take. “When you don’t have a job and can’t feed your family, illegal migration is the only way out,” said Blerta a young woman from Tirana in her twenties who has decided to risk the voyage across the mountains into Greece. “I see migration as the only way out of poverty,” she added. Source: www.BalkanInsight.com
out & about
Friday, Feb. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
As a result of the disputes in the region, this mountain has remained untouched and undeveloped. Some consider this to be a pity, while others enjoy the simple nature of the place.
Forgotten Ski Resort Awaits Rebirth Isolated and neglected as a result of Kosovo’s disputes, Brezovica is crying out for the investment that could transform it into a first-class winter wonderland once again. By Asdren Rrahmani Reporting from Brezovica
’d been planning a trip to the Brezovica ski resort for a while but was waiting for the snowfall, which came later this year than usual. But during the week there was a good dump, so on Saturday, I set off from Pristina. Waking up before 6 a.m. during the winter is not much fun, however. It was pitch dark outside and foggy as well. I even thought about cancelling, because it seemed impossible to take photographs in such weather, but then I told myself: “What the heck!” I had planned this trip and was going to make it. Because of the fog, I had to drive quite slowly but once I passed Ferizaj/Urosevac and turned left, the mist lifted, as if cut with a knife. Now, I could speed up and make up for lost time. But, as I hit the Sara/Sharr Mountains there were patches of snow on the road and again I had to slow. I reached Shterpce at 7.20 a.m. and there remained only another 15 kilometres or so to Brezovica. The last 12 kilometres of uphill driving took me along mountainous roads and past chalets that dated from the 1980s, many burned during the war in Kosovo. There was a also a toll gate, installed by some locals, charging drivers €2 per vehicle and an additional 50 cents per passenger. As soon as I parked up, I got hold of my photo gear and started the slight descent to the Hotel Molika, which was built in the early 1980s. Unfortunately, not a cent has
been invested in the hotel since then, and if you ever wondered what life was like in the Communist era, this place will provide a glimpse. Besides all the political issues and disputes over Brezovica, if this place is to revive and attract tourists from abroad, much will need to be done in terms of investment and infrastructure. It was going to be a crowded day at the resort, so I decided to go to the ski lifts at once and visit one of the ski tracks before people started queuing for the lifts. The charge for a single ride is €3 euros or €10 for a one day pass, but because the man working there thought I was a foreign journalist, he did not charge me and I was happy not to pay! He at least acknowledged the importance of the place’s tourist potential. Every little helps in that direction. The lift ride lasted for 10 to 15 minutes and the early morning sunny winter weather was perfect for taking pictures. At the top, there was a small cabin where a person was taking care of the lift and the skiers. I took a lot of photographs from there. A few metres away was an old steel scrap yard, and when I approached, I noticed some old retired gondolas, rusty and long out of service. The sky was very clear from here, and I could see the distant mountains, the fog in the valleys, the white clouds and even the rocks on the mountains, so without wasting time, I got hold of my camera and took some more photographs. The man working in the ski lift ushered me into his small cabin so I could warm up, and we had an opportunity to exchange a few words. Originally he thought I was foreign but when we spoke he realised I was native, too. We spoke about about how beautiful this place was and how I remembered it from a long time ago, and we agreed that it was pity so little was being invested here, as it would contribute directly to the livelihood of local people. Politics, he said, had prevented this from happening
but what he cared most about was making a better living for himself and his family. The long and steep pistes at Brezovica are most suited to experienced skiers but skiers of all abilities will enjoy the resort. Those without skis can rent them from the resort from €10 a day. After about two hours at the top of the mountain, it was time to make my way back down, so I said goodbye to the man and started my descent. But halfway down the slope there was a power cut and the lift came to a halt. However, the weather was fine and the spot where I had stopped was good for taking some additional pictures - you get used to making the best of these little opportunities in Kosovo! Eventually the power was restored and my trip back commenced. Once back down, I was hungry, too, probably from all that fresh air, so I went to the “Tina” pizzeria, a good choice as it turned out. There I noticed a small motel whose façade was unfinished but which was open to visitors. I had a look inside and found it had
decent rooms for €40 a night. It seemed well worth it.
How To Get There From Belgrade, take highway E75 towards Nis. After approximately 120km, take the Batocina exit and take the road towards Kragujevac and Kraljevo. Once in Kraljevo, take the Ibarska Magistrala to Mitrovica. From Mitrovica, take the road to Pristina. After 45km, once in Pristina, take the road to Ferizaj and Skopje. Once past Ferizaj, drive another 15km until a sign on your right gives directions for Tetova, Brezovica and Prizren. After a short while, make a slight right turn, again following the sign to Prizren. After about 20km you reach Shtrpce. Drive about 3km until a sign on your left reads Shara. Brezovica follows after that, about 12km uphill. Source: www.BalkanInsight.com
The pistes at Brezovica are most suited for experienced skiiers because the runs are long and steep.
Friday, Feb. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
Pane e Vino A really rather good experience, which could have been even better with just a few extra touches and without that cover charge.
few months ago I had a dinner invitation at Pane e Vino but, by the end of a long day at work, which turned into a late evening, I only arrived in time to finish off the wine and sip an espresso. But my colleagues were positive about their dinner, so I made a note to return. I remembered the restaurant, buzzing with conversation and laughter, alive with the clank and scrape of utensils on china and bustling staff, and that on a Thursday night. I had toyed with booking for our Saturday visit, convinced that we would find it difficult to get a table but, as it turned out, we could probably have fitted in almost everybody I know in Belgrade and still left room for the tumbleweeds to roll through the dining room. But I’ve eaten in roadside restaurants in America’s deep South, where
time freezes as you enter and you expect the staff to treat you to a vicious bludgeoning alongside your pie and hominy grits, so I wasn’t overly put off. The menu is Italian and covers pretty much everything you’d expect, including that relic, still much loved by Italian restaurants worldwide, the cover charge. Why restaurateurs persist in making this frankly inexcusable charge is beyond me. It may only be 60 dinars, but I suspect you can tell how much it rankles. Anyway, we ordered an avocado and goat’s cheese salad, gnocci Amalfi style, veal with ceps and beef medallions with rocket. To accompany all this we chose a good value Chakana Malbec, which was worth every one of the 1,700 dinars price tag. Almost purple in colour, the wine was powerful and full of fruity lusciousness. This value-focused producer has recently been turning out wines which outperform many of its similarly priced Australian and old world rivals. The salad was described as “big” on the menu, and so it turned out – a huge bowl of mixed leaves, chunks of cheese and avocado, and thin slices of radish, topped with a scattering of roasted sunflower seeds. The cheese was unexpectedly firm and salty, more like a ewe’s milk cheese, but none the worse for that, and the combination of flavours and textures worked well. All it needed to be perfect was a good dressing, which, sadly, it lacked. The gnocci
Pane e Vino, strangely quiet on our visit, dishes up some fairly competent fare and should definitely be on your dining out shortlist.
