Tag Archives: Serbia

Serbia and Kosovo go to Jerusalem: Passing Trump circus, or profound geopolitical shake-up?

A bizarre Trumpist ceremony in the White House on September 4 saw the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo signing two separate documents with the United States involving American-funded economic agreements between the two estranged countries. Especially bizarre is Trump’s claim to have ended “hundreds of years” of “mass killings” between Serbia and Kosovo; apart from a two-day outbreak in 2004, there have been no mass killings since 1999. In contrast, his Balkan envoy, Richard Grenell, thought the Kosovo war was merely a “perceived conflict, which in some ways is a conflict.” Believing that Serbia and Koso ..

(Post)pandemic struggles in social reproduction: COVID-19 and housing justice in Serbia

Note of the LeftEast editors:The present text,which we co-publish together with TSSis part of a series of publications and webinars on the topics of social reproduction, (women’s) labour and migration in East-Central Europe and beyond. The video from the first webinarResponses to Covid19 and (post)pandemic: social reproduction, migrants and women in Central/Eastern Europe and beyond, where this text was first presentedcan be seen here. The aim of the series is to raise awareness about struggles for labour, reproduction and migrant rights, as well as of the condition of women in society and how these have been i ..

[INTERVIEW] The Serbian opposition to Vučić without a plan

Note from LeftEast editors: Ahead of the parliamentary elections in Serbia on June 21st, we publish an interview with Aleksandar Matković. A shorter version of this interview was originally conducted by Dimitris Givisis for “Epohi.gr”. Questions 3, 6 and 7 were added by LeftEast editors.  1) What do you think the elections on June 21st will mean for the future of Serbia? I think that the current president – Aleksandar Vučić and the ruling party, the Progressive Party of Serbia – will win. There’s no doubt about that. They are too embedded in the domestic political life and international ..

Imperial partition: Trump’s new order in the Balkans

Note from LeftEast editors: The article is published in cooperation between Counterfire and LeftEast. The US President is hoping that he can broker a Serbia-Kosovo deal ahead of the November elections, writes Vladimir Unkovski-Korica. Donald Trump is a man in a hurry. There is an election to fight, and success is in short supply. His domestic record is looking dubious after his poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Unemployment is sky high and US race relations after the police murder of George Floyd compound the picture. And Trump’s international breakthroughs…well, North Korea’s literal blowing up of ..

“Red Tape”: the Labor Crisis in Europe’s Most Unequal Country

Note from LeftEast editors: This is Part I of “Serbia’s Labor Law: a Counter-Proposal” reprinted from the author’s blog with his kind permission. I went to work in the morning and returned late in the evening. And on Sunday I had to go to work. I did not have any free time anymore. The owner of the company increased the volume of work but did not increase the number of us who are working. For every mistake, he took a part of our salaries, so I often did not get even the minimum (wage). He never paid out our hot meals, vacation and travel expenses, although we all signed that we had received them. We h ..

Serbia: State and Party-backed Violence against Members of the Housing Movement

Note from the LeftEast editors: Repression against our comrades in Serbia fighting for the right to housing is growing. Planned modifications to the Law on Enforcement and Security would expand the powers of private bayliffs and criminalize solidarity with those evicted. Also, direct violence against housing activists by the far right has intensified.  On June 6th, housing activists from Roof Over One’s Head in Serbia were beaten up. A large crowd gathered on June 11th in Novi Sad to protest the attacks. Also, On June 14th activists protested in front of the European Delegation building in Belgrade, asking for ..

What is Rotten with Serbia’s Mass Protests?

The end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 was marked by a wave of mass anti-government protests in Belgrade. The direct cause for the first protest held on December 8th was the attack on the leader of the Serbian Left, Borko Stefanović, ahead of a forum of the newly formed coalition of the opposition parties, Alliance for Serbia, in the City of Kruševac. The first protest was organized by the Alliance under the banner “Stop to Bloody Shirts”. After the crowd expressed its dissatisfaction with the proposals to continue protests after the New Year break, the organization of the protest was taken over by an al ..

The New Heroes of their Class

After two privatizations, massive layoffs and two worker strikes in less than a decade, the quarry and lime plant “Ravnaja AD” bears testament to the class struggle in Serbia, serving as a vivid example to the dictatorship of capital over the lives of workers who toil for their bare existence in the country. In the winter of 2017 a picture of a woman throwing a large boulder appeared in the daily paper Danas. With her back bent over, Danka Simić was performing her daily work as a “cleaning lady,” but instead of cleaning halls and toilets she was sent to the stone quarry of the company she works for, “R ..

How Serbia was systematically destroyed – by privatization: an interview with Marija Obradović

Note from the editors: The following interview with Marija Obradović was conducted by Vladimir Sudar for the Serbian publication, Sputnik. It is published here in translation with generous permission. If remaining state-owned strategic resources are sold, it will bring about enormous economic damage. Although the oligarchs that sell them will make great material gains, the situation of the working class will get even worse, says Dr. Marija Obradović, author of a new book Hronika tranzicionog groblja (Chronicle of the Transitional Graveyard). Privatisation cannot be fair. There is no empirical evidence that any ..

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 ..