Mark R. Pullen
litical Predictability DITOR’S WORD page 10
Serbia ducks probes into tycoons’ dodgy takeovers Long after Brussels demanded action on 24 key cases, Belgrade is still sitting on its hands – proof, some say, of tycoons’ continuing ability to stymie the rule of law.
Siniša Jakov Marušić
Danilo Šuković: No results on murky privatisation deals.
Srbolek, Sartid and Jugoremedija. However, Zorić declined to provide details. But Danilo Šuković, from the state’s own Anti-Corruption Council, says the prosecutor’s office has done nothing. “They say the process is on-going but there are no results,” he said. “Those behind the privatisation deals
will not let anything happen. Big fish are involved, including tycoons and politicians… from every government since 2000,” he added. Analysts and anti-corruption activists agree that the government is unwilling to cut ties with the tycoons who profited from irregular deals during the owner-
Photo by Beta
ship transformation and who bankroll most political parties. But they hope that beside external EU pressure, local independent institutions and civil society will become strong enough to pressure the government into acting.
Continued on page 8
Police reveal capital’s meanest streets
Statistics show New Belgrade was the city’s worst crime spot in 2011, largely because it has the most targets, but the capital remains a safe place overall. Gordana Andrić
he most dangerous quarters of Belgrade are New Belgrade and Palilula, while the most peaceful are the outerlying suburbs, police statistics show.
Unsolved killings raise fears of Macedonian turmoil The recent murders near Skopje have fuelled concerns that Macedonia is again heading towards all-out ethnic conflict.
Stevan Veljović and Gordana Andrić
erbia is taking its time to probe 24 dubious privatisation cases and other related irregularities concerning the transformation of public companies that the EU demanded action on a year ago. Although this demand is a priority for Serbia as it seeks to further its EU accession, a lack of will across the political spectrum is evident in tackling many unresolved questions regarding the sales. Some experts say this is because all governments since the democratic changes in 2000 have been involved in the controversial cases. Tomo Zorić, spokesman for the Public Prosecutor’s Office, told BIRN that a number of pre-trial and criminal proceedings had started. These include the cases of Mobtel, involving Bogoljub Karić and others, the National Savings Bank, C market, Sinovoz,
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Tango festival: Buenos Aires to Belgrade
Party leaders under the spotlight
Issue No. 113 Friday, April 20, 2012 - Thursday, May 3, 2012
Police recorded more than 33,000 crimes in Belgrade last year, of which 5,400 happened in New Belgrade. According to statistics, New Belgrade has the highest crime rate of all Belgrade municipalities. The list of the top five also includes the municipality of Palilula, with about 3,800
+381 11 3346035
crimes, Čukarica, with about 3,100, Stari Grad, with about 2,696, and Zvezdara - about 2,600 crimes. Municipalities that are furthest from the centre have the lowest crime rates. The lowest number of crimes was recorded in Sopot, where police recorded only about 250 offences, in
Barajevo there were 270 and in Mladenovac about 650 crimes took place in 2011. Police said the crime rate depends both on population and the number of shops, banks and other popular targets for thieves. Continued on page 4
e have serious information that could lead to a resolution of the case but it will take time and patience to analyse the data.” So said Macedonian Police Minister Gordana Jankulovska on April 18th, choosing her words carefully when talking of the murder case that has shocked and divided the country. The brutal slaying of five men near Skopje on April 12th has sharply raised tensions between Macedonians and the large ethnic Albanian minority following unsubstantiated rumours that the killers were Albanians. Police discovered the bodies of Filip Slavkovski, Aleksandar Nakjevski, Cvetančo Acevski and Kire Tričkovski on the northern outskirts of the capital at a popular fishing spot. All the victims were aged between 18 and 20. The body of 45-year-old Borče Stevkovski was a short distance from the rest. Police calls for restraint following the grisly discovery did not help much - nor did condemnations by political parties from across the ethnic spectrum. Nor did offers from neighbouring Kosovo and Albania of full support for the investigation and condolences to the families of the victims. On April 16th police battled to prevent a mob of Macedonian youngsters from moving across the River Vardar towards an area of the capital mainly populated by Albanians. In this atmosphere of suspicion the publication by news portals from Kosovo this week of a document signed by the “Liberation Army of the Occupied Albanian Territories”, allegedly based in Mitrovica in Kosovo, has only added to the confusion.
Continued on page 6 - 7 www.BelgradeInsight.com
Belgrade Insight, Friday, April 20, 2012 - Thursday, May 3, 2012
Belgrade Insight, Friday, April 20, 2012 - Thursday, May 3, 2012
Leaders under the spotlight With Serbian presidential, general, provincial and local elections scheduled for May 6th,
Socialist Party of Serbia: Ivica Dačić
He may have learned his politics from Serbia’s disgraced strongman Slobodan Milošević, but his ambition has helped him put all that behind him.
The pro-Western, George Clooney look-alike president is riding high right now, having apparently pulled off his twin-track policy of winning on ‘Both the EU and Kosovo’.
he son of a Communist-era dissident, this 54-year-old psychologist entered politics in the mid-
minister Vojislav Koštunica. But his double victory in the 2008 elections – in the race for president and his coalition’s win in parliamentary elections – concentrated much more power in his hands. While Tadić continues to enjoy high levels of support among ordinary people, his concentration of power has led critics to accuse him of authoritarianism. He defends himself from such attacks by arguing that in certain situations he has to act as head of the Democratic Party, the leading party in parliament, which naturally gives him extra possibilities to influence government actions. Critics also say he lacks vision and a strategy, dabbling too much in daily po-
litical skirmishes and trying to manage influential media through associates. Tadić is seen as a man genuinely committed to reconciliation in the Balkans, having attended the 10th and 15th anniversaries of the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia, where Bosnian Serb forces killed around 7,000 Bosniaks (Muslims). He has also risked nationalist anger at home by apologising to the survivors and victims’ relatives. He, however, has not been so “soft” on the question of Serbia’s breakaway province of Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008. However, Tadić’s rhetoric on Kosovo has shifted depending on the needs of the occasion – and the audience.
In July, when tension in Serb-run areas of northern Kosovo escalated and local Serbs started building barricades, he praised “barehanded people who are defending their legitimate interests in a legitimate way”. But when he feared that Serbia might lose its bid to gain EU candidate status over the violence in Kosovo, he started calling the men manning the barricades criminals and urged them to withdraw. On March 1st he managed to pull off his ambitious election promise – “Both the EU and Kosovo” – when Brussels granted Serbia candidate status and Belgrade and Pristina agreed a formula whereby Kosovo could attend regional meetings without Serbia boycotting or walking out.
vica Dačić, 46, has always had big plans. And he appeared to start working on them from an early age. After finishing primary school in the small town of Žitorađa, he moved to Niš for his high-school education and then to
hat politics is a special kind of passion for some people is surely exemplified by the career of the
as modern patriotic warriors for social justice. Nikolić’s impatience for power seemed to peak last April, when he declared he was going on hunger strike. But after eight days, with the government clearly not backing down, he changed his mind, ending his hunger vigil by attending a church service in Belgrade’s Saborna church. Since then he has continued to steer his party in the direction of Brussels – the enemy in the eyes of his former party – vocally supporting Serbia’s EU integration and seeking meetings with EU leaders in Brussels. His moderation has clearly paid off.
Press Round-up Serbia to re-examine arrest warrants April 18th | Danas War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukčević says that all arrest warrants for war crimes suspects will be re-examined as a result of the belief that some were politically motivated.
Total number of voters to be known on April 21st April 18th | Politika The exact number of registered voters in the electoral roll will be known on April 21st. Serbian citizens will be voting on May 6th at 8,519 polling stations, 43 fewer than in the last general and local elections in 2008.
Serbia scraps plan to stage polls in Kosovo April 17th | Blic Belgrade has opted against organising local elections in Kosovo after the UN mission in Kosovo refused to help stage them.
Serbian police find stolen Cezanne April 11th | Večernje Novosti Serbian police have found a painting by postimpressionist Paul Cezanne. The painting, stolen from Zurich in 2008 and found in Belgrade, is worth about €100 million.
Opinion polls suggest Nikolić’s party is now the most popular political option with the voters, though President Tadić, head of the ruling Democrats, remains more popular than him personally. Many would like Tadić to form a coalition with Nikolić at this time of economic crisis, feeling that a national consensus is needed. But others warn that if the two very different political forces did join in a coalition it is hard to see what such a diverse coalition could do in office. In fact Nikolić and Tadić have both dismissed the idea of a coalition on several occasions – one of the few issues on which they agree.
ojislav Koštunica was born in Belgrade in 1944. As a young academic he soon showed his willingness to defend the strongly Serb nationalist views that have come to define his political career. At a time when dissenting from the one-party regime could bring a lengthy
The Batajnica to Bubanj Potok section of the emerging Belgrade Bypass will be completed and opened to traffic by May 1st, according to Serbian Infrastructure Minister Milutin Mrkonjić. Construction of the 69-kilometre-long Belgrade Bypass started 17 years ago, but since 2005 it has been under constant construction. The bypass will aim to remove transit traffic from the city centre and reduce congestion in the city.
by advocating partition of Kosovo as a solution to its problems. His remarks startled both Serbian nationalists and Kosovo Albanians. Nationalists in Belgrade accused him of treason, while the authorities in Pristina accused him of contradicting EU policy. But Dačić was unapologetic. “I was in a government that tried to save Kosovo with weapons and we failed,” he said, referring to Milošević’s vain attempt to crush a Kosovo Albanian revolt with arms. “The time has come for a final agreement on this issue.”
prison sentence, Koštunica dared to criticise Tito’s 1974 reshaping of the Yugoslav constitution along the lines of a loosely knit federation. His outspokenness on the issue, dictated by a fear that the changes would reduce Serbian influence, led to his dismissal in 1974 from his post as law professor at the University of Belgrade. Later on, his nationalism prompted him to leave the party he had helped to found, the Democratic Party, DS, after which he led his followers into the Democratic Party of Serbia, DSS, which remained on the margins of Serbian politics during the 1990s.
Shy, not corrupt and a little known politician, in 2000 he beat Slobodan Milošević in presidential elections. After winning the presidential election he served as president of Yugoslavia from 2000 to 2003, before becoming Prime Minister of Serbia from 2004 to 2008. Though a confirmed opponent of the ‘90s regime, his nationalist values led him to oppose the extradition of Milošević to The Hague Tribunal. His stance on the issue put him at odds with Serbia’s pro-Western Prime Minister, Zoran Đinđić. In speeches he rarely missed the chance to speak on his favourite themes: the rule of law, morality and
Kosovo as an indivisible part of Serbia. He was the first to address a crowd of around 200,000 angry Serbs at a mass protest against Kosovo`s declaration of independence in February 2008, delivering an emotional speech. Koštunica resigned on March 8th 2008, dissolving a coalition that was too divided over the loss of Kosovo to carry on governing. Since the 2008 elections, now back in opposition, he has continued criticising any “compromises“ with Europe and the West on the all-important Kosovo question. Even critics admit his consistency, saying he is one of the few Serbian politicians not to have changed his views with
the times. According to the latest polls, such consistency will probably help the Democratic Party of Serbia pass the five per cent threshold needed to enter parliament, but not more. Koštunica started the 2012 election campaign promoting his new anti-EU book entitled “Why Serbia, not the EU”, which will form the basis of his political platform for the May 6th elections. “Serbia’s interest is in developing economic cooperation with the EU through agreements, but Serbia’s interest is not to join the EU,” he said at a promotion of the book in the central Serbian city of Kragujevac on March 20th.
