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Issue No. 122 Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012


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A fourteen-month hold-up in setting prices has inflicted big losses on pharmaceutical companies and the budget alike prompting claims that it may have been deliberate.

Who is to blame? Former ministers Dušan Petrović (trade) and Zoran Stanković (health). 

able to Serbian patients from June 2011 to August 2012. About 200 to 300 of these new medicines are replacements for some other drugs and many are cheaper than any substitutes that can be found on the market. The state-funded Institute for Health Insurance pays the full price

for many drugs used in Serbia, while some are partially financed by the state and partly by patients themselves. The cost incurred by waiting for cheaper drugs to enter the market, replacing more expensive ones that the Institute is already paying for, has yet to be established.

Photos by Beta and Media Centre Belgrade

The Institute is the biggest buyer in the country, so companies with medicines on the authorised list of drugs that it pays for are in a privileged position. The new Socialist Minister of Health, Slavica Đukić Dejanović, finally set

Continued on page 3

Dodgy dealers in Romania can conjure up genuine nationality documents for fake applicants, investigation reveals.


talin would not have been amused. A man named Vladimir, apparently the Soviet dictator’s greatgrandson, stands at the threshold of acquiring a Romanian passport and, with it, the right to work within the EU.


771820 833000

German deal boosts Serbia’s energy prospects


How to buy EU citizenship Adrian MOGOS, Vitalie CALUGAREANU



Partnership deal with RWE should bring in muchneeded investment – but Serbia may still have to import power this winter.

Gordana ANDRIĆ


ISSN 1820-8339

Belgrade Insight is published by

Drug price delays cost Serbia millions

harmaceutical companies and the Serbian government have lost millions of euros after the former government delayed setting drugs prices for 14 months from June 2011 to August this year. Former health and trade ministers failed to adopt decisions that would have made more than 530 drugs avail-


+381 11 334 60 35

When he crosses that threshold, Vladimir will reverse one of Stalin’s less positive achievements. His grandparents were citizens of Romania back in the first half of the 20th century, long before the country joined the European Union. They lost their nationality at the end of World War II, when Romania ceded the territory of Moldova to Stalin’s Soviet Union.

+381 11 3346035

Today Vladimir is entitled by law to acquire the citizenship that was taken from his grandparents, one of whom shares a name and a birthday with Svetlana Alliluyeva, the Soviet leader’s daughter. He is among hundreds of thousands of Moldovans with Romanian ancestry who regard the border between the two countries as nothing but a bureaucratic invention.

But Vladimir is keeping a secret from the bureaucrats who are about to let him into the EU – his ancestry is also invented. According to certificates acquired from the Moldovan state archive, his illustrious grandmother was married to one Ostap Bender, who shares a name with the con-man antihero of the Soviet novel, The Golden Calf. Continued on pages 6 - 7


he recent announcement of a strategic partnership between Elektroprivreda Srbije, EPS, Serbia’s stateowned energy utility, and Germany’s RWE has boosted Belgrade’s hopes of securing long-awaited investment in the power sector. Aleksandar Obradović, acting director of EPS, and Peter Terium, chair of RWE, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on energy sector projects in Serbia on September 10th in the presence of Aleksandar Vučić, Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister, and Philipp Rosler, Germany’s Economy Minister. Before heading to Germany, Vučić claimed that cooperation with RWE would secure investments worth €2.2 billion in the Serbian power sector. Of that figure, €1.2 billion would go on building TENT B3, a third block of the “Nikola Tesla B” power plant, while another €1 billion would go on development of hydropower plants. The Memorandum identified the modernisation, extension and operation of hydropower plants and the expansion of an existing lignite-fired power plant as the first joint projects. The partnership is to include a previously agreed joint venture of EPS and RWE for the development of five hydropower plants on the River Morava worth €352 million.

Continued on pages 8

Issue No. 1 / Friday, June 13, 2008

Page 10

Kasina: Forgotten beer hall finds its true vocation

Friday • June 13 • 2008

Saddling up banishes Belgrade’s autumn blues


October Salon to focus on art’s ‘raw energy’


Belgrade Insight, Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012

Belgrade Insight, Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012



Drug price delays cost Serbia millions Continued from page 1

prices for the 530 or so medicines on August 17th, only weeks after the new government was formed on July 27th. The fact that earlier ministers delayed setting the price has prompted complaints from drugs companies, some of whom claim that the delay must have been deliberate. “Special interests lay behind this delay,” asserted Miomir Nikolić, from the Chamber of Commerce’s Association of Drugstores. He suggested that some companies whose drugs stood to be replaced by newer, cheaper ones wanted this delay.

Keeping drugs off the market By law, all medicines on the market require ministerial approval. The government must then set a maximum price, acting on the recommendation of the Health and Trade ministries. The price set is normally the mean price of the same medicine in three reference countries, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia. Although the law does not set a deadline for the ministries to prepare proposals, nor for the government to adopt a decision, until June 2011 the prices were set three or four times a year, in most cases every three months. This made new, cheaper drugs available to doctors and patients with minimum delay. Among the drugs on the waiting list was Ibuprofen Syrup, which is commonly used to treat fevers and high temperatures among children. Although the medicine wasn’t new on the market, the fact that the producer had changed put this medicine into the category of “new medicines” that had to wait for the government to set its price. The medicine is now being delivered to pharmacies, although many still don’t have them.

Both domestic and foreign pharmaceutical companies earlier urged the trade and health ministries to deliver decisions on prices. “We sent six letters to both ministries from January [2012]. In June we wrote to then prime minister Mirko Cvetković and he replied that our requests had been forwarded to the Ministries of Health and Trade,” says Bojan Trkulja, director of the association of foreign pharmaceutical companies, Inovia. “Once again, the ministries didn’t answer,” he added. The Chamber of Commerce’s Association of Drugstores also urged the ministries to deliver a decision. “They completely ignored us,” Nikolić recalled. “The interests of particular groups must be behind this. I cannot guess whose or why, but the fact that new government set the prices only days after being appointed shows that setting the price for a medicine is a simple task,” he added. The representative of one pharmaceutical company, who preferred to remain nameless, also stated that he believed the ministries failed to set the prices of medicine because they were protecting certain companies’ interests. “There is a reason why they didn’t set the prices for so long, thus keeping some medicines off the market,” the source said. Zoran Stanković, former minister of health, told BIRN that his ministry was not responsible for the delays. “We did everything we were supposed to do by September 2011, when it was time to set the prices,” he said. “The question why the prices weren’t set by then is a question to be put to Dušan Petrović [former trade minister],” Stanković added. Petrović failed to answers BIRN’s questions regarding this issue.

Current Serbian Health Minister, Slavica Đukić Dejanović, quickly set drug prices. 

Foreign companies mull quitting Bojan Trkulja of Inovia, an association of foreign pharmaceutical companies that includes Astra Zeneca UK Ltd., Bayer d.o.o. – Bayer HealthCare and GlaxoSmithKline Export Ltd., said it was hard to calculate how much money companies had lost in the delay. “We will never know how much we could have earned had our products been on the market a year longer,” he said. “What I can say is that now we are losing about 15 per cent on each medicine that we sell, because the state didn’t calculate the price according to the real, current exchange rate,” Trkulja added. He was referring to the fact that the prices were calculated according to the exchange rate set along with last decision on medical prices in June 2011. The government is also obliged to adopt a regulation that prescribes the exchange rate used for calculating drug prices. The last such regulation was issued in June 2011 and, at the time, €1 was worth 99 dinars. But the current exchange rate is very different, at about 115 dinars per €1. The August 2012 decision on prices was also based on that regulation, although the exchange rate has significantly changed in the meantime.

This means that while companies buy supplies using the current rate, they are forced to sell them using the year-old rate. The association of domestic pharmaceutical companies told daily Blic that the whole industry had probably lost about €15 million due to mismatches over the exchange rate and the fact that their products were kept off the market.

“The interests of particular groups must be behind this. I cannot guess whose or why.” Miomir Nikolić, of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce’s Association of Drugstores “Additionally, we’d agreed to give a discount of 10 per cent to the Serbian Institute for Health Insurance, because we are aware that they have a low budget, which means we are [already] selling our drugs at per 25 per cent below their real price,” Trkulja continued. Trkulja says that some foreign drugs companies are now considering quit-

Photo by Media Centre Belgrade

ting Serbia because of the losses they have incurred. “We’ll see what happened by the end of the year - I hope that no one will withdraw because that would mean they will close their offices here, people will lose jobs and it would send a bad signal to other investors in other industries,” he said. “Serbia will also lose money, because the state would still need those medicines, but would have to buy them through intermediaries, which will be more expensive,” he added. He noted that pharmaceutical companies have withdrawn from neighbouring countries after encountering similar problems, such as already happened in Greece. The Institute for Health Insurance is now paying suppliers with 220 days delay. Thus, the institute is currently paying for obligations made in the fourth quarter of 2011. Health Minister Đukić Dejanović said she has sent an initiative to the government to adjust the exchange rate for calculation of medicines’ prices with current, real exchange rate. “I expect that the exchange rate [which the government will adopt] that will be applied will be an incentive for producers and traders. “We will eliminate all formal obstacles, because it is our common interest that we don’t have concerns regarding drug supply,” she told daily Večernje Novosti.


Belgrade Insight, Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012

Belgrade Insight, Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012


Belgraders dub new bins a wasted opportunity

Pride parade to go Budget flights from to Milan lift off ahead despite threats Belgrade Italian low cost carrier, Air One, offers budget Organisers of Serbia’s annually embattled Gay Pride say that everything is set for the start of the event, despite the usual threats of violence.

flights between Belgrade and Milan three times a week.