were served in a good tomato sauce with a topping of grilled mozzarella – competent if not spectacular. Sometimes you need a literal mind, when reading menus in Serbia. You need to understand that if the menu says beef medallions with rocket, or veal with ceps, then that is exactly what you will get. The steak was good – cooked to perfection, the rocket crunchy, peppery and fresh. The veal was tender, again well cooked, served with a very generous portion of fresh ceps in a sauce. But neither dish came with any accompaniment at all, not even a sprig of parsley. How much nicer that steak would have tast-
ed with, say, a root vegetable mash. Some crispy, hot, French fries would have been great for dipping into the really very good mushroom sauce, but it was not to be. You’ll be pleased to hear, dear readers, that creme brulee was not on the menu, so we chose a pear and marzipan tart and a panna cotta for desert. The pastry on the tart was buttery and crisp and the pear, marzipan and creme patissier filling were spot on. The panna cotta was creamy, not too soft or too firm, but lacked any real flavour and the strawberry coulis which topped it was a little on the sweet side.
So in all, a really rather good experience, which could have been even better with just a few extra touches and without that cover charge! I am told by regulars that we must have visited at the wrong time and the restaurant is usually much busier - given the combination of competent service, good food and reasonable prices, it deserves to be. Pane e Vino Dobracina 6 Tel: 011 30 36 011 Price Guide: 2,000 – 2,500 each for three courses with a modest wine.
We Recommend Every week we feature a selection of restaurants picked by our team. They give a flavour of what’s out there on the Belgrade restaurant scene and should provide you with a few alternatives to get you out of your dining rut. Our choices may not always have had the full Trencherman treatment but you can be sure that one of us has eaten there and enjoyed it.
Trnska 2 - Beograd - +381 11 344 77 00 - www.pietrodelloro.com
Reservations are needed for lunch or dinner here. This club with its splendid turn of the century interior is a popular place for diplomatic receptions. The staff are professional, and the mixture of Serbian and international cuisine is accomplished.
Trencherman thought that the food was perhaps “too much sizzle and not enough sausage”, complaining about unnecessarily fussy presentation, but nevertheless raved about the quality of his steak. A favourite with expats and locals alike.
As authentic as it gets in Belgrade, this good value Chinese restaurant has a fairly extensive menu, competent staff and a slightly garish dining room. It’s location just of Kneza Milosa, means you’re sure to run into a host of diplomats and government officials at lunchtimes.
Unzun Mirkova 4/II 011-2626077
Topolska 4 011-2431458
Gepetto Set back from the riverbank in Zemun, close to the football club, this place has “olde worlde” charm in spades. Ornate and victorian in style this place is sure to impress your latest hot date. Svetotroicne 22 011-3076726
Friday, Feb. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
Continued from page 1
Guitar Art Festival The Belgrade Guitar Art Festival brings together Oscar-winning composer of Western movie scores, Ennio Morricone, acclaimed lute player Edin Karamazov, and ledgendary rocker Sting, in one of Serbia’s most important annual musical events, offering concerts, master classes, lectures, competitions and exhibitions.
Sunday, February 8
Sting & Edin Karamazov Not many people can get away with naming themselves after a verb. Sting is one of the few who can. A pop culture icon, Sting is a founding member of one of the most popular rock bands in the history of modern music, The Police, and has had an equally successful solo music career. Most recently, Sting ventured into “new” musical territory with an album featuring the music of acclaimed 16th century Elizabethan songwriter John Dowland entitled ‘Songs From the Labyrinth’, which had a surprisingly good showing, for classical music, on the billboard charts around the world. The album was recorded with the help of Bosnian lute master Edin Karamazov, who has his own solo album coming out soon called ‘The Lute is a Song’. Sava Centar, Great Hall, Milentija Popovica 9
Friday, February 13
Miroslav Tadic, Vlatko Stefanovski and Teodosi Spasov Miroslav Tadic is a classically trained guitarist from Serbia who was named in the January 1997 issue of Guitar Player magazine as one of the 30 most radical and individual guitarists. His interest in Macedonian folk music has spurred a relationship with Macedonian guitar hero Vlatko Stefanovski, who is very well known in the Balkans and throughout the world for his influential and innovative use of folk music in his guitar playing. At the festival, Tadic and Stefanovski will be joined by Bulgarian Teodosi Spasov, who leads his own band and plays a variety of wind instruments. Sava Centar, Great Hall, Milentija Popovica 9
Saturday, February 7
Vincent Amigo Sextet Acclaimed as the most brilliant flamenco guitarist of his generation, Vicente Amigo won a Latin Grammy in 2001 and has quickly become an international flamenco guitar star. He has won numerous prizes, and shared the stage with legendary artists such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, fusion genius John Mc Laughlin, pop legend David Bowie, and other guitar virtuosos such as Al Di Meola and Paco de Lucia. The Spanish National Ballet has also performed an interpretation of his composition Poeta. Sava Centar, Great Hall, Milentija Popovica 9
Monday, February 9
Alirio Diaz Alirio Diaz is a Venezuelan guitar wizard who studied in the 1960s with the great classical guitar master Andres Segovia. He is also a published author, who has written an autobiography and a book called ‘Music from the Lives and Labours of the Venezuelan’. Diaz also had an international guitar contest named after him for his achievements in music education. Performing the same night will be Edin Karamazov’s quartet, Vojin Kocic, and Kazuhito Yamashita Ilija M. Kolarac Foundation Hall, Studentski Trg 5
Tuesday, February 10
Wednesday, February 11
Thursday, February 12
Aleksandar Hadzi Djordjevic
Xuefei Yang was the first guitarist to graduate from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing with a Bachelor’s degree and the first Chinese student ever to receive an international scholarship to study at the Royal Schools of Music, in London. Famed guitarist John Williams was so impressed with her playing that he gave two of his own Smallman signature guitars to her Conservatory especially for her and other top students to play. She also has an exclusive international recording contract with EMI Classics. Performing the same night will be Pavel Steidl, Gabriela Demterova, Roland Dyens and Badi Assad. Ilija M. Kolarac Foundation Hall, Studentski Trg 5