From his student days to now, as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Jovanović has always insisted Serbia must take responsibility for its war crimes if it wishes to make real progress.
his 41-year-old Belgrader was born to a family of economists and initially wanted to take the same path. One day, however, he decided that he was more into art and enrolled in dramaturgy at the Belgrade University’s Faculty of Dramatic Arts.
Cuban oncologists visit Belgrade
Instead of dramas, he used his pen to write a political manifesto. “It makes no sense to remain silent anymore, we have to do something,” he told his fellow students, referring to Slobodan Milošević’s authoritarian regime. This marked the beginning of four months of fights with police on the streets of Belgrade. Jovanović was one of the leaders of major student demonstrations in 1996-1997. Almost every girl was in love with the handsome student in his trademark leather aviator jacket. He was later in the front
row of the October 5th protests that overthrew Milošević. Two years later he was a key aide - and deputy prime minister - to Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić during the operation to arrest Milošević. Đinđić’s 2003 assassination changed much in his life. He strongly criticised the new leadership of the Democratic Party under Boris Tadić, most notably for his policy of political cohabitation with then nationalist Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica. Soon afterwards the Democratic Party presidency forced him to leave the party. By 2004 he had formed a “Liberal
Democratic faction” within the Democratic party, a move that breached the party’s statute. Immediately afterwards Jovanović founded Liberal Democratic Party, LDP, which attracted mostly young people and registered 3.4 per cent in the polls before taking part in any campaign. The party’s main stance was that Serbia take responsibility for its war crimes and that Serbia could only make progress after completion of the reconciliation process with Bosniaks, Croats and Albanians. His political opponents have often ac-
cused him of having connections with the Serbian mafia, while some tabloids have accused him of taking drugs. Under the slogan “Life rules”, Jovanović took part in the 2008 presidential elections and finished fifth, with 5.34 per cent of the vote. Since then he has served as an opposition MP in the Serbian parliament. For the 2012 general, local and presidential polls, he decided to fight for “The Truth”, which is the slogan of his campaign. To devote himself to the cause, he has pledged to resign as party leader if elected president on May 6th.
United Regions of Serbia: Mlađan Dinkić
The Serbian Ministry of Health is to organise a conference in late April that will see Cuban doctors present their findings in the treatment of malignant diseases. Serbia and Cuba are planning to sign a deal that will enable Serbian patients to get lung cancer vaccines made in Cuba. The vaccine is being used for the treatment of patients in the latter stages of the illness. According to ministry officials, the conference is being organised in response to many Serbian patients expressing an interest in Cuban medicine.
The leader of G17 Plus, now United Regions, combines musical talents with a gift for staying close to the seat of power.
Serbian national team to get new coach
The Serbian Football Association is due to select a new national team coach by the end of April. The two main candidates for the post are famous former international Siniša Mihajlović, who played club football for Italy’s Lazio, Roma and Inter Milan, and experienced coach Ljubiša Tumaković, who has coached Partizan FC and also worked in China. The new coach will be expected to lead the national team through qualification for the 2014 World Cup. Serbian football fans will closely monitor the first few games with the new coach at the helm, starting with friendly matches with Spain, France and Sweden scheduled for May and June.
becoming interior minister and deputy PM. Two powerful portfolios have made Dačić a major government player and key partner of President Tadić, especially in fighting organised crime and corruption. He avoided being tarnished by the “briefcase scandal” case that saw former deputy governor of the central bank, Dejan Simić, and SPS official Vladan Zagrađanin accused of having accepted bribes back in 2006. The minister left Simić’s flat moments before a police raid. In 2011 Dačić shook the political scene
Liberal Democratic Party: Čedomir Jovanović
Coming up Belgrade bypass section to be unveiled pre-election
2006 death in The Hague marked Dačić’s return to politics. He took over the leadership of Milošević’s shattered SPS and began modernising it and putting its old war-mongering ideology behind it. Advocating social justice, free education and social security for all, he led the party into a coalition with the Party of United Pensioners of Serbia and United Serbia. This coalition won 7.58 per cent of votes in the 2008 elections, enough to secure entry into a post-election coalition government under Boris Tadić’s Democrats, with Dačić
This shy academic rallied Serbs against Slobodan Milošević, but his obsession with Kosovo since then has helped marginalise him on the political scene.
In early presidential elections, Nikolić will again try to seize the role that has eluded him for the last 12 years. “I created you and I will kill you”, Nikolić seems to have thought, on deciding not only to form a new party but to take with him as many people and voters from his original party as possible. During the 1990s Nikolić was Šešelj’s front man in the Serbian parliament, but he only fully took over the reins after Šešelj departed for The Hague to answer war crimes charges in 2003. He previously said he felt no sorrow for at least some of the victims of the regime of Slobodan Milošević, when his own Radicals were in the ascendancy. But today his Progressives fight a different battle, mainly presenting themselves
the capital to earn a university degree. As the top political science student of his generation at Belgrade University, Dačić joined Slobodan Milošević’s newly formed Socialist Party of Serbia, SPS, and as a 24-year-old became the first president of the Young Socialists in 1990. Dačić served as party spokesperson and an MP. The democratic changes of October 2000 that felled Milošević were a disaster for Dačić, resulting in his temporary removal from the public scene. But not for long. Milošević’s December
Democratic Party of Serbia: Vojislav Koštunica
Serbian Progressive Party: Tomislav Nikolić
leader of the Serbian Progressive Party. A former funeral parlour boss and construction technician from Kragujavac, he has run in the presidential race four times in eight years. And while he has never won, he has remained on the scene, convinced his time is yet to come. Nikolić, now 60, entered politics as the right-hand man of ultranationalist Vojislav Šešelj, with whom he founded the Serbian Radical Party in 1991. But after the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections, when the party was defeated by the Boris Tadić’s centrist Coalition ‘For a European Serbia’, he acted like Taras Bulba, the character in the novel by Gogol.
Belgrade Insight looks at the main political players vying to win over the public.
Democratic Party: Boris Tadić
1990s as an activist against Serbia’s then strongman, Slobodan Milošević. Tadić served as Minister of Telecommunications and Defence in Serbia’s first post-Milošević governments. He emerged as leader of the centrist pro-European Democratic Party in 2004 after an internal power struggle following the assassination of then PM Zoran Đinđić in March 2003. Tadić won the 2004 presidential election against the nationalist Radical Party’s candidate, Tomislav Nikolić, and narrowly beat Nikolić again in February 2008 to secure a second term. In his first four year term as president Tadić was seen as being outmanoeuvred by his coalition partner, the then prime
elgrader Mlađan Dinkić, 47, has always had two passions: economics and music. On graduating from the First Economy School in Belgrade in 1983 he obtained a BA and MSc in Economics from the University of Belgrade in 1993. Parallel to that, he finished primary music school (piano department) and has
been playing guitar in a band called Monetary Coup since high school. When Serbia was isolated from Europe under Slobodan Milošević in the ‘90s Dinkić formed a group of economic experts called G17 Plus, lobbying for economic reforms and EU membership. The group took part in the October 5th revolution that overthrew Milošević in 2000. Dinkić’s first chair in the newly democratic country was as head of the country’s central bank, making him its youngest governor in history. Since then Dinkić has managed to be part of every government, either as economy or finance minister. Meanwhile, G17 Plus was registered as
a party advocating a liberal economy, better living standards and political pragmatism. The party’s mainly appeals to young, well-educated, urban voters. Its pragmatism has been demonstrated through its decision to form coalitions with the nationalist Democratic Party of Serbia, DSS, as well as with Boris Tadić’s pro-Western Democratic Party, DS, in order to stay in power. The enfant terrible of Serbian politics shook up the sleepy Serbian government last year when he said on TV that key decisions were not taken within the government building. The Prime Minister reacted quickly, announcing that he was relieving Dinkić
of his positions as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economy. Surprisingly, Dinkić accepted the decision and said he would resign. According to data from the Serbian website “Istinometar”, Dinkić was the minister responsible for the biggest number of failed promises. Dinkić’s response was that he had worked hardest of all ministers in government and deserved some respect for that. He is the only Serbian minister to win Euromagazine’s prestigious award for the world‘s best finance minister of the year, in 2007. Meanwhile, in 2011 G17 Plus changed its name to the United Regions of Serbia,
insisting that regional devolution across Serbia, creating regions with their own governments and budgets, would result in a more even economic development of the country. According to the latest research, the party’s popularity remains the same as it was – just over the five per cent threshold needed to enter parliament. While he waits to see with whom to ally after the May 6th elections, Dinkić can seek consolation in his flourishing musical career. Serbia’s association of composers says Dinkić’s songs, written for a range of different singers, were among the ten most broadcast in Serbia in 2010, earning him around €3,000 in royalty payments.
Belgrade Insight, Friday, April 20, 2012 - Thursday, May 3, 2012
Belgrade Insight, Friday, April 20, 2012 - Thursday, May 3, 2012
Rain Drivers Chris Farmer
hat REALLY happens to Belgrade’s drivers when the rains begin? All across the planet, as soon as a few sprinkles begin to fall, a universal urge arises within the human soul. It calls to us and says: GO FORTH! Get in your cars! Get someplace! And, generally speaking, the human soul complies. The problem is not the urge itself (although I will never understand why we need to heed it as systematically as we do), but rather the consequences. What happens when it rains is that we remove our brains from their hermetically sealed containers perched atop our necks and dash out into traffic. Awash in a sea of brainless rain drivers, we feel we are exempt from normal rules of conduct. We make new lanes in the road. We count the footpath as a legal passageway. We honk our horns prodigiously and without external provocation. In fact, the horn is a key and essential element of rain driving – we use it to express frustration with the weather and our tragic plight as a people that need to move from A to B in a downpour. On a sunny day we may stroll. We might take the bus. Or, if we do need our cars, we will take the usual precautions needed when compelling two tonnes of steel to move at speed through populated areas. But when it rains, something else happens… So what does really happen to us? The world, under rainy skies, contracts to the size of our cars. We cannot see as well as usual. Pedestrians who are out in the rain take the opportunity to run more and dart about unpredictably. Rain drivers do NOT see them. We become fixated on the goal and grumble about the obstacles. Our minds move further along to worry about parking once we get there. But the people about whom we are most angry (and please note the irony here) are the Rain Drivers. Look at that guy! Who does he think he is?!? What does he think he’s doing? What are all these people doing out today? Can’t they all just GO HOME? We, of course, are entirely justified to be driving in the rain. We are NOT Rain Drivers – not like THEM! We are indignant that we should have to suffer these fools gladly. As a result, we are much more aggressive and adversarial, swerving in and out of lanes around the slow guy, the lost guy and the first-time-driver guy. I think we drive faster in the rain. Are we afraid our cars will get wet? The solution is clear. We need a law which prohibits driving in the rain. Get the Rain Drivers off the streets and we will all be safer, less stressed and happier. Keep them all at home, I say! Everyone, that is, except me… Christen Bradley Farmer is founder and president of MACH IV Consulting. Farmer also regularly shares his observations on life Serbia in Politika daily, LivingIn Belgrade.com, and in his B92.net VIP blog.
