The New Serbia
A young democracy, rich in tradition, with religious and press freedom.
A democratic Serbia is the key to stability in the Balkans, an inspiration to all in the region.
The New Serbia
An investment in democracy that's working
There are links in the text, but they all lead to the same not so exciting site: the place where the government puts out its English-language press releases (among the news items: 3,334 votes means that "31.5% of diaspora casts ballot"--that is rather a smaller diaspora than other folks, some of whom might know what the government is saying, claim). If Professor Cole's source code is to be believed (and why should it not?) this ad was purchased through Blogads for the modest price of $100, and the buyer was promised that it would be seen by 193,732 people, of the type targeted by the "Liberal Blog Advertising Network." It's interesting company for a government which is led, for another few weeks anyway, by a party which releases statements claiming that visits by European diplomats before an election "are impermissible and damage the normal life of the country."
Tonight's main news show on Bosnia's national broadcaster was all excited about CNN's weather site. BHTV had a story couple nights ago about CNN putting Sarajevo under "Yugoslavia," a country that no longer exists. In the meantime, CNN has fixed the site. The result is to the left.
Now, even the PIC seems to have recognized that its decision was premature; when its Steering Board meets in Brussels at the end of February, it is very likely to extend the OHR's mandate. (The decision had always been subject to review in February.) Another piece of news: according to today's Dnevni avaz, Schwarz-Schilling will be replaced, presumably by someone who's actually interested in using his office to achieve concrete results. For this situation, however, the PIC deserves as much blame as Schwarz-Schilling, whose views on the extensive powers of the OHR were after all well-known even before his appointment. (Avaz is not known for meticulous fact-checking, but I've now heard the same from more credible sources.)
Rumor has it that Schwarz-Schilling is about to make a statement to the effect that he would not serve beyond June.
The whole episode is embarrassing because it suggests that the PIC hadn't done its homework before appointing Schwarz-Schilling, or before taking the decision to phase out in June. It is also a blow to the idea, already rather thin intellectually, that the pull of European integration would on its own be strong enough for Bosnia's elites to bring their irreconcilable visions for the future closer together. Thanks to the PIC, Schwarz-Schilling's term in office has been a complete waste of time.
The result, as it turned out, was probably about as good as could be expected, neither the best nor the worst. Open Democracy asked for my response, so I'll have a link to that when it comes out. One blogger who could always be counted on to disagree with me (in a good way, and accompanied by the sounds of Balkan hip hop) seems to be hanging up his blogging skates, but we can hope that turns out to be temporary. Meanwhile, Viktor might need some help drinking all the beer he will be getting.