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					               CAUTIOUS               CONGRESS                                   PM AT
              OPTIMISM              DESTINATION                             THE CENTRE
         H.E. Cameron
                Munter        Managing Director
      U.S. Ambassador to      of the Sava Centre
                  Serbia                                               Southeast Europe

                                                                           events       March 2008 / Issue No. 47 / Price 170 RSD

Sadness & Joy
CorD, February 2008

   22                                        32                                          78

  POLITICS & CURRENT AFFAIRS                 ROAD REQUIREMENTS                                    CORD CLUB & B2B

                                             32                                          42     Business news summary and

   6   Editorial commentary
                                                                                         CorD Club news

                                                  BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
   8   Interview: H.E. Cameron Munter,
 U.S. Ambassador to Serbia                   CONGRESS DESTINATION
                                                                                         50       Faces & Places –

                                             26                                             58    Tales from the Big Plum – Pat

 Senior official of the Stability Pact for   FOR LOVE & SPITE

                                                                                         60        Ivica’s Edge – An alternative
 Southeast Europe
                                             29        Corporate Women interview:
                                                                                         look at trends, fads and phenomena

 20                                          POSITIVE SPIN                               62        Theatre in Exile – the Serbian
 imminent return to frontline politics                                                   Government plans to build a new theatre
                                             36                                          in northern Kosovo

 POŠTA REMAINS                                                                           64       Guardians of Tradition –
                                             PAN-BALKAN AIMS
 22                                                                                      68       Creating Reality –
 Director of Pošta Srbije                    40       B2B Interview: Robert
                                             Schweizer, Global Investments Director at
                                                                                         reviews the latest Contemporary Art
                                                                                         Gallery exhibition
                                             Merrill Lynch

                                                                                                 LEISURE & LIFESTYLE

    MANAGING DIRECTOR                        SALES MANAGER
                                             Miloš Janjuz
                                             GENERAL MANAGER
                                                                                         88       Vojvodina’s Bird Paradise –
                                                                                         majestic birdlife


                                             Politika AD
                                                                                         90       Techno Talk – A look at the

    EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS                                                               market
                                                                                         94       Fashion review – Swatch


4 CorD / February 2008

   The curse of interesting times
   February, my last month as chief editor of CorD, has been a somewhat eventful month in Serbia,
   to say the least.With the second round of the presidential elections going down to the wire,
   and Priština’s unilateral declaration of independence leading to mass protests and a series of
   deplorable attacks against the embassies of several countries, most notably the U.S.’s, it would
   be true to say that Serbia has once again been struck by its curse to live in interesting times.

                                                                            “it seems to me that Priština’s decision is actually
                                                                            good for Serbia and bad for Kosovo.This is because
                                                                             Serbia is surely better off without the burden of
                                                                              that chaotic province around its neck, and the
                                                                             Kosovo Albanians would probably have achieved
                                                                            more for their people if they’d have got involved in
                                                                            Serbia’s political processes and controlled a strong
                                                                               minority of seats in the Serbian parliament.”

   BY MARK R. PULLEN                                                                                                                       -

   T   he first major event of the last month was, of course, the

   tial elections. The result, a close run thing but one that was wide-   dating back a millennium.

   nation divided. The reason the election has now been all but for-

                                                            -                                                                              -
                                                            -             erally and for failing - for whatever reason, or lack thereof - to
   sition, and PM Koštunica has somehow managed to remain the
   central figure around which everything revolves.
                                                            -                                                                              -

                                                                          and greater regional influence.
   secession is such that any election scheduled now would result in                                                                       -
   the formation of the so-called government of national unity. This                                                                       -
   able to come to terms with the loss of its beloved, yet consistent-

   less than three years!                                                                                                                  -
                                                                          ing back from least not in these interesting times.

6 CorD / March 2008

 H.E. Cameron Munter, Ambassador of the U.S. to Serbia

 Interview            CAUTIOUS

 Despite security issues      BY MARK R PULLEN;                   -
 prompting the U.S. Em-       PHOTO:
 bassy to withdraw non-                                           -
 essential staff and de-

                                      ast week’s attacks on the
 pendents from Belgrade
 last week, Ambassador
 Munter remains optimis-                                      -
 tic about the long-term                                      -
 prospects of Serbia.                                         -

8 CorD / March 2008
OPTIMISM                               -
                                                 “The only violence that’s
                                              been committed has, regret-
                                               tably, been incited by hard-
                                              line nationalist Serbian lead-
                                               ers.The international press
                                       -       understands this truth, and
                                                 we hope that the leaders
                                               here understand this truth.
                                               If not, they are leading Ser-
                                       -        bia back into international
                                       -      isolation, which is in no one’s
                                       -                 interest.”





                                                The nation has obviously been
                                            shocked by the unilateral declara-
                                            tion of independence by Kosovo, but
                                            should they have been? Your predeces-
                                            sor, Ambassador Polt, regularly en-
                                       -    gaged the local media in an attempt to
                                            prepare Serbia for the loss of Kosovo.
                                            How much of a mistake was it for the
                                            Serbian leadership not to prepare the

       BIZ SENTIMENT           KOSOVO STATUS              DIPLO CHILL
   -   Those American busi-    If there had been a so-    Right now, there is a
       nesses that have come   lution found to which      freeze on our rela-
       here have assembled     Serbs would have           tions with the govern-
   -                       -   agreed, that would         ment here…Unfor-
       force, and have seen    have been preferable,      tunately, that limits
   -   great opportunities,    but unfortunately nei-     the ability that I have
       and they know that it   ther side was able to      to communicate with
       is worthwhile invest-   come up with anything      those here who want
       ing in Serbia.          that was acceptable…       Serbia to move ahead.

                                                                  CorD / March 2008 9

                                          part of the local authorities. Some are                                           -
                                          suggesting that this was because, with
                                          the authorities were badly prepared to
                                          handle the situation, while others are,
                                          perhaps somewhat cynically, suggest-                                              -
                                          ing that the U.S. and other embassies
                                          were deliberately left dangerously un-
                                          protected. What’s the feeling within the                                          -
                                          embassy and the State Department?

                                                                                        How do you think this series of at-
                                                                                     tacks on the embassy has affected the
                                                                                     American business community in Ser-
                                                                                     bia? Are they bunkered down or even
                                                                                     considering pulling out of the coun-


    “This is a country of sophis-
    ticated people with a strong
     background, who have had                                                    -
     enough of this kind of war.
      Yet, the cynical politicians                                               -
     who want to stay in power                                                   -
          have abused that.”

                                           Rebuilding Trust
 nation for the inevitability of Kosovo
 declaring independence, and prepar-
 ing an orderly national response?

                                      -                                          -                                      -

                                      -                                          -

                                      -                                                                                 -

                                                                                 -                                      -
                                      -                                          -                                      -
                                      -                                          -


                                      -                                          -

                                                                                 -                                      -

                                                                                                         Cameron Munter
    Last Thursday’s attack demonstrat-

10 CorD / March 2008


                                             against Serbia?


    Watching the international news re-                                           -                                                -
 ports on that fateful Thursday made                                                                                               -
 me feel nauseous, and I’m not even                                                                                                -
 from here. It just felt like all the good      Let’s talk about what your expec-                                                  -
 work done to rebuild the image of Ser-      tations were when you arrived here
 bia since 2000 had been dealt a mas-        seven months ago. Having served two                                                   -
 sive blow. How much do you think the        postings in both Prague and Warsaw,
 events of recent days have affected the     at key transition points, you are well                                                -
 way the world views Serbia?                 versed in democratic transition and
                                             consolidation processes.
                                                                                  -                                                -

                                         -                                               When I arrived here back in 2002,
                                                                                      even then Serbia felt like a country
                                         -                                            that was somehow just a step away
                                                                                  -   from where it needed to be. Now, six
                                                                                  -   years on, it still feels like it’s just a step
                                                                                      away from where it needs to be. Why
                                                                                      do you think that is, and where does
                                                                                  -   the trigger lie that will propel Serbia


                                                 “…irresponsible, hard-line nationalist politicians here have
                                                 seized the agenda, for their own reasons.This doesn’t mean
   Was the decision to temporarily pull         that there isn’t a genuine anger in this country about Kosovo,
 embassy staff and dependents out of            and I understand that, but taking this to the point where vio-
 Serbia your decision, or did it come
 from those within the State Depart-
                                                           and crush the aspirations of the nation…”
 ment who maybe dealt with Serbia in
 the ‘90s, and have certain prejudices

12 CorD / March 2008

                                                 In light of the current situation that
                                              sees you understaffed and cut-off from
                                              the local government, what do you see
                                              happening here in the next six months
                                              to a year, and what would you like to
                                              see happen?






                                          -                                           -
                                          -                                           -



    You’re a former adjunct professor     -       “I would like to think that
 of European history at UCLA, who
                                                  the people who represent
 of a region steeped in European his-            the majority in Serbia will
 tory. How much attention do you think    -      order the priorities in such
 should be paid to history – particu-             a way that they will be al-
 larly considering that many U.S. poli-
 ticians and diplomats play down the             lowed to pursue what they
                                                genuinely want, and address
                                          -     the real issues of unemploy-
 problems?                                      ment, corruption, European
                                                      integration, etc.”

14 CorD / March 2008

 PM at the centre

                                                                           Pro-European forces did win the presidential election, but
                                                                         the blockade of the Government and the Parliament showed
                                                                         a big crisis in the governing coalition, which was only re-
                                                                         paired at the very last moment through an agreement be-


                                                                         tial election was trivialised and placed within the context of the
 BY                                                                      current political events. Kosovo, which was not the central politi-

                iscussing the presidential elections and the elec-
                                                                         subject on the agenda by the Prime Minister. With that he returned
                campaign, the electoral process and the establish-
                ment of the results, all bore witness to the fact that
                Serbia has fully learned this element of democra-                                                                       -
                                                                         ing Kosovo, so Kosovo has remained the dominant political issue,
 and is in a situation to exert stronger pressure on the Government,     and it will remain so for the forthcoming months.
 and that is expected of him by both the Serbian and international
                                                                           Will the crisis be renewed when the EU Stabilisation and
 Stability Pact for Southeast Europe.

16 CorD / March 2008
he will be sincerely interested in leading Serbia towards the EU,

stability of this Government, but the stability of the country as a
whole. However, the level of mistrust is great and considerable
wisdom will be needed from all of the political parties which

for the Government to last next year too. I am not sure that the
SAA will come on the agenda soon. I am afraid that we have lost
this year in terms of relations with the EU.

to give up the pro-European path in spite of the ‘populist co-
ing the Agreement with the EU is tantamount to recognis-

fear that the scheduling of early elections at the moment when
the independence of Kosovo has been declared could lead to a


to allow a complete change of the political scene in Serbia, and
because of that he is trying to do anything he can in order to
share responsibility for the whole political and economic situa-
tion in the country with the Prime Minister. He is, thus, accept-
ing a greater burden and responsibility than he could really have

rying out the right or wrong policy when we see the results of the
next elections. Until then, we have to support them in their inten-
tion of going through the current Kosovo crisis and, afterwards,
concentrating on negotiations with the EU. I hope that they will
have the strength for that. I also hope that our European partners
will understand and support that.

   How close are we to the potential collapse of the Govern-
ment and the scheduling of extraordinary parliamentary
elections or the formation of a minority government, or even

   I hope that the crisis has been avoided and that this Govern-
ment will remain after the local elections scheduled for May. If
that happens, we can hope that there will be a different climate in
the relations between the Prime Minister and the President.

                                                                       FINAL PHASE

                                                                           tel/fax: 011 39 71 547

                                                February, the last meeting

 of energy co-operation, free trade, economic development, infra-                                                                                -

 co-operation within the region. Kosovo participated in all activities un-
 der the UN flag and the sign on which UNMIK-Kosovo was written. I
 hope that this frame will also be satisfactory for Serbia and Kosovo in     refers to strict diplomatic measures towards those countries which
 the future, and also for our neighbours; and I hope that the forthcom-      have decided to recognise Kosovo, steps directed in order for those
 ing meeting in Sofia will confirm that. On the other side, I am afraid      decisions not to be made, to be contested, delayed or changed, but
 of the increased expectations of the Kosovo Government that this may

                                                                        -    will not isolate Serbia and which will not distance it from European
 sentatives. If both of them manage to resist that pressure, we will man-    policy, although that process will be slowed down for some time.

 days before the meeting, I am not at all sure what we can expect, great
 success or a big crisis in regional co-operation.                                                                                       -
                                                                             tent is that position based on the principles of internation-

                                                                             which Serbia insists upon, really needed to legitimise such
 such as the breaking off of diplomatic and economic rela-
                                                                                I would leave the intricacies of international law to the experts.
 ures which was prepared, and about which I was informed at the              decade, and therefore the return of everything that has happened in

                                                                             lowed by a chain of exceptions regarding the former existing princi-
                                                                             ples of international law, a chain of precedents and new rules.

                                                                             for Serbia in her struggle for the preservation of territorial

                                                                             country missed the chance to obtain a wider circle of allies,

                                                                             effort in achieving what it has achieved, and we should not un-
                                                                             derestimate the results. Insisting on principles has opened up a
                                                                             very serious debate in the UN and other international organisa-
                                                                             tions, as well as within the EU itself, about the basis of decisions
                                                                             which are made regarding the mission and the status of Kosovo.

                                                                             other international issues.

                                                                             al neighbouring country is being very cautious when establishing
                                                                             ing their decision on the recognition of Kosovo.
                                                                             fine a different policy regarding the future status of Kosovo, and
                                                                             to act differently during the negotiations. But once that decision
                                                                             was made, the position about the absolute unacceptability of the
                                                                             independence of Kosovo was consequently set in stone to this day.