Continued from page 1
Police reveal capital’s meanest streets
“New Belgrade has the highest crime rate because it has the highest population,” Darko Senić, chief of Belgrade’s criminal police, told daily 24 sata. “Also, it is close to the highway that is used as an escape route. New Belgrade also has the highest number of shops, malls and business centres, which attracts criminals,” Senić added. The most common crimes in Belgrade are street robberies, such as pickpocketing or thefts of money and jewellery. Along with robberies carried out in the open, the most common were shoplifting. The number of bank and pharmacy robberies fell compared to 2010, while the number of robberies of post offices, exchange offices, jewellers and petrol stations rose. About 60 per cent of robbers were drug addicts who mainly stole to funds to fuel their drug habits. However, Belgrade police note that the capital is one of the safest cities in the region, bearing in mind that it has 1.7 million people and that the number of crimes is reducing each year. The number of crimes in 2011 dropped by 2.3 per cent compared to the previous year.
The annual Belgrade Marathon, the city’s top mass sporting event, is set to lure tens of thousands onto the streets of the capital on April 22nd.
Thousands limber up for Belgrade Marathon
Street robberies remain the most common crime in the largely safe Serbian capital.
Photo by GCFAIRCH/FLICKR
Tourists give capital the thumbs up Gordana ANDRić
Serbian capital gaining popularity among foreign guests.
Photo by Beta
Visitors to Belgrade seem fairly happy with the city’s offering, especially the nightlife, though some find fault with cleanliness and the amount of smoking.
A Hidden Belgrade
ore than half a million tourists visited Belgrade in 2011, on average spending three days and €622 in the city, according to research conducted by the Belgrade Tourist Organisation, TOB. Dejan Veselinov, TOB director, said foreigners praised the hospitality and politeness of Belgraders, the large number of parks and woods in the city and traditional food and drinks. But some visitors made negative comments about the cleanliness of the city and the crowded streets and criticised Belgraders for smoking in public places. About 92 per cent of people who participated in the survey rated Belgrade nightlife best. Cafes and restaurants were highly rated, 91 per cent giving them top marks. While 83 per cent were satisfied with
da Ciganlija’s graffiti image of Draža Mihajlović, WWII wartime leader of the royalist Chetnik movement, shows that the divisions of that time are still alive in Serbia. The Higher Court is currently re-examining the legality of the 1946 execution of Mihailović and the trial has reignited old ideological divisions between the rightist Chetniks and the Communist Partisan executioners. The graffiti celebrating Mihajlović was painted around a year ago, with the statement “Draža lives, he did not die, while there is Serbdom and Serbia”. A few weeks ago, when the trial hit the media headlines, the image was defaced, then the statement “death to communism, freedom to the people” was added.
the capital’s overall tourist offer, 13 per cent said Belgrade’s offer was modest and one per cent said it was poor. Accommodation scored worse results, though 74 per cent were pleased with their hotel offer. Belgrade is also rated as a shopping destination, with 72 per cent of people describing retail possibilities as good, while 81 per cent of tourists positively rated the culture scene. Most tourists that visited Belgrade in 2011 came from Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.S., Austria and Greece. Most travelled to Belgrade by bus 35 per cent - while 30 per cent came by cruise ship and 15 per cent by car. Only seven per cent arrived by train. As most of them, 65 per cent, used the internet to make their reservations, Veselinov said the Tourist Organisation of Belgrade will soon launch a browser that will enable tourists to more easily make reservations for accommodation in Belgrade.
While sportsmen and women have their eye on the fulllength marathon, tens of thousands of amateurs will be joining the shorter Fun Run.
ith about 40,000 expected participants, the 25th Belgrade Marathon, scheduled for April 22nd, will again be Serbia’s biggest sporting event, attracting many internationals. So far more than a hundred foreigners have applied to take part in the race, most coming from Norway, Belgium, Austria, Greece and Slovenia. While the 42km-long marathon and
across the city, across Vračar, Slavija, Brankov Bridge, New Belgrade and Zeleni Venac. The finish line is on Terazije in front of the Hotel Moskva. Runners have six hours and the track record is two hours, ten minutes and 54 seconds. This year’s marathon is being promoted by the Serbian Olympic team, with Belgraders getting the chance to meet its members on April 22nd. The Belgrade Marathon is on the list of races where athletes can meet Olympic standards and qualify for the 2012 Games in London. “Seven runners have so far qualified
half marathon attract a few thousand professionals and sports enthusiasts, tens of thousands of amateurs participate in the five-kilometre Fun Run. For the Fun Run there is no application procedure; it’s enough just to show up at 10am in front of the parliament. Those who wish to participate in the marathon and half marathon can register personally at Trg Nikole Pasića by April 21st. Registration costs 1,000 dinars [€10] for locals and 3,000 dinars [€30] for foreigners. The marathon starts at 10am in front of the JAT building in Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra and the route leads
for the Olympics via the Belgrade Marathon and we hope some of our runners will do the same now,” said Belgrade Marathon director Dejan Nikolić. On the day of the marathon the central streets and all side streets covered by the marathon route will be closed to traffic. The city’s first modern marathon was held on March 8th 1988, when a group of enthusiasts decided to revive a race that was last held in 1910 by running from Obrenovac to Belgrade. Since then there hasn’t been a year without it. Even during the bombing of 1999 some 15,000 Belgraders turned out for the Fun Run.
Army of cameras invade Belgraders’ privacy Concern is growing over the mass of security cameras now deployed in the capital, the use of which has yet to be regulated by parliament. Gordana ANDRić
t is hard to walk down one of the central streets in Belgrade these days and not be caught by at least one security camera. In past years, cameras have been set up to guard banks, shops, schools, carparks, public transportation, private houses and residential buildings. But as Serbia does not have a law to regulate who can set up such cameras, and why and how they should be set up, there is no exact figure on how many cameras exist. The general guidelines on what personal data can be gathered, who can see them and how they should be stored are prescribed in the Law on Personal Data Protection, adopted in October 2008.
But as this law does not regulate the area precisely enough, the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection has drafted a decree that was sent to the government in December 2011. The draft Law on Private Security prescribes when and how video surveillance can be used and who can have the access to the material. However, the government has not sent the decree to parliament for adoption. “In the meantime we are being watched by tens of thousands of cameras and we don’t know who is filming us, how those films are being used and stored, or who has the access to them,” Rodoljub Šabić, Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, told Večernje Novosti.
Big Brother controls growing in Belgrade.
Photo by Pierre Alain Dorange/Wikimedia
Belgrade Insight, Friday, April 20, 2012 - Thursday, May 3, 2012
Belgrade Insight, Friday, April 20, 2012 - Thursday, May 3, 2012
out and about
Albania accused of blocking Kosovo energy project he Albanian opposition demanded on April 16th that Prime Minister Sali Berisha explain why the government blocked an electricity interconnection line with Kosovo for nearly a year. The opposition accuse Berisha of blocking the deal under the influence of Serb energy traders who they allege had ties with the premier’s family. The PM denies the allegations, insisting that they are the work of the mafia. The transmission line is considered a key energy project by both Albania and Kosovo, which are net importers of electricity forced to pay hundreds of millions of euros in costly electricity imports every year.
Region in brief
Continued from page 1 Romania Restitution Law angers victims of communism omania’s government is facing a storm over a new law, which, if adopted, will compensate former owners of properties confiscated by the Communists at only 15 per cent of the value of their lost assets. They may also have to wait up to 12 years to receive the cash. Officials say the government does not have the funds to compensate all former owners for what they lost. The country has to resolve the issue of restitution of properties confiscated by July or face possible sanctions from the European Court of Human Rights.
Unsolved killings raise
Bosnian Serbs criticise Minister’s stance on NATO epublika Srpska’s ruling Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, has accused Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdžija of spreading his own personal views rather than the country’s agreed foreign policy by envisaging Bosnia’s NATO membership. The Serb criticism, levelled on April 17th, followed Lagumdžija’s statement that he hoped Bosnia would join NATO by 2014. SNSD said Lagumdžija’s statement violated the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord, which allocated the conducting of foreign policy to the State Presidency.
Macedonia clamps down on errant cyclists kopje’s cyclists are angered by plans to introduce hefty fines for people riding outside of designated lanes, insisting that cycle lanes are few in number and mostly blocked. If Macedonian police have their way, cyclists will face fines of €25 each time they commit an offence. The fines are steep in a country where the average monthly salary is around €300. Outraged cyclists say the authorities should first force the city to ensure it is safe to ride bikes and only then fine rule breakers. “If there is no cycle lane on the footpath, cyclists can use the right edge of the road,” police say, adding that they are doing what they can to remove obstacles from existing cycle lanes.
Ethnic tensions rise in Macedonia following killings that may or may not have been ethnically motivated.
In its message, this organisation threatened violence against Macedonia if it failed to evacuate “occupied and colonised Albanian territories” – meaning mainly Albanian parts of western Macedonia. However, while attacking the alleged oppression of Albanians in Macedonia, the organisation did not assume responsibility for last week’s killings. On April 17th Police Minister Jankulovska gave the press release short shrift. “From our analysis, the organisation is known and has come up before with statements not always related to Macedonia but to other neighbouring countries, some of which have not proven exact or true,” she said. While Macedonians hurry to point accusing fingers in various directions, some
observers blame the long-term poor political management of Albanian-Macedonian relations not for the murders themselves, but for the ethnic polarisation that has taken place since the murders. However, while many blame the politicians for stoking ethnic intolerance, few believe the incidents will spiral up into a repeat of the armed conflict that the country experienced in 2001. That year Macedonia suffered a nationwide insurgency pitting the security forces against an armed and highly effective ethnic Albanian guerrilla force. The fighting ended with the brokering of the Ohrid Accord, which guaranteed greater rights for Albanians, who make up about a quarter of the country’s 2.1 million inhabitants.
Although some see today’s situation as similar to that of 2001, the difference is that “no relevant factor from within Macedonia or the international community wants another redefinition of the country”, says Stevo Pendarovski, political advisor to former presidents Boris Trajkovski and Branko Crvenkovski. Pendarovski believes the 2001 crisis was largely imported from neighbouring Kosovo, which experienced a bloody war in the late 1990s between the province’s majority Albanian population and the Serb police and military. Although the war in Kosovo ended in 1999, paramilitary forces were still at large and weapons flowed freely across porous borders. But today Kosovo is an independent
Photo by Boris Grdanoski/AP
state, firmly anchored to the US, with an interest in regional stability.
quiet battle is on-going between Sarajevo and Banja Luka over the nature of EU integration and who should play a greater role in Bosnia’s EU integration process: the state or the country’s two autonomous entities. After Bakir Izetbegović, head of the country’s three-member State Presidency, recently announced that Bosnia plans to submit its EU membership application by this summer, the message back from Brussels was that the EU wants to deal with only one interlocutor. But to have one “address” to work with, Bosnia has to come up with an agreed coordination mechanism for addressing EU-related issues, which is not in sight. So far, the state Directorate for European Integration, DEI, has not developed a plan determining the distribution of obligations between the state and the two entities. As a result, one of the entities has largely started the process on its own and as it wishes.