Danijela Pejatović When? Sunday, 14th October, 2012 Where? Formal conference hall of the Rectorate of Belgrade University (Studentski Trg 1) What?  Online education, online business, online marketing innovations t is well known that Serbia has been burdened by a drastic brain drain and lack of experts for over 20 years, while the level of unemployment is continuously reaching new peaks. This is especially symptomatic within the category of young people seeking their first job opportunities on the labour market. The conference “Serbia online 2012” aims to promote innovative business and education practices in Serbia; to offer students and young professionals alternative solutions to the problems they face, the common thread of all these solutions being – the internet. Instead of being a tool exclusively used for entertainment and free time, we will present the internet in a new light – as an accessible resource, crucial for attaining relevant and competitive skills, entrepreneurship, promoting your business and as a field of infinite commercial opportunities. NGO and portal, in cooperation with the Economic Press Association of Serbia, are organising “Serbia online 2012”, a conference dedicated to online education, online business and online marketing. The one-day conference will be held on Sunday 14th October 2012 in the formal conference hall of the Rectorate of Belgrade University. The conference is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Information and Information Society (Digital Agenda). Friends of the conference include: the Office for the Diaspora of the Republic of Serbia, SBB company, the Rectorate of Belgrade University, Najstudent. com, Oxford South East Europe Society, BIRN, Balkan Job Finder,, WANNABE magazine,, NGO Srbija u pokretu, Uniset, Heysuccess. com, Studentski vodič, Repats Srbija, Youth Office Palilula.




Lecturers: dr Piero Torola – Oxford University – Online education in the form of activism and entrepreneurship Predrag Sojičić M.D  - Harvard Kennedy School of Government – Online social mobilisation Istok Pavlović – Most influential Serbian blogger 2011 – Online marketing Vladimir Prelovac – Founder of Prelovac Media and Manage WordPress – Making an idea reality Sonja Ilić – Belgrade young entrepreneur of the year – Entrepreneurship and new technologies Stefan Salom  – R&D Manager, Infostud – example of good practice Gordana Igrić  – Regional Director, BIRN Balkan Investigative Reporting Network – example of good practices Andrea Sušić  – PR Manager, eKapija. com – example of good practices Nina Fićović – Co-founder, WANNABE magazine – example of good practices Further details about the conference and lecturers can be found on iSerbia, Antifašističke borbe 23d, Belgrade 011 2692 746;

Impractical and expensive - Belgrade’s new street bins. 

Capital’s inhabitants give only a partial thumbs-up to new underground waste containers, which many see as a good idea that’s been badly executed. Aleksandar ĐORĐEVIĆ


woman carrying a baag of rubbish approaches one of Belgrade’s newest additions – an underground bin. Unable to squeeze her family’s waste through what seems like too small a hole - and ignoring the sticker on the side of container that reads, “Dumping trash next to the container is prohibited,” - she leaves her bag beside the new container. “You can only dump small bags here, as nothing bigger can go through the hole,” she complains. “I can’t say that this was a clever invention.” She is not the only one to complain about the city’s latest innovation in the field of waste disposal. Many people believe that although underground waste containers in theory are cleaner and more practical than the old, above-ground bins, the newcomers clearly have their shortcomings.

In response to such complaints, Gradska čistoća, the city’s public utility company, told BIRN that the underground containers were installed with a view to improving the city’s overall hygiene. The containers were chosen on the basis of the experience of other European cities, where they had turned out to be “the best solution to improve hygiene and to collect waste,” the company said. The city decided to install underground garbage bins back in 2009. Since then, about 2,000 have been put in place around town. Belgrade plans to install another 4,000 by the end of 2013. The first tranche of 2,000 cost about €7 million. Gradska čistoća caused some controversy over the consortium of two companies that it hired for the job. Blok, a Belgrade-based company, had no previous experience in this field. Blagojevica, a firm from Mladenovac, did have some experience. But

T Hidden Belgrade

Photo by Aleksandar Đorđević

its founder, Živko Radojičić, was the owner of several previously bankrupted companies. Most people in Belgrade appreciate the fact that the new containers save space and are less malodorous. At the same time, many say the containers should have been designed more carefully. “This was good idea, but it’s been poorly implemented. You cannot dump anything larger than a small bag and the bags often get stuck in the hole,” Marko, a bartender, says. Some say the new containers don’t meet the hygienic bar, either. “They’re better than the old containers, but they should have chosen containers that can be opened by foot, as the shutters are often dirty and it’s greasy to touch them with your bare hand,” Andrea, a pensioner, complains. The new underground waste containers also do not contain any potential for recycling, as they are not designed for the separation of the contents into recyclable components. Katarina Pavlović, from Serbian Green Youth, an NGO, says that although the new containers do have advantages compared to the old, above-ground containers, they don’t resolve the root problems involved in waste collection. “We still have an issue with waste management,” she says.

he depot of the Nikola Tesla Museum contains a lot of information regarding the life of this great scientist that has never been seen by the public, due to a lack of exhibition space. His library mainly consists of books in English, but also newspaper clippings. Tesla’s personal archive contains 160,000 documents and should soon be available to the public in digital form through the museum’s library. His collection of custom made suits reveals that he was a follower of fashion. Tesla loved to wear gloves, but rarely white ones. His shoes, also custom made, were black, brown and green.

“If there is no system to allow the separation of waste and recycling, if non-recyclable and recyclable waste ends up in the same container, there are no systematic differences between the underground and above-ground containers,” she maintains. “Thus, despite all the new investment, recycling has remained an unresolved issue,” Pavlović continues. Another problem with the 7-million-euro-worth investment is that the containers are permeable, although they supposed to be waterproof. “In some locations, the water leaks in when it’s raining,” one Gradska čistoća staffer admitted. He added that, when it rains, the Gradska čistoća teams that empty the containers need assistance from another team, which pumps water from the containers into a tank. “In these situations, it takes much more time to empty the container,” the same worker added. City cleaners say it is yet to be seen how the containers will withstand prolonged wet weather, as most of them were only put in place in the spring and summer, when it was dry. Gradska čistoća declined to answer any further questions from BIRN regarding this and other quality-control issues, as did representatives of the consortium hired to produce and deliver containers.

osters containing the threatening inscription “See you in October” and depicting thugs beating up a guy with a crossedout LGBT flag have appeared in Belgrade, while graffiti reading “Stop Gay Pride” has also appeared in downtown Belgrade. The ominous, anonymous warnings come less than two weeks ahead of this year’s parade, which will be held as part of a week’s celebrations taking place under the slogan “Love, Faith, Hope” from September 30th to October 7th. Last year’s parade in Serbia was scrapped at the last moment on security grounds. The 2010 Pride took place, but at a high cost. Several thousand youths, including football fans and members of ultrarightist organisations, attacked police officers who had been deployed to protect the marchers. Organisers of this year’s event, however, say that everything is ready for the march on October 6th - and if it is also banned other events will go ahead instead.

“Belgrade Pride is ready and as far as we’re concerned we could start tomorrow,” says Goran Miletić, a member of the organising committee. Miletić said that almost all the expected guests from abroad had confirmed their participation. Meanwhile, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić will receive the Swedish Minister for the EU, the European Parliament’s Rapporteur for the Balkans and a group of European parliamentarians just a day before the planned parade. While European officials signal their public commitment to the event, Serbian officials are reluctant to send any similar signs of support. Prime Minister Ivica Dačić maintained on September 15th that the Pride parade was an issue of security rather than a question of human rights. Dačić also noted that some EU states also do not have gay parades, without the issue affecting their membership of the bloc. Miletić reacted to Dačić’s statement by describing the planned march as a human right, as guaranteed by the constitution, “and one of those rights is freedom of assembly”.

Belgrade in brief



Conference: Serbia online 2012 (Srbija na vezi)


BusPlus starts charging for SMS service


ollowing a six-month trial period, company BusPlus started charging for its SMS service as of September 16th. The text message service, which provides passengers with information on the arrival of public transport vehicles, costs 2.5 dinars [without VAT] for users of Telekom and VIP mobile networks and 3 dinars [without VAT] for users of the Telenor network. Wouldbe passengers can get information on how far away their bus, tram or trolley is by sending a text message to *011*STATIONCODE# (every station is marked with its own code).

Belgrade increase public transport and heating prices


Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport could still become a regional hub.


he first plane took off from Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla airport and headed to Milan on September 18th. Air One will fly three times a week to Milan, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The flights will fly from Belgrade at 7am and arrive in Milan at 8.50am. The flight back to Belgrade will depart at 9.30am and land in the Serbian capital at 11.30am. Air One’s one way ticket Belgrade – Milan costs €35 with all taxes. Before the arrival of these low-cost flights, the cheapest one way ticket on this route cost about €100.

 Photo by Billadler/Flickr

According to Velimir Radosavljević, director of Belgrade airport, the number of passengers that flew to Italian cities has increased by 25 per cent in the first eight months of 2012, in comparison to the same period last year. “Belgrade airport has the largest increase in passengers with Italy,” said Radosavljević adding that the increase in people flying from and to Italy came after the Italian company, Fiat, started operating in Serbia. Air One uses Airbus A320 planes. In 2012, Air One carried about 1.4 million passengers between Milan, Pisa, Venice and other of their 24 destinations around the world.

he prices of public transport tickets and heating will be increased by 15 to 20 per cent in October, due to an increase in energy prices. The price of public transport will most probably be increased by 15 per cent, meaning the price of a ticket for a single ride will increase from 60 dinars [€0.5] to 70 dinars [€0.6]. It is not yet decided whether the price of heating will be 15 or 20 per cent higher. However, the price will not remain under 100 dinars [€0.85] per square metre.

Cheaper car registration procedure


ar owners in Serbia will pay between 2,000 and 4,000 dinars [€17 - €34] less to register their vehicles as of October 1st. The lower prices come after the government decided to abolish several republic taxes, while local governments also lowered the fees they were charging. Finance and Economy Minister Mlađan Dinkić has also announced that the car registration process will be simplified.


THE OPENING OF METROPOL PALACE The remodeled Metropol Palace Hotel is identical to the old Metropol from the outside, but inside it is completely transformed. The ambiance exudes a new sophisticated and refined line. In the luxurious interior, besides the modern elements, respect for the traditional and artistic values from the hotel’s past is visible.