18 CorD / March 2008
regard that fact, particularly the populist coalition which          well as introducing them to the fact that independence was a pos-
hardly admits that there are other problems apart from the

social, prevent Serbian society from gravitating towards de-         government also refused to accept any responsibility on the part
                                                                     of Serbia for such a development of events, as well as that of
                                                                     former democratic administrations since 2000. With that, in es-
                                                                     sence, they accepted personal responsibility for the consequences
today, tacitly agreed regarding some principles. One of them was

By removing the possibility of independence from the negotiat-
ing table, they in fact only obstructed the negotiations. Instead
of insisting on playing a leading and active role in the negotia-
tions, and really communicating with the Albanian side in order
to be able to understand and hear what their side had to say, they

Albanian side also behaved in a similar way, and in fact we came

one another; voices were heard but not understood.
  We missed the chance to really prepare the public in Serbia to
understand all of the possible outcomes of those negotiations, as



                                                                                                                   CorD / March 2008 19

 Milo’s comeback
 As CorD goes to print, it seems as though the president of Montenegro’s rul-


                                                                                              – following the completion of his success-
                                                                                              ful referendum campaign for Montenegrin
                                                                                              sovereignty and the triumph of his par-

                                                                                              lieved that he would rest for much longer
                                                                                              from state duties, primarily because he is
                                                                                              still relatively young and can deal in poli-

                                                                                              has dealt in politics almost half of his
                                                                                              life, and was elected as a member of the
                                                                                              Central Committee of the Association of
                                                                                              Communists of Yugoslavia, as represent-
                                                                                              ative of the Association of Communists of

                                                                                              was a member of the Montenegrin Youth
                                                                                              Organisation, which also had para-com-

                                                                                              the higher echelons of state communism,

                                                                                              communist rule in Montenegro from with-

                                                                                              position of Secretary of the Presidency
                                                                                              of the Association of Communists of
                                                                                                                 birthday, Milo became
                                                                                              Montenegrin Prime Minister for the first

                                                                                              2006, with the exception of a six-year pe-

             rofessional discipline doesn’t

           as the new-old Prime Minister
           – for a record fifth time in his     He announced such a possibility back in                                         -
           career – but there is little doubt   the autumn of 2006 when, on the occasion         ning of the end of his politi-
 that the Montenegrin Assembly will soon        of stepping down, he announced that he
                                                was not bidding farewell to state functions
                                                                                                 cal career if he fails to offer
 return follows the resignation of Prime                                                  -
                                                quire so, I would again resume state af-

20 CorD / March 2008
Montenegrin politics have brought him
much kudos, but have also seen him heav-
ily criticised for staying in power for too
long, which, in this time of dynamic chang-
es and increased sensibility for the need of
quicker and more frequent democratic fluc-
sition political parties in Montenegro, pre-

spell in power, evaluate that Montenegro
is the only state where post-communist

impression mainly relates to the fact that

throughout the wars and the entire transi-

   In a sense, there is some truth to such

short, Milo has been in power for a long
                                       -        & Montenegro was unviable by launch-
                                                ing the Movement for an Independent            shown that he can embrace new political
                                        -                                                      ideas and programmes, and can, thus, sur-
edly evolved as a leader, much in the way
                                                but – it could be argued – literally built
not so much has changed in essence, but         it, and as he has transformed politically,     will undoubtedly prove to be a new chal-
the nominal and cosmetic changes of the         so the political concept of his party and
ruling Montenegrin party have proved suf-                                                      this mandate could prove to be the begin-
ficient to leave the impression that, actual-   been a communist, a socialist, a Yugoslav      ning of the end of his political career if he

                                                                                       -       ter he assured the Montenegrin public that
                                                                                               he would be dedicating his time to busi-
                                                                                               ness and would retreat from frontline
                                                                                               politics in order to provide space for the
                                                Unionist, a State Unionist with reserva-       strengthening of democratic institutions in
                                                tions, then a silent supporter of sovereign-
constantly been going through his own           ty and, in the end, an open supporter of           The analysts find reasons also in the po-
                                    -                                                                                                      -
                                                   This is the reason why Milo was always      tious and charismatic, and the internal po-
government, to Prime Minister of the                                                           litical situation in Montenegro undoubted-
                                                been in power for a long time, but has of-
through various political and personal met-                                              -     Moreover, the DPS leader also boasts in-
                                                                                               valuable international influence and is be-
   When the former Association of               his character and temperament, but also of     lieved by many senior EU and Washington
Communists of Montenegro was trans-                                                            officials to be the one man able to lessen
formed into the Democratic Party of             Pragmatic ideas of policy, which represent     the influence of Russia over Montenegro

                                            -                                            -
                                            -   position in Montenegro – which is envi-
so changed its politics, first it was pro-Yu-   ous of Milo in one way or another – is not     widely believed that this energetic politi-
                                                completely right when they stubbornly in-      cian still hasn’t said everything he has to

began to gain strength as proponents of the                                                                                          -
pro-Montenegrin sovereignty movement –

by openly striving for a different position
fore the May Independence Referendum,                                                                                                    -
DPS did practically everything possible
to prove that the common state of Serbia

                                                                                                                        CorD / March 2008 21

 Pošta remains state -
                                                                                               to sign a collective contract with labour un-
                                                                                               ion representatives, in line with our business
                                                                                               plan for 2008, which was approved by the
                                                                                               Serbian Government. We have also signed a
 BY:                                                                                           new contract with the City of Belgrade, cov-
 PHOTO:                                         month CorD’s speaks to the post office’s       ering our co-operation, the extension of our
                                                new top man about his initial impressions of   cable-distribution network, and the search

            ošta Srbije (Serbian Post), the     the company, and plans for the future.         for new models of co-operation and connec-
            country’s oldest communica-                                                        tions with some municipalities.
            tions infrastructure system, has       How have you settled into the work             We have already made agreements with
            been functioning for over 166       of Pošta, and what deals have marked           call centres about the delivery of regis-
            years as a public service enter-    your honeymoon period with the com-            tered documents through Post Express,
 prise. Now, as of January, it has a new gen-   pany?                                          and have signed an agreement with the

22 CorD / March 2008
                                                   The Telecommunication and IT Society
                                                Ministry has completed its compilation of
                                                this strategy. We expect public debate, but
                                                I think that the strategy will be adopted by
                                                the Government soon.                               H    ow are you handling the competi-
                                                                                                      World-renowned operators are
                                                    We could influence some solutions in
                                                                                                   present in Serbia, and they are welcome,
                                                that strategy, but we will work on strength-
                                                                                                   because it is as a result of their presence
                                                ening our capacities in accordance with it
                                                                                                   that we will increase our efficiency and
                                                – paying particular attention to the fact that
                                                                                                   quality. At the same time, we will try to
                                                competition is set to grow with the liberal-
                                                                                                   overcome our technological shortcom-
                                                isation of our market.
                                                                                                   ings by introducing their latest technol-
                                                    Our advantage is our infrastructure. On
                                                                                                   ogy into our system too.
                                                the territory of Serbia we have 1,400 postal
                                                network branches, 3,500 windows, 5,000
                                                postmen and 4,000 employees who work             for the construction of main postal cen-
                                                as tellers or are otherwise in direct contact    tres in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš. The
                                                with our clients. What is most important         construction of those centres will increase
                                                is the trust and tradition which Pošta has       the quality of the parcel processing and, of
                                                in Serbia, primarily the trust of our clients    course, reduce the deadlines for deliver-
                                                and users.                                       ing parcels, and increase the quality and
                                                    One part of the development strate-          safety of parcel deliveries. This invest-
                                                gy will refer to the issue of trust, but al-     ment will increase the quality of services
                                                so to the modernisation of operating and         on the whole territory of Serbia. Apart
                                                the jobs which we have to do, and which          from that, we have excellent individual
                                                have been entrusted to us by the govern-         solutions in Pošta for major projects, such
                                                ment and ministries.                             as a call centre or a centre for electronic
                                                    Pošta has not started to work on the         operating.
                                                strategy itself, because there are no strate-       Our post and branch network have im-
                                                gic documents as yet, but we will certain-       proved to the point where they are very ef-
                                                ly be changing the methodology of current        ficient in registering citizens for the divi-
                                                operations once the strategy starts being        sion of free state-owned company shares.
                                                implemented. We do have annual plans for
                                                2009, but also a five-year plan that aims to        How is the registration of those free
                                                bridge the gaps caused by the three to four      shares progressing?
                                                year cycles we are in, as both an infrastruc-       The decree was adopted on 10th Janu-
                                                tural system and a society as a whole.           ary, leaving us with just a short period –
                                                    I think it’s vitally important to approach   until 25th January - to prepare everything.
                                                the issue of development in a serious way,
                                                and to take advantage of the experiences of      pressure, but we successfully serviced be-
                                                compatible postal services from surround-        tween 100 and 130 thousand people per
                                                ing countries, as well as those of the EU.                                                    -
                                                    In recent years we have actually com-        cantly, though we are still handling around
                                                pleted several projects with the Portuguese      50,000 people per day. So far we have reg-
                                                postal service. Their market is similar to       istered around 1.6 million citizens.
                                                ours, and is in a similar condition – though         It is important to note that we have de-

- owned
                                                they have already gone through phases            veloped the whole information system by
                                                which we will probably have to go through        ourselves, and built the entire network.
                                                as a result of the expected liberalisation of    Apart from that, this recording process
                                                the market.                                      will allow us to improve and automate all
                                                                                                 1,400 postal units – up from the existing
                                                   What new services does Pošta plan to          total of 800 automated units. I think that
                                                introduce in the forthcoming period?             this job, in particular, will prove our first-
 Justice Ministry regarding the delivery of          Initially, we will work on increasing       class qualification to complete big state
 legal documents.                               the quality and security of our services,        jobs that are to be set in motion.
    We signed an agreement at the stand-        reserving services and reducing the dead-
 ing conference of cities and municipali-       lines for postal deliveries. Next, we will         Which state jobs are in the pipeline?
 ties, with regard to the implementation of     work on increasing the quality of parcel            Firstly, there’s the plan to develop e-gov-
 the address code project, and we recently      processing. Simultaneously, we plan to           ernment, then there are geographical infor-
 signed a contract with the World Student       make a major investment of €40million            mation systems, the modernisation and digi-
 Games ‘Universiade’. That is a major job
 that will require KDS (cable distribution
 system), Internet, the use of our integrated
 service, and the use of our call centre.

 egy still in preparation?

                                                                                                                           CorD / March 2008 23

                                                                                                     which the Pošta has in Serbia. Of course,
                                                                                                     this system will be helpful when it comes
                                                                                                     to making quality management decisions,

                                                                                                     quality of our services. One of the impor-
                                                                                                     tant projects is introducing the translation of
                                                                                                     addresses into postal codes. That is a major
                                                                                                     state project, which provides the basis for a
                                                                                                     complete geographical information system.
                                                                                                     This refers to a digitalised address with six
                                                                                                     digits, which will determine each address in
                                                                                                     Serbia and facilitate our work. We will com-
                                                                                                     plete this job in collaboration with the state
                                                                                                     administration and local self-government.
                                                                                                         This is a huge undertaking that will ul-
                                                                                                     timately provide an excellent picture of the
                                                                                                     network and an accessible database, able
                                                                                                     to be used for various purposes. This is im-
                                                                                                     portant for us, because of the increase of
                                                                                                     the quality and security of our services that
                                                                                                     it will facilitate.
                                                                                                         Other projects include introducing a

                                                                                                     we are already working on the mobile hand
                                                                                                     terminals project, which will be used to fol-
                                                                                                     low parcels. Pošta has already implemented
                                                                                                     the tracking care system, which has to be
                                                                                                     finished off and will encompass our com-
                                                                                                     plex offer. That is one of the projects which
                                                                                                     started, but was not activated in an appro-
                                                                                                     priate way. The new strategy opens up the
                                                                                                     possibility to do this in the right way, by in-
                                                                                                     creasing the information, cadre, software
                                                                                                     and telecommunications equipment, and
                                                                                                     through the optimising and more efficient
 talisation of government institutional servic-    the majority opinion is that electro distri-      delivery of parcels. At the same time, we
 es, public and republican systems and public      bution and state postal services should stay      will enable our 5,000 postmen to carry out
 systems at local self government level.           out of the privatisation process.                 financial transactions and payment collec-
                                                                                                     tion through the mobile terminals.
    Will Pošta be the subject of forth-                                                        -
 coming privatisation?                             nologies to the work of Pošta?                       How much of a concern is the safety
    The privatisation of Pošta is an issue of          Of course, there are lots of plans and        of postmen?
 the state strategy, though examples from the      many projects have already got underway.             The introduction of the mobile termi-
 surrounding countries tell us that national       Some good projects have been set in mo-           nals would immediately mean less money
 postal services are always majority-owned         tion, but were not integrated through all         in circulation, and with that there would
 by the state. If there was any increase in the    of the services which Pošta can offer. This       be less motivation for attacks on postmen.
 capital stock that would only be done in or-      includes projects in the IT sphere. Introduc-     The organisational decision, from the be-
 der to provide the regulation of the reserv-      ing the new integrated information system,        ginning of this year, is to separate the risk
 ing service, which we have as an obligatory       SAP, will start from March. That will fa-         management sector from the legal depart-
                                                   cilitate the optimalisation of the process:       ment. This risk sector will deal exclusive-
     Pošta is tasked with providing adequate       data inputted once will be visible in each        ly with security, and that shows our desire
 quality and the cheap delivery of parcels to      part of the system. This is of exceptional        to work on the increase of the security of
 every citizen in the state. The majority of       importance, because of the jagged system          our employees and services.
 countries do not want the postal service as
 a public system on their budgets, thus they
 activate profitable jobs and, therefore, we
 all struggle and improve, thanks to compe-
 tition. I think that this should be the way of
 our postal service too. There are lots of coun-
                                                     B    etween 66 and 70 per cent of our income comes from letter distribution services. On
                                                          the other side, we have informatics, the call centre and the centre for electronic busi-
                                                     ness, which all serve to ensure that we are able to provide a whole set of new services. We
 tries around the world where the state owns         expect to become the qualified body for the certification of electronic signatures. In that
 100% of their postal service. However, as a         sense, the focus will be on the increase of electronic trade and the sale of those services.
 result of the government’s decree and cur-          At the same time, we have signed contracts with the local and state administration, as the
 rent privatisation of public systems, we can        only legal operator, and we expect that this part of the market will extend this year.
 note that Pošta is not on that list. That said,

  CorD / March 2008

                       Managing Director of the Sava Centre


 The Sava Centre was opened        BY                                              In the last three years, the Sava Cen-
                                   PHOTO:                                       tre has experienced a new awakening,
 Standing Conference for Eu-                                                    with congress and conference activ-

                                                  fter turning 30 in the last   ity intensifying greatly. How was this
 ropean Security and Coop-                        year, the Sava Centre         turnaround achieved?
 eration (CESC). Almost 30                        has now entered a new             The Sava Centre celebrated 30 years
                                                  phase in its development
 Centre hosted the annual                         from the premier confer-      years of its existence, between 1977 and
                                   ence centre of Yugoslavia, to Serbia’s       1981, the international congress aspect of
 conference of the Europe-         major congress and concert hall. In or-      the Sava Centre’s activities was especially
 an Bank for Reconstruction        der to get the lowdown on the success-       important, because during that period over
                                   es and shortcomings of the Sava Centre       30 international events were held there
 and in 2007 the VI Ministe-       over the past 30 years, as well as an in-    each year. Those were mostly state gath-
                                   sight into plans for the future of this      erings, ministerial meetings and confer-
 rial Conference on Environ-       great Belgrade institution, CorD speaks      ences. Today there are just a few Congress
 mental Protection was held                                                     Centres that can boast such statistics.
 at this great venue.              Sava Centre.                                    In 2007 we hosted 20 major internation-