Serbs have their own strategy
While Bosnia’s weak state-level institutions and the Bosniak-Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina want the process led by state-level institutions, leaders of the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska have other ideas. They say they established their own entity strategy on EU integration some five years ago and will continue to work to their own agenda. The Bosnian Serb Minister for Economic Relations and Regional Cooperation, Željka Cvijanović, told BIRN that the Serb entity started addressing EU-related issues back in 2007, when lawmakers started adopting laws harmonising legislation to EU norms. Bosnia signed a Stabilisation and Association Agreement, SAA, with Brussels in 2008 but the Serb entity started working on EU issues before that, the minister said. “We already have a completely formed structure that responds to the current needs of the integration process,” she said. Cvijanović said the Serb entity did
not want to lose time waiting for a state programme on integration to emerge, as it was clear what the main obligations would be. After studying the Bosnian Constitution and the 2008 SAA, she says her ministry concluded that at about 75 per cent of the business of adopting the acquis communautaire relates to entity level, and the Republika Srpska was working on that premise. At the same time, Cvijanović says the Federation entity does not want to deal with EU-related issues, working on the logic that this is up to the state. “Our logic is different,” she said, “If I see that some task stems from the SAA and relates to the entity – then the entity has to act. “Why wait?” she asked.
The Federation entity disagrees – and is clearly concerned about the Serb entity’s go-ahead stance. “There is no clear analysis showing that over 70 per cent of the acquis should come under the jurisdiction of the entities,” Haris Abaspahić, the Federation’s advisor on EU issues, said.
half of March, after police arrested some suspects and seized caches of weapons. Ismet Ramadani, a former Macedonian MP and political analyst, says the country has become increasingly vulnerable to ethnic provocations. He pins most of the blame on the nationalist government of Nikola Gruevski and his VMRO party. Since VMRO DPMNE took power in 2006, Macedonia has missed an opportunity to build ethnic cohesion in the spirit of the 2001 agreement, he says. “The Gruevski government is pursuing a nationalistic and conservative policy, which creates tension and anxiety in a multi-ethnic society like Macedonia,” he says. Pendarovski agrees. “All recent international reports on Macedonia have pinpointed the ethnic sphere as worryingly neglected,” he says. “Our politicians are not able to manage even simple ethnic problems, let alone something as complicated as the murder of five men.” Pendarovski recalls the ugly series of incidents in the Struga area of southwest Macedonia in January, after Macedonians in the village of Vevčani crudely mocked the Muslim faith in a carnival. In revenge, a Macedonian Orthodox church was set on fire and the Macedonian
flag was burned. “The two mayors, one Macedonian and the other Albanian, did not find the time for reconciliation over a cup of coffee,” Pendarovski notes. “There are no reasons within the system for a new war like in 2001, but there are structural reasons for constant tensions and incidents,” he says. However, he adds, “at this current tempo of incidents, in a year or two we may plunge into a spiral of violence and then find ourselves needing international help.”
Some experts believe the killings were a deliberate terrorist act aimed at destabilising the country, though they remain coy about who or which country exactly lies behind the alleged plot. Former Interior Minister Pavle Trajanov, now an MP in the ruling coalition, says the murders were “a classic terrorist act that may have dire consequences for the peace and stability of the country, heavier even than the  assassination attempt on President Kiro Gligorov”. Judging by the still unresolved nature of the case of Gligorov, who narrowly survived a car bomb assassination in October 1995, finding the perpetrators will not be easy. Biljana Vankovska, professor at Skopje’s
Institute for War and Peace Studies, also says Macedonia is the target of a plot, namely a “special war” aimed at weakening its international position a month before Chicago’s NATO summit on May 20th to 21st. The summit is seen as a crucial opportunity for the country to advance its case to join the Alliance. Macedonia failed to get an invitation to join NATO at the 2008 Bucharest summit owing to a Greek blockade related to the unresolved bilateral name dispute. [Greece insists that use of the name “Macedonia” implies a territorial claim to the Greek northern province of the same name]. “Those who commissioned the terrorist act have planned a scenario for this special war, predicting that the action will be followed by a reaction,” Vankovska said, not specifying who “those” are. “The place of the murder, the day, the electrified ethnic relations have caused a spiral of events, something that the planners also successfully predicted,” she added. Vankovska maintains that Macedonia “keeps falling for this special war, reacting naively, like children”.
Meanwhile, international worries about Macedonia’s stability are growing. In a joint statement on April 18th, the
“We need sober heads and much political and civil maturity to stay away from influences that aim to radicalise the interethnic climate.” Frosina Tasevska, professor at Skopje’s Faculty for Security Studies
country’s of the EU, mission heads of NATO and the OSCE and the US embassy urged people “to remain calm and refrain from speculation or unfounded allegations and to show patience for the investigative process to take its course. “We support the government’s efforts to pursue the investigation and legal procedures in the timeliest manner possible and encourage the co-operation of the public in gathering all available information on these killings,” the statement added. Frosina Tasevska, professor at Skopje’s Faculty for Security Studies, says time is running out for Macedonia’s irresponsible politicians to pull the country back from the brink. “Most of the responsibility [for the current tension] lies with the political parties” that should start using their influence to “neutralise the negative emotions” generated over the past few days, she says. “We need sober heads and much political and civil maturity to stay away from influences that aim to radicalise the interethnic climate,” she adds. In the meantime, “institutions should be allowed time to give answers about the killers and their motives as soon as possible”.
It started in Gostivar
Strain between the country’s two main communities has been rising since February when an off-duty Macedonian policeman shot dead two young Albanians in the north-western town of Gostivar. The murder was immediately portrayed as having an ethnic dimension and Albanians took to the streets of Gostivar in protest. After that the country experienced its worst inter-ethnic gang violence in years, with gangs of hooligans from both ethnicities attacking people on streets and buses. The violence subsided in the second
Bosnians battle for control While officials say the country will submit a membership application by the summer, the Serb entity and the state government are tussling over the distribution of obligations.
fears of Macedonian turmoil
“The process should be led and coordinated by the state, though the lower levels of government are also included [in the process],” he added. Bosnia’s Foreign Ministry insists the DEI is the only institution that should determine Bosnia’s EU obligations. Amer Kapetanović, head of the EU Department within the Foreign Ministry, told BIRN that the amount of obligations that entities should undertake in the integration process has first to be agreed among all relevant institutions, not only estimated in Banja Luka. “The basis of the data that 75 per cent of the legal heritage of the EU comes under the jurisdiction of the entities is questionable,” Kapetanović said. “Nobody can know that without a programme of integration.” The head of the DEI, Nevenka Savić, declined to discuss the matter with BIRN, explaining that the process of establishing coordination mechanisms was on-going and had to be agreed among all institutions. But a draft of the DEI document that BIRN has obtained suggests that it, when it emerges, may support the position of the Republika Srpska. An explanatory supplement to the draft says that “since Bosnia is a decentralised country, some 70 per cent of the acquis comes under the jurisdiction of entities”.
Photos by Boris Grdanoski/AP
of EU integration
Letters to the editor --------------
The supplement does not explain where the figure came from, as no agreement between all the relevant institutions on this matter has yet been reached. Osman Topčagić, former head of Bosnia’s Mission to the EU, complains that the Serb entity has obstructed the work of state-level institutions on EU-related issues while taking over obligations that the state should have assumed. “The Republika Srpska has blocked the adoption of several laws and actions proposed and initiated at state-level,” Topčagić said.
r eek Ambassador reacts to article “Spectre of Border changes still haunts the Balkans” (Belgrade Insight, Issue No 111, section: region)
One voice sought by Brussels
Speaking for Brussels, Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement, wrote last year to Bosnia’s former Prime Minister, Nikola Spirić, reminding him that improvement to “coordination mechanisms on EU matters between all levels” was a priority. Andy McGuffie, spokesperson of the EU delegation to Bosnia, repeats that today, saying more attention must be paid to setting up a smooth system of coordination on EU matters between all relevant bodies and legislators so that the country speaks with one voice. “Such co-ordination mechanisms as well as a proper and politically supported programme for adopting the EU acquis is needed before Bosnia can start negotiating with the EU in earnest,” McGuffie told BIRN.
Bakir Izetbegović in Brussels.
Miloš Šolaja, Banja Luka based professor, said that the programme of European integration was turning into a great political issue. But he said officials should start on this first by reforming the constitution, which has to be altered
Photo by European Councilš
as a part of the EU transition process. Meanwhile, as the country awaits the official programme on integration and an agreed mechanism of coordination, it is uncertain whether the Serb entity is taking over jurisdictions that belong to
the state or not. The DEI remains the key address from which a programme of integration is expected - but the longer the wait the more uncertain the whole process of Bosnia’s European integration becomes.
“The allegations that “western Greece is home to a large Albanian population” is unsubstantiated and an equally arbitrary assumption which insinuates that there exists a potential possibility of a border change. I think that the particular reference would have been more objective and complete if it did not ignore the undisputed fact of the existence of a numerous Greek national minority in Albania proper, which is officially recognised. Obviously this is not the case in Greece.” Demosthenes Stoides, Ambassador of Greece to Serbia
Belgrade Insight, Friday, April 20, 2012 - Thursday, May 3, 2012
Belgrade Insight, Friday, April 20, 2012 - Thursday, May 3, 2012
Out and About
Continued from page 1 Over the last nine years the Anti-Corruption Council has asked the government to reassess or cancel privatisations where they say the public interest, the value of public property or the rights of small shareholders have been detrimentally affected. After sending around 80 reports to the government, they say they received few responses.
The Novosti case
The Council has called on the government to revise or cancel several major privatisation deals involving one man in particular. The sales of C market, the Port of Belgrade and the publishing house Novosti all involve Milan Beko, an influential businessman and former privatisation minister under Slobodan Milošević. The Council’s report on the Novosti case, issued in May 2011, says all governments from 2000 allowed this former stateowned company to be sold illegally and to the detriment of the public interest. The company was first registered as a shareholding company in 2002 under Zoran Đinđić’s Democratic Party-led coalition. The state then retained 30 per cent of shares, while the rest were divided among small shareholders, mainly company employees. But as there had been no official assessment of how much of the company should belong to the state and how much could be sold to employees, both the Commercial Court and the government said Novosti’s shares could not be sold until the ownership structure was properly evaluated. In 2006 the government of Vojislav Koštunica instructed the Ministry of Economy to review Novosti’s ownership structure and determine what stateowned capital remained in the capital of the company. The government also obliged the ministry to stop the sale of the company until the ownership structure was determined. However, despite this, no review was carried out and the company’s shares were floated on the Belgrade Stock Exchange in August 2006. In its report, the Council said that the then Ministry of Economy failed to act in accordance with the government’s own decision by allowing the sale of Novosti shares possibly to the detriment of state interests. Within eight days of the shares floating on the Stock Exchange, almost all minor shareholders had sold their shares
to two companies, Stadlux Realestate and Ardos Holding, which snapped up about 60 per cent of the shares on sale. According to the Law on Takeover, any shareholder who owns more than 25 per cent of shares in a single company is obliged to gain the approval of Commission for Securities, which both companies failed to do. Before the Commission for Securities reacted, Ardos Holding sold its surplus shares, while Stadlux Realestate sold all its shares. Along with Ardos Holding, which is registered in Austria, the new owners were also foreign companies Trimax Investments and Karamat Holdings. The Council wrote that all actions taken after the Commercial Court decided that Novosti’s shares should not be sold until the ownership structure was fully evaluated, in 2002, were illegal. However, neither the government nor the public prosecutor has reacted since. In November 2010 Milan Beko confirmed that he owns all three companies that bought Novosti’s shares. He said that he bought the shares for a German publishing house that already owns a couple of media firms in Serbia. He denied allegations that the sale of Novosti was carried out illegally. Last June the state Commission for Securities publicly confirmed that Beko owns 62 per cent of Novosti via three different companies. It demanded that Beko either buy the shares owned by two of his companies via the third or sell at least 75 per cent of his shares to another buyer. However, nothing has happened to date. The Council last September reminded PM Mirko Cvetković’s government about all of the irregularities linked to the sale of Novosti and sought an official response. “Companies owned by Milan Beko gained control of Novosti by fraud in August 2006,” the Council wrote, adding that Beko’s responsibility for the fraud cannot be annulled simply by his selling on fraudulently acquired shares. In its report the Council called for an investigation into the mechanisms that had allowed a state institution to “act in the interests of powerful individuals, against the law”. The Council also called for the investigating of possible corruption among all people involved in the Novosti case. To date the Council has yet to receive a response from the government. “The rot starts at the top,” says Šuković from the Council.