“Today we opened the guest-room floors, the lobby, lobby bar, restaurant and conference halls. I am certain that this iconic hotel will, once again, be a place where Belgrade citizens, but also people from all over the world, meet, relax and enjoy everything that Metropol Palace has to offer.“ stated, on September 10th , when the hotel started operation, Gerasimos Perdikaris, the General Manager of the hotel. “The combination of modern architectural design and respect of the traditional architectural and artistic normative of the old Metropol is what makes this hotel unique in this, as well as the international market.” The splendid interior of the hotel, besides complete functionality displays luxury and elegance. The hotel has the largest conference space in the city, spanning over 2.500 square meters, with conference halls

of all sizes, adaptable for any event or occasion. The hotel interior connects the exceptional, unique history of the hotel with modern artistic and most advanced technological details, creating a stunning interior, that is at the same time peaceful and exciting. Numerous heads of states, politicians, world famous actors and actresses and musician have been guests of the Metropol. Some of the famous guest that have contributed to creating the spirit of this hotel in the past were Sofia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Lui Armstrong, Kirk Douglas, Robert De Niro, but also so many others. We would like to welcome everyone to take a stroll, look around and have a coffee or a meal in the lobby or restaurant, with a splendid view over Tasmajdan Park, in an oasis of peace in the city centre.


Belgrade Insight, Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012

Belgrade Insight, Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012


he Catholic Archdiocese of Shkodra said on September 18th that it will excommunicate anyone involved in traditional blood feuds, as concern grows about the revival of so-called honour killings. In a statement reflecting growing concern over the level of so-called blood feuds in Albania, the Catholic Church in Shkodra announced that “the diocese has issued a decree of excommunication for all who kill or engage in blood feuds.” Vendettas based on the medieval code were outlawed in Albania for nearly half-a-century, but traditional ways of resolving conflicts resurfaced after the collapse of the communist system.

How to buy Continued from page 1

EU citizenship

Turkish TV inspires Croats to rebuild old bridge


he popularity of Turkish soap opera “Suleiman the Magnificent” in Croatia has led to the Society of Turkish-Croatian Friends in the eastern Croatian city of Osijek promoting the idea of rebuilding a wooden Ottoman-era bridge that once spanned the River Drava. The local tourist board backs the idea and says that it has already applied to the EU for funding. The Turkish ambassador to Croatia, Burak Ozugergin, has also promised to help out.

Forged documents

Pamela Anderson joins Bulgarian Big Brother


aywatch star Pamela Anderson is entering VIP Brother, Bulgaria’s version of the Celebrity Big Brother reality show. Anderson will be part of the reality show for less than a week, however. She is occupying a separate house and will be handing out some of the missions. The star’s only complaint so far is about a luggage drama that she experienced. “Lost our bags in Bulgaria - again-no clothes - oh well,” she wrote on Twitter late on September 17th.

Macedonia tightens rules on foreign media


acedonia is pushing ahead with a controversial law that puts the Foreign Ministry directly in charge of accrediting foreign journalists. Parliamentary debate on a draft law on Foreign Press Materials is expected to start in the last week of September. According to the draft law, foreign media will only be able to work in Macedonia on the basis of written permits granted by the country’s foreign ministry. These permits will also have to be renewed annually. Foreign correspondents caught interviewing or filming in Macedonia without permits, or with permits that have expired, will face fines ranging from €500 to €1,000.

Montenegro election campaign gathers pace


ost major Montenegrin parties had completed their lists of parliamentary candidates on September 17th, marking the moment when the campaign for the October 14th vote kicked off. The long-time ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, placed party leader Milo Đukanović at the head of its list. DPS is running in the election alongside two allies: the Social Democrat Party, SDP, and the small Liberal Party, LP. Meanwhile, the Socialist People’s Party, SNP, the biggest opposition party, completed and submitted its list a day early, on September 16th.

Romanian touts expedite citizenship applications for the right price. 

The papers from the archive reveal a past rich in historical coincidence. Ostap’s Moldovan birth certificate says he was born on June 28th 1914 – the day of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and the start of the First World War. The marriage certificate, meanwhile, shows that Ostap and Svetlana tied the knot on September 2nd 1945: the day Japan surrendered to the U.S. It is highly unlikely that a woman named after Stalin’s daughter took a husband named after a fictitious Soviet trickster on the day the Second World War ended. Today, however, it is entirely possible for a man claiming to be their descendant to buy the right to work in the EU. All he needs are patience, cash and the right connections among the citizenship brokers and bureaucrats of Bucharest and Chisinau.

Passport to the EU The territory of Moldova was part of Romania between 1918 and 1940, and again between 1941 and 1944. Formerly known as Bessarabia, it was annexed by the Soviet Union during the Second World War and became an independent republic in 1991. In the same year, Bucharest adopted a law granting foreign nationals of Romanian descent the right to become citizens of the country. Since then Romania has processed an estimated 225,000 citizenship applications from Moldovans, according to a study published in April 2012 by the Soros Foundation in Romania. The study was compiled from data provided by Romanian institutions, much of which is incomplete or in dispute. In the absence of exact numbers, the Soros report argues that the figure of 225,000 serves as the “most relevant approximation” of the number of peo-

ple who have been granted Romanian citizenship in the last 20 years. The Soros study shows that the annual number of citizenship applications from Moldova has been rising steadily. The rise has coincided with changes in Romanian legislation and the country’s entry into the EU in 2007. Moldova is the poorest country on the bloc’s borders and a large proportion of its youth already work in wealthier economies abroad.

“Give me a Russian from Siberia and I will make him a Romanian citizen.” A Moldovan citizenship broker

The study also shows that Romania has begun processing citizenship applications faster since 2007. Of all applications processed by Bucharest since 2002, more than half – around 116,000 – have been handled in the last four years. Again, the study does not provide a breakdown of how many of these applications were successful. Many Moldovans regard the Romanian passport as the key to the EU, according to Marian Gherman, a Bucharest prosecutor whose office has investigated a network of touts and bureaucrats who were expediting citizenship applications for money. “Everybody knows it,” he said. “They ask for Romanian citizenship

only because it gives them the freedom to travel and work within the EU.” An official from the National Citizenship Authority, NCA, in Bucharest, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Moldovans had shown little interest in acquiring Romanian nationality until 2007.

‘Backdoor’ fears Moldovans may have several good reasons to seek Romanian nationality – especially where they are legitimately entitled to it. Romanian President Traian Basescu said in 2009 that up to a million Moldovans – representing more than a quarter of the population – wanted to acquire his country’s citizenship. He has repeatedly promised to help applicants by cutting red-tape. However, this investigation, sponsored by the European Fund for Investigative Journalism, reveals that many Moldovans still prefer to acquire Romanian citizenship through unofficial channels. They frequently pay hundreds of euros to brokers in the hope of expediting their applications. The EU does not interfere on citizenship, describing it as a sovereign matter for member states. However, Romania’s policy has long prompted accusations from the media and some politicians that it is operating a “backdoor” into the EU, allowing impoverished Moldovans unlawful access to the bloc. The April 2012 report of the Soros Foundation in Romania argued that many of these fears were unfounded. The authors of the report said Romania’s naturalisation programme – although disorderly – had created proportionately fewer citizens than similar efforts in countries such as the UK or France. The study also attribut-

ed the steep rise in citizenship awards after 2007, the year Romania joined the EU, to the simplification of the process for awarding passports.

‘Genuine documents’ Our investigation does not confirm that Romania is operating a “backdoor” for unchecked and unlawful migration, as some within the EU fear. Indeed, many Moldovans may use brokers because they are frustrated with the slow pace at which Romania processes citizenship applications. According to Gherman, the Bucharest prosecutor, the grey market is attractive even to legitimate applicants because it operates faster than the official process, which can take up to six years to award nationality. Some Moldovans may also turn to intermediaries because they are already working illegally in western Europe and cannot leave to apply for citizenship in person. “They can’t come to Romania… because they cannot go back to their jobs,” Gherman said. However, our investigation does reveal the existence of a thriving grey market for Romanian nationality, intersecting official and unofficial channels. Above all, this calls into question assurances by Romanian officials that all citizenship applications are checked thoroughly to weed out fraud. By working with a man posing as a citizenship hopeful, “Vladimir”, we showed that the procedure for acquiring a Romanian passport cannot distinguish genuine applicants from those whose grandparents are plucked from Soviet history and literature. After acquiring birth and marriage certificates for Ostap Bender and Svetlana Alliluyeva, we used the same intermediary to get hold of police records from the Moldovan and Ro-

manian authorities, confirming that Vladimir did not have any criminal convictions. Along with the certificates from the Moldovan archive, these documents were presented at the citizenship bureau in Bucharest, where an official confirmed that they appeared genuine. According to the official, Vladimir could apply to take the oath of citizenship once he had completed a few more formalities – namely, submitting his identity card, an application form, and a statement from a notary.

“They [Moldovans] ask for Romanian citizenship only because it gives them the freedom to travel and work within the EU.” Marian Gherman, a Bucharest prosecutor

The official’s confidence was not misplaced. Vladimir’s documents have the seals and signatures of all the appropriate institutions and officials in Moldova and Romania. But while the papers may be legitimate, the means with which they were procured were not.

Fresh from the archive We joined Vladimir as he set off on his quest for EU citizenship in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. The touts were easy to spot, having practically set up stall outside government ministries and the Romanian consulate. They wore pouches around the waist and carried business cards in their hands. At the gates of official buildings they huddled together, drinking coffee or speaking intently into mobile phones. A tout calling himself Emil told us he was not doing anything illegal – merely using his influence. “I have a lawyer in Bucharest who can speed

things up,” he said. He handed out a business card, advertising a website which promised Romanian citizenship for anyone, anywhere. After several false starts, we struck gold with a middle-aged man who gave his name as Ion. He promised to procure the necessary documents for €70 each. By the end of February 2012 he had provided birth and marriage certificates for Ostap and Svetlana. The documents were freshly issued by the Moldovan state archive and confirmed that Vladimir’s “ancestors” had once been citizens of Romania. Shortly afterwards, Ion also provided statements from the police in Romania and Moldova showing that Vladimir did not have any criminal convictions. As confirmed by the official in Bucharest, Vladimir was now on the brink of taking the oath of citizenship. In the interests of timeliness, we decided to end our pursuit of Romanian nationality at this point. Had Vladimir gone on to receive citizenship, he would then be in a position to apply for an identity card, which is regarded as the ultimate objective of the citizenship process. New citizens from Moldova prefer the identity card to the passport because it attracts less scrutiny at EU borders, while offering the same privileges. Recent recipients of Romanian citizenship are still regarded with suspicion at some borders. The identity card, unlike the passport, does not reveal how long its holder has held the nationality.

