By Ognjen Markovic and Paul Mitchell, 27 February 2014
Washington has grown increasingly dissatisfied with the intransigence of local politicians and the EU’s failure to resolve the quagmire.
By Ognjen Markovic and Paul Mitchell, 14 February 2014
Protests over the last week in Bosnia and Herzegovina have led to the resignation of four cantonal government heads and various other officials.
By Jordan Shilton, 7 February 2014
The former Labour prime minister’s pronouncement that the roots of war lie in extremist religion is an attempt to obscure his own responsibility for sectarian tensions in the Middle East.
By Paul Mitchell, 11 December 2012
The International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia Appeals Court overturned the convictions of Croatian general Ante Gotovina and Assistant Interior Minister Mladen Markac.
By Markus Salzmann, 10 December 2012
On December 3, tens of thousands took to the streets in Slovenia to demonstrate against the austerity measures of Prime Minister Janez Janša’s right-wing government.
By Markus Salzmann, 27 November 2012
On November 17, 30,000 people protested in the Slovenian capital against austerity policies.
By Markus Salzmann, 29 September 2012
Slovenia’s conservative government is working closely with the opposition Social Democrats and the trade unions to impose another austerity package.
By Markus Salzmann, 10 September 2012
Although the country’s total debt is relatively low at 47 percent of GDP, the crisis gripping Slovenia’s three largest banks threatens to drag the country into the abyss.
By Markus Salzmann, 6 August 2012
Slovenia is among the Eastern European countries hardest hit by the financial crisis.
By Markus Salzmann, 6 July 2012
With Slovenian banks heavily in debt, the right-wing government of Prime Minister Janez Jansa is acceding to demands for tougher austerity measures.
By Ognjen Markovic, 24 March 2012
A large demonstration against declining living standards and corruption took place in the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica on March 18.
By Ognjen Markovic, 26 January 2012
Unions in Montenegro have agreed to a cut in the number of public employees, pay reductions and a three-year ban on strikes.
By Markus Salzmann, 25 January 2012
Croatian voters approved the country’s joining the European Union in a referendum held on Sunday.
By Ante Dotto, 13 December 2011
The newly elected Social Democratic-led coalition in Croatia will step up the austerity measures demanded by the financial markets.
By Markus Salzmann, 10 December 2011
The Positive Slovenia party won the early parliamentary election held in the Adriatic nation last Sunday with 29 percent of the vote.
By Antid Oto, 22 November 2011
The deepening European financial crisis and the ever-growing possibility of bankruptcy for countries like Greece and Italy pose huge dangers for the economies of the Balkan countries.
By Markus Salzmann, 9 November 2011
One month before the forthcoming general election in Croatia, the ruling party, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), is embroiled in a deep political crisis.
By Ante Dotto, 17 October 2011
The political deadlock in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) represents the systemic failure of the entire official political framework in the region and a foreign policy disaster for the state's international backers, the US and EU.
By Markus Salzmann, 24 September 2011
After months of continual parliamentary crisis, the Slovenian minority government led by Premier Borut Pahor was ousted from office following a vote of no confidence on Tuesday.
By Markus Salzmann, 24 August 2011
The Slovenian government led by Premier Borut Pahor faces collapse following unpopular austerity measures and allegations of corruption.
By Ante Dotto, 23 August 2011
The record levels of unemployment across Europe are overshadowed by the figures available for the Balkans, where more than 50 percent of young people are without work.
By Ante Dotto, 9 August 2011
Tensions remain high after violent clashes broke out again at the end of last month on the Kosovo-Serbia border.
By Ante Dotto, 27 July 2011
Since the beginning of the year many people have gone on hunger strikes throughout Montenegro, the smallest of the states emerging after the breakup of Yugoslavia, with a population of around 620,000.
By Markus Salzmann, 18 July 2011
The push by the Kosor government and Brussels for Croatia’s entry into the European Union is designed to make it a low-wage country for exploitation by major European businesses.
By Ante Dotto, 28 June 2011
Five years after nominal independence, the social and political situation in Montenegro belies the claim that the break-up of Yugoslavia into “independent” states represented anything progressive.
By Markus Salzmann, 27 June 2011
Slovenia’s conservative opposition parties are poised to oust the current government, in order to subject the country to the social devastation demanded by the EU and IMF.