Serbs head for Mother Nature on Mayday May Day may have its origins as a celebration or the urban working class, but most Serbs just want to spend the day having fun as far from the city as possible. Milan Beko purchase of Novosti is among the deals being queried.
“Large-scale fraud cannot happen if the top of the state does not allow it, whether by being the beneficiary of a corruption deal in some way or by allowing tycoons to abuse state weaknesses.”
The Nuba case
The Council also submitted a report on the laying of optic cables throughout Serbia, entrusted to Nuba Invest in November 2010. In this report the Council said the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning had violated the Law on Planning and Construction and the Law on Telecommunications by issuing Nuba Invest a permit to install the optic cables. This is because no public auction was held and “it is unusual that, beside numerous operators with years of experience, this work was awarded to a newlyformed company which had not been
“Largescale fraud cannot happen if the top of the state does not allow it.” Danilo Šuković, Anti-Corruption Council in the telecommunications business before, nor had a Ratel (Telecommunication Agency) licence.” Information from Serbia’s Business Registers Agency shows that Slovenia’s Nuba only registered in Serbia on April 10th 2009, just months before it won the first location permit to lay cables. This deal reached parliament’s attention in March 2010, when Environment Minister Oliver Dulić was accused of having granted the permit to Slovenian businessmen in a quick procedure with no tender. The Council notes that the government, which had not responded to any reports of the Anti-Corruption Council since 2005, forwarded the Environment Ministry’s reply on this occasion within a very short time, by January 19th 2011. In response the ministry said that it had acted in accordance with the law and added that, after examination of the documentation, the Public Prosecutor’s Office shared this opinion. After that the Council twice asked the Public Prosecutor’s Office to deliver a report on the actions it conducted and the documentation it examined on the basis
Photo by Beta
History of dodgy deals
he Anti-Corruption Council has highlighted a series of murky deals over the past nine years. During the mandate of the first post2000 governments, under Zoran Đinđić and then Zoran Živković , the Council drew attention to several problematic privatisation deals and affairs. These included Sartid [later U.S. Steel], Jugoremedija, the sugar affair, the National Savings Bank and the Veterinary Insitute. Under the Democratic Party of Serbia-led coalition of Vojislav Koštunica
[2004-2007] it sought probes into problematic privatisations and deals involving Mobtel, Novosti, the Port of Belgrade, C market, Šinvoz , Zastava elektro, Keramika, Srbolek and the concession for the Horgoš-Požega highway. During the mandate of the current government of Democratic Party PM Mirko Cvetković [2008 to 2012], the Council is querying the following cases: Azotara Pančevo, Prosveta, Trudbenik gradnja, Nuba, Tehnohemija.
of which it reached this conclusion. After receiving an answer in March 2011, the Council wrote that “it is clear… that the Prosecutor’s Office gave an opinion on the basis of incomplete documentation. “We would point out that the Prosecutor’s Office is an independent state authority which prosecutes perpetrators of criminal acts. “Therefore, it may not give any preliminary opinions without the initial act in particular cases on whether something is lawful or not, as it will in this way make a preliminary decision on something that later on may become the subject of prosecution,” the Council added.
delegation to Serbia, Vincent Degert, again urged the authorities to deal with the 24 privatisation deals and other irregularities. Eduard Kukan, MEP, chair of the delegation’s relations with Southeast Europe, told BIRN that the European Parliament had now decided to be more specific over the privatisations and he expects the Commission to follow their recommendations. “If Serbia is serious about starting negotiations on the rule of law, it should be aware that its performance in anticorruption policy will be monitored in detail,” Kukan said. However, unlike the Kosovo issue, which has created tensions between the Serbian public and the EU, it is likely that in the fight against corruption both sides - the public and Brussels - will find a common interest. As Šuković says, the EU wants to see the rule of law and a free market functioning in all future member countries, which is even more in Serbia’s interest, as without these two the country cannot develop. Meanwhile, no matter how crucial pressure from Europe proves to be in this case, the other question is whether independent local institutions and civil society will develop to the point where they can combat corruption and control government behaviour from the inside. Zoran Stojiljković, professor at the Belgrade Faculty of Political Science, says: “Without well-organised democratic capacities, there won’t be enough pressure on the political class and on the tycoons, who benefited from the initial momentum of transition and never seriously considered operating in a regulated environment where free market and antimonopoly legislation actually works”. In that sense, the side-effect of EU pressure to fight corruption in Serbia could be a potential shift in the balance of power in favour of independent institutions and civic society. That, at least, is the hope.
Don’t rely on Brussels
The Council’s Danilo Šuković says that the people behind these controversial takeovers elaborated scenarios to protect them legally and place “their” people inside state institutions. He explains that because businessmen finance political parties, politicians routinely allow them to place their people in public institutions and ministries, where they lobby for their paymasters and gather information. “The lack of progress in investigations shows that tycoons still control institutions and have influence,” Šuković says. “But I expect the EU to be strict on this issue, which means that we will have to solve it if we want to join the EU,” Šuković adds. On March 29th the European Parliament called on Serbia’s authorities to urgently revise 24 cases of controversial sales and privatisations. The European Commission has also expressed concerns about the legality of the sale of Sartid, Jugoremedija, Mobtel, C market and Bus transport enterprise Vojvodina. The authorities are also required to open documents related to privatisations that are still classified as a state secret. On April 16th the head of the EU
Source: Anti-corruption Council http://www.antikorupcija-savet.gov.rs/
t’s been years since International Workers Day lost its ideological significance in Serbia. There’s no glorification of the working class or propaganda about the joys of working in a factory these days. Such phenomena vanished along with the once popular “Workers’ parade”. Instead, most workers, as well as the vast majority of ordinary citizens, nowadays spend the May 1st holiday camping in the countryside, turning a pig or lamb on a spit over an open fire, grilling meat or cooking up stews in bubbling cauldrons.
The most popular May Day spots are the rolling hills of Fruška Gora, Lake Palić and the mountains of Zlatibor and Tara in western Serbia. One of the few remaining traditions from the Communist era connected with May 1st celebrations is “Prvomajski uranak” (“Mayday morning”), which sees people camp overnight to await the upcoming holiday or come really early on the day itself, before dawn. Partly because of the traditional fresh spring weather and partly because of the ancient religious custom of marking the end of the Easter fast with partying, eating and drinking, Serbs like to spend the day surrounded by nature. The most popular spots for spending the day are the rolling hills of Fruška Gora, north of Belgrade, Lake Palić, further north near Hungary, and mounts Zlatibor and Tara in western Serbia. But for those who don’t wish to travel so far, every town and city has its own popular campsites or picnic
places. For Belgraders these are the hills at Košutnjak, Avala and Kosmaj, Ada Ciganlija Lake and some of the city’s forest parks. At Košutnjak, Avala and Kosmaj, thick smoke can be seen wafting through the trees from the early morning hours of Mayday, as meat sweats and burns on open fires and people cool themselves with bottles of cold beer. Košutnjak is located on some 330 hectares of thick forest intersected with numerous walking paths. The most popular picnic site on Košutnjak is Hajdučka Česma, which lies at the beginning of the climb from Rakovica municipality. Once a hunting ground of the royal Obrenović dynasty, it is now a favourite spot for recreation and picnics. On Mayday the whole area surrounding the Hajdučka Česma spring is crowded with campers and those who come really early can grab the sites that have wooden roofs, which is convenient if it starts to rain. Near Košutnjak is Topčider Park, one of Belgrade’s most beautiful picnic spots, with grounds landscaped with selected tree species. Another special place for making a barbecue and spending the holiday is Čarapićev Brest, which is one of the stops en route to the top of Mt Avala. A fire is traditionally lit two hours after midnight near here to welcome the visitors who will arrive later. Once they have arrived they can choose from various activities, such as rock climbing. This is also the place where people come to hear live performances of street trumpet orchestras. However, those who order songs from the bands must expect to pay for them. The highest peak on Mt Avala, near the monument to the Unknown Hero, is also a good spot for enjoying May 1st. Celebrations here can last up to three days. Lake Trešnja, also located on Avala, on the other hand, is the destination of choice for younger people who come to enjoy the solitude of the greenish lake surrounded by woods, which is also a favourite spot for filmmakers. “Prvomajski uranak” is frequently organised by city or municipal authorities, as well as by companies and individuals. Besni Fok, Obrenovački Zabran and Bela Reka are some of the places to get a feel for this enduring custom. Some of the organised events are amusing and even exotic – like roasting oxen on spits and the fish soup competition.
10 Belgrade Insight, Friday, April 20, 2012 - Thursday, May 3, 2012
Belgrade Insight, Friday, April 20, 2012 - Thursday, May 3, 2012 11
HealtH and FaMilY
Tango festival brings slice of Argentina to Belgrade The international Belgrade Tango Encuentro festival is again bringing a dash of Buenos Aires to the capital boosting Belgrade’s aim to become a European tango centre. Andrej kleMenČiČ
t may come from far-away Argentina, but the tango, one of Latin America’s most famous exports, is fast growing in Serbia. In less than four years the Belgrade tango community has grown from some 500 people to more than 2,000 dancers. Now in its third year, the international “Belgrade Tango Encuentro” festival is helping to position Belgrade as one of Europe’s tango centres and from April 17th to 22nd the European tango spotlight will be focused on the Student Cultural Centre and the Officers Club, which is where the classes and dance evenings will take place. So far tango events in Belgrade have perhaps had little impact on public life because most of the visitors have been dancers and die-hard fans rather than members of the general public. But the organisers of Belgrade Tango Encuentro say that this time the appearance of the popular electro-tango orchestra Otros Aires is bound to draw people.
