Modern Tokyo Times
We live in a complex world full of mind-boggling developments including cases of ruling administrations pursuing foreign policies clearly not in the national interests. A globalist agenda seems to transcend the national interests. In 2007/2008 this agenda led to the global economic meltdown, the worst since the Great Depression. Two US examples are only briefly mentioned herein and left for another piece. The US has sided with the jihadists in a number of local conflicts and civil wars, e.g. Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, Egypt, and Syria!! The other example is that of generalissima Hillary Clinton, to borrow the term from Ralph Nader, who overcame opposition from the Defense Secretary Robert Gates and choreographed NATO overthrow of long-term Libyan leader Gaddafi, who most recently only focused on becoming an African leader. During her four-year term she led a militarized State Department which had little room for diplomacy.
It should be noted that the war in Libya was conducted not only without a congressional declaration of war but without a congressional authorization and appropriation. Hillary’s husband provided a model for lawlessness in the world by unleashing NATO’s force of 1150 planes, dropping 21,000 tons of bombs and firing 1,300 missiles on essentially the defenseless country of Serbia (probably the most one-sided military conflict in history). It was the first time in NATO’s 50-yr history that the alliance directed its military might –second to none in the world—at a sovereign nation. In my books, Kosovo Crisis and Kosovo is Serbia, I had characterized this act of naked aggression as 78 days of infamy. The US/NATO campaign broke seven international laws including the UN charter (Article 5) and ignored the US Constitution and US law. The House of Representatives did not pass a resolution supporting bombing. The NATO political establishment had to demonize not only the Serbian president Milosevic but the whole Serbian nation in order to justify the illegal and unconstitutional war. The handmaiden reporters played their assigned parts by the political establishment in demonizing the Serbs, as a part of the so called packed journalism.
This article is dedicated to the case Kosovo claimed frequently as a western success—only by ignoring what has transpired in the province since it was stolen from Serbia by the US/NATO and handed over to the domestic Albanian terrorists turned statesmen as Washington Balkan clients. After eight years of resisting pressure to abandon the cradle of its civilization Serbia’s existing government has now decided to capitulate. The capitulation vehicle was entering into the EU sponsored dialogue with an illegal entity called the Kosovo Republic, which unilaterally declared independence five years ago as the US/German creation. Serbia entered into a no win situation since US/Germany are holding trump cards. Serbia has no friends in the West, only in the East but those friends are not involved and Russia in particular. Baroness Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign-policy chief, has been acting as the mediator.
Unless the Serbian government decides to pull out of this dialogue at the very last minute it will sacrifice its territorial integrity, in violation of its constitution, primarily to obtain a date for initiation of decade long negotiations for joining the EU!! At the time of this writing it appears that Serbia will get nothing. Aleksandar Vulin, director of Serbia government’s Kosovo office said: “Everything the EU asked of other countries we have long fulfilled, not for the sake of the EU but for our own sake. Many EU member states are in worse economic and political shape than Serbia and less stable. But since we are Serbia other rules apply, and the only question is how long we will take that. Hopefully, Serbian government will reach that point on April 2.” This statement doesn’t offer a satisfactory explanation to why Serbia continues its pursuit of EU membership while sacrificing its territorial integrity and hence this belongs to the “mind-boggling category” to this writer.”
Kosovo Solution not amenable to US/German Impositions
My books address millennium-old Kosovo history about the Serbian and Albanian conflict, which I have routinely compared to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to illustrate the mass complexity. Historical animosities exist, which makes coexistence next to impossible. The Ahtisaari plan, not approved by the UN Security Council, but used by US/Germany as the blueprint for Kosovo independence. The plan was designed by the former Finnish president who was appointed by the UN Secretary General to be the UN special envoy for Kosovo. It recognized that the conflict in Kosovo between Serbs and Albanians could only be peacefully resolved if a way were found to allow the two communities to co-exist in a majority-run polity but also lived their own lives in their own communities. Kosovo is the cradle of Serbian civilization with some 1300 Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries, a Serbian Jerusalem. The conflict must be adjudicated either by the UN, with participation of Russia and China, or by some European entity like the 1878 Berlin Congress with participation of Russia. Bombing Serbia and claiming that farcical humanitarianism was in play as well as imposing a Carthaginian peace on Serbia is the crudest way to resolve this complex conflict in particular in the 21st century. “Carthaginian Peace” is referred to as a brutal peace demanding total subjugation of the defeated side. Tacitus wrote: “They make a desert and call it peace.” Julia Gorin, an accomplished blogger on Balkan subjects, on the occasion of deployment of Fort Bragg soldiers to Kosovo, wrote: “Bombing a country on behalf of its domestic terrorists is ‘easing tensions.” Only in America, kids. Only in America!”