Migrants go legal Romania carried out its most highprofile crackdown on the citizenship racket in March 2012. Dozens of people were arrested and thousands of euros were recovered in a series of raids. NCA employees, as well as brokers holding Moldovan and Romanian nationality, are among those now awaiting trial. According to Gherman, they formed part of a network that was responsible for handling around 1,000 citizenship applications. Court documents said U.S. investigators had helped trace the group’s financial transactions. Moldovan prosecutors and anticorruption officials also say they have been making arrests through-

out 2012. Of the nine people questioned over citizenship rackets since January, some have reportedly been state officials or lawyers. Only two of the nine cases have proceeded to trial so far. There have been no convictions. Our investigation shows that the grey market has continued to thrive, despite arrests on both sides of the border. The birth and marriage certificates for Ostap and Svetlana were procured just weeks after the March crackdown. Meanwhile in Chisinau, several Moldovans said they had used their new nationality to take jobs in the EU. All said they had migrated in order to support families struggling in dire poverty. Alexandru Covas, a garage employee, said he used to work illegally in Italy and would dread being stopped by Italian police – until he received his Romanian citizenship. “The passport is a salvation but I can’t stand the Romanians,” he said. “They are selfish, treacherous people.” Liuba Carpineanu, a Moldovan who has worked in Italy as a carer for the elderly, said her Romanian passport spared her from using people traffickers. “The first time I left Moldova, we had to pay €4,000 to a guide who

“The passport is a salvation but I can’t stand the Romanians. They are selfish, treacherous people.” Alexandru Covas, a garage employee

took us through swamps and forests,” she said. “I don’t want to remember what we went through.”

Disputed figures While the advantages of acquiring Romanian citizenship are obvious, the number of beneficiaries remains in dispute. Efforts to draw conclusions about the process are hampered by a lack of clear data, and by dramatic discrepancies in the figures provided by various institutions. For instance, the NCA told us it had approved around 15,000 applications in the period 2007-11. It said it


General partner:

had rejected around 1,000 applications in the same period. Taken together, this would mean the NCA had processed around 16,000 applications in that time. However, this contradicts official figures quoted by the Soros Foundation’s April 2012 study, which say that the NCA had processed 116,000 applications between 2007 and August 2011. The NCA did not comment on the discrepancy, only saying that its figures were correct. The Soros Foundation is also standing by the figures. The study containing them was released in the presence of NCA representatives. The NCA insists it carries out thorough checks on all citizenship applications. “If there are any suspicions over a document [such as a birth or marriage certificate], there are supplementary verifications,” NCA spokeswoman Gabriela Neagu said. A Moldovan citizenship broker offered an alternative guarantee. “Give me a Russian from Siberia,” he boasted, “and I will make him a Romanian citizen.” Additional reporting by Vitalie Selaru in Chisinau and Lina Vdovii in Bucharest. Editing by Neil Arun for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. This article was produced with support from the European Fund for Investigative Journalism []. Disclosure: Open Society contributes to the European Fund for Investigative Journalism. Funds affiliated to the European Union and to Open Society also contribute to the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network’s programmes.





regional Region in brief

Albanians in blood feuds face excommunication


HR Arena 2012

The Regional Conference on Human Resources Management

Belgrade, 2nd-3rd October, 2012, hotel Hyatt | phone: +385 1 555 3721 | fax: +385 1 557 1851 | e-mail:


Belgrade Insight, Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012

Belgrade Insight, Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012


Out and About


adoslav Sretenović, head of the State Audit Institution, DRI, is to publish the final data on the public debt as it stood on December 31st, 2011 by the end of October. Sretenović conceded that the public debt had risen. Ahead of the release of the data, however, Mlađan Dinkić, Minister of Finance and Economy, said that the former Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Mirko Cvetković, had falsified the data on the size of public debt at the end of 2011. Cvetković denied the debt cover-up.

Business in brief

Continued from page 1

Serbia’s last government accused of hiding public debt

German deal boosts Serbia’s energy prospects projects if possible, but it would be a huge failure if RWE decided only to develop hydro projects and gave up on TENT,” she added. Apart from coal, Serbia has significant potential in renewable sources of energy, estimated to be equivalent to 4.3 million tons of oil per year. Serbia is using only 60 to 70 per cent of its total hydro potential, mostly from big state-owned hydro power plants. There are projects to develop biomass, wind, solar and geothermal energy, but little or no operational capacities as yet.

Sale of state properties to cover deficit


lađan Dinkić, Serbian Minister of Finance and Economy, stated that, besides covering the budget deficit through new borrowing, the government will also sell some state property. However, he said that state-owned Electric Power Industry of Serbia, EPS, and Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport will not go on sale. “Only those companies which have competition and which will not be able to keep up with their competition in the future will be sold, as well as some fixed state assets,” Dinkić said.

Parliament debates state budget revision


erbian parliament started the debate on the proposal for a rebalancing of the 2012 budget on September 20th. Serbia’s Socialist-led government has adopted a 2012 draft budget review aiming to reduce Serbia’s consolidated budget deficit from 7.1 per cent to 6.7 per cent by the end of the year. According to the revised budget, non-food VAT will raise from 18 to 20 per cent while taxes on profits will rise from 10 to 12 per cent next year, the government said.

Companies to adapt to VAT change


he Ministry of Finance and Economy called on companies to adapt their business system to the new fiscal VAT calculation that comes into force on October 1st. While the general rate of the value added tax on taxable turnover of goods and services will be increased from 18 to 20 per cent, the special rate of VAT will remain at 8 per cent. “The turnover limit for VAT will be raised from the current 4 to 8 million dinars, thus making it possible for numerous small entrepreneurs to choose between VAT and lump sum taxation,” the ministry wrote.


Rain needed

Aleksandar Obradović, acting director of EPS, and Peter Terium, chair of RWE, sign the Memorandum of Understanding.  Photo by Beta There is also reported interest on Dry weather has led to significant completed 27 years ago, while the the part of RWE for partnership drop in production in hydropower idea of building a third block has been in the development of hydropower plants throughout the region, fueling around for more than a decade. plants on the river Drina, a project fears that many countries could face “TENT B3 is the largest single prodifficulties in importing electricity ject in the Serbian power sector. If worth around €500 million. RWE, one of Europe’s five leading during the winter months, even at these 700 MW of installed capacity electricity and gas companies and higher prices. were operational, Serbia would be a The drought has also highlighted net exporter of electricity in the region, the largest power producer in Germany, was linked with the TENT the problems created by several dec- selling expensive kilowatts in cold and B3 project a few years ago, but the ades of underinvestment in new pow- drought periods,” Rajaković noted. company decided not to compete in er capacities. But after seeing many earlier strathe tender. At present capacities, EPS may end tegic partners giving up, he still has Zorana Mihajlović, Serbia’s Min- the year with a zero balance if hydrolo- reservations about whether RWE will ister of Energy, confirmed that the gy is favourable, by exporting electric- actually build TENT B3. government has decided that RWE ity in spring and importing in winter. “The Memorandum is not a legally will build the new thermal, despite However, without new investments in binding document. We have nothing previously expressed interest from two place, it will be increasingly difficult to firm yet and I fear that there might be Chinese companies. maintain such a balance in the future. further delays,” he said. She said that the government was He noted also that the EU is now discussing energy projects with several Avoiding tender more focused on renewables, while other partners, expecting more agreeGermany has decided not to invest furments and memoranda. Experts estimate that in the next ther in energy facilities based on coal. Some of the minister’s earlier state- five years Serbia’s power system will Maja Turković, an expert on powments have been controversial, such as need €8 billion to €10 billion of in- er, says the idea of finding a strategic the stated intention to restore cheap vestment, mostly for developing new partner without issuing a tender is daily rates for electricity, which was thermal and hydropower plants. unusual, especially for hydro-power widely criticised. Nikola Rajaković, professor at the plants, where many companies would She has also said that she is deter- School of Electrical Engineering, be ready to compete for projects. mined to abolish intermediaries in ETF, says that throughout the region, “With thermal power plants, the sitemergency imports of electricity, call- decision-makers have realised that uation is different,” Turković said. “Due ing for an investigation into previous without new power capacities, it will to low energy prices, it is difficult to imports of electricity. be impossible to satisfy demand. find investors [in them], while it would He recalls that Serbia’s most recent be impossible for EPS to do it alone. Regardless of the outcome of the German negotiations, EPS will soon thermal capacity, the second block of “It’s a good idea to link a strategic have to import electricity again. the Nikola Tesla B power plant, was partnership for TENT with hydro

Traders meanwhile warn that the whole region could face a new electricity crisis this winter, as a prolonged drought has reduced output in Romania, Bosnia and Bulgaria, traditional exporters of electricity. Production from Serbia’s hydropower plants, which makes up onethird of the total installed capacities of EPS (MW2.835 out of MW8.359), fell by 25 per cent in August. The EPS is partly compensating for this missing production by producing electricity in the Panonske Thermal Power Plant-Heating Plant, Panonske TE-TO. But some experts see Panonske TETO as a highly inefficient and costly solution, which should only be used as a supply of last resort, when options for import are restricted. At present prices in the regional market, TE-TO is more a costly solution than importing. Electricity traders warn that without major precipitation in the fourth quarter, raising water levels, the region could face a power shortage in the following months. Continuation of the current drought will increase energy prices in regional and international markets, imposing additional burdens on state power companies that import energy. “If this scenario happens, the normal energy supply will depend almost entirely on the reliability of large power plants in the region,” Mladen Apostolović, of the EFT Group, says.