26 CorD / March 2008
al meetings, out of which the most impor-         Finances
Conference. Another five meetings have
                                                      How well did the Sava Centre operate in the last year?
bodies, institutions and establishments, and          Revenue from congress activity in the Sava Centre last year was greater than that
the others were mostly scientific seminars         coming from revenue in culture. Otherwise, the Sava Centre is a self-funded public
from different fields, mostly medicinal. Of        company.
extraordinary importance for the life of a            Our revenue consists of sales of culture tickets – for programmes that are of great
congress centre and its continual activity is      international importance, we have the support of the Belgrade Culture Secretariat.
the international role of the state at every          Funds generated by congress activities and the rental of halls are secondary, while
level and in every sphere - from scientific,       our third source of income is the leasing of business space.
to political, et al. It is also important that
the city and the state initiate programmes         lease payments for its business space, with the remainder coming from culture and
to stage conferences, seminars and meet-           congresses. Today the situation is different: 50 per cent of revenue is from leasing
ings. The Sava Centre has all the technical        space, while the other half comes from basic culture and congress activity. This pos-
and spatial conditions required for holding        itive factor not only illustrates major changes to the business sector in this country,
top class business meetings, but the people        but also changes that have taken place elsewhere in the region.
in charge should initiate meetings in all the
other facilities in Belgrade.                      the total financial revenue of the Sava Centre company was €7million.
   We consider – and have underlined our
position as such during the meeting weeks
– that the congress industry can be a very          Between 1988 and 2000, there were           ability to digitally monitor the work of the
important branch for the economic life of        no international meetings held at the Sava     conference – either by video link or direct-
a country, and make a vital contribution to      Centre, but since 2001 we have hosted          ly, with adequate language interpretation,
the development of a country. Why? Both          169 international meetings with partici-       if required. All video transfers during the
the Annual Assembly of the EBRD, which           pants from all over the world, 115 domes-      work of a conference are possible within
                                                 tic meetings with international participa-     the facility. It is because of all this that or-
Conference on Environmental Protection,          tion and 20 official international meetings.   ganisers of major gatherings, such as the
staged in 2007, included around 3,000            During that time, around 300,000 business-     EBRD’s annual meeting, say that they still
participants and were important gather-          men have passed through the Sava Centre,
ings, where the number of participants           participating in those meetings.               access to everything in one place with the
was representative and influences all fac-                                                      quality offered by the Sava Centre in Bel-
tors of congress industry development, in-          How can the Sava Centre, having             grade. That is something that has stimu-
cluding catering, accommodation and the          been built back in the ‘70s, still boast       lated us, and proved an incentive for us to
tourist offer of Belgrade and the country        all the technical requirements needed          engage in lobbying to attracting interna-
                                                 to host major international gather-            tional congress activities be they business,
to infrastructure, air transport, local trans-   ings?                                          academic or political gatherings.
port, more intensive work of taxi services,         The Sava Centre may be 30-years-old,
sales of all types of products, not to men-      but the facility’s total infrastructure was    since the first meeting in the Sava Centre.
tion the hotel industry. According to our        changed in 2005. The complete installation     That commemorative gathering will be a
estimate and analyses in congress indus-         of the congress halls was renovated. As a      political meeting to negotiate everything
try, each participant of a major interna-        result, the infrared systems we now have
tional congress spends between €350 and          are the most current technical systems for     negotiations. Those international meetings
€750 per day. That figure includes air tick-     the congress industry. That includes inter-    are important, because in that way the best
ets, hotel accommodation, participation          preting equipment and accessories. Our         picture of the city and the state is presented
and conference fee, as well as the money         video and projection equipment was also        to the world. It is precisely because of that
spent on refreshments and shopping dur-          completely renewed during the last three       that we expect tourist organisations, hotel
ing breaks in the work of the conference.        years. At this moment, we have the most        owners, the Economic Secretariat and the
I think that the country failed to work on       modern projector in our country, which is      ministries of economic development and
that in the previous period, and by organis-     something unique we have. A complete           tourism to let the world know that Belgrade
ing an international meeting one influenc-       IT network has been installed throughout       is the place where the most important glo-
es many factors that have a knock-on ef-         the facility. Everything has been made ac-     bal decisions are passed, and that Belgrade,
fect on economic development, as well as         cording to the standards valid in this cat-    and the Sava Centre, is an excellent desti-
representation of the country and Belgrade       egory of facilities, so that the Sava Centre   nation for their international conferences.
as a congress destination, which is espe-        can provide 7,000 people with impeccable
cially important.                                Internet connection, cell phone access, or        Do you have good co-operation with
                                                                                                the government and individual minis-
                                                                                                tries in that sense?
                                                                                                    We have adequate co-operation, though
   Of extraordinary importance for the life of a congress centre                                politicians should be a little more active in
   and its continual activity is the international role of the state                            the initiating of the organising of important
                                                                                                global and European meetings in our coun-
     et al. It is also important that the city and the state initiate                           try. That type of initiative, coupled with the
                                                                                                energy of the ministry, is important.
                                                                                                    We were established by the Belgrade
                                                                                                City Assembly, and the Sava Centre is un-

                                                                                                                           CorD / March 2008 27

                                                                                                  Eurovision is set to be in the Sava Centre.
                                                                                                  The Eurovision press centre will include

                                                                                                  to cater for 1,600 journalists.

                                                                                                  Wine Fair, while in June the International
                                                                                                  Press Institute’s world congress of print
                                                                                                  media will take place. That event will see
                                                                                                  owners and managers of the world’s big-
                                                                                                  gest print media companies become our
                                                                                                  guests in Belgrade, and the three-day con-
                                                                                                  gress will include an ancillary programme
                                                                                                  with organised tours around Belgrade. This
                                                                                                  is an extremely important meeting. With
                                                                                                  500 representatives of the most influential
                                                                                                  media in the world meeting in Belgrade, it
                                                                                                  will send a sufficient signal to everybody,
                                                                                                  in the city and in the country, to make eve-
                                                                                                  rything impeccable.
                                                                                                      June will also see the staging of the
                                                                                                  international Balkan Congress of Geo-
                                                                                                  Physicists, while October will see a fur-
                                                                                                  ther four international meetings and in
                                                                                                  November will be Oncology Week. Finally,
                                                                                         -        in December we shall have two interna-
                                                                                                  tional meetings of IT experts. This year
                                                                                                  our schedule is all about meetings that will
                                                                                                  each gather around 800-plus participants.

                                                                                                  of Sava Centre’s capacities?
 der the authority of the Belgrade Culture       sense of infrastructure, more should be             It is not maximised. According to the
 Secretariat, which has been regulated in the    done and everything should be shaped.            number of days, in 2007 we had 304
 Articles of Association. The Sava Centre        We have a good offer of souvenirs, but           meetings, which was 458 working days.
 is still recognisable as a great culture hall   this hasn’t been well processed by mar-          The weak point of the year for the Sava
 and culture centre, but during the last two     keting and, thus, they are not easily recog-     Centre, in a congress sense, is the summer
 years we have paid more attention to the        nisable. Of course, our basic weak point         months of July and August, when there are
                                                 is hotel accommodation capacities. In
 capacities – not only of the Sava Centre,       Belgrade there are currently 3,000 beds in       a free hotel room or Congress Hall in Is-
 but also of the other spaces, like the city     high category, while there are only slight-
                                                 ly over 5,000 hotel beds in total. As such,      activity formally ended on 15th June, but
 Centre in Novi Sad. We believe that this        every event with over 3,000 participants         it then moved to the beginning of July.
 has helped us open up a new field to those      begs the question of how to accommodate          However, July, August, half of Septem-
 who represent our country internationally       them.                                            ber and half of January are empty days. It
 – those who can use various meetings to            The World Student Games will be held          would be good to have, for instance, 354
 launch initiatives to hold future conferenc-    in Belgrade in 2009. This will provide an        meetings with a smaller number of days,
 es in Serbia.                                   example of how to work on that plan. The         or more state meetings – it would be good
    At the international fairs we partici-       facilities that are being constructed to cater   to have at least two or three ministerial
 pate in, everybody approaches the stand                                                          conferences a year, with up to three thou-
 of Belgrade and Serbia, because we are          they will enable us to become a candidate to     sand participants. Only then would we
 a new and intriguing destination. I think       stage the full Olympics. And those jobs are      reach our maximum capabilities.
 that the congress industry is a segment of      also good because they give us an opportu-
 work that can give greater results, and we      nity to work on congresses and conferences
 can simultaneously more quickly represent       with a larger number of participants.                In order to compete with
 Belgrade and Serbia in a positive light.           The next is element is air transport, the
                                                 capacity of our airport and links to other         were the most popular con-
    What do you think Belgrade is miss-          airports in the region. This is because many
 ing when it comes to attracting and ca-         of the participants of events in Belgrade            ference venues in Europe
 tering for congress tourism?                                                                                                  -
                                            -    Croatia for a few days.                             spoke tourist destinations.
 enna, which were the most popular con-
 ference venues in Europe last year, we            What are your main plans for 2008?
 lack more bespoke tourist destinations.            Around thirty international events of
 We have tourist locations, but there is not     varying kinds have been planned for this
 a functioning, overall tourist offer. In the    year – the most important being Eurovi-

28 CorD / March 2008

 KOSOVO FLEXES DIPLOMATIC MUSCLE,                                                   SOLANA:
 SERBIA THREATENS COURT                                                             SERBIA BELONGS IN EUROPEAN FAMILY

       Hashim Thaci vowed to
 guard jealously every “inch”
                                                                                    J  avier Solana told German
                                                                                       daily Die Welt that, in
                                                                                    his opinion, “Serbia’s place
 of its territory in late February,                                                 is within the European fam-
 as Serbia threatened to sue the                                                    ily”. “I believe that co-op-
                                                                                    eration, dialogue and peace
 “phoney state.”                                                                    are the central points of the
   “We will never               allow                                               relations between Serbia

 which has been internationally                                                     Serbia have a European per-
 recognised, to be jeopardised,”                                                    spective and Serbia’s place
 Thaci told reporters on a visit to                                                 is within the European fam-

                                                                 -                  security policies chief said.
 one,” he said, warning that the authorities were prepared to “use                  He condemned the violent
                                                                                    protests in Belgrade in late
                                                             -                      February, calling on the
 sion in the former Serbian province and also cooperating with                      people of Serbia to refrain
                                                                                    from such violence. “From our point of view, the violent pro-
 said.                                                                              tests of last Thursday in Belgrade are not acceptable. I sincerely
    With the rhetoric nearing fever pitch, an advisor to Serbian                    hope that they will not reoccur in the future,” Solana said, com-

 into a legal minefield, the Beta news agency reported.                             Solana called on all parties in Serbia to behave responsibly and
                                                                                    appealed to the Serbian government to guarantee protection for
                                                                                    all foreign embassies, “according to its obligations by interna-
 Ristivojevic told Beta.
 istration to annul the decision to recognise the phoney state, or                  to the province as illegal.                                Source: Tanjug
 for the new administration to do it immediately” after America’s
 November presidential elections.

 against America before all international courts,” Ristivojevic                     RUSSIAN TV
 told Beta.

 Sikorski saying his cabinet hoped it would be a “stepping stone”
                                                                                    A    comment about
                                                                                         late   Prime

                                                                                    heard on Russian
     Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia and Spain remain opposed, while                      state stirred spir-
                                                                                    its in late February.
 majority parliament unilaterally declared independence on                          The Russian report-
 February 17.                                  Source: AFP                          er from the riots in
                                                                                    Belgrade said that the
                                                                                    scenes of young ri-
 “PARTITION WOULD SUBJECT SERBS TO                                                  oters on the streets
 VIOLENCE”                                                                                                                                                       -

 not be a good idea, since it would expose Serbs to violence.
                                                                                    served the bullet”. “Precisely these fans, intoxicated with liber-

 the Serbs living in enclaves that are not located in the north
                                                                                    Hague the heroes of the Serbian resistance in exchange for ab-
 no reason to secure living conditions for Serbs. There would                       stract economic aid, and who, for this, got the deserved bullet.”
 be abuse of the Serbs both within and outside the institutions
 just to make them leave their homes. I am talking about phys-                      had nothing better to do than travel to Romania. And after all, it
                                                                                    is possible to come up with a thousand excuses as to why noth-
                                                                                    ing is being done, but in the end, it’s all really very simple: ei-
                                                                                    ther you stand up or are submissive and quiet,” the journalist said.
 the city as one with “four streets, and not whole ones at that.”                                                                                      -
                                                                -                   acted by saying that the comment was unacceptable, at the same
 ested in discussing a partition either, adding that “it would                      time demanding an urgent apology from the television outlet.
                                                                -                      The Russian authorities were quick to distance themselves
 cult”.                               Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug                     from the journalist’s statement.                Source: B92, Beta

                                                                                                                                            CorD / March 2008 29

 Road requirements
 Vojvodina is the most economically advanced region of Serbia. It                                 ROADS OF WORTH

                                                                                                   R     ailway traffic is arranged in 59
                                                                                                         rail sections, while river traffic in
                                                                                                   Vojvodina has great potential, with a to-
                                                                                                   tal of around 14,000 km of navigable wa-
 BY                                              was smeared in controversy and accusations
                                                                                                   terways. The main navigable routes flow
 PHOTO:                                          of a lack of transparency with regard to the
                                                                                                   along the Danube and Sava rivers, which
                                                 contract. However, today’s question is not
                                                                                                   are navigable throughout their flow across

               viable, well-maintained, high-    about the subject of the contract, but rather
                                                                                                   Vojvodina. Nonetheless, the number of
               speed road transport system is    why not a single post-WWII government in
                                                                                                   passengers transported via the river is al-
               a prerequisite for the develop-   the country has set out to meet Vojvodina’s
                                                                                                   most negligible. Until the NATO bomb-
               ment of an economy such as        transportation needs. This question can still
                                                                                                   ing of 1999, river traffic mostly served
               Vojvodina’s, which is heavi-      be asked today, and will more than likely
                                                                                                   for the transportation of goods and raw
 ly dependent on agriculture and transporta-     linger in the political and economic vacu-
                                                                                                   materials. However, after 1999 the scope
 tion. But Vojvbodina’s road network is well     um for some time to come.
                                                                                                   of non-passenger river traffic fell to a
 below par.                                         There is no clear, transparent, long-term
                                                                                                   bear minimum, due to broken bridge de-
    Vojvodina roads are grouped into 11          plan for the development of Vojvodina’s           bris littering the riverbed.
 arterial and 45 regional routes across the      road infrastructure, regardless of the fact
 province. There are 110 kilometres of high-     that the province’s overall share of traffic
 way, 138 kilometres of freeway, 1,326 kil-      and connections in GNP (gross national          been ruined or are in a very bad or poor
 ometres of arterial roads and 1,702 kilome-     product) is 6.78%, and that the lion’s share    state. Only the main highway is in a slightly
 tres of regional roads, making a grand total    of Vojvodina’s transport needs are met by       bit better condition, primarily due to recon-
 of 3,276 kilometres of roads.                   road transportation.                            struction, but there are still disputed parts
    Among works overdue or delayed, a                                                            of the contract signed by the state with the
 major section of one of Vojvodina’s most        REQUIREMENTS                                    concessionaire consortium, who took over
                                                    According to Public Utility Company          arranging and limited use of the highway.
 Highway, is yet to be completed. Until re-      Putevi Srbije (Roads of Serbia), around 70          “Three quarters of roads in Vojvodina
 cently, the concession for its completion       per cent of arterial and regional roads have    require repairs and reconstructions. If we

30 CorD / March 2008
add the fact that 20 per cent of bridges have
significant structural damage, and that half
of them have minor structural damage, it is
clear what situation we are in. The state of
the roads is largely a consequence of inad-
equate financing of road maintenance, to-
gether with insufficient repairs in the cri-
sis years of the ‘90s,” explains Siniša
Isakov, Assistant Provincial Secretary
for Economy in charge of Transport and
    The Province’s Executive Council and
the Vojvodina Assembly have suggested
that laws should regulate funding so that
25 per cent of the sale price of fuel would
be set aside for maintenance of the trans-
port network. Unfortunately, the propos-
al didn’t pass and the old rule remains in
force. According to that, a certain percent-
age is set aside from the excise paid on fu-
el, which equates to around five per cent of
the fuel price - much less than the proposed
25 per cent. Moreover, the money received
from the fuel price doesn’t come directly
into the cash register of Putevi Srbije, but
rather reaches them indirectly through the      to it. Progress also depends on whether we
national budget, after a significant delay.     invest in Corridor 10 alone, or whether oth-      are also overloaded, from a cargo transport
    “Thus, we have reached a situation          er states will pay (financial) attention to re-   perspective, and so both of these road sec-
where road companies calculate the late-        gional roads,” insists Isakov.                    tions are in need of investment.
ness of the payment in the maintenance                                                               “The quality of roads has improved in
price, leaving us with a much more costly       LOAD CAPACITY                                     the last couple of years, and many regional
maintenance price. Together with this, one          The most heavily laden road in Vojvodina,     roads have been qualitatively reconstructed.
must consider that ten per cent of all roads    after the main highway, is road M 21, link-       The maintenance of roads largely depends
should be repaired annually, i.e., all roads    ing Novi Sad’s Petrovaradin to Šabac, via         on several factors, including the good will
should be renewed every ten years. Of           Irig and Ruma. This road is used on a dai-        of state authorities and local self-govern-
course, we should do that as soon as possi-     ly basis by between 8.5 and 9,000 vehicles,
ble, because our closest neighbours are al-     with a large percentage of those being cargo      Transportation Faculty.
ready in the European Union, or are close       vehicles. The Novi Sad – Horgoš road, and
                                                                                                  KEY ROUTES
                                                                                                      Important regional transportation roads
                                                                                                  pass through Vojvodina. This, primarily,
                                                                                                  includes the highway going from Central
                                                                                                  Europe via the Horgoš border crossing with
                                                                                                  Hungary, through Novi Sad to Belgrade, and
                                                                                                  further south and east to Niš, where it splits
                                                                                                  into two directions: one section leading east
                                                                                                  towards the border with Bulgaria, the other
                                                                                                  heading south through FRY Macedonia to
                                                                                                  Greece’s Thessalonica. The third highway
                                                                                                  section branches off to the west in Srem,
 ALTERNATIVE ROUTES                                                                               heading towards neighbouring Croatia and
                                                                                                  beyond, towards Western Europe. A net-
                                                                                                  work of local road and rail routes has been
  T    he Republic of Serbia has a network of state roads of first and second degree, with
       a total value estimated at $13billion. According to the claims of the management of
  Public Company “Put” (Road), Serbia is a European country with medium density of pop-
                                                                                                  developed around the highway. In the south
                                                                                                  of Vojvodina, at the start of the Morava-
  ulation and a well developed network of roads. The total road network of the Republic of        Vardar Valley, the most important commu-
  Serbia covers 40,845km. Of that, 5,525km cover 1st class state roads, 11,540km are state        nication road between the north and the
  roads of secondary priority, and there are a further 23,780km of local roads.                   south of the Balkan peninsula lies. This
     The country’s total road network includes 498km of toll-booth administered highways          road crosses the Danube near Belgrade,
  and 136 km of toll-booth administered semi-highways. Throughout the whole road net-             heading east-west and making a geo-strate-
  work, 2/5 sections are covered by broken stone or dirt road surfaces.                           gic knot. This road makes the geo-strategic
     Some 32 per cent of Serbia’s first and second priority roads are over 20 years old,          position of Vojvodina more beneficial and
  and only around 14 per cent are less than ten years old. Due to insufficient investment         important for Serbia. The basic problem of
  into maintenance and road reconstruction over a long period, the current status of the          the transport network, however, is the qual-
  road network is unsatisfactory.                                                                 ity problem: weak maintenance of the road
                                                                                                  transport infrastructure.