Djordjevic graduated from the Academy of Music Art in Prague under guitar greats Scepan Raka and Martin Misuvetchka. His main interest is teaching young people. A number of his students have won international awards and are now performing actively as professionals. Djordjevic also participates in seminars and lectures all over the world. This will be his second Guitar Art Festival, having performed at the inaugural festival with fellow guitarist Srdjan Tosic. Also performing will be local artists, including Vera Ogrizovic, Srdjn Tosic, Zoran Anic, Vesna Petkovic, Darko Karajic, Milos Janjic, Zoran Krajisnik and Dusan Bogdanovic. Ilija M. Kolarac Foundation Hall, Studentski Trg 5
This Greek guitarist has played with some of the best symphony orchestras - Paris, BBC, Junge Deutsche Philarmonie and has played in some of the most important guitar festivals around the world. He teaches throughout Greece and lectures at seminars around the world. Also performing on this night will be Zoran Dukic, Aniello Desiderio, Roberto Aussel and the EOS Guitar Quartet. Ilija M. Kolarac Foundation Hall, Studentski Trg 5
Saturday, February 14
Ennio Morricone & Roma Sinfonietta This acclaimed Academy Award-winning composer needs no introduction. He has composed and arranged scores for more than 500 film and television productions and is best know for composing for the characteristic soundtracks of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns ‘A Fistful of Dollars’, ‘For a Few Dollars More’, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’. He has been nominated for five Academy Awards for Best Music, Original Score between 1979 and 2001. Perhaps as a consolation for never actually winning, Morricone received an Honorary Academy Award in 2007 “for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music.” Belgrade Arena, Arsenija Carnojevica 58
Friday, Feb. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
Akademija Hands down and without much discussion, the most significant club in the history of Belgrade’s nightlife, Akademija, continues, despite financial woes, to promote the arts and alternative culture with every ounce of its being.
One of the most relevant and respected house artists in the world, Terry Lee Brown Jr. will be performing in support of his latest album Softpack. He is well known for working with many influential artists in the house scene and his albums and mixtapes run the gamut from funky dance floor hits, to chill and quaint coffee shop atmospherics. He will, of course, be focusing on the former on Friday. Mamolo, Ilije Garasanina 26
Vencanica (Wedding Gown) Magazine will be hosting a wedding fair this weekend. This is the perfect opportunity for couples who are scheduled to get hitched this spring or summer but have yet to find the right clothes, decorations and other important accessories for the special day. There will be a fashion show in the evening modeling the latest in both wedding dresses and jewellery. Hyatt Regency Hotel, Milentija Popovica 5
Terry Lee Brown Jr.
By David Galic
Reporting from Belgrade
ith a history spanning some 40 years, Akademija’s dark smoky catacombs remain a haven for Serbia’s alternative youth, Belgrade’s own CBGB (editors note: this was, our correspondent tells us, a famous underground New York club!). It was founded in the 1960s as the club for students attending the Fine Arts University. In the late 1980s, Akademija was listed as one of the five best clubs in Europe, with peoSource: www.myspace.com ple coming from all over the world to In the late 1980s Akademija was listed as one spend a night at the grimy basement of the best clubs in Europe. Now, the club sees alternative haven. itself in a period of uncertainty. The club’s goal and sole purpose of existence in those early days was told her not to worry because it was to promote urban sensitivity and cos- located in a basement, and we’d be mopolitanism, turning Belgrade into a just as safe there as in the fallout creative epicentre with experimental shelter next to our building,” 26 yearprogrammes that covered everything old Ana recalls of the time. from music to painting and film, as Now, just like Serbia in general, well as everything in between. Akademija finds itself in a period of Its cult status in the 80s saw many uncertainty, transition and rebuilding. great bands from around the world The club is in an awkward predicament booking shows there just to get a in which it is neither privatised nor taste of the aura, with even Harvey bankrolled by the state as it used to be, Keitel and Johnny Depp making a leaving club managers and promoters pilgrimage to the club. to push on while significantly in debt. Locals in their forties still talk Most of Akademija’s backers are about Akademija with a touch of people who remember the glory days of hyperbole, though the stories of its the club, and are in the position to keep status as a Mecca for the culturally- the spirit of the establishment alive. inclined are so numerous that they For example, Disciplin A are hard to ignore or disregard as Kitschme, one of the most popular and simple nostalgia. innovative Serbian new wave bands Unfortunately, Akademija’s hey- of the last 20 years, often play soldday was cut short and the club was out shows in Akademija, even though buried in uncertainty and inactivity in they can realistically play venues that the 1990s, when Serbia was slapped are 4 times as big, just to help to bring with sanctions for its role in the wars money into the club so it can continue in Bosnia and Croatia. Although the to book smaller bands and artists who club never fully closed, it spent the have nowhere else to go. decade with no international artists This spirit of camaraderie and or visitors. artistic integrity is what continues During the NATO-led bombing of to keep the club alive, as it remains Serbia in spring 1999, Akademija was a place for Belgrade alternative culopen every single day in the afternoon ture, providing opportunities for mufor kids looking to get away from eve- sicians, whether they be hardcore, rything and throw their worries to the hip-hop or drum’n’bass DJs, to perwind, at least for a few hours. form, organising nights for urban and “When my mom asked where I independent music, art exhibitions was going, I said Akademija, and I and jam sessions.