For eight years, Belgrade was ready to sacrifice almost everything to keep Kosovo within Serbia, including making a proposal for an unprecedented Kosovo autonomy compatible with the UN Resolution 1244, which terminated the 1999 war. However, in 2007 the US decided to abandon the UN process in favor of using the EU and NATO to impose the Ahtisaari plan on Serbia. Ahtisaari’s job was to choreograph the predetermined outcome: Kosovo independence. In 2007, the Finnish News Agency (STT) published two articles alleging that Ahtisaari was “bought” by the Albanian mafia.
Russia and Serbia backed diplomacy but the US backed force. With the US and Russia at loggerheads, the EU was propelled into a pivotal position. At its annual summit, the EU asserted leadership by giving birth to a 2,000-2,500 person civilian mission named EULEX to replace the UNMIK (UN Mission in Kosovo). The EULEX, costing some $1.3bn since 2008, was supposed to be status neutral, given the EU’s lack of unity regarding Kosovo recognition, but instead became a main proponent of Kosovo independence reflecting the US/Germany influence. Previous Serbian president Boris Tadic and his Democratic Party accepted the EULEX mission, despite advice from Moscow to the contrary. The process of Serbian capitulation was thus initiated with Serbia making one concession after another including border management, Kosovo’s representation at regional meetings, university diplomas, trade, etc.
Serbia Capitulates to become German Colony
Given the availability of my books, as well as many others, I will shift quickly into December 2012. The Serbian government elected in May, 2012, consisting mainly of former Milosevic allies including Ivica Dacic as the Prime Minister (PM), former spokesman for president Milosevic when Serbia fought NATO. This government of former Serbian nationalists decided to violate the Serbian constitution, which explicitly says that Kosovo is part of Serbia. They rationalized that Serbian sovereignty over Kosovo exists only on paper and hence something might be accomplished through negotiations in order to prevent the final act of ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Serbs refusing to accept the Pristina rule.
The EU has been demanding from Serbia to “improve neighborly relations” in order to advance its EU membership bid. Another term in use is “normalization of relations.” It should be remembered that five EU members have not recognized Kosovo independence. Hence it may not be proper to call it the US/EU creation but more appropriately the US/German. It should be remembered that the German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Serbian officials in Belgrade last year that the “path of Serbia into the EU can only lead through the normalization of its relations with Kosovo.” It has widely been interpreted that she meant Serbia’s recognition of an independent Kosovo without redrawing the borders. This demand is in stark contrast with the EU’s decision to admit Cyprus without demanding recognition of the Turkish Republic in the north. Vice-president of the Serbian government Suzana Grubjesic said that the dialogue is taking place in Brussels but Berlin decides. She was partially right as the US and Germany is deciding.
The western media has been reporting that once-sworn enemies have signaled a thawing of relations between the two countries. PM Dacic, on a number of occasions, stated that division of Kosovo was the best solution but that in Brussels they did not want to hear about it as they did not want to see another Republika Srpska in the Balkans. This opposition comes mainly from the US. The American ambassador in Belgrade Michael Kirby stated that Republika Srpka didn’t come out well in Bosnia! He may or may not know that late American diplomat Richard Holbrooke, an architect of the Dayton Accords which terminated the war in Bosnia, was a creator of the Republika Srpska. It may well be that in Washington they believe that Holbrooke acquiesced to demands from Milosevic. This was deemed to be a Serbian success and Serbia was not supposed to have any.