                                                                                                                            CorD / March 2008 31

 For Love & Spite



                             How did you manage in the begin-   How was life in Serbia back then?
                           ning in Serbia?




32 CorD / March 2008
                                                                                                    LEISURE & LIFESTYLE



                                                                              -                                      -

                                             Which are your favourite places in



                                                                                  Did your children go to Zambia?

  Did life in Serbia change for the bet-
ter after 2000?                               Have you been
                                           to Kopaonik?



  How much are foreign businesses
now ready to invest in Serbia?



                                                                                                    CorD / March 2008 33


                                                                                 When you compare Zambia and
                                                                              Serbia, now and in the past, what has

    Do you like Serbian cuisine?
                                         What are your favourite places for
                                   -   entertainment in Belgrade?



34 CorD / March 2008

 Positive Spin
 This month we discuss the image of Serbia and the importance   -
 of branding with world-renowned marketing guru and brand-
 corporate and regulatory affairs at Danube Foods Group


                             -                              -
                             -                              -   -


36 CorD / March 2008
                                                                                       Kevin Lane Keller: “What

                                                                                       is something about Serbia
                                                                                         that will really speak to
                                                                                      both of those two audiences
                                                                                       – tourists and investors. It
                                                                                      may not be one quality, but
                                                                                         rather a combination of
                                              Considering the old adage that
                                                                                       things that come together.
                                          there’s no such thing as bad publicity,
                                          and that Serbia somehow already has
                                          this image as something of a warrior          out the truth about who
                                          nation, do you think it would be vi-         Serbia is, but also to try to
                                          able, and even advisable, for Serbia to     understand what matters to
                                          try to put a positive spin and advance
                                          that image, rather than attempting to       those people who are think-
                                          rid themselves of that brand and start      ing of visiting or doing busi-
                                          from scratch?                                      ness in Serbia.”

                                                                                       How does one decide when to give up
                                                                                    on a brand? For example, a few years
                                                                                -   ago British clothing retailer C&A felt
                                                                                    that their brand image had become so
                                                                                    degraded at home that they opted to
                                                                                    close all of their UK-based outlets in
                                                                                    order to concentrate solely on over-
                                                                                    seas activities. How does that decision
                                                                                    to give up altogether on a market or a
                                                                                -   brand come about?



“…any branding has to be a function of
who you are and what you are.
You cannot hide or run away from that.”
– Kevin Lane Keller



                                                                                    Real estate
                                                                                    Rent and sale
   What do you think of the brand that
                                                   YBC Bulevar Mihaila Pupina 10 l, lokal VP 47,
is Serbia at the moment?                     tel: 011 / 2143 576, 062 / 440 169, 064 / 676 72 99

                                                                                                          CorD / March 2008 37

                                                                                       Do you agree that, despite new
                                                                                    trends and advances in psychological
                                                                                    approaches and presentation meth-
                                                                                    ods, the global factor of the Internet
                                                                                    has only served to ensure that word of
                                                                                    mouth is more important than it has
                                                                                    ever been?


     primarily for the consumer. Increased competition forces us
   all to become better, faster, cheaper, and more inventive. If you                                                     -
   remember our market 10 years ago, Knjaz Miloš had almost no
     competitors. Now we have over 30 mineral water bottlers.”                        To get a local perspective on brands
                                                                                    and branding, we spoke to the Salford

                                          established world brands?                 Director of Corporate and Regulatory
                                                                                    Affairs at Danube Foods Group.

                                                                                      Do you believe that Serbian brands

                                                                                    developed West European countries?
    How well do you think the next gen-
 eration of marketing professionals
 here are learning about global trends                                                                                   -
 in branding?

                                             When does a company opt to go after
                                      -   its rivals through aggressive branding?

                                                                                       Companies acquired by you are ex-
                                                                                    periencing production growth; their
                                      -                                         -   brands hold leading positions on the
                                                                                -   market in various categories. Kn-
                                                                                    jaz Miloš has, for instance, expanded
                                                                                    its portfolio by 30 new brands since
                                                                                -   2005. The competitors are following

                                             Kevin Lane Keller: “The net contains vast quantities of infor-
                                      -                                                                      -
                                            views, comments, discussion boards, etc.This has added depth
                                            to branding, but has also created new challenges for a market-
                                             er, because some of the Internet content is good and compli-
                                            mentary, but some of it is negative and, of course, it’s virtually
    How in tune with new trends, and
 the need to constantly work on brand-

38 CorD / March 2008
   is that we own some of the local iconic brands.
  Knjaz Miloš, Kravica and Plazma are among the
  biggest and most valuable Serbian brands.These
    brands were big even before our time, but we
     redesigned them, expanded their range and
         brought them closer to consumers.”

suit, and vice versa, so we now have                             -
a full scale brand war on the market,
crowded shelves...confused or content-
ed Serbian consumer? What does your                              -
research show?

                                         -                       -

  To what extent have the brands in-             What is, actu-
creased the value of companies in Ser-       ally, the true agenda
bia to date?                                 of Salford, that is,
                                             DFG on the Serbian
                                         -   market?

                                         -                                                                                      -

                                         -                                         -     You stated earlier that 2008 is the
                                                                                       year of the exit phase – that is of talks,
                                                                                       negotiations with prospective buyers.
                                                                                   -   Has that phase already begun?

                                                After Imlek, Salford acquired an-
  The beginnings in Serbia for Salford       other four Serbian dairies – Impaz, Ze-
Investment Fund were pretty stormy.
The acquisition of the ‘icons’ of the Ser-   Recently, the Anti-monopoly Commis-         Finally, how do you see the Serbian
bian economy, Knjaz Miloš, Bambi and         sion has accused you of abusing your
Imlek, amidst privatisations gone sour       dominant market position. Have you?       years?
and scandals in the local market, was                                           -                                               -
only the tip of the iceberg for the sus-
picious, prejudiced public. What were                                                                                           -
you faced with in this initial phase?


                                                                                   -                                            -


                                                                                                              CorD / March 2008 39

 Robert Schweizer, Global Investments Director at Merrill Lynch

 Pan-Balkan Aims
 Merrill Lynch’s Rob Sch-
 weizer is no stranger to this
 region, having spent the last
 15 years co-ordinating this
 global investor’s activities in
 all of Central Europe. But it
 is Belgrade that he is now
 calling his home away from
 home, since the U.S. giant
 signed a deal to acquire a 25
 per cent stake in local com-
 pany MPC Properties.


         his month CorD speaks to Mr.



                                           Is that difference in the base start-
                                        ing point between the former Yugoslav                                          -
                                        states and the former Eastern Bloc
                                        countries still noticeable?

                                                                                         What prompted Merrill Lynch to
   Temporary setback                                                                choose Serbia and MPC Properties for

   M                                                                        -






40 CorD / March 2008
                                        -   calculate the retail potential of a city   construction development begins to
                                        -   or country, and in how much detail do      cope with the rising demand?
                                            you look at these factors?

                      I think Belgrade still has some compelling valuation to offer poten-
                       tial investors, though I think rents will certainly decline as a lot of
                      new stock comes onboard. On the regional side, I think there’s a lot
                       of money to be made, because capital rates will continue to com-
                                press as more foreign investors enter the market.



                                                                                   -                                       -

  Could you tell us something about                                                                                        -
your strategic plans for the region?
                                     -                                             -


                                              Do you plan to increase your 25 per
                                            cent stake in MPC Properties?


                                              Is Belgrade’s real estate overpriced,
                                            and will prices come down as greater

                                                We aim to be-
                                        -      come a pan-Bal-
                                        -       kan real estate
                                                 player, and are
                                                already looking
                                                at deals in four
                                                 of the former
                                               Yugoslav repub-
                                              lics that we think
                                                will allow us to
                                                start becoming
                                                more of a pan-
                                                 Balkan player
right when embarking on construction
projects in places like this, i.e. how do      during the next
you estimate the amount of Class ‘A’              six months.

                                                                                                          CorD / March 2008 41

 PROAGRO LEADER 2007                           WITHOUT EMBARGO                                   ten Serbian companies are present on
                                               FOR KOSOVO
 P   roCredit Bank’s competition for the
     most successful agricultural farm in
 Serbia in 2007 – ProAgro Leader 2007 –
                                                                                                 the Croatian market. The Director of
                                                                                                 the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in
                                                                                                 Belgrade, Goran Masnec, said that Serbian
 drew over 200 farms, which applied for                                                          companies are present in Croatia mostly
 this competition.                                                                               through Croatian distributors, adding that
    The ProAgro leader jury, compris-                                                            this is not a good long term solution ant
 ing representatives of the Ministry of                                                          that concrete investments are needed.
 Agriculture, the European Agency for                                                                Serbia is a very important area for
 Reconstruction, the media and ProCredit                                                         Croatian exports, but also the third country
 Bank, chose three of the most successful                                                        according to size of Croatian investments,
 farmers in the categories of micro, small                                                       said Masnec adding that Croatian invest-
 and medium-sized agricultural farms. The                                                        ments in Serbia have reached $100mil-
 best farmers will have the opportunity to                                                       lion.
 travel to Slovenia and familiarise them-                                                            He stated that the biggest investors
 selves with the work of Slovenian farms.                                                        are Agrokor, the Nekse Grupa and Lura.
 Companies are offered the possibility                                                           Masenec also said that the exchange in
 to change the old Cisco network equip-                                                          goods between Serbia and Croatia last year
 ment, or other production equipment, for                                                        reached around one billion dollars, which
 new equipment at special prices and un-                                                         is 40% more than in 2006. Croatia exported
 der special financing conditions until 1st
 June 2008.                                    T    he introduction of any kind of econom-
                                                    ic embargo or other economic meas-
                                               ures would be unprincipled, has said Trade
                                                                                                 goods to Serbia worth $650million, while
                                                                                                 Serbian exports to Croatia amounted to
                                                                                                 $350million, thus the Serbian deficit was
 OLD FOR NEW                                   Minister Predrag Bubalo.                          $300million, said Masnec. Source:Beta

 C     isco, the leading international pro-
       ducer of network and communica-
 tions solutions, has made a special offer
                                                   According to Bubalo, the story about
                                               Kosovo & Metohija is not finished, so
                                               Serbia cannot introduce an economic em-
                                                                                                 AGREEMENT REACHED
                                                                                                 TO ADOPT BILL ON
 for the change and expansion of compa-        bargo on part of its territory, at least not at   INVESTMENT PROJECTS
 nies’ existing network equipment, with        the moment when few nations have recog-
 the aim of improving and modernising          nised such a false country.
 their businesses.                                 Bubalo emphasised that “we should
     Companies are offered the possibili-      firstly take care of those people who rec-
 ty to change the old Cisco network equip-     ognise the state of Serbia, who are loyal to
 ment, or others producers’ equipment, for     the state of Serbia and who only have the
 the new Cisco equipment at special prices     state of Serbia”. The Minister added: “we
 and under special financing conditions un-    cannot punish those people because of one
 til 1st June 2008.                            part of the citizenship”.     Source:Tanjug
     Cisco Srbija sales manager, Suzana
                                               200 CROATIAN COMPANIES

 for the exchange of old equipment and
                                               IN SERBIA
                                                 Around 200 Croatian companies are
                                                                                                 Services, Predrag Bubalo, and represent-
 loans at a recent press conference.           operating in Serbia, while only five to           atives of other relevant ministries held a

   Growth in all business                                                                              reached 33%, while the increase
   segments of Piraeus                                                                                 in absolute figure was more than
                                                                                                       doubled during the last quarter
                                                                                                       2007 compared to the respective
                                                                                                       increase recorded in the 4th quarter
                                                                                                       2006, reassuring the Group’s ef-
                                                                                                       fectiveness and resilience against
                                                                                                       changing market conditions.
                                                                                                          The upward course of Piraeus

  T     he acceleration of Piraeus
        Group volumes in 2007 ex-
   ceeded past performances, with
                                                                                                       Bank Group is also continuing
                                                                                                       in 2008. The fundamentals for
                                                                                                       Greece, a market that contributes
   an increase in total assets by 50%                                                                  80% of the Group’s total opera-
   reaching €46billion. Similar growth rate by 50% was recorded in      tions and 87% of profitability respectively, remain solid, while
   profitability that amounted to €653million, before the addition-     international operations are also expected to continue growing
   al tax burden incurred in January 2008 to banking capital gains      at a substantial pace. Piraeus Bank Group is now present in 9
   retroactively as of 2007.                                            countries abroad including its expansion in Cyprus where opera-
       The international market turmoil found Piraeus Bank Group        tions recently commenced, further improving the diversification
   reinforced both in capital adequacy and liquidity, with improved     of its activities. These developments reassure the soundness of
   ‘loans to deposits’ ratio at 127% at year-end compared to 130%       the Group’s Business Plan targets through to 2010, which we re-
   a quarter earlier. The increase in deposits the previous year        cently communicated.

