Serbia’s Trade With Kosovo in Decline, Leaving Balkan Neighbours To Step In

Kosovo Serbia Trade Mimoza Kursi Wild RoosterSerbian imports to Kosovo have dropped by a quarter and the country is no longer seen as a principal trading partner, Kosovo’s Trade and Industry Minister Mimoza Kusari-Lila told academics and diplomats at the LSE in London. But declining imports from Serbia have not left shelves empty as neighbouring states moved fast to benefit from Serbia’s 25% drop in exports to Kosovo.

“We have increased our trade exchanges with Albania, with Turkey and with Croatia because we were getting space left by Serbian products when we stopped the flow of goods from Serbia into Kosovo,’ said Mrs Kusari-Lila, adding that Macedonia is now Kosovo’s biggest regional trading partner.

Serbia is not a principal trade partner to Kosovo. But we do need the Serbian territory for our trucks to pass through because it is the easier access to the EU market. Trade with Serbia has declined and, to be honest, I thought it was about time.

“It was about time to have this kind of consequence to the negative policy they had towards Kosovo.”

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Government Ban Cannot Silence Pride

The Serbian Orthodox Church and right wing extremists have had their way: Belgrade Pride Parade has been banned by the Serbian Government for the second year running. Belgrade Pride has attracted a great deal of attention again this year, and not for good reason. Even before the Serbian Minister of the Interior knelt down to the church and extremists and banned the Parade, fear was mounting that alleged security issues would be used as justification for the government’s submission.

As well as the Church and some family groups who are vehemently opposed to a gay lifestyle, right wing extremists had been making their jaundiced opinions and intentions entirely clear. But threats of demonstrations should not be justification for a government ban on people exercising their legal rights to gather peacefully in a parade – a rights that has been recognised by the Serbian Constitutional Court.

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Belgrade Has Suffered Misery Caused By Tribal Hatred & Aggressive Nationalism, Stephen Fry Says

18 September, 2012 News, Society No comments

Stephen Fry Belgrade Pride Wild RoosterMisplaced religious prejudice and nationalism are often the root cause of misery, bigotry and violence inflicted on the LGBT community, best-selling author, actor and playwright Stephen Fry has said.

“We only have to look around the world to see how the twin evils of nationalism and distorted religion have focused on LGBT people as the target for their hate, just as the Jews were singled out in the 20s and 30s,’ he said.

“If that sounds hysterical and exaggerated – remember the words of Edmund Burke, that for evil to flourish all that is required is for good men to do nothing’.

Belgrade knows more than most cities how tribal hatred fostered by false religion and aggressive nationalism can cause death, disaster and misery.”

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Cyndi Lauper, Kim Wilde & Holly Johnson Lead Singers in Support of Belgrade Pride

Cyndi Lauper Grammys Belgrade Pride 2012 Wild RoosterCyndi Lauper, Kim Wilde and Holly Johnson are among a growing band of international singers who have added their voice to support Belgrade Pride 2012

These multi-million selling musicians have come forward to encourage the LGBT community who intend to exercise their right to walk side by side on the streets of Serbia’s capital city.

The Belgrade Pride Parade, which is scheduled for Saturday 6 October, is still far from confirmed to go ahead. If last year’s debacle is anything to go by, when the Serbian government banned public gatherings due to ‘security issues’, organisers could be in for a bumpy ride. For that reason and more, Serbia’s LGBT community should appreciate knowing that the world is watching.

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