By Chris Marsden and Markus Salzmann, 1 June 2011
The former chief of staff of the Bosnian Serb Army in the Republica Srpska during the 1992-95 civil war was extradited to the Netherlands on Tuesday, where he will stand trial at the Hague for war crimes.
By Paul Mitchell, 22 April 2011
Last week, the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia in the Hague found two Croatian military leaders, General Ante Gotovina and Assistant Interior Minister Mladen Markac, guilty of war crimes and sentenced them to 24 years and 18 years imprisonment.
By Markus Salzmann, 15 April 2011
Political and social unrest has increased in the Balkan region during the past weeks and months.
By Markus Salzmann, 22 March 2011
The people of Croatia have launched a wave of protests against drastically deteriorating social conditions, a savage austerity programme and corruption on the part of top-ranking politicians.
By Markus Salzmann, 27 January 2011
The entire political establishment of Europe is terrified that the protests last week could spread beyond Albania’s borders to its highly politically unstable neighbours in the Balkans.
By Markus Salzmann, 20 November 2010
A former member of the National Socialist Waffen SS has been elected chairman of a parliamentary committee of the Latvian government.
By Markus Salzmann, 2 October 2010
The elections in Latvia this weekend take place against the background of a deep economic, political and social crisis.
Twenty years since declaring independence from the USSR
By Niall Green, 4 May 2010
Twenty years after declaring independence from the USSR, the Latvian government is carrying out savage austerity measures in collusion with international financial elite and their representatives in the IMF, the European Union, and the government in Riga.
By Markus Salzmann, 27 November 2009
Recent reports indicate that the economies of many central and eastern European states are headed for new shocks.
By Paul Mitchell, 8 October 2009
A number of reports have pointed to the increasing threat of Bosnia and Herzegovina collapsing, and even about the possibility of war breaking out.
By Markus Salzmann, 19 August 2009
Irrespective of the political composition of the various Balkan state governments, they are uniformly reacting to the economic crisis by shifting the entire burden onto the backs of the broad masses of the population.
By Paul Mitchell, 30 May 2009
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has alleged he was given an immunity deal by US diplomat Richard Holbrooke at the end of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s 1992-1995 war.
By Paul Mitchell, 21 May 2009
The US administration is moving to reassert its authority in the Balkans as a divided European Union fails to push through the measures that were agreed in the Dayton Accord for this key strategic region.
By Stefan Steinberg, 16 January 2009
On January 13, Riga, the capital of the Baltic state of Latvia, was rocked by protests and demonstrations which left around 25 people injured following clashes with police. Police made an estimated 106 arrests.
By Niall Green, 23 October 2008
The economies of central and eastern Europe are being rocked by the crisis of world capitalism, compounded by the corrupt and pro-big business policies of their local elites.
By Paul Mitchell, 21 August 2008
Earlier this month, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic appeared before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) after 13 years in hiding. He was arrested in the Serbian capital of Belgrade disguised as Dragan Dabic, a doctor of alternative medicine.
By Paul Mitchell, 30 July 2008
The capture of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has unleashed a torrent of historical distortions echoing the propaganda used to justify US-NATO intervention in the former Yugoslavia and to obscure the role of the Western powers in the federation’s break-up.
By Paul Mitchell, 16 April 2008
Kosovo’s former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj has been acquitted of all charges of war crimes committed whilst he was a top commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). However, Haradinaj’s release has been accompanied by renewed allegations that witnesses were subjected to systematic harassment and intimidation and gruesome claims that the KLA “harvested” body organs from hundreds of Serbian prisoners before killing them.
By Julie Hyland, 22 February 2008
Violence has flared once again in the former Yugoslavia, following Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia on Sunday.
21 February 2008
Below we publish a letter from a reader on a recent WSWS article on the Serbian elections, followed by a reply by the article’s author, Paul Mitchell.
From the archive of the WSWS
By David North, 20 February 2008
In light of the recent developments surrounding the declaration of independence of Kosovo the World Socialist Web Siteis republishing the following article, which originally appeared on June 14, 1999.
By Peter Schwarz, 20 February 2008
The support of the US and the major European powers for Kosovo’s unilateral secession from Serbia, in the face of fierce opposition from Serbia and Russia, as well as China, marks a turning point in international politics.
By Stefan Steinberg, 19 February 2008
Deep divisions emerged at the European Union meeting in Brussels on Monday, with the assembled Foreign Ministers unable to arrive at a unified position with regard to the declaration of independence made by the Kosovan Prime Minister on Sunday.