Adore Chocolat Every week, Rian Harris tells us one of her favourite places to shop.
By Rian Harris
Reporting from Belgrade
ou can find a lot of imported chocolates in the shops around Belgrade, but if you want something all-natural, locally made and delicious, head for Adore Chocolat.
Adore offers outstanding handmade chocolate pralines in more than 50 flavours (try the “Crème Fraiche” with locally produced pavlaka and the “Canelle” with caramel cream and cinnamon), chocolate bark (the one with coffee is fantastic), hot chocolate, and muffins. They produce lovely gift boxes that would brighten up anyone’s day, and you can even custom order a set with the logo of your organisation or business. Around holiday time, they turn out speciality items, like a chocolate shoe for Women’s Day and eggs for Easter. And of course, it’s never too early to start thinking about Valentine’s Day! TC Milenium Knez Mihailova 21 Delta City New Belgrade 011 2625056.
Salsa Seminar Come learn to sway your hips in the most sensual of ways at this two-day dance seminar. Led by a Portuguese dance instructor, there are lessons being offered for both beginners and experienced dancers in the art of Salsa and Kizomba dancing. Make sure you bring comfortable shoes that can carry you through three hours of Salsa and four of Kizomba. KUD Cvetkovic, Milosa Pocerca 10
Vienna Opera Ball
The fact that there is almost no one left in the band from the original lineup does not nullify the fact that Brazil’s Sepultura were one of the best thrash metal bands of the 1990s. Despite leader Max Cavalera leaving the band years ago to work on his new band Soulfly, and his brother, drummer Igor, leaving Sepultura last year to form the Cavalera Conspiracy, Sepultura continue to record and tour. Student Cultural Centre, Kralja Milana 48
Belgraders will have a chance to participate in this traditional Austrian event, which is one of the highlights of Vienna’s social calendar. The Vienna State opera will be performing traditional interpretations of Austrian music from the late 18th century through to the first half of the 20th century. Remember, the dress code is white tie and tails for men and floor-length ball gowns for the ladies. Sava Centar, Milentija Popovica 5
If the Sex Pistols could headline last year’s Exit Festival in Novi Sad, then there is no reason why another pack of middle-aged geezers, the UK Subs, cannot continue rocking out if they are still inclined to do so. The Subs were very influential in the first wave of British punk, combining the energy of crasser bands with a rock’n’roll edge that many of their mohawk-wearing colleagues lacked. Student Cultural Centre, Kralja Milana 48
Someone forgot to send out the memo that it was punk rock week in Belgrade. Crossing the ocean this time, we have No Use for a Name, whose not-so-clever name did not stop them from writing some pretty fine melodic Californian punk in their heyday. Opening up will be Serbia’s popular melodic punk veterans Six Pack. Student Cultural Centre, Kralja Milana 48
No Use For a Name
Friday, Feb. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
What’s On CINEMAS
Starfuckers, Living Room, Kralja Milana 48, 23:00
Roda Cineplex Pozeska 83A , tel: 011 2545260
Bolt 16:00 Madagascar II 16:15 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 17:45, 21:00 Yes Man 18:00, 20:00, 22:00 Dom sindikata Trg Nikole Pasica 5, tel. 011 3234849 Australia 18:00, 21:00 Bolt 16:15 Bride Wars 18:15 Madagascar II 16:30 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 18:15, 21:15 Twilight 16:15 Yes Man 20:00 Ster City Cinema Delta City, Jurija Gagarina 16 (Blok 67), tel: 011 2203400 Australia 13:20, 16:30, 19:40, 23:00 Bolt 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00, 19:00 Bride Wars 12:40, 15:30, 17:30, 19:20 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 13:40, 16:50, 20:00, 23:10 Underworld 21:20, 23:30 Yes Man 12:00, 14:10, 16:20, 18:30, 20:30, 22:50 Tuckwood Cineplex Kneza Milosa 7, tel: 011 3236517 Bolt 15:30 Bride Wars 16:10, 18:10, 20:15 Twilight 17:15, 19:35, 21:55 Underworld 17:00, 19:00, 21:00, 22:50 Yes Man 15:45, 18:00, 20:15, 22:30
Friday, February 6 Music: Tery Lee Brown Jr., Mamolo, Ilije Garasanina 26, 21:00 Extra Orkestar, Lava Bar, Kneza Milosa 77, 23:00 Kraljevski Apartman, Fest, Majke Jevrosime 20, 22:30 Toca and Band, Mr. Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4/9, 23:00 Odium, Danguba, Cirila I Metodija 2, 23:00
Barthelemy Vincent and Shwabe, Energija, Nusiceva 8, 23:00 Disco Plastic, Plastic, Djusina 7, 23:00 DJ Stevie, Underworld, Corner of Ruzveltova and 27. Marta, 23:00 Vocal House, Mr. Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4/9, 23:00 Sweeet Fridays, Ex-Lagoom, Svetozara Radica 5, 23:00 Yu Rock, White, Pariska 1a, 23:00 Les Gigantes, Blue Moon, Knegilje Ljubice 4, 23,00 Other: Death and the Dervish (play), National Theatre, Trg Republike 5, 19:30 Rabbit Hole (play), Belgrade Drama Theatre (BDP), Milesavska 64 20:00 Nada Stemanovic (drawings), Pozeska 83a, 17:00 Klirit Art (graphics), Stara Kapetanija Gallery, Kej Oslobodjenja 8, 17:00
