The Balkans respond with solidarity in trying times

Balkan floodsThere are moments in history when our reactions and behaviour can leave an impact that goes on to define us as a people or nation.

Such determining behaviour can embed so deeply in our collective mind that it corrals opinion about us and shapes our lasting impressions.

In that way, caricatures, stereotypes and misconceptions can be created – or they can be put straight for evermore.

The overwhelming floods in the Balkans will impact on the lives of so many people in so many ways. Thousands are already homeless, having lost everything to the dirty stinking waters, while the growing death toll ticks up to who knows where.

The scale of this natural disaster is unseen in Europe in recent decades, with the flooding in Serbia the worst in more than a century.

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International relief pours in to aid Balkan flood victims

Floods5People across Europe and beyond have heard the call from the natural disaster hitting the Balkans, digging deep in their pockets to support flood victims in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia.

Truck loads of nappies, shoes, hygiene products, tinned food and bottled water have been driven across the continent from countries including England, Sweden and Germany, taking much-needed relief to the thousands who have been made homeless by the deluge.

The European Union has  promised substantial aid to benefit those in immediate need and to prevent future flooding, while countries including Norway, Austria, Russia, Belarus, Romania and the Netherlands have sent financial or physical aid.

So far, the British Government has not announced any financial donation, although experts anticipate that support from the UK will come when it is required for the clean up and rebuild of the country.

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The EU is Incomplete Without the Balkan States, says Croatian President

Ivo Josipovic Croatian PresidentThe European Union will not be complete until it can admit the Balkan states, Croatian President Ivo Josipović said while in London for talks with the British Government ahead of his country’s EU accession on 1 July.

“Definitely Europe will not be complete without other south east European countries,’ he said during a visit to London, ahead of Croatia’s accession to the EU on 1 July. “We are going to bring interesting cultural heritage and some natural beauty. We are going to bring a society of goodwill. I think that is very important.

“Croatia will help because we are connected with those countries, historically, culturally, politically. We are not burdened by an enormous weight of crime, we have a very open society who accepts foreigners, especially during the touristic season, and finally but not least, we are some kind of road to the south east. So I think Europe will benefit from our accession.”

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Slovenian Sports Student Makes a Bid For Mister International

20 November, 2012 Society No comments

Marko Sobot Mister International Wild RoosterSaying no to junk food in favour of hours in the gym seems to have paid off for Slovenian sports student Marko Šobot, as he has placed among the front runners for the final of the Mister International contest. Now it will all come down to the final, on Saturday, when Marko will see if the preparation has paid off and he can take home the title to Slovenia.

For catwalk new-comer Marko, 26, being part of the international contest underway in Thailand is a world away from his hometown of Novo Mesto. “It felt surreal when I first heard that I was to compete at Mister International,’ he said.

“I think that I had a smile on my face probably for one week straight. But after that, I trained every day and tried to eat properly. I even stayed away from junk food restaurants. If I happened to break my diet, which did happen occasionally, the next day I trained twice as hard to compensate.”

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