Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Spring Arrives

Ah, finally!  It looks like spring is here. The trees are starting to bud and the road outside the house is getting progressively worse :o)  Driving through the entrance of Gracanica is like driving through an obstacle course to avoid the potholes that are continually expanding.  Cars are zigzagging all over the road, sometimes into oncoming traffic just to avoid the enormous potholes!
Pretty much everything is quiet now.  The biggest news about Kosovo is the status talks and how the international community wants the Serbs to start taking part in the local government.  Serbia is to put out a plan on autonomy for Kosovo in the next week or so, stating that it is the best solution for the conflict.  I've seen news that there may be trouble in June/July as Ahtisaari prepares to address the UN Security Council on the progress (of lack) in the status negotiations.  It is thought that while the international community cannot impose a solution on Serbia to give Kosovo independence, they will use entrance into the EU as a large bargaining chip.

There have been statements recently about how granting independence to Kosovo will cause problems elsewhere in the Balkans.  Several days ago, a prominent politician in Bosnia & Herzegovina made comments that if Kosovo is granted independence, the Republica Srbjica may attempt to break off from the union.  There also are demands for autonomy of the minority Romanian population in northern Serbia and of course, demands for autonomy of the Albanian minority in the Presevo area of southern Serbia (perhaps joining to Kosovo).