Saturday, Friday 7 Music: Cavalleria Rusticana (opera), National Theatre, Trg Republike 5, 19:30 Frankestra Band, Gaucosi, Dunavska 17a, 23:00 No Comment Band, Lava bar, Kneza Milosa 77, 23:00 Ben Hur, Danguba, Cirila I Metodija 2, 23:00 Witch 1, Living Room, Kralja Milana 48, 23:00 Nightlife: Peppe & DJ Ura, The Tube, Dobracina 17, 23:00 Gramaphondzije, Energija, Nusiceva 8, 23:00 House Night, Mamolo, Ilije Garasanina 26, 21:00 DJ Ike & Prema, Plastic, Djusina 7 , 23:00 DJ Marko Gangbangers, Underworld, Corner of Ruzveltova and 27. Marta, 23:00 House Fever, Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4/9, 23:00 Disco House Night, White, Pariska 1a, 23:00 Soul Touch, Blue Moon, Knegilje Ljubice 4, 23,00
Massacre God (play), Atelje 212, Svetogorska 21, 20:00 Amadeus (play), Belgrade Drama Theatre (BDP), Milesavska 64, 20:00 Gamzigrad mosaics (exhibition), Zmaj Jovina 1, 17:00
The Merry Wives of Windsor (play), National Theatre, Trg Republike 5, 19:30 Half Price (play), Belgrade Drama Theatre (BDP), Milesavska 64, 20:00 Katarina Zdjelar (video exhibition), Museum of Contemporary Arts, Pariska 14, 17:00
Cocktail Wednesdays, Mamolo, Ilije Garasanina 26, 21:00 DJ Ike & Prema, Plastic, Djusina 7, 23:00 Popular Science, Underworld, Corner of Ruzveltova and 27. Marta, 23:00 Karaoke Challenge, Mr Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4/9, 23:00 Salsa Night, Havana, Nikole Spasica 1, 22:00 Samba, Bossa, Jazzy, Salvador Dali, Hilandarska 20, 21:00 Fest Cafe, Fest, Majke Jevrosime 20, 22:00 Go With the Flow, Danguba, Cirila I Metodija 2, 23:00
Sunday, February 8 Music: Noemi Gereg (piano), Artget Gallery, Trg Republike 5, 20:00 Makao Band, Mr. Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4/9, 23:00 Live Bands, Blue Moon, Kneginje Ljubice 4, 23:00 EKV Tribute, Danguba, Cirila I Metodija 2, 23:00 Nightlife: Sportsman Night, White, Pariska 1a, 23:00 Shaker Party, Mr. Stefan Braun, Vojislava Ilica 86, 23:00 Lazy Sunday Afternoon, Fest, Majke Jevrosime 20, 22:00 Karaoke, Miss Moneypenny, Ada Ciganlija (Makiska side 4), 21:30 Hip Hop Party, Living Room, Kralja Milana 48, 23:00 Other: After the Party (play), Belgrade Drama Theatre (BDP), Milesavska 64 20:00 Miroljub Todorovic (exhibition), Belgrade Historical Archive, Palmira Toljatija 1, 17:00
Monday, February 9 Music: Sepultura, Student Cultural Centre, Kralja Milana 48, 21:00 Don Giovanni and Friends, Living Room, Kralja Milana 48, 23:00 Nightlife: Wandered in From a Rave, Francuska Sobarica, Francuska 12, 22:00 Discount Night, Fest, Majke Jevrosime 20, 22:00 House Party (DJ Kobac), Blue Moon, Knegilje Ljubice 4, 23:00 Bla Bla Band, Vanila, Studentski trg 15, 22:30 Kareoke, Danguba, Cirila I Metodija 2, 23:00
Tuesday, February 10 Music: Iron Maiden, Belgrade Arena, Arsenija Carnojevica 58, 20:00 Manisent I Mentalnost, Blue Moon, Knegilje Ljubice 4, 23:00 Kinky Acoustic, Miss Moneypenny, Ada Ciganlija (Makiska side 4), 21:30 Nirvana Tribute, Danguba, Cirila I Metodija 2, 23:00 Nightlife: Psychodelic Tuesday, Underworld, Corner of Ruzveltova and 27 Marta, 23:00 Riffs, Francuska Sobarica, Francuska 12, 22:00 Diesel Party, Mr. Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4/9, 23:00 Discount Night, Fest, Majke Jevrosime 20, 22:00 Zex Kazanova, Bambo Bar, Strahinjica Bana 71, 22:00 Iron Maiden Afterparty, Living Room, Kralja Milana 48, 23:00 Other: Milk (play), Belgrade Drama Theatre (BDP), Milesavska 64 20:00 Sleeping Beauty (ballet), National Theatre, Trg Republike 5, 19:30 Branislav Mihajlovic (painting), Belgrade Library, Kneza Mihaila 56, 17:00
Wednesday, February 11 Music: Ivan Ckonjevic, REX, Jevrejska 16, 22:00 UK Subs, Student Cultural Centre, Kralja Milana 48, 21:00 Nick Drag & Konky Tonk Klan, Kuglas, Djusina 5, 22:00 Uki Ovaskainen (piano), SASA Gallery, Kneza Mihaila 35, 20:00 Live Bands, Blue Moon, Kneginje Ljubice 4, 23:00 Nirvana Tribute, Danguba, Cirila i Metodija 2, 23:00
Other: Delirium Tremens (play), Belgrade Drama Theatre (BDP), Milesavska 64, 20:00 Death and the Dervish (play), National Theatre, Trg Republike 5, 19:30
Thursday, February 12 Music: Vienna Opera Ball, Sava Centar, Milentija Popovica 5 20:00 The Resident, Bitefart café, Skver Mire Trailovic 1, 22:30 No Use for a Name, Student Cultural Centre, Kralja Milana 48, 21:00 Tropico Band, Lava Bar, Kneza Milosa 77, 23:00 Zookie, Danguba, Cirila I Metodija 2, 23:00 Nightlife: A Little Bit of 90s, Mistique, Aberdareva 1b, 23:00 Booki/Kinetic Vibe, Mamolo, Ilije Garasanina 26, 21:00 Ladies’ Night, Mr Braun Garden, Vojislava Ilica 86, 23:00 Playground Radio Show Live, Tapas Bar, Dositejeva 17, 22:00 Weekend Warm Up, Fest, Majke Jevrosime 20, 22:00 Other: Sleeping Beauty (ballet), National Theatre, Trg Republike 5, 19:30 Romance (play), Belgrade Drama Theatre (BDP), Milesavska 64, 20:00
Friday, Feb. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
Serbia Seeking Fed Cup Solace in Belgrade Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic will team up for the first time on home soil when they take on Japan in the Belgrade Arena.