The US has followed two basic rules in the Balkans as eloquently summarized by former US diplomat turned foreign policy analyst James George Jatras. “Rule 1: The Serbs are always wrong, and claims and interests they might have must be thwarted. Rule 2: Muslims are always right, and all claims and interests they may have must be facilitated.” Another reputable Washington-based analyst Doug Bandow said: “the Serbs always lose,” as a general rule. Incidentally, while speaking at the Belgrade Law School, ambassador Kirby refused to apologize for the illegal US bombing of Serbia, while presidents Clinton and Obama have prolifically apologized to misdeeds in the past.
Nobody can blame the Kosovo Serbs for refusing to accept tyranny by KLA terrorists turned politicians/statesmen on the US/NATO watch after experiencing the murders of thousands, ethnic cleansing (two thirds were expelled), demolition and burning of 155 Serbian churches and monasteries. 200,000 Kosovo refugees are still internally displaced persons (IDP) in Serbia. There are 120-130,000 Serbs remaining in Kosovo: approximately some 40,000 in the north and about 80,000 in enclaves scattered across Kosovo. On March 17, 2004, just as in the 1930s, Kosovo Kristallnacht took place, a pre-arranged orchestrated Albanian ethnic cleansing plan. 60,000 strong Albanian mobs drove 4,500 Serbs from their homes. There were 19 deaths and some 900 injuries. Several human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, slammed NATO/UNMIK for failing to protect minorities.
UNMIK Human Rights Advisory Panel (HRAP) established in 2006, in response to 250 complaints, announced a decision slamming the failure of UNMIK to investigate systematic killing of Serbs and other non-Albanians, including forced disappearances. HRAP requested from UNMIK an apology and compensation to a Prizren Serbian family for failure to find their father and son kidnapped by three KLA thugs in July 1999. In that timeframe according to some estimates the KLA had murdered 6,000 Serbs and other minorities who were mostly Roma. Some consider this decision a landmark case. However, the competences were transferred to EULEX in 2008. Hence, this decision may prove to be too little, too late regarding accountability.
Even after universally condemning the 2004 pogrom the Kosovo Serbs have continued to be victimized. According to the Serbian office for Kosovo there had been 1025 attacks on the Serbs since Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence five years ago: 51 firearm attacks, 11 plantings of explosive devices, 15 hand grenades and Molotov cocktails thrown, 25 churches attacked, 201 Orthodox cemeteries desecrated, 197 tombstones destroyed, 135 Serbian houses stoned, and 48 fires set to properties owned by the Serbs. Four Serbs were murdered, 245 were injured, and the Serb population was attacked 203 times a year, an attack every other day. Even during these EU sponsored “negotiations” on February 4 a bomb was thrown at a 3-yr old boy and a 9-yr old girl. The Visoki Decani monastery was attacked in an attempt to wrap the ethnic cleansing and to remove evidence of Serbian existence. Fortunately the Italian KFOR contingent prevented the monastery from being torched down.
10,000 Serbian monuments, including Serbian cemeteries, south of the Ibar River have been eradicated. Even the 30m high pine tree planted in Narodimlje by Serbian Tsar Dusan was cut on its 663 birthday. The only explanation for this vandalism is the sick minds of Albanian nationalist “neighbors” which are committed to eradicating the Serbian presence in Kosovo over a millennium. In contrast the monuments in northern Kosovska Mitrovica, where the Serbs constitute the majority, they are untouched.
These acts of terrorism and vandalism against the Serbs in the presence of KFOR, UNMIK, and EULEX received no due attention in Washington, Berlin and Brussels. There is no precedent in Europe for such ethnocide. The US/EU moral authority has been reduced to its lowest level in recent history. Do the European standards apply to Serbs in so-called independent Kosovo? James George Jatras wrote: “Evidence of Islamic evidence and intolerance in Kosovo—and in the Balkans in general—is almost completely ignored, since acknowledging it would challenge the cozy myth of successful US/NATO ‘humanitarian intervention’ and limit the application to future adventures.”