42 CorD / March 2008
                    HUMANITARIAN FOUNDATION                             humanitarian activities.
                                                                           One of the core business principles of the whole Raiffeisen

                    R    aiffeisen banka has established the

                     Foundation, with the intention of offering help
                                                                        Banking Group is the permanent effort to take care of its environ-
                                                                        ment through socially responsible behaviour. Raiffeisen banka in
                                                                        Serbia also strives to show a high level of social consciousness.
 to individuals and institutions in need. Apart from this, the inten-
 tion of the founder is, among other things, to keep alive the mem-     Raiffeisen banka, with his personal feeling for humaneness, and
 ory of the first director of Raiffeisen banka in Serbia.               helped shape the direction of the business strategy in that field.
     During his time in management, besides having achieved ex-
                                                                        Foundation will be performed in parallel with further donation
 also made additional efforts as regards humanitarian activities        activities by Raiffeisen banka, which will be realised apart from
 and became known for constantly fostering broad participation in       the activities of the Foundation itself.

meeting in mid-February with representa-        annually.                                          Economic development that is not har-
tives of the construction and building ma-         Serbia’s draft export strategy will be      monised with nature is not sustainable and
terials industries, as part of an ongoing di-   drawn up by the end of February and sub-       negative effects of such unharmonised de-
alogue with exporters.                          mitted to exporters for consideration, reads   velopment will surpass the positive effects
    Agreement was reached at the meeting        the statement issued by the Serbian Deputy     sooner or later, the Minister stressed not-
that the government will draft a new law        Prime Minister’s Cabinet.                      ing that investment in environmental pro-
on investment projects which will regulate              Source: newbalkan, Serbian Gov’t       tection is an investment in better life of our
the payment of tax on building works, the                                                      citizens and all future generations.
avoidance of double taxation and the in-        RADUJKO APPOINTED                                  I am very pleased that US Steel has rec-
comes of those employed abroad which            DIRECTOR OF TELEKOM                            ognised that and decided to take this path
will encourage Serbian firms registered
abroad to return to the country.
    It was stressed that Serbian construction
                                                T   he Telekom Srbija management board
                                                    has appointed Branko Radujko general
                                                director of that company. Radujko replac-
                                                                                               of sustainable development that will not
                                                                                               detriment citizens’ health. I believe this
                                                                                               will be a signal for other companies to re-
companies must return to the traditionally                                                     alise the importance of investment in envi-
strong markets of the former Soviet repub-      general director from the end of 2000 un-      ronmental projects, said Dragin.
lics, Middle East and North Africa, even        til 27th January this year. Branko Radujko         Vietch explained that the aim of US
though they now have more projects with-        was born in Knin in 1974 and graduated         Steel is to become leader in environmen-
in the country.                                 in law. He is a member of the Democratic       tal protection and recalled that the compa-
    Merging two funds for financing and         Party, and was so far the Serbian President,   ny has made huge efforts in the past years
export credit insurance, the AOFL and the                                                      to improve performance in environmental
SMECA, and their recapitalisation with             The conditions for the changes in           protection.
$50 million will make it possible to fi-        Telekom’s management arose on Thursday,            Our aim is to be good neighbour and
nance export business under more reason-        31st January when the Serbian Government       to continue to work for the benefit of our
able conditions.                                entrusted the management of the compa-         shareholders, employees and their fami-
    Considering the fact that the strate-       ny’s ‘golden share’ to the Finance Minister,   lies, as well as local community where our
gic goal of the government is for Serbian                                                      company is doing business, he stressed.
firms to be contractors and not subcon-         management board was established whose
tractors for construction work being car-       president is Dragor Hiber. The new mem-
ried out in the country, it is necessary to     bers of the management board are Ivica         $25MILLION IN
issue licenses to all construction compa-                                                      COMPENSATION
nies, regardless of their particular activi-                                                      The assistant to the Minister of the
ties, which will make certain that they are                                                    Economy and Regional Development,
able to compete on an equal basis for ten-      Paraskevas Pasijas.           Source:Beta                                               -
ders and public procurement.                                                                   lion will be set aside from the money paid
    It was also agreed that the settlement      US STEEL & ENVIRONMENT                         for the Bor copper mining and smelting
of old state debts to businesses in the con-    MINISTRY SIGN AGREEMENT
struction sector should be accelerated.
    The construction and building materials
industries in Serbia employ some 120,000
                                                S   erbian Minister of Environmental
                                                    Protection, Saša Dragin, and General
                                                Director of US Steel Serbia, Richard
                                                                                               company’s employees.
                                                                                                  Ten thousand former employees and
                                                                                               pensioners of RTB, who recently organ-
people, while the volume of services pro-       Vietch, signed an agreement in early           ised major protests in Bor and Majdanpek,
vided abroad are worth some €300million         February, under which US Steel will in-        and blocked the entry to RTB, think that
                                                vest $50million in environmental projects      they have a legal right to compensation.
                                                by the end of 2009.                                                          Source:Beta
                                                   The projects will improve the envi-
                                                ronmental situation and reduce pollution       GAZPROM WILL BUY NIS
                                                while the Ministry will offer profession-      VERY SOON
                                                al assistance.
                                                   Dragin said that US Steel is the first
                                                private-owned company to sign such an
                                                                                               E   verything is ready for Gazprom’s major
                                                                                                   acquisition in Serbia, Dmitry Medvedev
                                                                                               says. The Russian natural gas giant’s pres-
                                                agreement with the Ministry, which makes       ident of the board of directors was visiting
                                                this agreement particularly important.         Belgrade yesterday when he said all the pa-

                                                                                                                         CorD / March 2008 43

 pers were now ready,                            ing future relations between Belgrade and       ment every month.
 and that a contract on                          Moscow”.                 Source: B92, Beta        For comparison, monthly sales of Biesse
 the sale of Serbia’s                                                                            machines on the Italian market amounts to
 oil monopoly, NIS,                                     A
                                                 GREAT INTEREST IN FREE                          €4million.   Source: newbalkan, SIEPA
 will be signed “very                            SHARES
                                                                                                 TELENOR’S PROFIT
 soon”. Medvedev,
 likely to win Sunday’s
 presidential ballot
                                                 S   ince the application for free shares
                                                     started, 1.45 million citizens of Serbia
                                                 have applied for them via Pošte Srbije.         T   he operational prof-
                                                                                                     it of Telenor in Serbia
 in Russia, also visit-                          During that period, those citizens who did      reached €53.9million in
 ed NIS refineries in                            not have a current account opened 839,111       2007, stated Telenor Srbija.
                                                 accounts in Pošte Srbije, and commissions       The profit, i.e. gain before
 of Belgrade, and held                           which register disabled people for free
 a meeting with the management that was          shares came out on the field 6,731 times.       on the basis of income which exceed-
 closed to the public. At the same time,            The application for free shares in state-    ed RSD 29 billions, i.e. €365million. The
 Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller signed an             owned companies will last until 31st July       executive director of finances of Telenor
 agreement with Srbijagas General Director       this year. All citizens who reached legal
                                                 age by the end of last year and Serbian cit-    increased the number of clients in 2007
 company that will design and organize the       izenship by 3rd of January this year and        by almost half a million whereby the total
 construction of a trunk gas pipeline through    had residence in Serbia on 30th June last       number of subscribers reached 2.924 mil-
 Serbia. Both deals are a part of a broader      year have the right to apply for free shares.   lions. In this way Telenor occupies 40%
 energy sector co-operation deal between         Another condition is to be registered on        of the mobile telephony market in Serbia.
 the two countries, signed in Moscow on          the electoral list and proof that they have     Since 2007, when Telenor purchased Mobi
 25th January, at the highest state level. NIS   not received any free shares so far. ID and     63 for €1.513billion, the number of users
                                                 the bank card of the bank in which citi-        has increased by 700,000 new users.
 after meeting with Medvedev that he agreed      zens have an account are the only neces-                                                    -
 the deal should be signed as soon as pos-       sary documents, and Poštanska štedionica        vested around RSD6.8billion, i.e. €85mil-
 sible, so that “real investment can begin”.     will open an account for those who do not       lion, in the extension and modernisation of
 Medvedev specified that the overall invest-     have one free of charge. Source:Tanjug          the network in Serbia. In the last quarter of
 ment will stand at €900million. Gazprom                                                         2007, Telenor’s income was €92.5million,
 will, according to the protocol signed in       INTENSIVE INVESTMENT IN                         which is 30% more than in the same peri-
 January, acquire a 51 per cent stake in NIS     EQUIPMENT                                       od last year.                   Source:B92
 for €400million, and invest at least €500mil-
 lion by 2012. A Serbian government dele-
 gation has travelled to Moscow on to con-
                                                 R    epresentatives of the Italian compa-
                                                      ny Biesse, which is one of the lead-
                                                 ing manufacturers of wood-processing
                                                                                                 VIŠNJICA TO CHANGE
 duct talks with an expert working group,
 set up to improve economic and trade ties
 between Serbia and Russia. One step al-
                                                 machines in the world, claim that their re-
                                                 searches showed Serbia will triple the fur-
                                                 niture export within next two years.
                                                                                                 B   nounced his intention to take over

                                                                                                 5.96% of shares in the Višnjica Company
 ready taken is visa abolishment – govern-          Commercial Manager of Biesse for East
 ment officials say all visas between the two                                                    owner of 100% of the company shares, be-
 countries will be abolished shortly, and ex-    claim with the data showing that Serbia in-     cause he now has 15.3% of shares and his
 plain this is very important “for strengthen-   vests €1million in import of Biesse equip-      company, Irva Investments, owns 78.74%

                            VOLVO’S SUCCESSFUL
                            SERBIAN COMEBACK

                            W       ith a new authorised distributor,
                                    Grand Motors Company, Volvo
                             automobiles have successfully come
                             back to the Serbian market in 2007, af-
   ter several years’ break. In Serbia Volvo have built a very good
   reputation in the past.
      Official sales restarted last March, during the Belgrade Auto
   Fair, which coincided with the opening of a new Grand Motors’
   business centre in New Belgrade.
      Grand Motors is satisfied with initial sales results, and judg-
   ing by the interest shown by potential buyers, they could be even
   better in 2008 - deliveries of between 160 and 180 automobiles        the world, and also in Serbia, already for decades are diplomat-
   of this famous and prestigious brand are expected.                    ic-consular representative offices, major companies, and others
      In their implementation of that ambitious plan, the authorised     who cherish the proverbially high Swedish quality, comfort, du-
   distributor will certainly be assisted by a couple of new mod-        rability and excellent driving performance.
   els, which are expected to arrive on the local market this year.         Volvo’s exclusive distributorship contract with Grand Motors
   Amongst them are the new XC70, which can already be seen at           brought many benefits to the owners of Volvo automobiles, who
   the sales salon in New Belgrade.                                      have purchased them earlier, because besides the original spare
      Buyers in Serbia are especially interested in four-wheel-drive     parts they are also offered expert service in a top notch service
   models. Amongst the traditional clients of that brand throughout      centre in New Belgrade.

44 CorD / March 2008

      or the 78th time, the
 F    Geneva Motor Show
 will open it’s doors this
 year. As of 4th March, the
 eyes of automobile jour-
 nalists will focus on the
 second-largest city in
 Switzerland, when new
 cars from around the world
 are presented in the halls of
 the Geneva Palexpo. In to-
 tal, more than 260 exhibitors will cover more than 82,000m2 of        the new generation of the SLK and the new CLC sports coupe
 exhibition area. The organisers assume that the number of vis-        will be providing further highlights. smart will be on hand with
 itors this year will exceed last year’s number of 730,000 visi-       its entire model range, as well as a special model.
 tors.                                                                     Maybach will feature the Landaulet, which is available to
     The Geneva International Motor Show is the only European          customers upon special request and unites luxury and comfort at
 Motor Show that takes place every year and counts as one of           the very highest level.
 the Top 5 such shows worldwide. At this year’s Geneva Motor               The 2008 Show symbolises dynamic interface between emo-
 Show, Mercedes-Benz will be presenting four innovations in line       tional response and environmental responsibility, which will
 with its motto “The Culture of Driving”: the new generations of       form the spotlight in which the future of the motorcar will be
 the SL and the CLS will be celebrating their world premiere, and      presented.

                                                SENTA: BIO-ETHANOL
- making a total of 94.04% shares in the        REFINERY TO BE BUILT
                                                                  L                                                                    -
company.                                                                                       ket has a shortage of Macedonian wines,
   According to data from the Belgrade
Stock Exchange’s prospectus, Višnjica has
6,371,28 square metres of land on which
                                                I nternational bio-tech company Alltech
                                                  is planning to build a bio-refinery for
                                                the production of bio-ethanol in Senta,
                                                                                               which is an additional reason for invest-
                                                                                               ments                       Source:Beta

                                                Vojvodina.                                     AGROKOR LEFT WITHOUT
                                                   The owner of the company, Pierce            MIGROS
business centre, the Tošin bunar and Stara

other premises are located.
                                                Lions, said that 70 per cent of production
                                                would come from corn and 30 per cent
                                                from cellulose.
                                                                                               T    urkish Koc Holding announced that
                                                                                                    they sold 50.08% of the shares in
                                                                                               Migros for $1.65billion to the Moonlight
    The ownership transformation of this           Bio-ethanol will be produced using          Company, which is controlled by BC
company started in 1991, when it start-         new technology being the first of a kind       Partners. According to that price, the val-
ed the sale of shares at a discount. Until      in Europe.                                     ue of the biggest Turkish retail chain is
1999 7.8% of the capital became private,           On the occasion of the announce-            3.9 billion liras, 10% more than the cur-
and in that year 10% of the capital was         ment, Serbian Environmental Protection         rent market price of that company, which
transferred to the Pension and Disability       Minister, Saša Dragin, said that any green     is 3.53 billion liras.
Insurance Fund and 60% was divided be-          technology is welcome. Minister Dragin             There were indications that Croatian
tween employees and former employees.           announced that the state is preparing some     Agrokor, in co-operation with American
    The company increased the capital stock     benefits for investments in such technolo-     investment company, Blackstone, would
by selling shares at a discount from 1999       gies.                       Source: SIEPA      be the most likely owner of Migros. At
until 2006. Višnjica’s shares have been on                                                     that time a bid of $3.2billion was men-
the Stock Exchange since 4th February 2003                                                     tioned as the amount offered by Agrokor
and the market stock increase is estimated at
RSD465.65million. The share price on the
Stock Exchange amounts to RSD2,840 and
                                                V    invested around a million euros in the
                                                Macedonian wine cellar, Ohrid, in which it
                                                                                               and Blackstone.