By Zoran Milosavljevic Reporting from Belgrade
ith their pride and confidence dented by sub-standard performances and early exits at the Australian Open, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic have a great opportunity to redeem themselves in front of what is likely to be a capacity crowd in the Belgrade Arena. The 18,000 fans expected to turn up for Serbia’s Federation Cup tie against Japan on Saturday and Sunday should also have plenty to look forward to, as it’s the first time the two stars will join forces to play competitive tennis on home soil. World number three Jankovic and number eight Ivanovic steered Serbia into the competition’s World Group II after they won a third tier tournament in Budapest last year. The final push to reach the elite group begins with Saturday’s singles rubbers and Jankovic, the team captain, has made it clear in no uncertain terms what her ambitions are. “We belong in the World Group and I am convinced we will get there this year,” she told reporters after her opening practice session in the Arena. “I am proud and honoured that I will play my first competitive match in Belgrade and the tie has all the makings of a spectacular event. We will do our best to delight the fans and give them a weekend to remember,” she said.
The reason Serbia are still not in the top tier is that Jankovic and Ivanovic had been unable so far to play together, due to injuries, fatigue and commitment to their own personal careers, with preparations for money-spinning WTA tournaments standing in the way. When one was fit the other wasn’t, when one was available, the other was eyeing lucrative cash prizes and a chance to move up the WTA rankings. One can hardly blame them, especially in view of the fact that the Serbian Tennis Association had been unable or reluctant to offer any kind of incentive to Ivanovic and Jankovic, who make their living from playing tennis. One may argue it’s a good living, but it’s also hard work and being in the top 10 requires daily sacrifices most young people are not prepared to make. With the money issue sorted, Jankovic and Ivanovic are raring to put their Australian Open disappointments behind them. “The time has come for us to shine in front of our supporters, friends and families,” said Jankovic who also praised the quality of the hard-court surface, which she is more suited to, than Japan’s top player Ai Sugiyama, whom she beat in straight sets in Melbourne before she succumbed to Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli in the quarter-finals. “We have worked very hard to get into the position to qualify for the World Group and we now have a great chance of progressing to the top level,” she added. While Jankovic’s descent from the pinnacle of the WTA rankings to number three may be a glitch, Ivanovic’s plunge from the summit to number eight has the elements of a long-term crisis, which started after she won the French Open last June. Ever since the biggest success of her young career, Ivanovic has found it equally hard to deal with her opponents on the court and the media hype off it. Having been declared the beau-
Source: Serbian Tenis Federation
Ana Ivanovic drives a backhand down the line during her opening practice session in the Belgrade Arena. Serbia’s Fed Cup tie against Japan is a great opportunity for Ivanovic to regain her momentum after seven difficult months on the WTA tour.
ty queen of the WTA tour, the 21-year old was unable to fend off tabloids delving into her privacy, particularly during a brief romance with Fernando Verdasco. The Spaniard, on the other hand, seems to have got over it painlessly and reached the Australian Open men’s semi-finals, to break into the top 10 of the ATP rankings, only a spirited fightback by eventual winner Rafael Nadal denying him a win in their epic semi-final which lasted five hours and 14 minutes.
Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
Partizan Belgrade beat one of Italy’s top teams in the Euroleague to stay on course for a berth in the last eight of the competition By Zoran Milosavljevic Reporting from Belgrade
he second stage of Europe’s premier club basketball competition promises to be another enthralling campaign for Serbian and regional champions Partizan Belgrade, after they defeated Lottomatica Roma 84-76 in front of 7,000 fans who crammed into the Pionir Arena on Wednesday night. The Italian side, whose managing director is former Yugoslavia legend Dejan Bodiroga, are also aiming to make an impact in Europe, but their opening two defeats suggest that building a side capable of slugging it out with the continent’s elite may take a while. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Having rallied from an early deficit, Partizan took control of the game in the first quarter and never looked back. Led by lethal three-point shooting from Uros Tripkovic, who
shot 5 of 5 from behind the arc in the first half, Partizan took a 50-42 lead into the interval after the 22-year old guard defied the laws of physics to bury a turnaround baseline jumper on the buzzer. With tennis star Ana Ivanovic watching from the sidelines, Partizan held off the Romans in the second half to keep alive rekindled hopes of emulating last season’s success, when the Serbian team reached the last eight of the competition. Tripkovic led all scorers with a game-high 20 points but it was Partizan’s power forward Novica Velickovic who earned the game’s MVP accolade with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Stephane Lasme added 13 and five rebounds with another inspired performance. Slovenian centre Primoz Brezec led the visitors with 19 points, his compatriot Sani Becirovic added 17, while Americans Andre Hutson (13 Photo by FoNet points) and Ibrahim Jaaber (11) also Novica Velickovic overpowered his rivals on finished in double figures. Wednesday Elsewhere, defending champions CSKA Moscow delivered an 87-61 laga 20-8 to come away with an 81drubbing to Cibona Zagreb, as Tra- 69 victory over the Spaniards and jan Langdon scored 18 points for the Terrell McIntyre was at his vintage winners while Ramunas Siskauskas best once again to steer Italian title and Nikos Zizis chipped in 14 each. holders Montepaschi Siena to an Panathinaikos won the fourth 87-79 home win over Fenerbahce quarter of their game at Unicaja Ma- Istanbul.
Like Jankovic, Ivanovic takes nothing for granted against Japan. “They are a very dangerous team under any circumstances, while Jelena and I have much fewer Fed Cup ties under our belts than most players on the WTA tour,” she said. “Individual rankings don’t play a part in team tennis and we will have to prove our worth to earn the right to get a shot at the Fed Cup title. I am very excited and looking forward to the challenge,” Ivanovic stressed.