Association (Community) of Serbian Municipalities
Given that Kosovo division was not an option, in late December the Belgrade media published a document termed the “platform,” believed to be composed by president Nikolic and his advisers, laying down the principles and guidelines for dialog with Pristina. The Serbian parliament passed the resolution on January 12, after 14 hours of discussion, paving the way for the consideration of high level territorial and political autonomy for Association or Community of Serbian Municipalities throughout Kosovo where the Serbs constitute a majority, including the decisive role in the area of security, police and judiciary. This would require international guarantees and Serbia would have to adopt a constitutional law. The resolution fell short of recognizing Kosovo and was supported by the Kosovo Serbs. Inclusion of Serbs south of Ibar represents some progress compared to the previous Serbian administration.
In December the respective PMs of Serbia and Kosovo Ivica Dacic and Hashim Thaci met for the first time. The readers need to be reminded about Hashim Thaci’s background which is well known in Washington, Berlin and Brussels. Thaci, aka Snake, was a Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander, highly recognized Kosovo thug, a narco-terrorist accused by the Council of Europe for selling organs of kidnapped and subsequently murdered Serbs. As a KLA commander he was involved in murdering the Serbs and others but was never indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). He enjoyed immunity as he served US Balkans interests. President Bush said on numerous occasions that he would never meet with terrorists but he met with Thaci at the White House below the portrait of George Washington. Thaci has been regularly getting kisses from US Secretaries of State: Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. Everything goes in the Washington void of having any moral standards.
PMs Dacic and Thaci met seven times thus far with another session scheduled for April the 2nd. The EU has arranged for the Serbian president Tomislav Nikolic to meet with the Kosovo president Atifete Jahjaga on February 6. Hence, for all practical purposes Serbia has recognized the Pristina authorities. President Nikolic admitted during his visit to Egypt that the Serbian government was ready to recognize Kosovo institutions including the government, constitution, military and the police. However, he reiterated that: “Serbia has never, and never will recognize Kosovo…something created on injustice cannot be legal and just.”
The northern Kosovo area, bordering Serbia, has been under the control of so called parallel institutions funded by Belgrade including town councils, health authorities, schools and post-offices. These parallel institutions have been unacceptable not only to Pristina but to Washington and Berlin as well. Serbia’s position is that the proposed autonomy of Association of Serbian Municipalities would solve the problem. However, Pristina refused to consider providing the municipalities with any executive powers causing a serious stalemate in the dialog. Thaci has urged the US to support Pristina in its refusal to grant concessions to the Serbian minority in a February 27 letter to the US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. The US dispatched assistant secretary of state Philip Reeker, who became available to meet with Dacic and Thaci in Brussels prior and after their sessions with Baroness Ashton. The US meddling will probably kill any agreement acceptable to Serbia. In parallel ambassador Kirby, speaking at the 20th Kopaonik Business Forum, urged that Serbia should change its image, “rebrand itself” and show its qualities to the world. He added that he saw Serbia in Europe and that it was up to Serbia to find its way to the EU. This represents American position that Serbia should forget about the nation’s birthplace and focus on its foggy future in European and Atlantic integrations, i.e. EU and NATO.
Baroness Ashton met with the Serbian leadership, President Nikolic, PM Dacic and VP Vucic, on March 11 to discuss the Serbian proposal to create the Association of Serb Municipalities. Asked by the Belgrade media about his “red line,” Nikolic stated that Serbia recognizes Kosovo as a specific territory compared to other parts of Serbia and was ready to accept some facts Kosovo has accomplished with assistance from the UN and the EU like the constitution, the president, the government and the parliament. However on that territory we will never recognize its independence – a big Serbian community exists which must be preserved and enabled to return. Dacic said that “nothing less than an Association of Serb Municipalities with executive powers would be acceptable” and that “no Serb would concede to more than that. The Serbian trio returned from Brussels and made optimistic statements that Pristina made concessions and that an agreement would be signed either on the 20th or the 28th, which exemplifies naivety of the Serbian leadership. Thaci quickly denied that concessions were made. Ashton visited Pristina on March the 14th and then flew to Belgrade. PM Dacic denied that Pristina made concessions and said that Serbia is still far from being in agreement with Pristina. “Only Washington can push Pristina into making concessions but decided not to do it despite the fact that the Ahtissari plan allows the creation of a decision-making body.” The seventh session on March the 20th didn’t break the impasse leading to yet another session scheduled for April the 2nd.