By Chris Marsden, 18 February 2008
Yesterday’s declaration of independence from Serbia by Kosovo’s parliament brings the world a step closer to another war on European soil. The move has been prepared and encouraged by the United States and the European powers in a deliberate attempt to stoke hostilities with Russia.
By Paul Mitchell, 7 February 2008
On February 4, voters re-elected Boris Tadic president of Serbia in a second-round contest against Tomislav Nikolic of the extreme right-wing nationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS). Only 120,000 votes separated the two candidates. Tadic, leader of the Democratic Party (DS), received 2.3 million votes, and Nikolic got 2.18 million in a turnout of nearly 68 percent of the electorate.
By Paul Mitchell, 30 January 2008
Tomislav Nikolic of the extreme right-wing nationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS) won the first round of the voting in the January 20 Serbian presidential elections. The SRS, which formed a coalition with former president Slobodan Milosevic’s Socialist Party during the 1990s in the period leading up to the West’s dismemberment of Yugoslavia, is the largest party in the country. Its president, Vojislav Seselj, is presently being tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague.
By Paul Mitchell, 24 December 2007
Last week, the European Union (EU), under pressure from the United States, sent a 1,800-strong “rule of law” mission—the largest in the bloc’s history—to replace the United Nations mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). The EU mission’s job is to reform the police, prisons and judiciary and pave the way for Kosovan independence, which the US wants the provincial government to declare early next year.
By Paul Mitchell, 12 December 2007
Last week, three mediators from the United States, the European Union and Russia announced their failure to bring about a negotiated solution between local ethnic Albanian and Serbian leaders, as well as Serbia, on Kosovo’s future status. Kosovo is presently a province of Serbia, but the dominant Albanian elite is pushing for independence.
By Paul Mitchell, 22 November 2007
The result of Saturday’s Kosovo Assembly election has deepened the crisis over independence. The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), political successors to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), secured 34 percent (about 220,000 votes) as against 22 percent for the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), in power since the NATO intervention in 1998. The PDK does not have a majority and may be forced into a coalition with the LDK.
By Paul Bond, 27 May 2006
The fracturing of the Balkans reached a new stage with the May 21 vote supporting Montenegro’s separation from Serbia. The tiny republic voted narrowly in a referendum to secede, bringing to six the number of countries formed from the former territory of Yugoslavia.
By Tony Robson, 22 May 2006
Ongoing talks over the future of Kosovo have once again highlighted the predatory character of the NATO-led war on Serbia in 1999. Having transformed Kosovo into a “UN Protectorate” under the guise of protecting ethnic Albanians, the major powers are now seeking to formalise its “final status” as an “independent” state subservient to their interests and demands.
Seven years after US-led war on Yugoslavia
By Tony Robson, 1 April 2006
This is the conclusion of a two-part article on Kosovo. Part One was published on March 31.
Seven years after US-led war on Yugoslavia
By Tony Robson, 31 March 2006
This is the first of a two-part article on Kosovo. The conclusion will be published on April 1.
Sordid end to “international justice” charade
By Bill Van Auken, 14 March 2006
The controversy surrounding the sudden death of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic in his jail cell at the Hague has only deepened with the autopsy performed in the Netherlands and the vague, self-serving statements made by officials of the UN war crimes tribunal.
By Bill Van Auken, 13 March 2006
The death of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in his jail cell at the Hague on Saturday has unleashed a torrent of historical distortions and outright lies that echo the propaganda campaign waged more than seven years ago to justify the US-NATO war against the country.
5 July 2005
The following exchange was in response to the article, “International Commission calls for Kosovo independence” by Paul Mitchell, 24 May 2005.
By Paul Mitchell, 24 May 2005
The International Commission on the Balkans has published a report that calls for a “shift” in Western policy towards supporting independence for Kosovo. The Report, The Balkans in Europe’s Future, also calls for a referendum on the future of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro and a revised federal structure in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
US-backed ex-militia leader on trial
By Paul Mitchell, 16 March 2005
Kosovo’s former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj is on trial at the United Nations tribunal at The Hague, charged with 37 counts of war crimes. He faces 17 counts of crimes against humanity for murder, rape, persecution, inhumane acts, unlawful detention, deportation or forcible transfer of civilians and 20 counts of violations of the laws or customs of war for cruel treatment, murder and rape.