                                                                                               A-TEC SECURES
the last trade was marked on 1st February       has a 50% stake.                               MONEY
when 173 shares were sold at the price of                                                      FOR RTB BOR
RSD2,840 for the total of RSD491,320.
    The company’s income in 2006 was
RSD325.49million, while expenses to-
                                                €500,000 this year, and that the capacity
                                                of the Ohrid wine cellar is five million li-
                                                                                               A    ustrian A-Tec stat-
                                                                                                    ed that the company
                                                                                               has secured the money for
talled 304.84million. The net income was        tres. He said that through a capital stock     purchasing the Bor cop-
RSD19.54million. According to media re-         increase in August last year Vinoprodukt
                                                                                               A-Tec, which signed the sales contract
                                                wine cellar with the Eko Invest Company        and contract on the transfer of exploita-
construction company, the “Prvi maj” tex-       from Ohrid. The reason for purchasing this     tion rights in RTB Bor with the state, stat-
tile company from Pirot and part of Kluz.       wine cellar in Ohrid was the quality on        ed that the company has secured the mon-
                            Source:Beta         that market, said                              ey for closing the financial construction

 and taking over the assets of the biggest      rity management systems. This certificate       them a wide range of products and serv-
 Serbian produce of copper and precious         was granted by SGS, which is the local          ices, which are adapted to their individual
 metals.                                        representative of the World Organisation        wants and needs. Private banking includes
    “Part of the money for taking over RTB      for Standardisation. Sunoco, the biggest        advice in the process of property manage-
 will be in cash, while we secured the rest     domestic producer and exporter of sugar,        ment, i.e. preserving and increasing assets,
 from the loan approved by the consortium       was founded in June 2006.                       investment banking, broker services as
 of western European banks”, said the pres-         Sunoco’s major owner is German              well as advice in the real estate field.
 ident and the major owner of A-Tec, Mirko      Nordzucker AG, the second largest sug-
                                                ar producer in Germany and the EU.              TOURISM FAIR

 that the approved loan will be guaranteed
 by the RTB company assets. “On the con-        all issued with the ISO 22000:2005 certif-
                                                                                                T    he recently finished International
                                                                                                     Tourism Fair in Belgrade, the biggest
                                                                                                of its kind in the region, gathered over
 trary, since we are convinced of the value     icate.                                          800 domestic and foreign tourist organ-
 of RTB, A-Tec is prepared, if needed, to           Sunaco’s participation in the total pro-    isations, major tourist agencies, hotels,
 guarantee the whole financial transaction      duction of sugar in Serbia is 49%.              banks, insurance companies and ticket res-
                                                    Sunaco’s investments in sugar factories     ervation systems, which offered their pro-
    The Privatisation Agency confirmed to       totalled eight million euros in 2006, and 13    grammes for the forthcoming spring and
 daily Blic that A-Tec has paid in the whole    million in 2007. In 2008 the company is         summer season. For the first time, tourist
 bank guarantee of ten million dollars for      planning to invest five million euros in its    organisations from Austria and Croatia’s
 purchasing TRB Bor, but that the Austrian      four sugar factories. The aim is to achieve     Dalmatian coast, and one tourist agen-
 company has not yet provided the second        higher quality sugar and to reduce the en-      cy from Australia, had their stands at the
 guarantee of 60 million dollars. The agen-     ergy and production expenses.                   Belgrade Tourism Fair.
 cy claims that A-Tec has to deliver the sec-
 ond guarantee before paying in the sales       PRIVATE BANKING                                 ASTRA FROM KRAGUJEVAC
 price of $466million. The deadline is 25
 working days since the signing of the con-
 tract, and considering that the contract was
                                                A    t the end of December 2007, UniCredit
                                                     Bank opened a branch specialising
                                                in services in the field of private bank-
                                                                                                I t was agreed in the negotiations in
                                                                                                  Germany that experts from Opel become
                                                                                                involved in the preparations for the pro-
 signed on 7th February A-Tec is supposed       ing. This branch is the first one of its kind   duction of the Astra Classic in the Zastava
 to provide the guarantee by 13th March.        in Serbia. The basic condition for a per-       vehicles factory in Kragujevac, which is
                                                son to become a client of UniCredit Bank        supposed to start in the second half of this
                                                in the field of private banking is a portfo-    year. Zastava announced that the tender
 ISO 22000:                                     lio of €200,000 minimum in the bank or a        for the procurement of the new production
 2005 TO SUNOCO                                 monthly income of over €5,000.                  equipment will be announced in the next

 C   ompany Sunoco was granted the
     ISO 22000:2005 certificate, estab-
 lished by the World Organisation for
                                                   UniCredit Bank’s private banking man-
                                                ages a portfolio of 12 million euros for 44
                                                clients, and is intended for those who need
                                                                                                few days. This is supposed to be a big in-
                                                                                                vestment achievement, similar to that be-
                                                                                                fore the production of the ‘Zastava 10’
 Standardisation, which refers to food secu-    sophisticated banking services. It offers       model.

   SERBIA AT THE OLYMPICS                                                                          Team Visa’s Serbian members are three
                                                                                                sporting hopefuls for the Olympic and

  F    ebruary saw Visa commence its na-
       tional sponsorship programme “Team
   Visa” in Serbia.
                                                                                                Paralympics teams to compete for Serbia
                                                                                                in Beijing later this year. The Serbian
      Team Visa combines the populari-                                                          rently ranked third in the world in air rifle
   ty and authority of legendary Olympic
                                         -                                                      games participant in table tennis and
                                                                                                number one of the world ranking list for
   would have on new, young Olympians                                                           Beijing, and Goran Jagar, one of the most
   and para-Olympians.                                                                          promising young rowers.
      This project shows the dedication of                                                          Speaking about the Team Visa pro-
   Visa to the Olympic movement, national                                                                                                 -
   Olympic committees and national teams,                                                       resentative for Serbia and Montenegro,
   which is an important factor providing                                                       said: “We support Visa Team throughout
   for the continued success of the Olympic                                                     the region of Central Europe, the Middle
   games.                                                                                       East and Africa, because the Olympics
      Visa International will support a big                                                     trigger pride in us regarding the nation-
   group of Olympic hopefuls all around the                                                     al team; it celebrates national differences
   world, by offering direct financial contri-                                                  by cheering the domestic sports heroes.
   butions and assistance through Team Visa’s Olympic mentors.          That is also a way in which Visa CEMEA tries to raise the fu-
      The Visa Team for Central Europe, the Middle East and             ture of the Olympics by investment to a new level; to help and
                                                                        stimulate young sportsmen to use their abilities in the best way;
   offered a chance to co-operate with three Olympic heroes –           to enable ordinary people to do extraordinary things, as well as
   Alexei Nemov, Sergey Bubka, and Rick Nettling, who shall be          to assist the next generation of top sportsmen in achieving their
   mentors to young sportsmen.                                          dreams“.

46 CorD / March 2008
 VOLKSWAGEN                                                                                                       as well as Audi, Seat and
 SALES-SERVICE                                                                                                    Porsche vehicles in 2004.
 CENTRE OPENS                                                                                                        “Besides the import-
                                                                                                                  er’s job, we are develop-

 A    s one of the biggest
      European distributors
 in the field of automobile
                                                                                                                  ing and expanding our
                                                                                                                  own dealers’ network, by
                                                                                                                  opening up retail sales
 industry, Porsche Holding                                                                                        outlets in Serbia.
 continues to expand its                                                                                             “We have started with
 presence in Serbia by re-                                                                                        two facilities, in a rented
 specting all its top stand-                                                                                      space; Porsche Belgrade
 ards established in other
 European countries.                                                                                              and Porsche New Belgrade
    Porsche Belgrade

 sales-service centre for the                                                                                          “In March 2006 we
 Volkswagen brand, worth                                                                                           opened up a dealership fa-
 around €7million, that opened its doors to the public on 8th January   cility, Porsche Novi Sad, where we sell and service passenger and
 2008. The newly constructed facility is located in the Belgrade mu-    economy programme for Volkswagen, and in August the same year
 nicipality of Palilula, at Zrenjaninski put 11.                        we established the first object in our ownership, Porsche Belgrade
    Porsche New Belgrade, authorised dealer and servicing agent for     Ada, the biggest sales-service centre in this region for brands Audi,
 the Volkswagen brand, started to work in April 2004. It quickly suc-   Porsche and Seat.”
 ceeded in securing an important slice of the market.                       He continued: “Today, in your presence, we are opening up
    Addresses press and guests at the centre’s opening, Manolito        Porsche Belgrade Sever – the biggest and most modern regional cen-
                                                                    -   tre for sales and servicing of Volkswagen brand vehicles, constructed
 ny’s progress to date, saying that Company Porsche SCG, which has      in accordance with the high European standards of Volkswagen AG.
 been in Serbia and Montenegro since January 2004, as a subsidi-            “By opening up the biggest regional centre - Porsche Belgrade
 ary of Austrian Porsche Holding, became the General Importer and       Sever - we are showing that we have a serious presence on the Serbian
 Distributor for Volkswagen brand economy and passenger vehicles,       market and that we intend to continue our growth and expansion.”

FROM VALJEVO                                                                              -     meet demand and control the prices. This
                                                duction section of the plastic producer,        was announced by Minister of Agriculture

G    orenje is plan-
     ning to open a
washing and drying
                                                Ferrariplast, majority owned by the Italian
                                                company, Thermoplast, will have 4,000
                                                                                                would propose extension of the export ban
                                                                                                on wheat and corn until the next harvest.
machines factory in                             ter this object, the construction of a pro-     The minister says that until then the re-
Valjevo. The director                           duction hall of 6,000 square metres is al-      quired quantities of wheat and the entire
of Gorenje Valjevo,                             so planned which will be used as storage        yield would be defined. In the meantime,
                                                space and space for assembling final prod-      200,000 tonnes of duty free wheat could
that this company is interested in purchas-     ucts.                          Source:Beta      be secured from import, in order to fill the
ing another five hectares of land near the                                                      Serbian demand and control the market
present company premises and to build a         EXPORT BAN ON WHEAT                                                                        -
factory for washing machines. They would        CONTINUES                                       sion on import permit for wheat could be
initially employ 200 people. “The facto-
ry could be finished by 2009, and we are
currently negotiating to get 340 thousand
                                                2 00,000 tonnes of duty free wheat could
                                                  be secured from import, in order to
                                                                                                expected in a couple of weeks. The ban
                                                                                                was introduced last August after a drought
                                                                                                that significantly reduced the crop yields.
euros from the SIEPA programme for em-                                                                           Source: Beta, EM Online
ploying 200 new people in this Greenfield
                                                                                                NEW PRESIDENT OF NIS
Gorenje in Valjevo noticed that negoti-                                                         MANAGEMENT BOARD
ations with Valjevo Municipality regard-
ing the land “are not going easily” be-
cause “it seems that politics have also be-
                                                                                                T  he former general director of NIS,
                                                                                                ed president of the company’s manage-
come involved here too”. He also men-
tioned the possibility that the next invest-                                                    the Democratic Party of Serbia to which,
ment in Valjevo could be a tools factory                                                        according to the coalition agreement, the
for Gorenje’s needs.           Source:Beta                                                      position in the national petrol company
                                                                                                belongs. So far he was considered as the
NEW FERRARIPLAST                                                                                most serious candidate for the president
FACTORY SECTION                                                                                 of Srbijagas. According to media reports,

T   he Ferrariplast production section
    in Sombor, in which more than mil-
lion euros was invested will be complet-
                                                                                                the rival for the position of the first man
                                                                                                of NIS was the former Telekom director,

ed by the end of March. The company di-                                                                                                         -

                                                                                                                          CorD / March 2008 47

                                                                                                      DHL CENTRE FOR THE

                                                                                                      G    eneral Manager of DHL International
                                                                                                           Beograd, Darko Babic, announced that
                                                                                                      DHL plans to introduce daily flights from
                                                                                                      the DHL centre in Leipzig to Belgrade,
                                                                                                      thus making the Serbian capital a key link
                                                                                                      between the Western Balkans and the rest
                                                                                                      of the world.
                                                                                                         Belgrade will be receiving express
                                                                                                      DHL deliveries from Macedonia, Albania,
                                                                                                      Montenegro, and Bosnia & Herzegovina,
                                                                                                      which will then be forwarded throughout
                                                                                                      the world.       Source:

                                                                                                      HALF A MILLION

 tor of NIS since May 2006, and before that         phasised that that he is intending to focus
 he was the executive director of the NIS-          on the development of the food industry
 TNG branch.         Source: B92, Politika          and to build factories and invest in modern

                                                    technologies and equipment.
                                                       The owner of Swislion Takovo an-
                                                    nounced that the project for the construc-
                                                                                                      V    ip mobile gave a review presentation
                                                                                                           of its activities in 2007. In six months
                                                                                                      than half a million customers joined Vip.

 T   he owner of Swisslion Takovo,

 ue of this food company is over one bil-
                                                    tion of the modern milk producing facto-
                                                    ry which will cost €15million in the first
                                                    phase will soon reach completion. “The
                                                                                                      During this period of time prepaid, post-
                                                                                                      paid and small business offers were
                                                                                                      launched. In addition, Vip vas the first to
                                           -        whole project is supposed to start in 2008        introduce BlackBerry from Vodafone to
 cern is not planning to purchase any com-          and in the next three years we will ex-           the Serbian market. As largest Greenfield
 pany in Croatia or Slovenia, because it is         tend the dairy selection with all kinds of        investment, Vip invested €99.4million in
 more profitable to build new factories than        fruit yogurt, special cheeses and even ice        2007, employed 445 local experts and
 to renovate the old ones. Draskovic em-                                           Source:Beta        opened 20 own sales centers by the end

                                                                                                                         el, new A4 is launched

  L     ate January saw an offi-
        cial promotion of the new
   Audi A4 at the Audi salon with
                                                                                                                         with the selection of five
                                                                                                                         strong, state of the art en-
   sales-service centre Porsche                                                                                              The new A4 model is
   Belgrade Ada. Around 400 in-                                                                                          a car showing the outer
   vitees attended the promotion.                                                                                        world one sure peculiari-
   Amongst them were media rep-                                                                                          ty – impression based on
   resentatives, representatives of                                                                                      wide, low set sport-like
   the diplomatic community and                                                                                          shaped decorative cool-
   many other important persons                                                                                          er’s mask.
   from the world of fashion and                                                                                             Xenon front head-
   arts.                                                                                                                 lights, as an addition-
       After the official promotion,                                                                                     al option, are a techni-
   guests had a unique opportu-                                                                                          cal work of art, with a
   nity to enjoy the real Audi atmosphere and in the voice of Vlada          strong visual accent deriving from their electro-chromed “wings”
   Georgijev, who embellished the day with his mini-concert!                 and standard daily light for driving, each daily light for driving con-
       The new Audi A4 is brisk, light and very precise for driving. It is   sists of 14 white LED lamps.
   a supreme sports automobile with excellent road performance. With             This model’s interior has a clear survey and very attractive ap-
   its construction, the new A4 unveils its sporting, progressive char-      pearance. Inside the new A4 model there is a feeling of light and spa-
   acter.                                                                    ciousness that would suit an automobile of much higher category.
       The engines driving this passenger model represent a combina-             The new A4’s sporty behaviour on the road and the comfort of a
   tion of perfectly distributed power and a high utilisation level, en-     big automobile were the end goals of the new A4 model dealt with
   abling us a new way of driving. Compared with the previous mod-           by Audi’s Designers.

48 CorD / March 2008
                                                                                                   solutions enabling exchange of con-
     At the biggest fair of mobile tele-                                                           tents between devices like television
 communications in the world, com-                                                                 set, computer and other mobile de-
 pany Cisco® presented its solutions
 for modern needs of mobility.                                                                      Mobile Communications or so-called

 C    isco, a global leader in the pro-
      duction of network solutions pre-
 sented applications for mobile access
                                                                                                    Mobile Office is a solution enabling
                                                                                                    service providers to offer to com-
                                                                                                    panies and small and medium size
 at the recent Mobile World Congress                                                                companies flexible environment for
 in Barcelona. Promising to change                                                                  transfer of data, voice and exchange
 the way in which people connect, co-operate and access their da-       of messages. We shouldn’t forget Broadband Wireless, portfo-
 ta in movement, including entertaining contents, Cisco manage-         lio end-to-end broadband wireless solutions, amongst which are
 ment explained that those services represent a strategic opportu-      Wireless Mesh Network, WiMAX radio network, ASN Gateway
 nity for service providers to address the needs of users to have ac-   and the others.
 cess to information and to be online from any place at any time.          Besides numerous mobile solutions presented at the Congress,
     Mobility offers the opportunity for people to move freely, and     a course intended for professionals in the field of service provid-
 simultaneously to be incessantly connected to the Internet and         ing has also been presented in Barcelona. This program has been
 connected with others, using the device as they choose. Mobility       envisaged following the initiative of Cisco Company, in cooper-
 enables people to cooperate better and more effectively during         ation with GSM Association, with a goal to offer training to en-
 movement, which is inspiring a new productivity wave.                  gineers, in order to use Internet technologies to develop and use
     Amongst the solutions demonstrated by Cisco to conference          new services based on Internet protocol, and which would ena-
 attendees, there are solutions for mobile broadcasting of televi-      ble their users to be on-line and active in business in any place
                                                                        any time.

of that year. Vip finished last year with al-
most six percent of market share.