Given Pristina’s failure to make concessions, an appropriate approach for the Serbian leadership would be to thank the EU for their mediation services and unambiguously state that they must protect the human rights of about 130,000 Kosovo Serbs by quoting the Albanian record briefly summarized above. This would stall the Brussels dialog and freeze the Kosovo conflict which is in Serbia’s national interest. It would then be up to the EU to grant Serbia the date for EU membership negotiations or not.
In April the European Parliament has scheduled a debate on Belgrade/Pristina dialog. The EU Commission is scheduled by April 16 to submit a report about the progress in negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina as the principal subject. Progress in judicial reforms, fight against corruption, minority protection, will also be addressed. This report will be considered by all EU members at their semi-annual summit on June 28 and a decision made to provide the date to Serbia for membership negotiations or not.
Lies were told that Kosovo was ours: Serbian De Gaulle!
Dacic writing in the Belgrade weekly NIN on March 7 wrote that Serbs had been lied to that “Kosovo is ours” for a decade. “For 10 years, Kosovo was a taboo. No one could officially tell the truth. Tales were told, lies were told that Kosovo is ours.” But “the Serbian president cannot go to Kosovo, nor the prime minister, nor ministers, nor the police or army. Serbs can only leave Kosovo. That’s how much Kosovo is ours and what does our constitution and laws mean there.” So called “second Serbia” (viewed by many as anti-Serbs typically supported by western finances) jumped to praise Dacic. Ms. Vesna Pesic, co-leader of the 90-day 1996-97 winter demonstrations against Milosevic, compared Dacic to Churchill and De Gaulle! Well, Ms. Pesic might be right if Dacic can pull an equivalent of Republika Srpska into Kosovo by copying Milosevic’s accomplishment at Dayton, which doesn’t seem to be on the cards.
Agency Strategic Marketing found on March 6 that 63% of Serbian citizens accept that Kosovo is in practice an independent state and that Serbia can only hope to fight to secure the best deal for remaining Serbs in Kosovo. On the other hand, the same poll found out that 65% wouldn’t like to see Kosovo sacrificed for the sake of joining the EU. 61% thought that Dacic was doing a good job.
Dacic and Serbian citizens do not need to be reminded that the UN Security Council Resolution #1244 says that Kosovo remains part of Serbia. However, the US/NATO has bypassed this resolution. Hence, independent Kosovo represents a text-book example of an international grand-theft similar to piracy. The Tadic’s government acceptance of EULEX to replace UNMIK represented the initial part of the indigenous Serbian contribution to this grand-theft. Ms. Pesic should remember that De Gaulle abandoned Algeria, but Algeria was a French colony and not the cradle of French civilization.
Serbia’s Dependence on EU
Serbia is willing to give up its territorial integrity in order to obtain the date for opening membership negotiations with the EU!! These negotiations may last 7-10 years or even longer. Why? The VP Vucic said that without the EU that Serbia’s economic survival would be threatened. As an EU candidate Serbia receives grants to the tune of 170 million euros per year. Vucic continues that obtaining a date would enable imports of key machines and the transfer of technology to Serbian factories as well as more financial and economic aid. Given the high unemployment rate of some 26.2% (comparable to that of Greece and Spain), 2% contraction of the economy in 2012, the budget deficit and the lowest income per capita in the region then this grant is obviously welcome. During the last 5 years the international debt of 8.4bn euros has grown to 17.7bn euros. The Economist has published an article titled: “Serbia is the Sickest Man of Europe.” Given these dismal statistics, Serbia must act fast to fix its economy.