“The fact that we are bringing an orchestra whose music is popular beyond the tango community means that we are inviting Belgraders to come and taste a piece of the tango cake,” says Darko Dožić, head of the Instituto Tango Natural, which organises the festival. Last year, when the band first came to Belgrade, the turnout at the concert was far above what had been expected and Otros Aires tunes regularly top the charts on Belgrade radio stations.
“We want to have people dancing the tango on every Belgrade corner.” Darko Dožić, head of the Instituto Tango Natural
Families head to China for treatment.
Court win raises hopes for Serbia’s sickest children
While many countries pay for the treatment of children suffering from rare and fatal diseases, in Serbia both children and parents all too often have to fight alone. Belgrade Tango Encuentro is, however, mostly dedicated to dancers. Well-known tango couples who teach at festivals and master classes around Europe will be teaching those who have already acquired basic skills to move beyond those to
more advanced moves, including the tango’s signature embrace. Sebastian Arce and Mariana Montes, who have been the best-known Argentine tango dancers in the world for almost a decade, have been with the festival since the beginning. They say Belgrade’s energy will draw tango dancers from all over Europe. “Our dream is to make the Belgrade tango community the biggest in Europe,” agrees Dožić, adding that this year they expect more than 500 foreign visitors. Aside from several hundred local dancers, hundreds of high school pupils will open the festival by staging a public class. It is all part of the Belgrade-based Instituto Tango Natural’s project “Let’s Get to Know Each Other through Embrace”, which involves instructors from the institute lecturing on tango at schools around Serbia and teaching youngsters about the importance of the embrace. “The quality of the embrace is the measure of our relation to our own essence and also the main diagnosis of our general state,” Dožić emphasises. “Many times I’ve noticed that after taking tango lessons for some time people have the ability to give a warmer embrace and this is what we are trying to teach youngsters,” he adds. He believes the tango has gained such enormous popularity precisely because it teaches that the values dictated by society
are not necessarily the best for people. “In Belgrade, as in many other cities, the tango has become desirable because it is the most beautiful way to re-vitalise the human psyche,” he says. “Serbian society lives in an atmosphere which is a combination of transition, industrial-age accumulation of capital, post-war recovery and a hope for better future,” he continues. “Just as seeing a guitar on every corner was once a symbol of peace in European societies in the second half of the 20th century, we want to have people dancing the tango on every Belgrade corner.”
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t only seven, Novi Sadnative Zoja Mirosavljević faces a terrifying prognosis. She has been diagnosed as suffering from Batten dis-
ease. This rare disease, which occurs in only two to four of every 100,000 births, is caused by a genetic mutation that prevents cells from cleaning themselves of toxins. As a result, children suffer from seizures and progressively lose motor skills, sight, speech and mental capacity. Eventually they become blind and bedridden, without the ability to communicate. The only treatment that children can receive is therapy with stem cells in China that must be taken every six months. But families of victims in Serbia - where only nine children have been identified as sufferers - have had little help from the state. As Batten disease, like most other rare diseases, is not on the list of the Serbian Health Insurance Fund, the state does not fund its diagnosis or treatment. The Ministry of Health last summer started a fund for rare diseases, promising it would start funding treatments for some
patients suffering from rare diseases. But the ministry later announced it had allocated money only for a handful of patients. Outraged at being abandoned by the health service, Zoja’s family successfully sued the Serbian Health Insurance Fund, which had refused to pay for her trip abroad to be diagnosed. “We were trying to get a final diagnosis from 2007 to 2009, as Batten disease can’t be diagnosed in Serbia,” Bojana Mirosavljević, Zoja’s mother, explained. “We had to pay for the trip to London on our own and then we sued the Insurance Fund,” she added. “While the court has since ruled that they were wrong to deny her [Zoja] the right to treatment and diagnosis, this is only a first-instant ruling,” she continued. Meanwhile, the cost of six-monthly trips to China for treatment is huge and worrying every time. Each trip and therapy costs about €38,000 per child per time. Although it is not a cure, the therapy keeps children alive and in reasonable health. “In China we met children from all over the world whose governments find a way to cover the costs of the treatments… [but] we haven’t received anything from our state. We gather money from donations,” Mirosavljavić says. Of the nine families, four are going to
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China together later this month, after they raised money for treatments together. “We decided that we should all go, or none of us goes, so we are off on April 23rd - but we are still waiting for €4,000 from one donor. “If it does not come in by then, I don’t know what we’ll do,” Mirosavljević adds. There is some hope however. New treatments for Batten disease are currently being tested in the US and Mirosavljević has been there to find out. “We [the families] visited a doctor Beverly Davis from the University of Iowa who was testing for cures in the U.S. last year. We couldn’t just sit and wait, we had to know if there is hope for our children, so we gathered the money, took a plane and went to talk with the doctor,” she says. “The experimental cure is finished and they are now trying to find the right dosage for the children. I hope it will be done by the end of the year,” she adds. Once the right dosage is established, experimental treatments will start. “We know that nothing is for sure, but this cure is the only thing we’ve got. We have nothing to lose,” says Mirosavljević. In the meantime, the trips to China continue. After the next round of therapy in April, the same four children will be back again in October – if the donors come through.
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12 Belgrade Insight, Friday, April 20, 2012 - Thursday, May 3, 2012
Belgrade Insight, Friday, April 20, 2012 - Thursday, May 3, 2012 13
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Cinemas Belgrade’s cinemas only publish their schedules one week in advance. Listings for future weeks are available from the cinemas. All provide information in English. ________________________ RODA CINEPLEX / Požeška 83A, tel: + 381 11 2545260 Alvin and the Chipmunks: ChipWrecked – 2.15pm Legend of a Rabbit – 2.30pm Journey 2: The Mysterious Island – 4pm Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (3D) – 4.15pm Titanic (3D) – 4.15pm American Reunion – 6pm, 8.15pm Battleship – 8pm, 10.30pm Project X – 8.20pm, 10.20pm The Hunger Games – 5.50pm __________________________ DOM SINDIKATA Trg Nikole Pašića 5, tel: + 381 11 3234849 Parade – 4pm Wrath of the Titans (3D) – 5pm Titanic (3D) – 7pm Carnage – 10pm Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (3D) – 16.15 The Artist – 6m, 8pm __________________________ CINEPLEXX / Delta City, Jurija Gagarina 16, tel: + 381 11 2203400 Titanic (3D) – 4pm, 7.30pm, 9.30pm Legend of a Rabbit – 2.30pm, 4.20pm The Iron Lady – 10.10pm The Hunger Games – 4.50pm, 7.30pm Project X – 6pm, 8.40pm Alvin and the Chipmunks: ChipWrecked – 3.10pm Titeuf (3D) – 2.40pm Battleship – 2.40pm, 7.20pm, 8pm, 10.30pm American Reunion – 3.40pm, 6pm, 8.20pm, 10.40pm
Wrath of the Titans (3D) – 4.20pm, 10.20pm _________________________ TUCKWOOD CINEPLEX / Kneza Miloša 7, tel: + 381 11 3236517 Drive – 3.40pm Battleship – 3.40pm, 6pm, 8.30pm, 11pm American Reunion – 3.50pm, 6pm, 10.10pm Project X – 4.40pm, 8.30pm, 10.15pm Titanic (3D) – 5.30pm Wrath of the Titans – 5.40pm, 10.05pm The Hunger Games – 7.15pm Wrath of the Titans (3D) – 3.30pm Man on a Ledge – 10.20pm __________________________ KOLOSEJ CINEMA / Usce Shopping Centre, Bulevar Mihaila Pupina 4, tel: + 381 11 2854495 The Iron Lady (VIP Hall) – 5.10pm, 1.50pm Man on a Ledge – 8.40pm Titanic (3D) – 4.30pm, 10.10pm Alvin and the Chipmunks: ChipWrecked – 2.20pm Mirror Mirror – 3.20pm, 5.30pm, 7.40pm Journey 2: The Mysterious Island – 2pm Man on a Ledge – 2.15pm, 10.30pm The Hunger Games – 2.20pm, 5.05pm, 7.50pm Legend of a Rabbit – 2.40pm Wrath of the Titans (3D) – 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9pm Battleship – 3pm, 5.40pm, 8.20pm, 11pm Project X – 3.10pm, 5pm, 6.50pm, 8.40pm, 10.30pm John Carter – 6.10pm Wrath of the Titans –6pm, 10pm
FRIDAY APRIL 20 Clubbing: Saša Kovačević, Magacin,Karađorđeva 2-4, 11pm MashUp or ShutUp,DJ MeHighLow, Divljina, Bulevar Vojvode Bojovića (6-8), 10pm Vakula with Pytzek and Dule Kačarević, The Tube, Simina 21, 11pm DJ Night, Soho Republic, Pariska 1a, 11.30pm Disco House, Mr Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4, 11pm DJ Nikola and DJ Yabba, Fabrika, Bulevar Despota Stefana 115, 11pm Accessorize Springtime Style Promo Party, Plastic, Corner of Takovska and Dalmatinska, 11pm St.Louis & DJ Ike, Brankow Bar, Crnogorska 12, 9pm Live music: Ana Milenković, Lava bar, Kneza Miloša 77, 11pm THE OFFICIAL PLAYBOY PARTY, Opposite, Mitropolita Petra 8, 11pm Neša & 100% band, Serbian folk, Hua Hua, Ada Ciganlija bb, 11pm Marko Žujović at river club Acapulco, Kej Oslobođenja bb 11pm No Comment Band, Box, Karađorđeva 9, 11pm Live Jazz Quartets And Quintets, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Live Jazz Duets and Trios, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 7pm Duet Robi & Dule, restaurant Milagro, Kej Oslobođenja 55, 9pm SATURDAY APRIL 21 Clubbing: DJ Night – Magacin, Karađorđeva 2-4, 12am Club House, Mr Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4, 11pm Mainstream Pressure, Plastic, Corner of Takovska and Dalmatinska, 11pm Disco Fever , Opposite, Opposite, Mitropolita Petra 8, 11pm Oysha and Peppe The Tube, Simina 21, 11pm DJ Night, Barock, Admirala Geprata 14, 11.30pm DJ Night, Mladost, Karađorđeva 44, 10pm Mirko&Meex, Fabrika, Despota Stefana 115, 11pm Freedom Music, Depo Magacin, Travnička 3, 10pm Live music: Mega band, Serbian folk, Kolektiv, Vase Pelagića 54, 11.30pm Makao, Bitefartcafe, Square Mire Trailović 1, 11pm Stage band, Dobrila, Dobračina 30, 9pm No Comment band, Lava Bar, Kneza Miloša 77, 11pm Bossa Nova Luz Azul, Bar Latino, Turgenjeva 5, 9pm Inspiracija band, Box, Karađorđeva 9, 11pm Live Jazz Quartets And Quintets, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Live Jazz Duets and Trios, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 7pm Band “Bele pčele”, restaurant Milagro, Kej Oslobođenja 55, 9pm SUNDAY APRIL 22 Clubbing: Brankow bar – Bebi Dol live!, Brankow bar, Crnogorska 12, 9pm Salsa Y Punto - Cafe Buena Vista, Turgenjeva 5 Live Music: Live Jazz Quartets And Quintets, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Live Jazz Duets and Trios, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 7pm MONDAY APRIL 23