By Paul Mitchell, 27 October 2004
Over the last few weeks newspapers in Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina have exposed the identities of several British MI6 intelligence agents operating in the Balkans.
By Paul Mitchell, 6 October 2004
Defence witnesses have refused to testify at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, halting the trial for at least another four weeks. The witnesses, who include international bourgeois political figures, are protesting at the removal of the right of the former President of Yugoslavia to conduct his own defence.
By Paul Mitchell, 1 October 2004
This is the conclusion of a two-part series analysing growing instability and tensions in the Balkans. Part 1 was posted September 29.
By Paul Mitchell, 29 September 2004
This is the first of a two-part series analysing growing instability and tensions in the Balkans.
By Paul Mitchell, 15 September 2004
A leaked internal United Nations report says the administration in the UN protectorate of Kosovo was on “the point of near collapse” after riots engulfed the province in March.
By Paul Mitchell, 8 September 2004
Judges have stopped Slobodan Milosevic from conducting his own defence at the war crimes tribunal in The Hague and imposed a defence counsel on the former Yugoslav president. They also ordered the first defence witnesses to appear at the trial on September 7.
By Paul Mitchell, 10 July 2004
Judges trying former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic are calling for a “radical review” of the proceedings.
By Lena Sokoll, 13 March 2004
In parliamentary elections in Greece last Sunday the right-wing Partei Nea Dimokratia (New Democracy Party—ND) recorded a clear victory over the reigning Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK).
By Paul Mitchell, 12 February 2004
The first Western leaders involved in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 have appeared before The Hague District Court in Holland. This is the first time since the Second World War that Western politicians have testified in a national court about their alleged crimes against humanity.
9 February 2004
Regarding your article, “Milosevic trial sets precedent: US granted right to censor evidence” (31 December 2003):
By Paul Mitchell, 31 December 2003
Earlier this month the US government demanded and received the right to censor testimony at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
By Paul Mitchell, 11 November 2003
The last prime minister of Yugoslavia has broken his 12-year long silence to speak in public about events during the breakup of his country in the 1990s.
A major step for European militarism
By Paul Stuart, 10 April 2003
On March 31 the European Union (EU) took command of the NATO mission in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). During a military ceremony at the NATO headquarters in the capital Skopje, Lord Robertson, secretary general of NATO, handed the NATO mission over to EU command Operation Concordia.
One millions refugees remain from 1990s wars
By Paul Mitchell, 7 April 2003
Recent reports show that the dire state of the Balkans economy is the primary reason that more than one million refugees and displaced people have still not returned to their former homes.
By Keith Lee and Paul Mitchell, 26 February 2003
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has dropped war crime charges against the former Chief of the Croatian Army, General Janko Bobetko. Medical experts appointed by the tribunal have declared the 83-year-old Bobetko too ill to stand trial.
By Paul Stewart, 1 February 2003
The European Union (EU) is preparing in March to replace NATO’s Amber Fox mission in Macedonia. Javier Solano, EU foreign policy chief, has said this first military deployment of the EU Rapid Reaction Force (EURRF) will put EU-NATO relations “on a different footing.” As his remarks suggest, EU officials aim to use the mission in Macedonia to prove that Europe can and must develop a military capability independent of the United States.
By Paul Bond and Tony Robson, 31 January 2003
The failure of the presidential poll in Montenegro at the end of December has deepened the crisis of the political establishment in the former Yugoslavia.
The Milosevic trial
By Paul Mitchell, 16 January 2003
The favourable treatment given an indicted Bosnian Serb war criminal underscores the hypocrisy of western claims to be upholding standards of international justice at The Hague.
By Paul Stuart, 19 December 2002
The Social Democratic Alliance (SDSM)-led government “Together for Macedonia,” formed in October, has been shaken by a series of strikes. An anticipated period of grace for the newly elected coalition evaporated as workers at 17 enterprises went on strike to demand the payment of back wages and the return of legislation protecting labour rights. Workers in private industry joined the strike wave, accusing managers of spending back pay to lead luxurious lifestyles.
By Tony Robson, 10 December 2002
The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 breached international humanitarian law and caused long-term environmental damage, a report by the American based research group, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), has found.
By Keith Lee, 1 November 2002
At the beginning of this month Croatian President Stjepan (Stipe) Mesic gave evidence against Slobodan Milosevic at The Hague war crimes tribunal. Mesic is the first head of state to testify at the tribunal. He was president of the former Yugoslavia in 1991. His presidency lasted less than a year before Yugoslavia was broken up.