The new administration must look elsewhere to attract foreign investment as opposed to propagating the myth of previous Tadic’s administration that joining the EU has no alternative. Recently they have obtained credit of 300 million euros from Russia and are negotiating with Russia for another loan to the tune of $500 million as a budgetary supplement. However, Serbia should remember that a country cannot live on loans as the unfolding Eurozone crisis has clearly demonstrated. In addition they seem to be successful at obtaining investments from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). About four years ago this writer has advocated that Serbia should explore joining the BRICs club (Brazil, Russia, India, China) as a long-term solution. Since then South Africa has joined. The club may or may not accept Serbia’s application but no effort was made to explore this option. Besides this BRIC countries have supported that Kosovo is Serbia.
At the above mentioned Kopaonik Forum, the Italian ambassador has pointed out that Italian companies can work with Serbian companies and that Serbia is a dynamic market, which has improved Serbia’s image in Italy. Trade between the two nations amounted to 2.3bn euros in 2012. The German ambassador said: “Most officials of German companies are satisfied with their businesses and treatment in Serbia.” So Serbia seems to be doing reasonably well with these two key EU countries without being an EU member.
It appears that Vucic and the Serbian government is confusing pre-2009 EU with the one in 2013. Has the Serbian government examined the experience of a number of euro-zone members such as Greece, Portugal, and Ireland, which have received the IMF/EU bail-outs in exchange for severe austerity programs? Cyprus has requested a bailout of 17bn euros for their banks. Spain, Italy and Slovenia are other bailout candidates. The currency union has worked very well for German growth and wealth at the expense of countries mentioned.
Also, does Vucic see an analogy between the EU and the Soviet Union? Rigidity of German response to deal with the euro-zone crisis is a case in point: government overspending and excessive bank risks. Voters in member countries can change and have changed the governments but cannot change the economic policies designed in Berlin to protect the German taxpayers in particular prior to September general elections in Germany. Of particular interest to Serbia should be the experience of Orthodox countries: Greece and Cyprus as well as that of Slovenia, as a former Yugoslav republic. The experience of Bulgaria and Rumania, with their governments replaced, are also highly relevant.
Slovenia: German Colony
Slovenia was by far the richest state to emerge from the dissolution of Yugoslavia as a privileged republic in the market of 24 million people. Slovenia was the first former socialist country to adopt the euro. The economy grew on average by 4.4% annually between 1997 and 2008 thereby outperforming the Eurozone on economic growth. It was the region’s richest country with the GDP per capita greater to those of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Hungary and Poland. It was a showcase for the benefits of EU membership. However, the euro crisis caused three years of recession with the economy contracting at 8% in 2009 and even 2.4% in 2012. Currently, the unemployment rate exceeds 12% and the economy is expected to fall another 1.4% in 2013. Now, Slovenia might need a bail-out from its Eurozone partners. The German austerity model of cutting spending did not result in an economic revival. Slovenia had a problem with corporations financing operations through debt rather than equity. Slovenia’s banks are tottering under $9bn in non-performing loans, about 19% of GDP (higher than even Spain’s 16%). The government started implementing a bank bailout plan. Early in February 20,000 people protested against the austerity measures. PM Janez Jansa had to go and Alenka Bratusek became the new PM.
A Slovenian social scientist Rastko Mocnik said that Slovenia was now at the same level as other southern EU members like Greece, Portugal and Spain. It has become the Europe’s south. The EU operates on the principle of colonies with countries like Germany, France, and Scandinavian countries having privileged access to southern countries. Hence, Slovenia has become German’s colony with no political influence in the EU. Mocnik anticipates a conflict between developed capitalist countries with the surplus of capital and the undeveloped ones seeking that capital. The undeveloped ones, sooner or later, will be looking for alternatives. Asked if Serbia has an alternative to the EU, he recalled that after the demise of Yugoslavia, Slovenia was led to believe that the EU was the only way and that economically it wouldn’t survive. He thought that Serbia should integrate but not necessarily the same way as Slovenia. Mocnik was against the breakup of Yugoslavia and thinks that it was a great historic mistake.