Clubbing: Humanitarian evening, Disco House, Mr Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4, 11.30pm Find a boyfriend party, Divljina, Bulevar Vojvode Bojovića (6-8), 10pm Live music: Die Beste, Cantina de Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm Karaoke, Danguba, Ćirila i Metodija 2, 10pm Željko Šašić, Serbian Folk, Acapulco, Kej Oslobođenja bb, 11pm Live Jazz Quartets And Quintets, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Live Jazz Duets and Trios, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 7pm Pop/Rock evening, restaurant Reka, Kej Oslobođenja 73b, 10pm TUESDAY APRIL 24
Clubbing: Dance 90’ party, Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4, 11.30pm RnB Party, Divljina, Bulevar Vojvode Bojovića (6-8), 10pm Live music: Musix Box, Cantina de Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm Teatro Stars, Serbian Folk, Teatro Bar, Sarajevska 26, 12am Maja Višić, Acapulco, Kej Oslobođenja bb, 11pm Live Jazz Quartets And Quintets, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Live Jazz Duets and Trios, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 7pm Pop/Rock Music, restaurant Reka, Kej Oslobođenja 73b, 10pm
WEDNESDAY APRIL 25
Clubbing: Buzzin’ RnB party, Plastic, Corner of Takovska and Dalmatinska, 11pm Funky and Disco Grooves, Brooklyn Bar, Petrogradska 18, 9pm DJ Night, Villa Maska, Rankeova 7, 9pm Live music: Superstars band, Dobrila, Dobračina 30, 10pm Jazzanje band, Brankow bar, Crnogorska 12, 9pm Vesko Vučković band, Mr Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4, 11.30pm Serbian folk music stars live, Magacin, Karađorđeva 2-4 Kameleon band, Red Shoes, Ada Ciganlija BB, 10pm Marko St. Louis Band, Cantina de Frida, 10pm Live Jazz Quartets And Quintets, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Live Jazz Duets and Trios, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 7pm Pop/Rock Music, restaurant Reka, Kej Oslobođenja 73b, 10pm
THURSDAY APRIL 26 Clubbing: RnB & Hip Hop party, Mr Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4, 11.30pm Beats, Dimes and Pipes, Divljina, Bulevar Vojvode Bojovića (6-8), 10pm Tango Night, Havana, Nikole Spasića 1, 10pm “Do you remember plastic” House music, Plastic, Corner of Takovska and Dalmatinska, 11pm Live music: Balkan Expres band, Dobrila, Dobračina 30, 10pm Live Jazz Quartets And Quintets, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Live Jazz Duets and Trios, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 7pm Libertango, Cantina de Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Serbian Folk, Kolektiv, Vase Pelagića 54, 11pm Pop/Rock Music, restaurant Reka, Kej Oslobođenja 73b, 10pm Rock Music, club Fest, Gradski Park 2, 10pm FRIDAY APRIL 27 Clubbing: DJ Night, Magacin, Karađorđeva 2-4 MashUp or ShutUp,DJ MeHighLow, Divljina, Bulevar Vojvode Bojovića (6-8), 10pm
House Night, The Tube, Simina 21, 11pm DJ Night, Soho Republic, Pariska 1a, 11.30pm Disco House, Mr Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4, 11pm House Night, Fabrika, Bulevar Despota Stefana 115, 11pm DJ Night, Plastic, Corner of Takovska and Dalmatinska, 11pm Live music: Ladies singing on Friday, Lava bar, Kneza Miloša 77, 11pm Neša & 100% band, Serbian folk, Hua Hua, Ada Ciganlija bb, 12am No Comment Band, Box, Karađorđeva 9, 11pm All That Kink, Brankow bar, Crnogorska 12, 9pm Live Jazz Quartets And Quintets, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Live Jazz Duets and Trios, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 7pm Pop/Rock Music, restaurant Reka, Kej Oslobođenja 73b, 10pm Rock Music, club Fest, Gradski Park 2, 10pm Serbian Traditional Music, restaurant Milagro, Kej Oslobođenja 55, 9pm SATURDAY APRIL 28
Clubbing: DJs Night – Magacin, Karađorđeva 2-4, 12am Club House, Mr Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4, 11pm Mainstream Pressure, Plastic, Corner of Takovska and Dalmatinska, 11pm Disco Fever, Opposite, Opposite, Mitropolita Petra 8, 11pm House Night, The Tube, Simina 21, 11pm The Beatshakers, Barock, Admirala Geprata 14, 11.30pm DJ Night, Mladost, Karađorđeva 44, 10pm Mirko&Meex, Fabrika, Despota Stefana 115, 11pm Live music: Mega band, Serbian folk, Kolektiv, Vase Pelagića 54, 11.30pm Makao, Bitefartcafe, Square Mire Trailović 1, 11pm Stage band, Dobrila, Dobračina 30, 9pm No Comment band, Lava Bar, Kneza Miloša 77, 11pm Bossa Nova Luz Azul, Bar Latino, Turgenjeva 5, 9pm Inspiracija band, Box, Karađorđeva 9, 11pm Live Jazz Quartets And Quintets, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Live Jazz Duets and Trios, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 7pm Vesko Vučković Band, Cantina de Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 7pm Pop/Rock Music, restaurant Reka, Kej Oslobođenja 73b, 10pm Rock Music, club Fest, Gradski Park 2, 10pm Serbian Traditional Music, restaurant Milagro, Kej Oslobođenja 55, 9pm
SUNDAY APRIL 29 Clubbing: Black Meets House, F6, Franucska 6, 11.30pm RnB Night, Hyde, Kralja Petra 11, 11pm Sunday lounge, Brankow bar, Crnogorska 12, 9pm Live Music: Extra Orchestra, Mr Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4, 11.30pm Sportsmen’s evening, Teatro Bar, Sarajevska 26, 12am Two Fingers band, Red Shoes, Ada Ciganlija BB, 10pm Rock festival, Crazy Horse, Skadarska 40c, 10pm Live Jazz Quartets And Quintets, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Live Jazz Duets and Trios, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 7pm Pop/Rock Music, restaurant Reka, Kej Oslobođenja 73b, 10pm MONDAY, APRIL 30 Clubbing: Humanitarian evening, Disco House,
Mr Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4, 11.30pm Find a boyfriend party, Divljina, Bulevar Vojvode Bojovića (6-8), 10pm Live music: Die Beste, Cantina de Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm Karaoke, Danguba, Ćirila i Metodija 2, 10pm Željko Šašić, Serbian Folk, Acapulco, Kej Oslobođenja bb, 11pm Live Jazz Quartets And Quintets, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Live Jazz Duets and Trios, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 7pm Pop/Rock evening, restaurant Reka, Kej Oslobođenja 73b, 10pm
TUESDAY MAY 1
Clubbing: Dance 90’ party, Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4, 11.30pm RnB Party, Divljina, Bulevar Vojvode Bojovića (6-8), 10pm Live music: Musix Box, Cantina de Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm Teatro Stars, Serbian Folk, Teatro Bar, Sarajevska 26, 12am Lilly Band, Red Shoes, Ada Ciganlija BB, 10pm Maja Višić, Acapulco, Kej Oslobođenja bb, 11pm Live Jazz Quartets And Quintets, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Live Jazz Duets and Trios, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 7pm Pop/Rock Music, restaurant Reka, Kej Oslobođenja 73b, 10pm
WEDNESDAY MAY 2 Clubbing: Buzzin’ RnB party, Plastic, Corner of Takovska and Dalmatinska, 11pm Funky and Disco Grooves, Brooklyn Bar, Petrogradska 18, 9pm DJ Night, Villa Maska, Rankeova 7, 9pm Live music: Superstars band, Dobrila, Dobračina 30, 10pm Jazzanje band, Brankow bar, Crnogorska 12, 9pm Vesko Vučković band, Mr Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4, 11.30pm Serbian folk music stars live, Magacin, Karađorđeva 2-4 Kameleon band, Red Shoes, Ada Ciganlija BB, 10pm Marko St. Louis Band, Cantina de Frida, 10pm Live Jazz Quartets And Quintets, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Live Jazz Duets and Trios, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 7pm Pop/Rock Music, restaurant Reka, Kej Oslobođenja 73b, 10pm THURSDAY MAY 3 Clubbing: RnB & Hip Hop party, Mr Stefan Braun, Nemanjina 4, 11.30pm Beats, Dimes and Pipes, Divljina, Bulevar Vojvode Bojovića (6-8), 10pm Tango Night, Havana, Nikole Spasića 1, 10pm “Do you remember plastic” House music, Plastic, Corner of Takovska and Dalmatinska, 11pm Opening of the river club Freestyler, Brodarska bb Live music: Balkan Express band, Dobrila, Dobračina 30, 10pm Muzički Voz, Red Shoes, Ada Ciganlija BB, 10pm Live Jazz Quartets And Quintets, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Live Jazz Duets and Trios, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 7pm Libertango, Cantina de Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm Serbian Folk, Kolektiv, Vase Pelagića 54, 11pm Pop/Rock Music, restaurant Reka, Kej Oslobođenja 73b, 10pm Rock Music, club Fest, Gradski Park 2, 10pm Programmes may be subject to change. Please check online for more information at http://www.hot-spot.rs/
live music FRIDAY APRIL 20 Ginger Ensemble Bern, GRAD Cultural Centre, Braće Krsmanović 4, 8pm Myluton with his Paramount Folk Orchestra, Dom Omladine, Makedonska 22, 9pm Sinestezija, Bolesna Stenad, Gun Club, Miloša Pocerca 10, 10pm SATURDAY APRIL 21 Dr Funk, Akademija 28, Nemanjina 28, 10pm Kanda Kodža i Nebojša, Gun Club, Miloša Pocerca 10, 10pm MONDAY APRIL 23 Đorđe Balašević, Madlenianum, Glavna 32, 7.30pm Sic Alps, GRAD Cultural Centre, Braće Krsmanović 4, 10pm TUESDAY APRIL 24 Sergej Ćetković, Željko Vasić, Boris Režak, Frajle, Dom Omladine, Makedonska 22, 8pm Green Goblins, GRAD Cultural Centre, Braće Krsmanović 4, 10pm Jovan Maljoković/Balkan Salsa Band, Studentski Grad Cultural Centre, Bulevar Zorana Đinđića 177, 9.30pm FRIDAY APRIL 27 Zvončekova Bilježnica, Gun Club, Miloša Pocerca 10, 10pm Euterpa, BitefArtCafe, Mira Trailović Square 1, 10pm Lisabon, Akademija 28, Nemanjina 28, 10pm SATURDAY APRIL 28 Rain Dogs, Akademija 28, Nemanjina 28, 10pm Obojeni Program, Gun Club, Miloša Pocerca 10, 10.30pm SUNDAY APRIL 29 Rundek Cargo Trio, Dom Omladine, Dečanska 22, 9pm WEDNESDAY MAY 2 The Irradiates, GRAD Cultural Centre, Braće Krsmanović 4, 9pm THURSDAY MAY 3 Mravi, Gun Club, Miloša Pocerca 10, 10pm
opera, Ballet, Classical FRIDAY APRIL 20 Belgrade Philharmonic with Jonathan Schiffman- conductor and Andreas Boyde- piano, Ilija M. Kolarac Endowment, Studentski Trg 5, 8pm SATURDAY APRIL 21 Ballet: Queen Margot, The National Theatre, Francuska 1, 7.30pm SUNDAY APRIL 22 Jelena Matovic, violin, Guarnerius, Džordža Vašingtona 12, 8pm
Publisher: BIRN d.o.o. Gospodar Jevremova 47, 11 000 Belgrade Phone/Fax: +381 11 334 62 09 Editor in Chief: Gordana Igrić BIRN editorial team: Ana Petruševa, Marcus Tanner, Gordana Andrić, Mark Pullen
MONDAY APRIL 23 Russian State Chapel Choir, Ilija M. Kolarac Endowment, Studentski Trg 5, 8pm TUESDAY APRIL 24 Ballet: Sleeping Beauty, The National Theatre, Francuska 1, 19:30 Duo Grazioso (Aslani, Popović), Studentski Grad Cultural Centre, Bulevar Zorana Đinđića 177, 8pm WEDNESDAY APRIL 25 Dejan Sinadinović, piano, Ilija M. Kolarac Endowment, Studentski Trg 5, 8pm THURSDAY APRIL 26 Ensemble Renesans, Ilija M. Kolarac Endowment, Studentski Trg 5, 8pm SATURDAY APRIL 28 Opera: Attila, The National Theatre, Francuska 1, 7pm SUNDAY APRIL 29 Natasa Veljković- piano and Wolfgang David- violin, The National Theatre, Francuska 1, 12pm
FRIDAY APRIL 20 The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare), Yugoslav Drama Theatre, Kralja Milana 48, 8pm
exhibitions and events FRIDAY APRIL 20 Takeaway Fashion, GRAD Cultural Centre, Braće Krsmanović 4, 5pm to 8pm SATURDAY APRIL 21 Exhibition: Olga Đorđević, Trag Gallery and Bookstore, Dvoržakova 2, 12pm