Slovenia’s divine mountains are hikers’ dream The stunning mountains of the northwest combine the very best of Mother Nature with some startling reminders of the horrors of war. Nemanja ČABRIĆ


orthwest Slovenia, a land of natural splendour that has long inspired poets and travellers, is also the final resting place of countless soldiers killed in the First World War. That’s why, in the midst of such remote places as Mrzli Vrh and Bohinj, traces of historical battles can still be seen. They include caves drilled by Austro-Hungarian soldiers on Mrzli Vrh, trenches, concrete and stone forts, military roads and tracks, shelters dug from rock, bunkers, remnants of barbed wire and bits of guns and equipment. Most of these places have since become open-air museums, drawing hikers who want to see both historical sites as well as the natural wonders surrounding the country’s highest peak, Mt Triglav. A hiking festival that takes place in the western Soča region, from September 22nd to October 7th, including guided tours, exhibitions and lectures, offers tourists first-hand experience of the beauty of this part of Slovenia as well as its turbulent past. The Soča river valley in western Slovenia is a crossroads for many hiking trails, most of which offer stunning views of the landscape almost every step of the way. Those who wish to get to know this region can organise their trip themselves. But they will certainly lack professional guidance, and many of the most attractive locations are almost unreachable without guides, hidden in the wild mountainous terrain.

Long-ago battles The emerald green waters of the Soča flow for 138 kilometres through western Slovenia and northeast Italy. Its source is in the Trenta valley, in the Julian Alps in northwest Slovenia at an elevation of 876 metres. The river runs past the towns of Bovec, Kobarid, Tolmin, Kanal ob Soči, Nova Gorica and Gorizia, entering the Adriatic close to the Italian town of Monfalcone. Its Italian name, Isonzo, still evokes memories of the horrific battles between the Italians and Austro-Hungarian armies in the First World War. Twelve battles, which raged here in the high mountains on both sides of the river between June 1915 and No-

vember 1917, took away an almost unimaginable number of lives. Half of the entire Italian First World War casualties – some 300,000 of 600,000 – occurred along the Soča, or the Isonzo Front. Austro-Hungarian losses, while not as numerous, were also very high, at around 200,000 of an overall total of around 1.2 million. The remains of both the AustroHungarian and the Italian first lines of defence can be seen on Mrzli Vrh whose peak is arranged as an outdoor museum, offering majestic views of the former battlefield of the Front. The ridge is crisscrossed with numerous trenches and caves. The outdoor museum can be reached by two paths that start from Zatomlin and Krn villages. The second matches the European trekking path E7 and gradually rises to the Pretovč alp. The track passes pastures, dairies and places where Austro-Hungarian soldiers hollowed out spacious caves in rocks. In one of cave along the way from Pretovč to Mrzli Vrh an altar is set up, and on top of it stands a cross. It takes about 40 minutes to reach the top from the alp of Pretovč. Because the tour to Mrzli Vrh takes several hours of walking, it needs to be planned carefully.

The Triglav National park offers some of the most stunning landscapes in mountainous Slovenia. The park lies in the Julian Alps, on the three corners of Slovenia, Austria and Italy. The highest point is the summit of Triglav, at 2,864m, whilst the lowest point lies in the basin of the Tolminka river, at 180m. Triglav’s beauties include glaciershaped valleys, mountain plateaus, mountains extending far above the tree line, pure waters, deep-cut gorges, remains of virgin forests, rich biodiversity and alpine flowers. There are three important ascent routes to Triglav. The Bohinj Alpine Path, dedicated to the Bohinj mountaineers who were the first to ascend Triglav in 1778, the approach from the Upper Sava Valley, the Mojstrana, dedicated to the famous priest, Fr Jakob Aljaz, and the Trenta Route, inspired by Dr Julius Kugy. Although the paths vary in difficulty, they all demand a degree of stamina and in some places climbing is impossible without ropes.

Hikers tackle the climbs of northwest Slovenia.

Photo by Monitotxi/Flickr

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God’s gift Triglav National Park and its surroundings are an authentic fairytale landscape, with almost cartoonish meadows and pastures. Bohinj valley, home of the mythical creature known as the Zlatorog, has become a starting point for tourists on day-trip walks on trails that run throughout the valley and on mountaineering and climbing tours. The Bohinj Basin is 20 km long and 5 km wide and lies within the Julian Alps in the Upper Carniola region of northwest Slovenia. It is traversed by the Sava Bohinjka river and its main feature is Lake Bohinj. According to legend, when God was giving out land to various peoples, as he finished he realised that he had forgotten about a small group of people who were silent and didn’t hustle like the others. Because of their modesty and patience he felt pity for them and decided to give them the most beautiful land of them all, which he had spared for himself. It’s called Bohinj, after “Boh”, the Slovenian word for “God”.

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10 Belgrade Insight, Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012

Belgrade Insight, Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012 11



Saddling up banishes Belgrade’s autumn blues Fans of riding, still a minority sport in Serbia, say it releases stress, creates positive energy and helps people reconnect with nature. Belgrade’s annual art extravaganza offers an alternative view.

Photo courtesy of October Salon

This year’s co-curator Mika Hannula.

Photo courtesy of October Salon

October Salon to focus on art’s ‘raw energy’ The biggest event in Belgrade’s annual cultural calendar, the October Salon, will this year showcase fine art at a site which itself contains many artistic references. Andrej KLEMENČIČ


he October Salon will run from September 22nd to November 4th at Karađorđeva 48. The show is open be-

tween noon and 8pm daily, except Monday. Mika Hannula, one of the two curators of this major artistic event, says that this year’s October Salon “will discuss the raw and energetic articulation of contemporary art”.

He also says that the former Geodetic Institute in Karađorđeva Street was chosen to host the salon because of its unique history and the cross references of styles represented in each of the rooms. Hannula says that another important factor in the organisation of the show has been time constraints, which forced them to decide fast on which artists and contents were to be presented. Just weeks before it was due to open, the City of Belgrade threatened not to issue a security permit for the event to take place, citing the building’s derelict state. Mia David, director of the 53rd October Salon, says that she hopes organisers will be able to overcome all technical issues and that a permit will be granted for use of the building. There will be around 40 participants at this year’s October Salon. Apart from Serbia, they come from Finland, Germany, Sweden, Slovakia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, The Netherlands and the UK.

RTS Orchestra celebrates 75 years

Their works connect many different forms of art – sculptures, installations, films, stories, essays, paintings, photographs, interviews, cartons, interventions, documents, explorations and public discussions. This year, the salon will not have a catalogue. Instead, the organisers will publish a book of essays and stories by internationally recognised writers, addressing key issues of contemporary society. The Geodetic Institute was built in the early 20th century. Originally an office for bankers and stockbrokers, later it became the Geodetic Institute. In recent years it hosted various events, mainly exhibitions, until the authorities decided it was no longer safe to host large numbers of visitors. The October Salon was established by the City of Belgrade in 1960 to present the best works of contemporary fine art. In 1967 the organisers decided to include applied arts as well.

Festival of Russian films at Yugoslav Cinematheque

The concept of the salon is decided each year by experts in the field of the visual arts – historians, critics or artists – who are all appointed by the City of Belgrade. They then form a council, which elects a jury. This jury awards three prizes of equal merit to the three best works of the salon. In 2005 the city and the Council decided to stop limiting the salon to Serbian artists alone and make the salon international. In previous years the salon has used spaces that represented the grandeur of former Yugoslavia, such as the former military academy or the museum in the 25 May complex, which is dedicated to Yugoslavia’s former president, Josip Broz Tito. Last year the salon had 8,000 visitors, compared to 10,000 two years ago. This year, the city and the state gave the October Salon 25 million dinars [€218,000], which is one million [€8,700] less than last year, and ten millions [€87,000] less than three years ago.

10th International Cartoon Fair

Gordana ANDRIĆ


orse riding is not particularly popular sport in Serbia. But there are dozens of horse riding schools and clubs in the capital that provide services at reasonable rates, especially compared to those in Western Europe. “People say that horse riding is a sport for all ages, from seven to 77, but even children younger than that can ride,” says Siniša Gojić from the “Na Konju” riding club. “We had one girl who used to ride a big horse who was only four. When she went to another club, she cried, because she still wanted her big horse,” he added. Horse riding was on rise in Serbia until World War II. But it was sidelined after the Communists took power in Yugoslavia after the war, as they viewed it as a bourgeois activity. Today, on average monthly salaries of only €350, most Serbs can scarcely afford regular equestrian lessons. But, horse-riding lessons in Serbia are good value. A lesson lasting an hour-and-a half for children in most schools cost about 1,000 dinars [€8.5]. For adults the price is about 1,500 [€12]. For those who already know how to ride, an hour costs between €12 and €15, which is half the going rate in the UK. Almost all clubs organise individual training, or training in small groups, which can be more useful than oneon-one sessions.

“When people come to learn, the trainer holds a horse on a rope, so the trainees can just focus on the technique,” Nina, from the “Aleksa Dundić” club, said. “After that it’s best to ride in a group, behind someone, so that they can think more about technique, and gain confidence.” Depending on the club, lessons take place at the Belgrade hippodrome or at the club premises. However, after the starter lessons, most clubs organise riding in the open and in the woods at Topčider and Košutnjak. Trainers explain that riding is all about engaging all the muscles, so it is demanding but healthy exercise. Riding strengthens the muscles, spine, joints, and helps overall coordination and body movement. However, physical benefits are not the only benefits from riding. “Riding brings people back to nature, as you are in contact with the animal and you are outdoors,” Nina said. “You exchange energy with a horse and they really fill you with positive energy. On the other hand, riding releases you from stress and negativity.” Siniša Gojić agrees, stating that the benefits of horse riding can be clearly seen in children suffering from disabilities. “They can show you all good things that you can get from horse riding,” he said. “Some of them have poor coordination and some are more nervous.

Fitness and fun for the whole family.

But it’s extraordinary how horses and riding influence them – they become stronger and more relaxed,” he added.