I  nflation in Serbia in January, measured
   by the EU methodology monitoring
consumer prices, was 0.9%. This was an-
nounced yesterday by the Statistical Office,
RSZ, in Belgrade. The result shows that
prices were up 11.5% on January last year.
The EU methodology measures the infla-
tion by the average change of retail prices
and those of personal services. It takes into
account the price of apartment rents, finan-
cial, education and catering services. The
RZS used its own methodology to come
up with the same inflation figure for the
first month of this year.     Source: B92

             BELGRADE SALE

A    report is questioning the sale of
     a 40-per cent stake in the Port of
Belgrade company.
   The September 2005 acquisition by
Luxembourg-based Worldfin, cost the state
at least €21millionn, the report claims.
Chairwoman of the government’s Anti-

that the state has been “seriously harmed
by the privatisation of the Port of Belgrade
and that such a privatisation allowed a mo-
nopoly”. According to the commission,
the €21million figure is the difference be-
tween the estimated value of stocks of the
port, and the paid price. The purchase price
was RSD800 per share, while the estimat-
ed value was 1,774.       Source: B92, Beta

                                                                                                                         CorD / March 2008 49

 H.E. Stephen Wordsworth, British Ambassador to Serbia (right), and

50 CorD / March 2008
region, was organised

event related to
land management,

                        CorD / March 2008 51

52 CorD / March 2008

Beograd open
a gala evening

its operations

event saw

                 CorD / March 2008 53

                                                 interim agreement with Serbia this week        that Serbs should now look forward to the
                                                 to maintain momentum until the war crim-       West instead of East. While it is probably
                                                 inals are delivered to the tribunal.           true that 20 years ago Milosevic gave the
  RE R
    V                                               Serbia’s voters and politicians have        Kosovo Liberation Army a good pretext
 U                                               been slow to come to terms with the crimes
                                                 and consequences of Slobodan Milosevic’s
                                                                                                to light the fire of what would become a
                                                                                                NATO-backed war for independence, it is
 BY NYT EDITORIAL                                murderous dictatorship. Mr. Tadic’s re-        the West at Yalta in 1945 that traded away
 P BH:6TH FEBRUAR                   Y 2008       election is a hopeful sign that many of        Kosovo and the rest of Yugoslavia when

              erbia’s voters wisely chose fu-    them, if still not able to fully acknowledge   Churchill and Roosevelt decided to let
              ture hopes over past resent-       that past, are prepared to embrace a more      Tito’s Communists rule this country.
              ments in handing a narrow but      constructive, realistic future.                    Had the West prevented this Balkan re-
              important re-election victory to                                                  gion from falling into Communist hands af-
              President Boris Tadic.                                                            ter World War II, Kosovo and Serbia (indi-
      Mr. Tadic is a rare moderate in a coun-                                                   vidually or as a part of Yugoslavia) would
 try too often tempted by the siren songs of                                                    have no doubt long ago followed the rest
 demagogues. He wants to ally Serbia with
 the West, though he opposes the European
                                                 SE IN                                          of Western Europe’s path to democracy
                                                                                                and the European Economic Community.
 Union-backed plan for conditional in-           K
                                                 O       S S
                                                        ;E N
                                                       VOSO                                         Marco Popov, Opio, France
 dependence for the province of Kosovo.
 And he favors cooperation with the United       F M AT
                                                 RO SE       M
                                                             I O
                                                             TR                                     Lessons from East Timor
                                                                                                    The attempted assassination of President
 Nations war crimes tribunal that is still         :
                                                 BY VARIOUS AUTHORS                             José Ramos Horta and other leaders of
 seeking justice for the 1990s Balkan hor-       ULES
                                                 P BH: 17TH FEBRUAR                    Y 2008   East Timor shows the vulnerability of the

 rors. His defeated challenger urged closer                      s one of those lawyers who     country’s democracy. But it is also an op-
 ties with Moscow and threatened vigorous                        does “fret over precedent”     portunity to take an important step toward
 resistance to independence for Kosovo.                          (Roger Cohen, “Europe’s        building the state.
     Mr. Tadic’s re-election makes it possi-                     new state,” Globalist, Feb.        At the time of my last visit as president
 ble to avoid the worst dangers surrounding                      14), I fear that the looming   of the Portuguese Republic, in February
 Kosovo’s long-delayed independence. That        independence of Kosovo will prove to be        2006, divisions were beginning to ap-
 will require patience and sensitivity on the    too strong a temptation for other ethno-se-    pear among the East Timor defense forc-
 part of Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leaders        cessionist movements to resist.                es. During my talks with all the Timorese
 — and their supporters in Washington and            While independence may now be the          leaders, especially with President Xanana
 Brussels — and political courage from Mr.       only viable option for Kosovo, the pros-       Gusmão and Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri,
 Tadic. Washington and Brussels also need        pect of trapping 100,000 Serbs in a state      I underlined the need of the government to
 to quickly find ways to strengthen Mr.          that they reject is no more appealing (or      support its senior officers.
 Tadic’s hand.                                   morally justifiable) than trapping 2 million       Unfortunately, the presence of inter-
     Mr. Tadic’s presidential majority was       Albanians in Serbia. The one option that       national military forces, including de-
 slim, and his parliamentary position is even    might have led to a mutually agreeable so-     tachments of the Portuguese National
 more precarious, and depends on support         lution - a minimal partition of Kosovo, al-    Republican Guard, under the framework
 from more nationalist elements. Kosovo’s        lowing the area north of the Ibar and its      of the United Nations continues to be nec-
 independence is no longer negotiable.           50,000 Serbs to remain within Serbia - has     essary for security reasons. They should
 But rather than forcing an immediate cri-       been consistently rejected by so-called me-
 sis, the West should urge the Kosovars to       diators, without explanation. The facts on
 wait a few more months before declar-           the ground speak otherwise, however, and
 ing independence. The European Union            one awaits with curiosity the justifications
 could make clear to all Serbs the rewards       to be given by NATO and the UN for re-
 of moderation by quickly lowering some          jecting Serbian self-determination, having
 trade and travel barriers.                      championed it for Kosovars.
     Europe rightly insists that Serbia can-         Hurst Hannum, Professor of public law,
 not join its Balkan neighbors on the path to    University of Hong Kong
 formal membership until it turns over the           Roger Cohen asserts that Slobodan
 leaders who orchestrated the mass killings      Milosevic “gambled away Kosovo long
 in Bosnia. Brussels is prepared to sign an      ago with his murderous nationalism” and
never have left.
   The lesson to be taken from the crisis is
the need to impose the authority of the state
and of the armed forces of East Timor with
firmness, for they can no longer tolerate an
ambiguous co-existence with armed rebels.
   Ramos Horta will have the opportuni-
ty to unite the Timorese leaders within the
Council of State and other institutions. The
leaders who founded the Timorese state,
such as Xanana Gusmão, Ramos Horta and
Mari Alkatiri, must show that they contin-
ue united in essential matters.                    Serbian capital told a different story.         zation of building a multiethnic society in
   This will not be the last crisis. But pre-          The rubble, broken glass and spent tear     Kosovo, which China is deeply concerned
venting the first new democratic state of          gas canisters spoke volumes about the           about,” Foreign Affairs Ministry spokes-
the 21st century from becoming yet anoth-          Serbian response: Riots in protest against      man Liu Jianchao said.
er failed state lies largely in the hands of       Kosovo’s declaration had swept through             “China calls on the two sides of Serbia
Portugal, Australia and the UN. It would           the streets for several hours, with the         and Kosovo to continue to seek a prop-
be a mistake to give up halfway. This war-         wrath of the crowd focused on the sym-          er solution through negotiation within the
rants continued international effort and co-       bols of those they perceived as helping         framework of international law, and the in-
operation in East Timor.                           tear Serbian’s heartland province away.         ternational community should create favo-
   Jorge Sampaio, Lisbon The writer is the             Riot police battled hundreds of youths      rable conditions for this,” he added.
former president of Portugal                       with batons after the baying mob had               Concerns over wave of separatist dec-
                                                   smashed two McDonald’s restaurants and          larations
                                                   attacked the US and Slovenian embassies            Sri Lanka, a country with its own prob-
                                                   with stones. Hospital officials said at least   lems with separatism, said it was con-
                                                   50 people, including 20 policemen, were in-     cerned about Kosovo’s unilateral decla-
                                                   jured during the rioting, but none seriously.   ration of independence, as it could set a
                                                       Earlier, in the south of Serbia, mem-       precedent in other parts of the world and
                                                   bers of the Kosovo police service stopped       hurt nations.
 N                                                 several hundred former Serbian army re-
                                                   servists dressed in military uniforms from
                                                                                                      “The unilateral declaration of independ-
                                                                                                   ence by Kosovo could set an unmanagea-
O    Y
     I                                             crossing into the province ahead of the         ble precedent in the conduct of internation-
                                                   declaration.                                    al relations, the established global order
  D O
  I R
  VE E
DI D V                                                 International reactions reflect divide      of sovereign states and could thus pose a
 C O                                                   Away from the streets, the international
                                                   community soon began positioning itself
                                                                                                   grave threat to international peace and se-
                                                                                                   curity,” the foreign ministry said in a state-
SO     VO                                          in the two camps of “for” and “against.”        ment. “This action by Kosovo is a viola-
                                                   The trickle of responses began early, with      tion of the Charter of the United Nations,
BY DW STAFF (NDA)                                  those opposing the move striking quickly.       which enshrines the sovereignty and terri-
P BH: 18TH FEBRUAR                     Y 2008          Serbia’s President Boris Tadic attempt-     torial integrity of member states.”

              he divisions over Kosovo’s in-       ed to calm fears of escalating violence by         Sri Lankan forces have been fighting a
              dependence, clearly seen in the      speaking diplomatically, but the message        25-year insurgency by Tamil separatists,
              different reactions on the streets   was clear: Serbia would not recognize this      who want an independent homeland in the
              of Pristina and Belgrade, are        new Kosovo and would work to stop its in-       east and north of the island.
              forcing members of the inter-        dependence in its tracks.                          New Zealand’s Prime Minister Helen
national community to choose sides.                    “Serbia has reacted and will react with     Clark announced that her country would
    While the street sweepers of Belgrade          all peaceful, diplomatic and legal means to     not recognize an independent Kosovo,
and Pristina had very similar tasks on the         annul this act committed by Kosovo’s in-        saying it was never the government’s posi-
morning of Monday, Feb. 18, it was the             stitutions,” he said.                           tion to offer diplomatic recognition in such
differences of their clean-up operations               Serbia’s main ally, Russia, soon threw      circumstances.
which summed up the feelings not only of           its considerable weight behind Tadic’s             “We neither recognize nor not recog-
their country folk but those of the interna-       message by calling a special meeting of         nize,” she said. “We are not intending to
tional community at large.                         the United Nations Security Council to          make a formal statement.”
    In Kosovo’s capital, the detritus of cel-      discuss the issue late Sunday, but failed          Supporters say stability comes from
ebration littered the streets as the sun rose      to secure backing for its call to declare       recognition
on the country’s first full day of self-de-        Kosovo’s declaration “null and void.”              Australia led the early calls of sup-
clared independence from Serbia. Tens of               China expressed concern about the ef-       port for independent Kosovo, with Prime
thousands of people celebrated long in-            fects Kosovo’s declaration would have           Minister Kevin Rudd announcing that
to the night in central Pristina on Sunday         on peace in the Balkans, urging the two         Australia would recognize the new state.
in recognition of the Kosovo parliament’s          governments to work out their problems             “The sorry history of Kosovo means
formal vote to break from Serbia, a move           through dialogue.                               that we’ve got to do whatever we can do
that completed the conflict-strewn breakup             “Kosovo’s unilateral act can produce a      to ensure the citizens of that part of the
of the former Yugoslavia.                          series of results that will lead to serious-    world are protected into the future,” Rudd
    However, as the first rays of light set-       ly negative influence on peace and stabil-      said. “This would appear to be the right
tled on Belgrade, the night’s events in the        ity in the Balkan region and on the reali-      course of action. That’s why diplomatical-

                                                                                                     ments, made during an informal meeting
                                                                                                     of leaders from ex-Soviet republics, were
                                                                                                     the strongest by the Russian leader since
                                                                                                     Sunday when Kosovo made its declara-
                                                                                                     tion of independence.
                                                                                                         “The Kosovo precedent is a terrifying
                                                                                                     precedent,” he said. He added that those
                                                                                                     who have recognised Kosovo “are miscal-
                                                                                                     culating what they are doing. In the end,
                                                                                                     this is a stick with two ends and that other
 ly we would extend diplomatic recognition                                                           end will come back to knock them on the
 at the earliest opportunity.”                                                                       head someday.”
     Taiwan’s independence-leaning govern-                                                               The recent election of the pro-West-
 ment echoed Australia’s stance.                                                                     ern president Boris Tadic had bolstered
     “Self-determination is a right recog-
 nized by the United Nations, and it is the
                                                  SE II                                              hopes that Serbia would move to tight-
                                                                                                     en ties, eventually leading to inclusion in
 people who are masters of their nation’s             I
                                                   MD E O
                                                  RE NR F                                            the EU family, but the declaration of in-
 future,” the foreign ministry said in a state-
                                                   F E
                                                  DE DR
                                                                                                     dependence by Kosovo has revitalised the
 ment. “In no way should the independence                                                            nationalist hardliners, including the Prime
 of one nation be denied by another.
     “Taiwan is a member of the interna-
                                                  MI EC                                              Minister Vojislav Kostunica.
                                                                                                         After blocking the signing of an interim
 tional community that cherishes democ-                                                              agreement with the EU earlier this month,
 racy and freedom, and the government is          IN BELGRADE                                        he helped organise Thursday’s rally of a
 delighted that the people of Kosovo have         PUBLISHED: 23RD FEBRUARY 2008                      250,000 people. “[It] was magnificent and

 the fruits of independence, democracy and                     erbia’s relationship with the EU      showed what the people of Serbia thought
 freedom to look forward to,” it said.                         is in crisis after Belgrade’s fail-   about Kosovo,” said Mr Kostunica. “Most
     Western powers biding their time                          ure to intervene to halt violence     of all, Serbia’s youth has sent a message
     The United States and the European                        sparked by the West’s endorse-        that Serbia is for law, justice and freedom
 Union were to make formal statements lat-                     ment of Kosovo’s independence.        and that it rejects the bullying policy of
 er in the day, but were both expected to rec-        After almost eight years of bridge-            Western countries.”
 ognize the new Kosovo, despite a split over      building with its European neighbours,                 But it was from this crowd that sever-
 independence in the EU. Britain, France,         Serbia this week witnessed scenes remi-            al hundred young men broke off to smash
 Germany and Italy are expected to official-      niscent of the Milosevic era. Anti-Western         their way into the US embassy. Police yes-
 ly give recognition, but Greece, Cyprus,         feelings have been stoked by the authori-          terday confirmed that the charred remains
 Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Bulgaria            ties with even American television shows           of a young man had been found in the em-
 have all expressed their opposition.             pulled off state television. An attack by          bassy, but did not reveal his identity, and
     Slovenia’s Foreign Minister Dimitrij         rioters on the US embassy on Thursday              said that they had arrested almost 200 peo-
 Rupel, whose country holds the EU’s ro-          night left one person dead and has raised          ple. Around 130 people were injured in the
 tating presidency, told reporters that he un-    fears of further violence.                         clashes, including 50 police officers.
 derstood that “many EU member states”                The US and UN condemned the events                 Belgrade residents expressed anger at
 would recognize Kosovo’s independence.           in Belgrade but the EU warned that a               the government for not moving to curb
      “I understand that many EU member           failure to clamp down on violence could            the violence sooner. For many, the atmos-
 states will recognize” Kosovo’s independ-        harm Serbia’s prospects of eventual EU             phere is reminiscent of the anti-Western
 ence, he said as he arrived for a meeting of     membership and the promise of millions             sentiment whipped up into a fury follow-
 EU foreign ministers in Brussels, adding that    of euros in aid and free trade conces-             ing the Nato bombing in 1999, when Mr
 there was likely to be “a lively discussion.”    sions. “These acts of violence lead no-            Milosevic was trying to cling to power and
      “Recognition is not a matter for the EU     where and they cannot help anybody,”               prevent the collapse of what remained of
 as a whole. It’s member states who will de-      said the EU foreign policy chief Javier            Yugoslavia. Different nationalist groups
 cide,” he added.                                 Solana. “Things will have to calm down             are also distributing leaflets in the capi-
     “I cannot tell you what we shall con-        before we can recuperate the climate               tal with calls for a boycott of internation-
 clude at the end, but certainly I expect that    that will allow for any contact to move            al banks and imported goods in shopping
 we shall continue with this tradition of         on the Stabilisation and Association               malls all over Serbia.
 unity that we have established” with the         Agreement.”                                            “This is ridiculous,” said analyst
 creation of a new EU justice mission to              His rebuke came as EU defence min-             Misa Brkic. “More than 35,000 people
 Kosovo, said Rupel.                              isters met in Slovenia to consider their re-       in Belgrade work in international banks,
       German Chancellor Angela Merkel            action to the crisis and the risk of violence      which are mixed Serb and international
 said that Germany would not make a de-           spreading to Serb parts of Bosnia. The EU          companies. Self-isolation of such kind can
 cision on the recognition of Kosovo yet,         commissioner for enlargement, Olli Rehn,           bring nothing good.”
 as the main priority was for the European        said: “I appeal for calm in Serbia and in the          This was a view echoed across the new
 Union to act together on Kosovo.                 wider region. We urge all Serbian politicians      border in Kosovo, by the Prime Minister,
      “Germany will not take a decision [on       to call for restraint and avoid statements that    Hashim Thaci. In an interview with AP, he
 the recognition of Kosovo] today. The            could further inflame the situation.”              called on Serbs to reject old habits: “My
 aim is to have a platform of unity within            But President Vladimir Putin yester-           message to Serbs in Serbia is to look for-
 the EU, on which each member state can           day issued a sharp warning to the West             ward and not to work with the mentality of
 act,” Merkel told Germany’s Foreign Press        about the consequences of recognis-                the past, with the mentality of Milosevic’s
 Association (VAP).                               ing Kosovo’s independence. The com-                time.”
E D.
SOND.                    D
   N                                            “This day
OO                  VO
                     W                          has been