So, is every fan who has paid a fortune by Serbian standards to see the nation’s two darlings in action, with courtside tickets costing around €50. So, don’t let them down, girls. This is a rare opportunity for tennis fans in Belgrade to see Ivanovic and Jankovic in action and they surely expect to get their money’s worth. Zoran Milosavljevic is Belgrade Insight’s sports writer and also a regional sports correspondent for Reuters.
Live Sports on TV Friday, Feb 6: Soccer: Arminia Bielefeld v Hertha Berlin (Sport Klub 8.30 p.m.), Kortrijk v Standard Liege ((Sport Klub + 8.30 p.m.), Argentinean League – Huracan v San Martin (Sport Klub + 1.15 a.m. Monday); Alpine Skiing: Women’s Combined (Eurosport, downhill 10.45 a.m., slalom 2.00 p.m.); NHL Ice Hockey: Dallas Stars v New York Rangers (Sport Klub 2.30 a.m. Monday). Saturday, Feb 7: Basketball: NLB Regional League – Partizan Belgrade v Red Star Belgrade (FOX Serbia 5.50 p.m.), Spanish League – Joventut Badalona v Unicaja Malaga (Sport Klub 8.00 p.m.); Alpine Skiing: Men’s Downhill (Eurosport 10.45 p.m.); Soccer: Manchester City v Middlesbrough (RTS 2 at 1.45 p.m.), Schalke 04 v Werder Bremen (Sport Klub 3.30 p.m.), Bayer Leverkusen v VFB Stuttgart (Sport Klub + 3.30 p.m.), Chelsea v Hull City (RTS 2 at 4.00 p.m.), Lecce v Inter Milan (Sport Klub 6.00 p.m.), Portsmouth v Liverpool (RTS 2 at 6.30 p.m.), Real Madrid v Racing Santander (FOX Serbia 8.00 p.m.), Anderlecht v Mons (Sport Klub + 8.00 p.m.), AC Milan v Reggina (Avala 8.30 p.m.), Nantes v PSG (Sport Klub + 10.00 p.m. delayed), Sevilla v Betis (FOX Serbia 00.30 a.m. Sunday delayed),
Lanus v Racing (Sport Klub + 00.30 a.m. Sunday). Sunday, Feb 8: Basketball: Spanish League – Zaragoza v Barcelona (Sport Klub 12.30 p.m.), NBA Regular Season – Cleveland Cavaliers v L.A. Lakers (OBN at 00.30 a.m. Monday); NFL: Pro Bowl (Sport Klub 11.50 p.m.); Alpine Skiing: Men’s Downhill (Eurosport 12.45 p.m.); Soccer: Vitesse Arnhem v Ajax Amsterdam (Sport Klub + 12.30 p.m.), Tottenham v Arsenal (RTS 2 at 2.30 p.m.), Various Italian League Matches (Sport Klub 3.00 p.m.), Roma v Genoa (OBN and Avala 3.00 p.m.), West Ham v Manchester United (RTS 2 at 5.00 p.m.), Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund (Sport Klub 5.00 p.m.), Spanish League Match (Kosava 5.00 p.m.), Panathinaikos v PAOK (Sport Klub + 6.00 p.m.), Barcelona v Sporting Gijon (FOX Serbia 7.00 p.m.), Palermo v Napoli (Sport Klub and Avala 8.30 p.m.), Porto v Benfica (Sport Klub + 8.45 p.m.), Spanish League Match (Kosava 9.00 p.m.), Indipendiente v Velez Sarsfield (Sport Klub + 00.30 a.m. Monday). Note: TV channels reserve the right to change their schedules.
Friday, Feb. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009 Accounting & Auditing BDO BC Excell, Knez Mihailova 10, 011 3281299. ConsulTeam, Prote Mateje 52, 011 3086180. Deloitte, Kralja Milana 16, 011 3612524. Ernst & Young, Bulevar Mihajla Pupina 115d, 011 2095700. KPMG, Studentski trg 4, 011 3282892. Pricewater House Coopers, Omladinskih brigada 88a, 011 3302100. SEECAP, Marsala Birjuzova 22, 011 3283100.
Kneza Milosa 12, 011 2641335, www. kombeg.org.yu. Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 15, 011 3617583, www.merr. sr.gov.yu. Ministry of Trade and Services, Nemanjina 22-26, 011 3610579. Privatization Agency, Terazije 23, 011 3020800, www.priv.yu. Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Resavska 13-15, 011 3300900, pks.komora.net. SIEPA - Investment and Export Promotion Agency, Vlajkoviceva 3, 011 3398550.
Real Aikido World Centre, Slavujev venac 1, 011 3089199
Extreme Kids, Cvijiceva 1, 011 2764335. Puf-Puf, Bulevar Mihaila Pupina 165a, 011 3111793.
Ballet classes Orhestra Ballet Studio, Cirila i Metodija 2a, 011 2403443. Majdan Children’s Cultural Centre, Kozjacka 3-5, 011 3692645. Bookshops Apropo, Cara Lazara 10, 011 2625839, 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00, Closed Sun. IPS-Akademija, Knez Mihailova 35, 011 2636514, 09:00 - 23:00. Mamut, corner of Sremska and Knez Mihailova, 011 2639060, 09:00- 22:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. Bowling Colosseum, Dobanovacka 56 (Zemun), 011 3165403, 11:00 - 01:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 02:00. First bowling, Gradski Park u Zemunu, 011 3771612, 11:00 - 01:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 17:00. Kolosej, Jurija Gagarina 16 (Delta City), 0113129944, 09:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 09:00 - 02:00, Sun 09:00 - 24:00. Business connections Belgrade Stock Exchange, Omladinskih brigada 1, 011 3117297, www. belex.co.yu. Business Registration Agency C-2, Trg Nikole Pasica 5, 011 3331400, www.apr.sr.gov.yu. Chamber of Commerce of Belgrade,
Consulting CES Mecon, Danijelova 12-16, 011 3090800, www.cesmecon.com. Dekleva & Partners Ltd., Hilandarska 23, 011 3033649, www.dekleva1.com. EKI Investment, Kralja Milana 16, 011 3613164, www.eki-investment.com. Dentists (on duty 24 hours) Stari Grad, Obilicev Venac 30, 011 2635236. Vracar, Kneginje Zorke 15, 011 2441413. Dry cleaners Cleaning Servis, Palmoticeva 10, 011 3233206. Pop’s, Mercator Shopping Centre, Bulevar Umetnosti 4, 011 3130251. Fitness Clubs Extreme Gym, Cvijiceva 1, 011 2764335, 08:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 22:00. Power Gym, Steve Todorovica 32, 011 3545935, 09:00 - 22:00. Wellness Centar, Kraljice Natalije 3840, 011 2686268, 07:30 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 21:00. Zvezda City Oaza, Ada Ciganlija, 011 3554652, 07:00 - 22:30, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 22:30.