Eight months after the Cypriot government requested a bail-out to the tune of 17bn euros, bleary-eyed Eurozone finance ministers produced a contentious package on a Saturday the 16th. This crisis-mode of operation is EU’s modus operandi. The finance ministers demanded from Cyprus to extract 5.8bn euros from bank depositors in order to cut the size of the rescue package to 10bn euros. This was unprecedented. Peter Bofinger, a German economist, voiced the view that trying to make small savers pay to secure a European bailout of the Cypriot banking system is dangerous. “It will shake the trust of depositors across the Continent. Europe’s citizens now have to fear for their money. The Spaniards, Italians and Portuguese may not run for their money today or tomorrow, but as soon as the crisis intensifies in a Eurozone country, the bank customers will remember Cyprus. They will withdraw their money and, but doing so, intensify the crisis.”
In the bailouts of Portugal (78bn euros) and Ireland (67.5bn euros), it was those countries taxpayers and the Eurozone partners bearing the risk of lending money to them. In Greece (172.6bn euros), the Eurozone did the same but shared the pain with the country’s bondholders. With little Cyprus (population 800,000, GDP of 17bn euros, and 0.06% economic output), whose major banks suffered huge losses in Greek investments and souring real-estate market, the bank depositors had to suffer the pain. The Cypriot legislature rejected the deal with Chancellor Merkel reportedly outraged. Cyprus was “exhausting the patience of its euro partners.” On the streets of Nicosia, like on the streets of Athens, she has been viewed as a hate figure with images of an SS guard or donning a Hitler moustache. On the other hand she continues to be popular at home as the Germans do not like their taxes to be used for bail-outs. Yuri Pyankykh, President of the Russian Business Association of Cyprus, blamed the Cyprus crisis on the German special services which reported that Cyprus banks were teaming with cash laundered by Russian oligarchs and that bailing out Cyprus means helping out those tycoons.
Another bleary-eyed session took place the morning of the 25th. The so called troika (IMF, ECB and EU) imposed their bail-out terms but secured the deal by bank restructuring which doesn’t need approval of the Cypriot Parliament. The deal shuts Cyprus’ second largest bank (Cyprus Popular Bank) imposing steep losses on deposits over 100,000 euros. The country’s largest bank, Bank of Cyprus, will be downsized aggressively with large depositors taking the hit. Russian PM Medvedev has characterized the deal as robbery. Russian and other foreign investors have been robbed. The troika will be in touch with the Russian government. The country faces a big recession that it may need more money to survive in the Eurozone. Economists predict a GDP decline of 10% this year and 8% in 2014. The banks will open on the 28th after 12 days of shutdown. During this period no electronic transactions were available with the ATP machines dispensing only 100 euros per day.
The bells should be ringing in Belgrade that the experiences of Cyprus, Greece and Slovenia are highly applicable and necessitate immediate re-examination of the Serbian government infatuation with the EU.
Vojislav Kostunica, former President of Yugoslavia, former PM of Serbia and now the President of the Democratic Party of Serbia, warned the Serbian government not to do what no previous governments had done. The EU is directly endangering not only the territorial integrity but also the national identity, culture, national self-respect and dignity, and economic interests of the country. The theft of the Serbian territory will resonate in younger generations with anger and will undermine stability of the country. The issues of provinces Vojvodina and Raska will be opened including the survival of Serbia as a country.
Kostunica has requested the session of the Serbian Parliament in order for the government to inform deputies regarding the EU demands and to reject the proposals of Brussels. Serbia would be the first nation to voluntarily hand over its territory. No state in Europe has done anything similar nor has anything similarly been requested from a nation state. It is expected from Serbia to kill its own statehood in order for independent Kosovo to be created. Every sovereign state must reject such a proposal. This writer cannot agree more with Kostunica.