Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ticking of the Clock

It seems that the clock is ticking on Kosovo's independence.  It is expected that Kosovo's parliament will sign a declaration of intent to declare independence on 17 February.  The actual declaration is due to take place in early March.  The timing of the decision is interesting as it looks to be set to take place right before the meeting of the EU and on Sunday which would give more than 100 countries a chance to recognize Kosovo's independence before the UN in NY woke up and Russia could call an emergency session of the Security Council to block the move.  There are fears that jovial mobs of Albanians celebrating may attack fleeing, angry, and scared Serb communities who are expected to make a mass exodus from Kosovo following independence despite Kosovo PM's assurances and pretty speeches about how Kosovo Serbs should stay.  This may not be the actual case but don't think there won't be any celebrations because there will be a big party in Pristina with a fireworks display and while not frequently admitted, lots and lots of celebratory gunfire!

Serbia is protesting the expected recognition and already Serbian hardliners are lashing out in anger against an art exhibit of a Kosovo Albanian in Belgrade.  Hardliners clashed with police and the exhibit was closed.  Additionally an explosion rocked a Slovenian owned shopping center resulting in material damages, no injuries and a second threat was called into another Slovenian center.  Some Serbs are calling for a boycott of Slovenian products due to the recent Slovenian takeover of the EU presidency and the support the organization has been giving to Kosovo's independence.

Kosovo Serb politicians are also torn about what to think about the possible EU mission to Kosovo.  Rival factions have differing opinions from boycott to welcoming the mission.  Meanwhile it appears that the recently elected government of Serbia could collapse due to the loss of Kosovo and infighting about the SAA pact with the EU which is supposed to be considered a separate issue but in the minds of the people difficult to distinguish.

Other Kosovo News...
  • As Albanians complain about poor education, minorities face even more struggles with education in Kosovo
  • Independence moves spur fear on the streets for Serbs in Kosovo
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