Tag Archives: Serbia

The open violence of the Balkan labour reforms: an interview with Aleksandar Matković

The following interview between Petar Protić and Aleksandar Matković originally appeared in Serbo-Croatian at Al Jazeera Balkans and concerns the recent labour laws that have been carried out almost simultaneously across several Balkan countries, each bearing similar tendencies: a weakening of workers’ rights and a strengthening of the rights of employers, the increase of precarious work and employers arbitrarily assigning work times as they see fit. These labour reforms form one of the central topics of the interview. Protić: Recently the Chinese company Hesteel Serbia, which operates the Smederevo ironwork ..

The Trump Effect in the Balkans: Serbia’s third election in four years?

Serbia faces a set of regular presidential elections this year – but also the prospect of its third parliamentary election in four years. The latter possibility confirms those analyses that have posited the instability of Serbian politics in spite of the appearance of stability, following the ruling coalition winning almost half the votes cast in both previous elections. Serbia after Milošević: Between West and East From the fall of Slobodan Milošević in 2000 to the presidential elections of 2012, Serbian politics was primarily divided geopolitically. Serbia’s governments predominantly took the form of ..

LGBT rights: question of priorities

Note of the LeftEast editors: this article has been published in collaboration with the Serbo-Croat web-portal Bilten.Org and has been translated by and republished with the consent of the author himself.  Although pronounced successful, Belgrade Pride has aroused more interest amongst politicians, than the public and the LGBT community. While politicians didn’t hesitate to express their attitude, the community mostly ignored the event, showing clearly that it is not interested in political images without real solutions. In spite of this, the message that LGBT rights absolutely are not a priority was sent. A ..

Belgrade: From necessity to aimlessness, or who for whom and what kind of city

Note from the LeftEast editors: This article originally appeared in the Serbian publication Masina on 10.06.2016. It was composed in the months following a series of nocturnal demolitions in the Belgrade neighbourhood of Savamala. The demolitions, conducted by unidentified workers in balaclavas, are widely perceived to be the vanguard actions of Belgrade on the Water, a controversial ‘urban renewal’ project that has been the focus of continuous protests led by the civic initiative Ne da(vi)mo Beograd (a name that simultaneously means: ‘Let’s not give Belgrade away’ and ‘Let&# ..

New hope for the Balkans, New Formations on the Left

This is the text of a speech by Pavle Ilić – a sociology student at the University of Belgrade, a member of Marks21 in Serbia, and a contributor to LeftEast – that was delivered at the Marx is Muss conference in Berlin earlier this year. Pavle was on the panel entitled New Hope on the Balkan Left, which took place on Saturday, 7 May 2016. We re-publish the speech kindly produced by Pavle as a contribution to discussions on how to build the left in the region. Dear comrades, I would like to begin my talk by thanking the organizers of Marx Is Muss 2016 for inviting me to speak at this event. I w ..

Serbia’s election outcome: More of the same or worse?

Serbia held early parliamentary elections on 24 April 2016, the second set of early elections in just over two years. Serbian premier and leader of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), Aleksandar Vučić, appears to have believed that, with the opposition in disarray, and his own popularity still sky high, he could win an even more resounding victory than on 16 March 2014. The election result, with 98.56% of votes counted, has dashed Vučić’s hopes. Percentage-wise, he almost succeeded, with the coalition around his SNS winning 48.23% of the vote, just short of the 48.35% two years ago. Votes-wise, Vuči ..

Montenegro and Serbia between NATO and Russia

In December last year, NATO officially invited Montenegro to become the 29th member state of the most powerful military organisation of our times, if not, in fact, of all time. That the invitation will have flattered the already over-inflated ego of country’s Prime Minister, Milo Djukanović, and his ruling clique, there is, of course, little doubt. Nevertheless, this was flattery to deceive, for as everybody knows, Montenegro’s voice in NATO will be like a whistle in a whirlwind.[1] To be sure, the invitation had nothing to do with the direct military contribution that Montenegro – a country with a populat ..

O Balkan Pioneers: Anatomy of an Escape Route

Note from the LeftEast editors: This article appeared originally on Antidote Zine and has been reprinted with the kind permission of the author. The images portray scenes in Serbia and Macedonia, December 2015, captured by unnamed photographers; please inquire before reprinting: antidote [at] riseup . net Q. 
Perhaps twenty years old, probably younger. Kabul, Afghanistan. At the transit point in Adaševci, buses arrive in clusters from points further south in Serbia: the border camps of Preševo (on the Serbian-Macedonian border) and Dimitrovgrad (Serbian-Bulgarian), or from Belgrade. In Adaševci, there is a ..

Between institutional and non-institutional forms of democratic organizing: Towards revolutionary change

This is the fourth and final instalment of contributions from the working groups that were set up by the Balkan Forum. The democratisation and participation working group consists of: Arlind Qori, Gal Kirn, Tadej Kurepa, Agon Hamza, Iva Ivšić and Suzana Kunac (coordinator). Introduction We build upon the conclusions of The First Balkan Forum – held in Zagreb (2012) during the Subversive Forum – that there can be no real democracy in the political, social or economic spheres if there is no workers’ control over the means of production in the workplace. Within this framework, the group tried to envisage th ..

Serbia: October 5th and the Student who Surpassed the Teacher

Note from the LeftEast editors: this article was originally published in Serbian at Mašina. Rs . It was translated into English for LeftEast by Vladimir Unkovski-Korica. The commemoration of the October 5th Revolution on its fifteenth anniversary has been reduced to a marginal event. One public meeting, several round tables and an equally small number of statements and wreaths, were enough to generate a couple of boring media reports about the importance of this date. Few mourn before the faded image of October 5th, least of all the once divided political elites who today all serve the same economic elites, and ..