Gifts & Souvenirs
Adore, New Millennium Shopping Centre, entrance from Knez Mihailova 21, Delta City 011 2625056, 10:00 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 15:00, closed Sun. Beoizlog, Trg Republike 5, 011 3281859, 09:00 - 21:00, Sat 09:00 15:00, closed Sun. Singidunum, Terazije 42, 011 2643158, 09:00 - 21:00, closed Sun. Zdravo-Zivo, Nusiceva 3, 063 8785988, 12:00 - 16:00, closed Sun. www.serbiasouvenirs.com
Sunasce, Admirala Geprata 8a ulaz 5/1, 011 3617013. Marry Poppins, Kursulina 37, 011 2433059.
Eurodiplomatic, Dravska 18, 011 3086878. Mentor, Milesevska 2, 011 3089080. Slavija rent, Beogradska 33, 011 3341281.
Golf Golf Klub Beograd, Ada Ciganlija, 011 3056837. Belgrade Arena, Bulevar Arsenija Carnojevica 58, 011 220 22 22, www. arenabeograd.com. Health Anlave CD, Vase Pelagica 68, 011 3175929, www.anlave.co.yu. Bel Medic General Hospital, Koste Jovanovica 87, 011 3091000, www. belmedic.com. Bel Medic Outpatient Clinic, Viktora Igoa 1, 011 3091000, www.belmedic. com. MEDIX, Novopazarska 30, 011 3085805, www.medix.co.yu. Horse riding Aleksa Dundic Riding Club, Belgrade Hippodrome, Pastroviceva 2, 011 3541584. International schools Anglo-American School, Velisava Vulovica 47, 011 3675777. Britannica International School, Uzicka 21a, 011 3671557. British International School, Svetozara Radojcica 4, 011 3467000. Chartwell International School, Teodora Drajzera 38, 011 3675340. Ecole Francaise de Belgrade, Kablarska 35, 011 3691762. Deutsche Schule Belgrad, Sanje Zivanovic 10, 011 3693135. International Nursery School, Nake Spasic 4, 011 2667130. International School of Belgrade, Temisvarska 19, 011 2069999.
Lawyers Harrison Solicitors, Terazije 34, 011 3615918. Law Office, Takovska 13, 011 3227133, 063 383116, www.businesslawserbia. com. Tomic-Stevic-Dulic, Carice Milice 3/ II, 011 3285227. Money transfer Western Union, Kosovska 1, 011 3300300. Open Markets Bajlonijeva Pijaca, Dzordza Vasingtona bb, 011 3223472, 07:00 - 16:00 Blok 44, Jurija Gagarina bb, 011 2158232, 07:00 - 16:00 Kalenic Pijaca, Maksima Gorkog bb, 011 2450350, 07:00 - 16:00 Zeleni venac, Jug Bogdanova bb, 011 2629328, 07:00 - 16:00 Opticians Diopta, Kralja Milana 4, 011 2687539. La Gatta, Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 43, 011 3244914. M&M optic, Jurija Gagarina 153/18, Novi Beograd, 011 1760772. Pharmacies (on duty 24 hours) Aqua Pharm 2, Corner of Kneza Milosa and Visegradska Streets, 011 3610171. Bogdan Vujosevic, Goce Delceva 30, 011 2601887. Miroslav Trajkovic, Pozeska 87, 011 3058482. Prvi Maj, Kralja Milana 9, 011 3241349. Sveti Sava, Nemanjina 2, 011 2643170. Zemun, Glavna 34, 011 2618582. Photo service Color Foto, Svetogorska 4, 011 3245982. Foto Studio 212, Cvijiceva 63, 011 3374015. Models, Svetog Save 16-18, 011 3449608.
Shoe repairS Sasa M, Kosovska 35, 011 3227238. Air Zak, Kralja Aleksandra 254/a, 011 2413283. Spa & Beauty Salons Jai Thai, Vase Pelagica 48, 011 3699193. Spa Centar, Strahinjica Bana 5, 011 3285408. St Angelina, Karnegijeva 3, 011 3232058. Sun Beauty Center, Strahinica Bana 29, 011 2182090. Zorica, Dobracina 33, 011 3285922. Swimming Pools 11. April, near university halls of residence in New Belgrade, 011 2672939, 10:00 - 19:00. Banjica, Crnotravska 4, 011 2668700, 10:00 - 19:00. Tasmajdan, Beogradska 71, 011 3240901, 10:00 - 19:00. Zvezdara, Vjekoslava Kovaca 11, 011 2412353, 10:00 - 19:00. TAXI SERVICES Beotaxi, 011 970 Beogradski taxi, 011 9801 Lux taxi, 011 3033123 NBA taxi, 011 3185777 Pink taxi, 011 9803 Translators Association of Technical and Scientific Translators of Serbia, Kicevska 9, 011 2442729. Belgrade Translation Center, Dobracina 50, 011 3287388. Center Lomonosov, Hilandarska 23, 011 3343184.
Friday, Feb. 6 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009