Photo by HocusPocusFocus/Flickr

Trainers say that children who take care of their horses, feeding and cleaning them, learn how to become more

Flowers all year, no green thumb required Local Belgrade artist Natalija Pavlović can enrich your home with a flower that never dies.


he Symphonic Orchestra of Radio Television Serbia will be marking its 75th birthday on October 3rd with a concert in the Grand Hall of the Sava Centre. The celebrated RTS orchestra will perform Dmitri Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony. The concert begins at 8pm.


rom September 24th to 28th 10 animated and feature films will be screened at the Yugoslav Cinematheque. The films, all made by Russian directors between 1934 and 1975, are based on stories from significant works of foreign literature. The show times are daily at 6pm and 8pm.


elgrade’s Student Culture Centre will host the 10th International Cartoon Fair between September 27th and 30th. The fair will run each day from 3pm to 10pm. Among other attractions, it will offer visitors the chance to experience exhibitions and cartoon workshops, as well as the possibility of exchanging cartoons at a special Cartoon Market.

responsible, how to adapt to new challenges, overcome fears and gain confidence.


ith winter fast approaching, beautiful orchids made of clay might be just the thing to bring vibrant summer colours into your home. Each is carefully sculpted to look exactly like real orchids, yet all the care they need is an occasional dusting. “The first questions that people ask me are ‘are they real?’ and ‘are you sure they aren’t?’” says artist Natalija Pavlović. The petals of Pavlovićs clay orchids are thin, but are difficult to break as they are made of clay with a rubbery

structure. Each petal is sculpted so precisely it looks vividly alive. Pavlović’s orchids can be used as decoration in the home, but also as accessories, as they can be can be worn as brooches or hair accessories. “When I’m sculpting orchids, I’m always picturing them somewhere – in apartment, hair… But I’m also making arrangements of 3 or 5 flowers or the whole branch with flowers and leaves, depending on what people ask for,” says Pavlović. Pavlović has some orchids already made, but she is also making them by special order, so customers can

choose the colour and number of flowers and leaves and the bowl. The prices range from 600 to 9,000 dinars [€5 - €80]. “People often buy them as a gift for their loved ones and I really put in a lot of energy and love to make their gift as beautiful as possible,” says Pavlovic adding that her next challenge will be to make clay tulips. Pavlović’s works can be seen at

12 Belgrade Insight, Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012

Belgrade Insight, Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 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. DOM SINDIKATA Trg Nikole Pašića 5, tel. 011 3234849 yy Brave (3D) – 4pm yy Ice Age. Continental Drift (synchronised) – 4.45pm, 6.30pm yy The Bourne Legacy – 5.30pm, 8pm, 10.30pm yy Step Up Revolution – 6pm yy The Expendables 2 – 6.30pm, 8.30pm, 10.30pm yy Resident Evil. Retribution (3D) – 8pm, 10pm yy The Watch – 8.15pm, 10.15pm _________________________________ CINEPLEXX Delta City, Jurija Gagarina 16, tel: 011 2203400 yy Brave (3D) – 2.20pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm, 7.30pm yy The Expendables 2 – 2.40pm, 10.40pm yy Madagascar 3. Europe’s Most Wanted – 1pm, 2.50pm, 4pm yy Resident Evil. Retribution (3D) – 6.30pm, 8;20pm, 10.30pm yy Brave – 6.50 yy The Bourne Legacy – 8.30pm, 11pm yy The Dark Knight Rises – 9.30pm yy The Watch – 11pm yy Ice Age. Continental Drift (3D) – 2.50pm, 4.40pm, 6.40pm yy Step Up Revolution – 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9pm yy Ted – 4pm, 6pm, 8.10pm, 10.20pm yy Total Recall – 4.20pm yy Ice Age. Continental Drift (subtitles) – 8.50pm, 8.50pm _________________________________ TUCKWOOD CINEPLEX Kneza Miloša 7, tel. 011 3236517 yy Brave (3D) – 3.20pm yy The Amazing Spider-Man – 3.35pm, 6pm yy Ice Age. Continental Drift (synchronised) – 4.15pm yy Step Up Revolution – 5.15pm, 7.15pm yy The Expendables 2 – 8.15pm, 10.15pm yy The Watch – 8.30pm, 10.30pm yy Resident Evil. Retribution (3D) – 9.15pm, 11pm yy Total Recall – 3.40pm, 5.50pm, 8pm, 10.10pm yy The Dark Knight Rises – 4pm, 7pm, 10pm

RODA CINEPLEX Požeška 83A, tel. 011 2545260 yy The Dark Knight Rises – 7pm, 9.45pm yy Ted – 8pm, 10pm yy Step Up Revolution – 8.30pm yy Resident Evil. Retribution – 10.30pm yy Brave (synchronised) – 3.05pm, 5pm yy Brave (3D) – 4pm yy Madagascar 3. Europe’s Most Wanted (synchronised) – 3pm yy Ice Age. Continental Drift (3D) – 4.40pm _________________________________ KOLOSEJ CINEMA Ušće Shopping Centre, Bulevar Mihaila Pupina 4, tel. 011 2854495 yy Hope Springs – 10.30pm yy Ice Age. Continental Drift (synchronised) – 1.50pm, 3.50pm yy Brave (synchronised) – 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm yy Ted – 2.10pm, 4.20pm, 6.30pm, 8.40pm, 10.50pm yy Resident Evil. Retribution – 2.15pm, 4.15pm, 6.15pm, 20.15pm, 10.15pm yy Brave (3D) – 2.30pm, 4.30pm, 6.30pm, 8pm yy Ice Age. Continental Drift (3D) – 2.45pm, 4.45pm, 6.45pm yy Step Up Revolution – 3pm, 5pm, 8.45pm, 10.45pm yy The Intouchables (VIP Hall) – 3.20pm, 5.45pm, 8.10pm, 10.40pm yy Brave (subtitles) – 3.30pm, 5.30pm, 7.30pm yy Madagascar 3. Europe’s Most Wanted (synchronised) – 3.45pm yy The Watch – 4.05pm yy The Bourne Legacy – 5.40pm, 8.20pm, 10.55pm yy Ice Age. Continental Drift (subtitles) – 5.50pm yy The Dark Knight Rises – 6.10pm, 9.20pm yy Resident Evil. Retribution (3D) – 7pm, 9pm, 11pm yy Total Recall – 9.30pm yy What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 10.30pm

hh Just Friday, Freestyler, Brodarska bb, 11pm hh Disco-House, Plastic Light, Brodarska bb, 10pm hh Back to the Sound, Sound, Brodarska bb, 11pm hh Re: Motion, Republika, Pariska 1, 10pm hh Dj Groovyman/Most wanted, Central Park, Pariska 20, 10pm hh Dj’s Kiza, Bane Paunovicn & Dj Marko, Magacin, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm hh Dj Ann D Summer LineUp, Brankow Bar, Crnogorska 10, 10pm Live music:

hh Neša Bend 100%, Hua Hua, Ada Ciganlija bb, 10pm hh Balkan Express, Reka restoran, Kej oslobođenja 73bb hh Tamburaši, Kod Bake, Sinđelićeva 31, 9pm hh Marko Žujović, Akapulko splav, Kej oslobođenja bb, 10pm hh Blah Blah Bend, Cantina De Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm hh Vesko Vučković, Sindikat, Brodarska bb, 11pm hh Tamburaši, Tri Šešira, Skadarska 29, 9pm Saturday September 22nd Clubbing:

hh Igranka, Povetarac, Brodarska bb, 11pm hh Club House DJ Mirko & DJ Meex, Freestyler, Brodarska bb, 12am hh Soundilicious, Sound, Brodarska bb, 12am hh Re: Load, Republika, Pariska 1, 10pm hh Dj Ura – Impossible night, Central Park, Pariska 20, 10pm hh Dj’s Kiza, Bane Paunovicn & Dj Marko, Magacin, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm hh House Night, Disko Petao, Gračanička 15, 10pm Live Music:

hh Sloba Bajić i Hua Hua bend, Hua Hua, Ada Ciganlija bb, 10pm hh Bojan Jevtić & Silver Bend, Akapulko splav, Kej oslobođenja bb, 11pm hh Live Jazz, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm hh Vesko Vučković Bend, Cantina De Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm hh Tamburaši, Kod Bake Kafana, Sinđelićeva 31, 10pm hh Perpetuum Mobile, Bitef Summer Stage, Kalemegdan, 10pm hh Salsa Y Punto, Café Buena Vista, Turgenjeva 5, 11pm hh Tamburaši, Tri Šešira, Skadarska 29, 9pm hh House Night, Disko Petao, Gračanička 15, 10pm

hh Suprise Party DJ Mirko & DJ Meex, Freestyler, Brodarska bb, 12am hh Fuckin’ famous night, River, Brodarska bb, 11pm hh Funk’d, Disco Bar Mladost, Karađorđeva 44, 10pm hh House Night, Disko Petao, Gračanička 15, 10pm Live music:

hh Live Jazz, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm hh Live Serbian Folk, Acapulco, Kej oslobođenja bb, 11pm hh Mia Borisavljević & Davor Jovanović, Time Out, Ada Ciganlija bb, 10pm hh Tamburaši, Tri Šešira, Skadarska 29, 9pm Monday September 24



hh Sweet and Rough, BlowUp Barka, Savski kej bb, 9pm hh Re:Lax, Republika, Pariska 1, 10pm hh Brankow Beat, Brankow Bar, Crnogorska 10, 9pm hh Chill Out Monday, Central Park, Pariska 20, 9pm hh Chill Out Night, Splav Play, Savski kej bb, 9pm Live Music:

hh Die Beste, Cantina de Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm hh Karaoke, Danguba, Ćirila i Metodija 2, 10pm hh Željko Šašić, Serbian Folk, Acapulco, Kej oslobođenja bb, 11pm hh That’s it band, Principal, Ušće bb, 9pm hh Sensation Party, River, Brodarska bb, 10pm hh Tamburaši, Tri Šešira, Skadarska 29, 9pm Tuesday September 25



hh 90’s Night DJ Playa, Freestyler, Brodarska bb, 12am hh Central Park Week, Central Park, Pariska 20, 9pm hh Re:Tro, Republika, Pariska 1, 10pm hh Chill Out Night, Splav Play, Savski kej bb, 9pm Live music:

hh Live Jazz, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm hh Denis & Obule, pop rock, Cantina de Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm hh Salsa Night, Abra café, Resavska 76, 9pm Wednesday September 26th

hh Disco Sound, Sound, Brodarska bb, 11pm Live Music:

hh Live Jazz, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm hh Libertango Band, Cantina de Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm hh Marina Visković & Željko Šašić, Time Out, Ada Ciganlija bb, 10pm hh Ivana Selakov, Acapulko, Kej oslobođenja bb, 11pm hh Tamburaši, Tri Šešira, Skadarska 29, 9pm Thursday September 27th Clubbing:

hh 1-1 Party DJ Yabba & DJ Nikola, Freestyler, Brodarska bb, 12am hh 80’s night, Sound, Brodarska bb, 11.30pm hh Dj Gagi Kabadajić, Central Park, Pariska 20, 9pm hh Re:Make, Republika, Pariska 1, 10pm