SUNDAY APRIL 29 Pesnicenje- Slam poetry, Rex, Jevrejska 16, 8pm MONDAY APRIL 30 Queen’s Day- a multimedial event, GRAD Cultural Centre, Braće Krsmanović 4, 8pm
MONDAY APRIL 23 Exhibition: Danijela Mrsulja, Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts, Knez Mihajlova 53, 7pm
WEDNESDAY MAY 2 3D Premiere: Marvel’s The Avengers, Kolosej Cinema, Bulevar Mihajla Pupina 4, 8pm
TUESDAY APRIL 24 Exhibition: Maja Jovanović Majolinica, ULUPUDS Gallery, Uzum Mirkova 12, 7pm Exhibition: Vuk Vučković- Modern Society’s Pictograms, GRAD Cultural Centre, Braće Krsmanović 4, 8pm WEDNESDAY APRIL 25 Exhibition: Bojana Masković and Tamara Cvetić, Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts, Knez Mihajlova 53, 7pm
SATURDAY APRIL 21 Milk (Katsikonouris), Belgrade Drama Theatre, Mileševska 64, 8pm SUNDAY APRIL 22 The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare), The National Theatre, Francuska 1, 7.30pm MONDAY APRIL 23 Life is a Dream (Calderon), The National Theatre, Francuska 1, 7.30pm
THURSDAY APRIL 26 Exhibition and discussion: Aleksa Gajić- Epic heroes and the city of future, French Cultural Centre, Knez Mihajlova 31, 6pm
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FRIDAY APRIL 27 Some Like It Hot (Stone, Merrill, Styne), Terazije Theatre, Terazije 29, 8pm MONDAY APRIL 30 Death and the Dervish (Selimović), The National Theatre, Francuska 1, 7.30pm THURSDAY MAY 4 The Mysterious Variations (Schmitt), The National theatre, Francuska 1, 8.30pm
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TUESDAY APRIL 24 Exhibitionist (Traven), Atelje 212, Svetogorska 21, 8pm WEDNESDAY APRIL 25 The Government Inspector (Gogol), The National Theatre, Francuska 1, 7.30pm
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14 Belgrade Insight, Friday, April 20, 2012 - Thursday, May 3, 2012
Belgrade Insight, Friday, April 20, 2012 - Thursday, May 3, 2012 15
Share and share alike
Serbia to join European Basketball League of Nations
Belgrade’s second annual Share Conference seeks to inspire communication and initiative. David GALIĆ
ith only one year behind it, the Share Conference is already one of the most talked about and anticipated events that Belgrade has to offer. In its second year, Share promises a programme that will be “even more subversive and without compromise.” The Share Conference is a very unique event, especially for Serbia and the region. It is not just a music festival or a group of seminars; it is a multidimensional meeting ground for young and old people from all walks of life. It does not only seek to entertain: ideally, Share aims to enable networking and learning and ultimately serves as a source of inspiration for the people of Serbia who strive for change and progress. “Share Conference is one-of-a-kind because it gathers activists, hackers, musicians, DJs and artists through a whole new platform,” said Share organisation member Andrija Kovač, adding that while the days are reserved for societal advancements, the night programme of the conference gives attendees a chance to relax and enjoy themselves. “With our night programme, which we are very proud of, we want to introduce people to some of the latest trends on the electronic music scene through a very careful selection of musicians from literally all parts of the globe,” he added. This seems to be Share’s statement of purpose in a nutshell – the conference does not book its guests and artists based on popularity or status. It instead strives to handpick people who are relevant, cutting-edge and above all, exciting and new. This way of thinking is adhered to when selecting speaking guests and lecturers as much as it is the goal when choosing which musicians will grace the conference’s night programme. Since the Yugoslav wars and the isolation that followed, Belgrade and Serbia generally seems to have been branded as a place to which new ideas and innovations arrive late – a place that always seems to be five or ten years behind. Share looks to shatter this image and in one year has already made some significant steps in doing so, becoming a type of event that, at least as far as the Balkans are
Belgrade Calling brings big names to capital
Belgrade will host a three-day summer festival that promises to be one of the region’s biggest. Scheduled for June 27th to 29th, the first day will feature English pop star Jessie J., electronic music legends Orbital and hip-hop pioneers Public Enemy. The second day will include the Ozzy & Friends concert, while the third day will be headlined by American alternative rock greats Faith No More.
concerned, came to Belgrade first and then was mimicked by other regional cities. “We are very happy that over the last year, since our first Share, there have been several similar conferences with a great energy and vibe popping up, like Engage in Skopje and Point in Sarajevo, among others,” Kovač said, adding that even though these conferences were clearly inspired by Share, they all manage to maintain an authentic spirit and focus on topics that need to be discussed in this region. As far as this year’s Share is concerned, there was certainly no lack of inspiration for the programme, considering what a turbulent year it has been for activists around the world who are dealing with issues like the ACTA, SOPA and PIPA bills that have brought the topics of free speech, censorship and the possible imposition of limits and rules governing the free exchange of information into the international spotlight. “It was very important for us to make sure that the programme for this year is completely up-to-date and that it shows a real image of the world around us,” Kovač said. “One of the main topics this year will be decentralisation in the most general sense of the word. It is our mission to let people know that information must be free and that there should be no filters between them and this information,” he added. Kovač said that Serbia is the perfect place for an event like Share, considering that it is a country constantly in a state of transition. He said that even with hundreds of foreigners planning to attend the festival this year, it is important for Share to focus more on interacting with the domestic public and dealing with Serbia’s population directly. “That is an obligation that we feel these types of events need to have towards the domestic scene,” Kovač said. In the end, Kovač said, Share’s goal is to inspire communication and initiative that will not only last during the three days of the conference, but all year round, working with online radio stations and magazines, but also through various seminars, workshops and initiatives for all 365 days of the year. “That’s the only way in which change will truly occur,” Kovač concluded.
Marilyn Manson to headline IQ Fest
Yet another summer festival has been scheduled to take place in Belgrade this year. The one-day IQ Festival, which is to be headlined by American shock rocker Marilyn Manson and will feature Slovenian industrial kings Laibach and Macedonian ethno-goth rock cult act Mizar, will take place in the indoor Belgrade Arena on June 9th.
Provided European countries agree, a new basketball competition known as the League of Nations is due to start in July 2013.
Spain’s Pao Gasol could be performing in Belgrade if league goes ahead.
Aubrey De Grey
Photo by Ben Margot/AP
erbia and seven other top basketball national teams in Europe are negotiating on the creation of a new competition entitled the League of Nations. In addition to Serbia, the basketball federations of France, Italy, Russia and Germany have already agreed on the idea, while Spain, Lithuania and Greece are yet to give the green light. The idea is for the league to bring together the best European national basketball teams to compete every summer over several weeks prior to major European and world compe-
Villarreal and Seville hunting Krasić signature
Serbia ends ice hockey championships on high
S George Hotz
Mikser Festival announces programme
Continuing its tradition of allowing free entrance and striving to investigate various phenomena in modern society, the Mikser Festival has announced that controversial conceptualist and designer Arne Quinze will be one of the main presenters of this year’s festival. A detailed list of festival dates and attractions can be found via the official site http://blog.mikser.rs/.
More names announced for Exit 2012
As the summer approaches, so the Exit Festival continues to announce performers confirmed for this year. Seminal English punk band Toy Dolls have joined this year’s ranks, along with thrash/punk gods D.R.I. and Welsh band Skindred, who play an energetic crossover of metal, dub, reggae, dancehall and drum ‘n’ bass.
Above: Share Conference 2012 participants
Documentary film festival announces dates
Organisers of BELDOCS, Belgrade’s best international documentary film festival, have announced this year’s dates as May 4th to 9th and confirmed that the festival will be opened up by two domestic documentaries: Biba Struja by Dušan Čavić and Dušan Šaponja of TV B92’s Ciklotron fame and Vladimir Milovanović’s Lice Revolucije.
erbia managed to avoid bowing out of the IIHF World Championships in Reykjavik without a win this month after beating New Zealand convincingly in their last match in the Division II, Group A tournament on April 18th. The win ensures Serbia remains in World Group A, while New Zealand is relegated to Group B. Serbia barely survives in the group after succumbing in four consecutive games against fellow Division II, Group A rivals Estonia (5-2), Iceland (5-3), Spain (4-2) and Croatia (6.3). However, the convincing 17-0 lastday victory against the luckless New Zealanders - the biggest margin of victory in the tournament - leaves room for optimism.
panish media have report that Juventus’s Serbian star Miloš Krasić could be continuing his career in southern Spain at Seville or Villarreal next season. Having expressed his dissatisfaction with a lack of game time in Italy’s Serie A, Krasić announced his departure from Turin at the end of the 2012 season. Seville expressed an interest in the Serbia winger last year, but now Valencia-based
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titions. The first such competition should be held in July 2013, just prior to the start of that year’s EuroBasket in Slovenia. The teams in the League would play 14 rounds, with every team playing the others in a round-robin format. The top three would then receive cash prizes and trophies. If all eight national basketball associations agree on the idea, Belgrade will have the opportunity to host some of the world’s top basketball players, such as Germany’s Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol from Spain and Russia’s Andrei Kirilenko.
Transfer target: Juventus’s Serb winger Miloš Krasić.
giants Villarreal are also seeking Krasić’s signature. Krasić has attracted interest from across Europe, with clubs from the English Premier League and the top flights of Germany, Russia and Turkey all keen to sign up the 27-year-old Kosovo-born international. Krasić, who has only played seven competitive games this season, joined Juventus from CSKA Moscow in the summer of 2010.
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