By Paul Bond and Tony Robson, 21 October 2002
Described by one observer as “an election that never was”, the failure of the Serbian presidential elections to produce a result offers a damning commentary on the record of the Western-supported coalition that has governed since the ousting of President Slobodan Milosevic.
By Tania Kent and Paul Stuart, 19 October 2002
On September 16, the President of Macedonia, Ljubco Georgijevski of Vmro-Dpmne, was voted out of office in a shock election result.
By Paul Mitchell, 14 October 2002
Prosecution lawyers in the trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic have warned journalists to stop criticising their performance and evidence. Milosevic is appearing before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague accused of war crimes.
By Tony Robson and Paul Bond, 23 September 2002
Presidential elections are currently taking place in Serbia. Voters will go to the polls on Sunday, September 29—almost two years to the day since the downfall of the regime of Slobodan Milosevic. The Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS), which came to power with Western backing, still maintains the title even though it is the party of government.
Officials used threats to extract testimony, ex-spy chief says
By Keith Lee and Paul Mitchell, 11 September 2002
Late July Radomir Markovic, a former Serbian spy chief, claimed he had been forced to appear as a prosecution witness in the trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. And, in a dramatic reversal for the prosecution, Markovic denied that Milosevic ethnically cleansed the ethnic Albanians in Kosova and then tried to cover up the evidence.
By Paul Mitchell, 4 September 2002
The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has arrested a number of former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commanders, sparking violent protests in the former Yugoslav province.
By Paul Bond and Chris Marsden, 22 August 2002
Barely three months after the Yugoslav parliament voted to abolish the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and replace it with a looser union between its remaining members, the extent of Western pressure in determining the shape of the region can be clearly seen.
By Tony Robson, 21 August 2002
There is mounting evidence that the United Nations has carried out a cover-up of the role played by its personnel in human trafficking and prostitution in Bosnia—a trade that has grown astronomically since the establishment of the Western protectorate seven years ago.
27 July 2002
The following letter was sent in response to the article The Milosevic trial: More questions raised over Racak , published May 8, 2002. by Paul Mitchell. It is followed by a reply from the author.
By Keith Lee, 20 July 2002
William Walker, the former head of the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) insisted in his testimony to The Hague that Slobodan Milosevic had knowledge of the events in Kosovo and should be held responsible for the atrocities carried out there.
By Paul Mitchell, 3 July 2002
The testimony of a key prosecution witness claiming intimate knowledge of Slobodan Milosevic’s inner circle was thoroughly discredited last month. Milosevic is on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, accused of crimes against humanity.
By Tony Robson, 1 July 2002
The Kosovo Provisional Assembly has passed a declaration challenging the Border Delineation Agreement signed in February 2001 and establishing an internationally recognised border between Yugoslavia and the Republic of Macedonia. This agreement came after years of negotiations between the governments in Belgrade and Skopje.
By Paul Stuart, 28 June 2002
In northern Kosovo, near the town of Mitrovica, sits a huge dilapidated industrial site known as the Trepca mining complex. During the 1980s, it employed 20,000 workers and accounted for 70 percent of all Yugoslavia’s mineral wealth. One economist described Trepca as a “colossal conglomerate composed of more than forty mines, foundries, and subsidiary plants—which [at its height] generated 25 percent of the entire regional industrial production and figured among the principal exporters of the ex-Yugoslavia.” According to the same study, “In the subsoil of Kosovo, one of the richest of Europe, enormous deposits are hidden of lignite, lead, zinc, non-ferric metals, gold, silver and petroleum,” on top of 17 billion tons of coal.
The Milosevic trial:
By Paul Mitchell, 28 May 2002
The sitting Kosovan president, Ibrahim Rugova, appeared as a prosecution witness at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, where former premier Slobodan Milosevic is indicted for crimes against humanity.
By Paul Mitchell, 8 May 2002
Two weapons inspectors in Kosovo have recently given evidence about events in the Yugoslav province in the six months leading up to the NATO bombardment in March 1999. British Army officers General Karol Drewienkiewicz and Colonel Richard Ciaglinski appeared as witnesses for the prosecution in the trial of former Yugoslavian president, Slobodan Milosevic, at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague for crimes against humanity.