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Live Music:

hh Serbian Folk, Blaywatch, Brodarska bb, 12am hh Gitarsi, Cantina de Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm hh Live Jazz, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm hh Tamburaši, Tri Šešira, Skadarska 29, 9pm Friday September 28th Clubbing:

hh Just Friday, Freestyler, Brodarska bb, 11pm hh Back to the Sound, Sound, Brodarska bb, 11pm hh Re: Motion, Republika, bar-club, Pariska 1, 10pm hh Dj Groovyman/Most wanted, Central Park, Pariska 20, 10pm hh Dj’s Kiza, Bane Paunovicn & Dj Marko, Magacin, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm hh Dj Ann D Summer LineUp, Brankow Bar, Crnogorska 10, 10pm hh Club – house, Plastic Light, Brodarska bb, 12am Live music:

hh Balkan Express, Reka restoran, Kej oslobođenja 73bb hh Tamburaši, Kod Bake, Sinđelićeva 31, 9pm hh Marko Žujović, Akapulko splav, Kej oslobođenja bb, 10pm hh Blah Blah Bend, Cantina De Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm hh Vesko Vučković, Sindikat, Brodarska bb, 11pm hh Tamburaši, Tri Šešira, Skadarska 29, 9pm Saturday September 29th



hh Buzzin’ R’n’B & Hip-Hop DJ Ike & DJ Prema, Freestyler, Brodarska bb, 12am hh Zwein Wednesday, Disco Bar Mladost, Karađorđeva 44, 11pm hh Dj Sale Funkin’ Blue, Central Park, Pariska 20, 9pm hh Re:Action, Republika, Pariska 1, 10pm

hh Igranka, Povetarac, Brodarska bb, 11pm hh Club House DJ Mirko & DJ Meex, Freestyler, Brodarska bb, 12am hh Soundilicious, Sound, Brodarska bb, 12am hh Re: Load, Republika, Pariska 1, 10pm hh Dj Ura – Impossible night, Central Park, Pariska 20, 10pm

hh Funk’d, Disco Bar Mladost, Karađorđeva 44, 10pm hh House Night, Disko Petao, Gračanička 15, 10pm

hh Dj’s Kiza, Bane Paunovicn & Dj Marko, Magacin, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm hh House Night, Disko Petao, Gračanička 15, 10pm Live Music:

hh Sloba Bajić i Hua Hua bend, Hua Hua, Ada Ciganlija bb, 10pm hh Bojan Jevtić & Silver Bend, Akapulko splav, Kej oslobođenja bb, 11pm hh Live Jazz, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm hh Vesko Vučković Bend, Cantina De Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 10pm hh Tamburaši, Kod Bake Kafana, Sinđelićeva 31, 10pm hh Perpetuum Mobile, Bitef Summer Stage, Kalemegdan, 10pm hh Salsa Y Punto, Café Buena Vista, Turgenjeva 5, 11pm hh Tamburaši, Tri Šešira, Skadarska 29, 9pm Sunday September 30th Clubbing:

hh Suprise Party DJ Mirko & DJ Meex, Freestyler, Brodarska bb, 12am hh Fuckin’ famous night, River, Brodarska bb, 11pm

Live music

Live music:

hh Live Jazz, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm hh Live Serbian Folk, Acapulco, Kej oslobođenja bb, 11pm hh Mia Borisavljević & Davor Jovanović, Time Out, Ada Ciganlija bb, 10pm hh Tamburaši, Tri Šešira, Skadarska 29, 9pm Monday October 1

Wednesday October 3rd



hh Sweet and Rough, BlowUp Barka, Savski kej bb, 9pm hh Re:Lax, Republika bar – club, Pariska 1, 10pm hh Brankow Beat, Brankow Bar, Crnogorska 10, 9pm hh Chill Out Monday, Central Park, Pariska 20, 9pm hh Chill Out Night, Splav Play, Savski kej bb, 9pm Live Music:

hh Die Beste, Cantina de Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm hh Karaoke, Danguba, Ćirila i Metodija 2, 10pm hh Željko Šašić, Serbian Folk, Acapulco, Kej oslobođenja bb, 11pm hh That’s it band, Principal, Ušće bb, 9pm hh Sensation Party, River, Brodarska bb, 10pm Tuesday October 2nd Clubbing:

hh 90’s Night DJ Playa, Freestyler, Brodarska bb, 12am hh Central Park Week, Central Park, Pariska 20, 9pm hh Re:Tro, Republika, Pariska 1, 10pm hh Chill Out Night, Splav Play, Savski kej bb, 9pm Live music:

hh Live Jazz, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm hh Denis & Obule, pop rock, Cantina de Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm


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 Sales & Marketing: Marija Petrović Phone: +381 11 6 5555 86 Subscription & Distribution: BEOKOLP D.O.O. Printing: POLITIKA štamparija d.o.o. ISSN 1820-8339 = Belgrade Insight COBISS.SR-ID: 149132556 Circulation: 4,000

hh Salsa Night, Abra café, Resavska 76, 9pm hh Tamburaši, Tri Šešira, Skadarska 29, 9pm


hh Buzzin’ R’n’B & Hip-Hop DJ Ike & DJ Prema, Freestyler, Brodarska bb, 12am hh Zwein Wednesday, Disco Bar Mladost, Karađorđeva 44, 11pm hh Dj Sale Funkin’ Blue, Central Park, Pariska 20, 9pm hh Re:Action, Republika, Pariska 1, 10pm Live Music:

hh Live Jazz, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm hh Libertango Band, Cantina de Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm hh Marina Visković & Željko Šašić, Time Out, Ada Ciganlija bb, 10pm hh Ivana Selakov, Acapulko, Kej oslobođenja bb, 11pm hh Tamburaši, Tri Šešira, Skadarska 29, 9pm Thursday October 4th Clubbing:

hh 1-1 Party DJ Yabba & DJ Nikola, Freestyler, Brodarska bb, 12am hh 80’s night, Sound, Brodarska bb, 11.30pm hh Dj Gagi Kabadajić, Central Park, Pariska 20, 9pm hh Re:Make, Republika, Pariska 1, 10pm Live Music:

hh Serbian Folk, Blaywatch, Brodarska bb, 12am hh Gitarsi, Cantina de Frida, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm hh Live Jazz, Iguana, Karađorđeva 2-4, 9pm hh Tamburaši, Tri Šešira, Skadarska 29, 9pm



FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 21 Pero Defformero, Gun Club, Miloša Pocerca 10, 10pm

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 22 Play It Again Sam (Allen), Belgrade Drama Theatre, Mileševska 64, 8pm

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 22 Il Divo, Kombank Arena, Arsenija Čarnojevića 58, 8pm Deadrise, Tibia, End of the Hunt, Gun Club, Miloša Pocerca 10, 9.30pm

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 23 The Misanthrope (Moliere), The National Theatre, Francuska 1, 7.30pm

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 24 Witch 1, Studentski Grad Cultural Centre, Bulevar Zorana Đinđića 179, 8pm WEDNESDAY SEPTREMBER 26 Dža ili Bu, El. Orgazam, Disciplin A Kitschme, Partibrejkers, Gun Club, Miloša Pocerca 10, 9pm THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 27 Horkestar, Atheist Rap, Rambo Amadeus, Kanda, Kodža i Nebojša, KBO!, Gun Club, Miloša Pocerca 10, 9pm FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 28 Last Hope, The Bridge, Close At Hand, Gun Club, Miloša Pocerca 10, 10pm SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 29 Ras Abraham, Dom Omladine, Makedonska 22, 8pm Gabi Novak and Matija Dedić, Ilija M. Kolarac Endowment, Studentski Trg 5, 8pm SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 30 Goribor, Gun Club, Miloša Pocerca 10, 10pm

Opera, Ballet, Classical SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 22 The National Theatre Orchestra plays gems of the Russian Romanticism, The National Theatre, Francuska 1, 8pm TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 25 Kolo Ensemble, Ilija M. Kolarac Endowment, Studentski Trg 5, 8pm Katarina Jovanović and Vesna Zelenović, piano, Guarnerius, Džordža Vašingtona 12, 8pm WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 26 Igor Lazić –horn, Jelena Dimitrijević –violin and Miloš Veljković – piano, Ilija M. Kolarac Endowment, Studentski Trg 5, 6pm FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 28 Belgrade Philharmonic with Matthias Ziegler –flute, Ilija M. Kolarac Endowment, Studentski Trg 5, 8pm

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 25 Goodbye SFRJ (Mladenović), Atelje 212, 8pm WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 26 Henry VI (Shakespeare), The National Theatre, Francuska 1, 7.30pm FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 28 Zoran Đinđić (Frljić), Atelje 212, Svetogorska 21, 8pm Death and the Dervish (Selimović), The National Theatre, Francuska 1, 7.30pm

Exhibitions and Events FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 21 1st Street Activism Fesitval, Vojvoda Vuk Park (Palace Park), 12pm Exhibition. Artist’s Film International, Belgrade Cultural Centre, Trg Republike 5, 8pm SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 22 Exhibition. Buba Đurđević, Trag Gallery, Dvoržakova 2, 12pm SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 23 3rd Belgrade Festival of Flowers, Manjež Park, 10am TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 25 Exhibition. Sejma Prodanović, Dom Omladine, Makedonska 22, 7pm Exhibition. Zorica Bajin-Đukanović, ULUPUDS Gallery, Uzun Mirkova 12, 7pm THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 27 10th International Comic Expo, opening ceremony, Students’ Cultural Centre, Kralja Milana 48, 7pm SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 29 Exhibition. Miroslav Munizaba, Trag Gallery, Dvoržakova 2, 12pm SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 30 Trange Frange Arts and Crafts Fair, Dom Omladine, Makedonska 22, 5pm TUESDAY OCTOBER 2 Exhibition. Department for Painting and prints of the Association of Applied Arts, Singidunum Gallery, Knez Mihailova 40, 7pm THURSDAY OCTOBER 4 47th Children’s October Salon, Museum of Applied Arts, Vuka Karadžića 18, 6pm


Body treatments and rituals... Kneginje Kneginje Zorke Zorke 66, 66, Vračar Vračar +381 11 3860224; +381 69 +381 11 3860224; +381 69 3860224 3860224


Storytelling performances in English, Serbian & French, Magic & illusion, Circus acts: juggling, unicycle, acrobatics, aerials, stilts, Visual arts & music workshops, Face paint Bulevar Kneza Aleksandra Karadjordjevica 6, Dedinje Tel: +381 11 2661 140

14 Belgrade Insight, Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012

Belgrade Insight, Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012 15


going out

Forgotten beer hall finds its true vocation Locals who remember the dreary old Kasina, with its watered-down beer and daytime-only trade, will have trouble recognising the place following its imaginative but sensitive restoration. David GALIĆ


he Kasina Bar & Restaurant is a fine example of how a traditional beer hall can be turned into a modern hotspot with the right vision and execution. Kasina opened as a beer hall, or pivnica, back in 1922, to serve the guests of the Kasina Hotel, to which it is still linked today. Although the Kasina didn’t experience much of a fall-off in visitors over the years, thanks to its prime location, the recent renovations have certainly increased its popularity tenfold. The old Kasina had not been a hotspot for Belgraders for decades. It was more of a tourist trap for foreigners who wanted to sit down in the city centre for a beer and didn’t know any better. It never had much of a nightlife either, but survived on daytime trade. Frankly, the old Kasina didn’t have much to offer. It was just a large old hall that served beer and traditional food. The only thing that most locals knew about it was that they often served watered-down beer. Although the potential wasn’t that obvious to most locals, who tended to avoid it, it was obvious to someone with the right vision who was able to capitalise on the unseen potential. Since its makeover, Kasina has turned itself into a trendy and state-of-the-art

Region to get VH1 music channel


ccording to representatives of MTV Adria, a VH1 channel specifically for the Balkans will soon be launched. According to the MTV team in the region, the local VH1 channel will work according to a similar concept as the international channel, focusing on playing classic music videos from all decades of popular music.

nightclub, and those who remembered it from the olden days might have trouble even recognising it. The designers have taken full advantage of Kasina’s best features. The spacious beer hall has now been turned into a huge nightclub with all of the characteristics that club-goers have come to expect from the most modern venues. The space has been very well used. At the back of a hall, a stage has been set up for live performers to entertain crowds every night. The stage area has been equipped with a contemporary sound and lighting system that creates the feeling of being in a real concert hall, not a bar or club. The interior is also spacious enough not only for a decent-sized stage for the band, but also for a fully-equipped bar, and a large amount of tables and seating, none of which comes at the expense of the open area in which people can dance and stand around. Located in the dead centre of Belgrade, across the street from the iconic Moskva Hotel, Kasina is no longer a tourist trap but a real option for locals and foreigners alike who want to spend a night drinking, singing and dancing at one of the best, most popular and most spacious bars in the city. Kasina has also made an effort to keep its doors open to just about anyone. There are no dress codes at

Cranberries concert relocated


rish pop rock favorites the Cranberries will be playing at Hala Sportova instead of the Belgrade Arena on December 4th, as was previously announced. The reason for the move is that Serbia will be hosting the women’s European championship in handball, with the games to be played in the arena. Tickets for the Cranberries concert are still available for between €20 and €30.

Serbia among the hosts of Euro 2020?


ecretary general of the Serbian Football Association, Zoran Laković, has said that Serbia could be one of the hosts of football’s 2020 European Championships. UEFA president Michel Platini recently proposed a new model for organising the European championships according to which 13 countries would jointly organise the competition in 2020. “This proposal gained full support at a meeting in Budva, which practically means that the organisation would include the serious contributions of the countries in our region: Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria...” said Laković. In the coming period the management of the Serbian Football Asso-

night and the patrons are truly diverse. The clients span the generations and there is such a variety of visitors packing into the massive bar these days that no one looks out of place, no matter what style of dress they choose or what kind of bars they usually frequent. The music at Kasina at night is commercial in orientation, and it is a breath of fresh air to have a large and popular bar in the centre of Belgrade, which doesn’t settle for DJs, but also makes the effort to offer quality bands, playing live every night, not just at weekends. Perhaps the best thing about Kasina stems from the fact that it is so old and was built under the influence of the old classic architecture. The ceilings are high and huge white columns extend up to the ceiling, which not only gives it a regal look, but also gives patrons a lot of air and ensures that the bar never gets too stuffy or smoky – a problem with 99 per cent of Belgrade clubs and bars. The rest of the décor is understated - light, ceramic floors and seating and tables of rich, dark wood, both of which accent the large, high-rising columns around the bar. In terms of taking an old venue and revamping it to create a nightclub fit for the 21st century, you can’t do much better than what those responsible for Kasina’s new look have done with the old beer hall. Kasina seemed bound to be one of the most popular venues for live music and drinks for years to come. And for anyone still wondering about it, rest assured; the beer served in Kasina is no longer watered-down.


he increasingly popular Belgrade Freezone festival is seeking volunteers who will earn free tickets to all film screenings and the opportunity to participate in a European exchange programme for volunteers, sponsored by the Rex Cultural Centre. All interested parties can send their CV and motivational letter to volontiranje@ Apllicants must be at least 18 years old.

UEFA president Michel Platini suggested a change in the way Euro championships are staged. 

Photo by Kancelaria Premiera Flickr

Nađa Higl to miss world championships


erbian swimmer Nađa Higl will not participate in the world championships in Istanbul in December in the small pools or in Barcelona

next year. The coach and brother of the 2009 world champion, Sebastian Higl, says that his sister needed a break from big events. Higl has suffered from problems related to a leg injury that prompted her to take a break after the Olympic Games in London, where she finished a lowly 25th. “We’ll skip Istanbul and Barcelona. The goal is to get ready for the 2014 World Cup in Berlin. She simply has to recover from the major competitions. For six consecutive years we timed her form to peak in the summer. It was not easy either physically or mentally. Because of that we will focus in future on recovery and only then go on with strong training,” said Sebastian Higl. Nađa will only participate in national competitions in the coming period.

Kasina Address: Terzija 25 Phone: +381 65 263 0050; +381 60 616 1908

Film festival seeks volunteers

ciation will prepare a plan for its part of the organisation of the championships. If this initiative is approved, Serbia would again host the best teams in Europe. Yugoslavia hosted the European championships of 1976. “If the government seriously stood behind this new project, and that means that by 2020 we must first build a modern stadium that adheres to all UEFA standards, with the support of the Ministry of Sports, I’m quite convinced that Serbia could be one of the 13 organisers,” said Laković. Early October will see the staging of a meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee in Russia. This meeting should see agreement reached on the concrete steps and deals for the 13 countries to jointly host the championships.

Belgrade metal band to play prestigious German festival


ontemporary metal group Draconic has won a spot at the popular Euroblast festival and will be opening the festival with their performance on October 19th. The band received the most votes of the remaining 20 bands and is off to Cologne on October 18th to perform alongside big names in contemporary heavy metal like Monuments, Tesseract and Scar Symmetry.

Tickets for Knopfler concert now on sale


f you don’t want to miss Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler’s Belgrade date get your tickets as soon as possible. He will be playing at the Belgrade Arena on April 30th 2013 and tickets start from €30 and go up to €45, depending on the seating. Knopfler is currently promoting his latest solo album “Privateering,” but will of course be playing everyone’s favourite Dire Straits hits as well.

With demand higher than ever and copies limited to 4,000 per issue, why not subscribe to Belgrade Insight and ensure you receive your personal copy directly at home or work?

+381 11 3346035

Belgrade’s lake resort welcomes its final competitive rowers of the season.

Top rowers at Ada


he final rowing competition of the domestic season is taking place at Belgrade’s Ada Ciganlija on September 22nd and 23rd, with 188 crews from 13 clubs competing in the National Championship. Based on the number of registered competitors and crews, the National Championship is the largest and most powerful state championship staged to date. Competitors at Ada will include 2nd ranked European Iva Obradović, bronze-medal winning seniors from Varese, Nikola Stojić, Nenad Beđik, Goran Jagar Radoje Đerić, Miloš Vasić and Miljan Vuković, as well as

the youngest medalist at the European Championships, Nikola Selaković. In addition to them, participants will also include the European junior champions from Bled and bronze from the World Junior Championships in Plovdiv Bojan Došljak, Aleksandar Marinkovski, Aleksandar Beđik, Aleksa Stanković, Junior World Championships bronze medalist Andrija Šljukić, Igor Lončavervić and many others who represented Serbian rowing magnificently on the international scene this season. The programme for the first day of the state championships includes races for cadets (course length 1,000 metres) and the junior competition, as well as a veterans’ race.

Photo by Goran Zec

On the second day cadets and seniors will compete to win medals, while one of the most interesting races is expected in the women’s eights, which will see rowers of all ages competing in one team. The race committee meeting is at 8am on both days of the competition, with qualifications beginning an hour later and the final races beginning at 11am. Although the season calendar of the Rowing Federation of Serbia continues after the state championships with the fourth and final round of the Youth League of Serbia on October 20th in Novi Sad, the national championships will mark the official end of the season for most rowers.


Belgrade Insight no.122  

Belgrade Insight Issue No. 122 Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012

Belgrade Insight no.122  

Belgrade Insight Issue No. 122 Friday, September 21, 2012 - Thursday, October 4, 2012