  D                                             long in com-
                                                ing,” he said,
BY: PETER POPHAM IN PRIŠTINA                    “But ... from this
PUBLISHED: 18TH FEBRUARY 2008                   moment on, Kosovo
    “It’s the biggest day for a million         is proud, independent
years!” declared an ecstatic Kosovar, cel-      and free.”
ebrating his country’s independence along           The former guerril-
with tens of thousands of other ethnic          la and political leader of
Albanians in Pristina last night.               the Kosovo Liberation Army
    Fireworks exploded over the city, thou-     showed scant emotion as he read
sands of cars paraded through the streets,      out the declaration. Referring to his
horns blaring and bonnets strung with           own life, he said: “My family, like
Albanian flags, while men and women             yours ... never wavered and never lost
in traditional costume banged drums and         faith in our countrymen. From the broth-
danced and sang.                                er who left his family to fight, to the farmer
    Kosovo became the world’s 193rd na-         who would not cede his land, to the women                       As Mr Thaci underlined be-
tion state yesterday. For the Albanians who     and men who opened their homes and taught        fore parliament, the challenges this tiny
constitute 90 per cent of Kosovo’s people,      our children, to the student who stood up and    state faces are daunting. With the youngest
the declaration marked the end of genera-       said ‘No more’ ... we never wavered and nev-     population in Europe, 40 per cent unem-
tions of oppression by Serbs, who claim         er lost faith in our countrymen.”                ployment and little in the way of industry
Kosovo as their historic homeland but for           MPs cheered as Kosovo’s new flag,            or exports, it will have a hard job making
centuries have accounted for a minori-          with the country’s outline on yellow under       its way in the world. Serbia has long threat-
ty of its population. Yet for all the eupho-    six gold stars on a dark blue background         ened to implement a “secret plan” of retal-
ria, there was a decorous, almost sombre        was hoisted above the assembly. Also wit-        iation if Kosovo broke away, which could
edge to the festivities. Kosovo takes to the    nessing the scene was the family of the          include cuts in energy exports and road
world stage with the less than unanimous        late writer turned pacifist leader Ibrahim       blockades. Serbia has also threatened dip-
backing of Europe and amid angry denun-         Rugova, the man who did more than an-            lomatic and trade measures against states
ciations by Serbia and Russia.                  yone to foster Kosovo’s sense of destiny.        that recognise Kosovo’s independence.
    The declaration of independence by          This was not the first time Kosovo has de-           Mr Thaci’s speech was filled with refer-
Prime Minister Hashim Thaci was im-             clared itself independent – Mr Rugova an-        ences to the multi-ethnic nature of the new
mediately followed by a statement from          nounced it way back in 1992.                     state. But the Serb government has instruct-
his Serb counterpart, Vojislav Kostunica,           Seven miserable years followed during        ed Kosovo’s Serbians to boycott its institu-
vowing that Serbia would never recog-           which the government of Milosevic drove          tions and has vowed to regain the province.
nise it. In Mitrovica, the main flashpoint      Albanians out of public life to keep the             Ever since the end of the war, Kosovo’s
of ethnic tensions during the Balkans’ dark     province in subjection. Kosovo has been          Serbians have followed orders from
days, grenades were thrown, although            straining at the leash ever since Serbia’s       Belgrade to ignore the Albanian adminis-
they caused no injuries. Jubilant Kosovars      defeat in the 1999 bombing campaign but          tration while accepting the role of the UN
shrugged off the threat.                        was held back by the compulsion of its in-       and Nato. With the UN mission Unmik to
    “We don’t worry about Serbia,” said         ternational backers to obtain international      be phased out and replaced by a 2,000-
Mehmet Osmani, 49, a Pristina business-         consensus for the move. It never arrived.        strong European force of police, prosecu-
man celebrating with his brother. “Serbia           After a year of intensive negotiations       tors and judges, relations with the Serbians
lost Kosovo totally in 1999. This is the last   with both sides, the UN special envoy Martti     are likely to worsen, as Belgrade has con-
moment they can tell us what to do – now        Ahtisaari concluded that a compromise be-        demned the EU mission as illegal.
we are equal. The Serbs are nervous now         tween Serbs and Kosovars was impossible,             Yesterday, hand grenades aside, there
but in time they will calm down. And that       and instead recommended “independence            were no signs of the violence of Kosovo’s
goes for Serbians living in Kosovo. No          supervised by the international community”.      earlier rites of passage. Kosovars had been
one will do them any harm.”                         That was expected to become a reality last   implored by their government to “cel-
    Nine years after the Nato bombing           year until Russia changed its mind and ve-       ebrate independence with dignity for a
campaign – sparked by fears that Slobodan       toed the proposal in the UN Security Council.    bright start”. “If I am happy, the Serbians
Milosevic was planning ethnic cleansing         It has been nearly a year since Mr Ahtisaari’s   should be happy, too,” said one reveller
against the Kosovars – the country’s 39-        report was delivered but the EU, stiffened by    last night. “Every Serbian who is honest
year-old Prime Minister announced the           the US, has finally got up the courage to defy   and did not commit crimes is welcome to
long-awaited birth of the new country.          Moscow and Belgrade.                             live with us.”


                        You know your street address, but do you know who it’s named after?

   In 1977 it was hard to con-
   vince my French friends in
   Paris that I wasn’t out of my
   mind for moving to Yugosla-                                                                                         -
   via. Like true French folk,                                      ignate routes running east-west as streets and those
   they were concerned that I
   wouldn’t have enough to eat
   or at least anything good to
   eat. My family “preko bara”
   (across the pond in America)
   were more worried that the
   Russian Army would rush in,
   imprison little capitalistic me,
   and brainwash my children. Finally, they
   reluctantly conceded that Yugoslavia was
   non-aligned, and gave me their blessing.
   No email in those days, so when they saw
   the Bulevar Lenjina return address on                                                                               -

   my letter, I could hear their smug laugh-                                                                           -
   ter echoing all across the Atlantic.                                                                                -


               hough the Russians never showed up, the country






                                                             -                                                         -

58 CorD / March 2008
                                                                                           In 2004 about 50 street names
                                                                                            were changed, and the process
                                                                                          continues today.The initial changes
                                                                                           caused celebration among many
                                                                                         Serbs, since the old signs conjured up
                                                                                         negative communist-era connotations
                                                                                         (Dosvidanya, Lenin Boulevard!). Some
                                                                                         were given back their former names

                                                                                          probably pleased everybody, leaving
                                                                                         interpretation wide open from whom
                                                                                           the liberation was: the Turks, the
                                                                                                 Germans, a regime…

 Serbs remain broad-minded and have kept most of the streets that recall former                                                   -
 republics, like Crnogorska, Dalmatinska, Ohridska, Bohinjska, and Sarajevska.We’ll
  see what happens with Kosovo, but it’s probable that streets like Skenderbegova,
Majke Angeline, and Kondina will stay, not to forget Skadarska, after which Belgrade’s
                       Bohemian quarter Skadarlija is named.



                                                                                                               CorD / March 2008 59


    Institutional mafia
    We could say that the public is rightly upset by the fact that almost every day some new

    there are people who actually charge for passing exams and, thus, are members of the

    BY                                                                         the original serious charges have been reduced

    I  f you find out about the existence of the
       transport mafia today, by tomorrow you will
    have heard that the sports mafia has been un-
                                                                               to the level of negligible misdemeanours.
                                                                                   On one side, these shortcomings serve to
                                                                               prove the critics of the judicial system right.
    covered. After that, you will find other mafia                             It can often be heard that the Serbian judicial
    goons lining up as though attending a formal                               system has not been sufficiently reformed, and
    event in the film, the Godfather. You will find                            that this is one of the basic problems of transi-
    out that the pharmaceutical mafia, the sports                              tional Serbia. In fact, it is difficult to establish
    mafia, the construction mafia, education, drugs                            precisely where the problem lies, but it is ob-
    mafia, people trafficking mafia, the road ma-                              vious that something in the legal triangle (po-
    fia, etc., are all operating in Serbia and, on the                         lice – prosecutor’s office – court) is not being
    whole, have been completely overlooked in                                  done properly. However, that is only one side
    Serbia.                                                                    of the problem.
        At first glance, ordinary people welcome                                   If all police successes are analysed, it be-
    every success of discovering and bringing to                               comes clear that the country’s biggest media
    justice these aforementioned “mafias”. The                                   houses, political parties and most popular ana-
    average citizen will certainly tell you that                                 lysts, have given the greatest attention to cases
    these gangsters have made themselves far                                     involving celebrities from the world of sport,
    too comfortable in Serbia, and are endan-                                    businesses and entertainment. Such scandals
    gering the livelihoods of ordinary people, as                                have proved a veritable gift from the God for
    well as that the fight against organised crime                               the hungry media in Serbia. If some celebri-
    and corruption is something that we all de-                                  ty is involved in cases of corruption, then the
    mand from politicians.                                                       local media are provided with enough materi-
        Politicians declaratively fulfil the wishes                              al for several months. However, on that level
    of their voters; the fight against crime and                                 it is easy to see how difficult is to obtain the
    corruption is highly ranked in all electoral                                 threads of personal and business interests and
    campaign promises. Moreover, it cannot be                                    how far the ‘business’ co-operation between
    said that those promises have not been at least                              certain public figures extends. For instance,
    partially fulfilled, because in the last several                             famous folk-singing star Svetlana “Ceca”
    years the police have achieved extraordinary            Turbo-folk
    successes in uncovering and bringing down            megastar Svetlana      Sabre – which followed the assassination of
    various mafia groups. However, problems of
    false successes arise if you recall some of                                 accusations that she had attempted to provide
    those mafia a few months later and attempt           was arrested during    an alibi for the criminal group which killed the
    to find out what happened to those people,           Operation Sabre in     late prime minister, a large number of media
    who were arrested in such a spectacular fash-        2003, and was again    condemned her arrest.
    ion – most commonly in the presence of TV                                      The accusations were pushed to one side
                                                          accused as part of
    cameras – and who were sent to appear be-                                   or were completely ignored, enough for the
    fore judicial organs to answer to the serious        the recent football    friendly media to launch a strong campaign
    evidence collected. You will tend to find that                              against the arrest of this single mother of
    those trials are still ongoing, that some of the                            two. Somewhere in that world it was proba-
    accused have been released again, and that                                  bly concluded that single mothers have immu-

60 CorD / March 2008
nity in criminal responsibility, even in cases of serious accusa-
tions. Of course, nobody is guilty until proved so, and Svetlana     Football Club of which she was president –had embezzled vast
                                                                     sums of money.
Since then it has remained practically unknown what happened                                                                    -
to those serious accusations made against her.

   The latest arrests                                                                                             has no doubt about
of members of the
so-called sports ma-                                                                                              and is not interest-
fia have also stirred                                                                                             ed in the court trial
public emotion. The                                                                                               at all. According to
scene when the leg-                                                                                                                   -
ends of Yugoslav                                                                                                  sence of the case is
sport and long term                                                                                               that Delta Holding
officials in the Red                                                                                              president Miroslav
Star Sports Club, foot-
                                                                                                                  to buy the Red Star
and basketball player
                                                                                                                  apparently oppos-
were arrested, hand-                                                                                              ing the deal, and
cuffed and driven                                                                                                 had nothing to do
away in a police van                                                                                              with the embezzled
in front of TV camer-                                                                                             millions and secret
as shocked the whole                                                                                              accounts. One could
nation. On one side,                                                                                              openly ask where

the comments that their human rights were seriously violated –       such an open attack of solidarity without any doubt comes from.
because TV cameras mean the demonstration of power and the           Of course, it would be wrong to accuse somebody without the
desire to humiliate the arrested persons – were fully justified,     court’s verdict, but it seems that some relations in Serbian soci-
but the accusations again remained in the background.                ety have gone very deep and have spread in all directions.
    It seems that the media are not interested in the truth, which       Therefore, it might be difficult to expect some things to re-
should be a matter for the independent judiciary. As a result,       main within the domain of the independent judiciary, because
the whole problem was reduced to whether or not the legends          the independent judiciary does not exist in Serbia, and it is hard
of Serbian sport should be arrested. At the time of the sport-       to expect that judiciary to receive political support, because po-
ing legends’ arrests, the media pathetically repeated how many       litical and financial interests have become so intertwined that
                                                                 -   it is impossible to separate them. As a particular result of this,
ly, and it seems that nobody was interested in the serious ac-       every pompous accusation and every exclusive or shocking re-
cusations that they had embezzled millions of euros, control-        port, and all those stolen millions, finally end up with some-
led secret accounts and generally acted in breach of the law.        body, without the pomp and TV cameras, coming out through
                                                                 -   the back door in silence.

                                                                                                                      CorD / March 2008 61

 Theatre in EXILE
 Thanks to state money, the                   place on the territory of Kosovo, Eighty
 construction of the build-                   per cent of the required €1.5million will       is rushing somewhere all day along. Life
                                              be provided by the Serbian Ministry of          is much nicer in Mitrovica,” says Nenad
 ing for the Priština National
                                              Culture, with the remainder coming from
 Theatre’s Serbian Drama En-                  international organisations.
 semble will start in Kosovska                    When they had to leave their home the-
 Mitrovica this May.                          atre back in 1999, the ensemble contin-         so the news that we will return to Kosovo,
                                              ued to work in those towns in Kosovo &          to Mitrovica, means a great deal to me”.
                                              Metohija which still had a Serbian popula-         While director of the Priština National
 BY                                           tion. For some time they were in Zvecan,        Theatre’s Serbian Drama Ensemble,

             ince their eviction from the     then in Zubin Potok and finally Kosovska                                                  -
             building of the National         Mitrovica. They performed in communi-                                               Family
             Theatre in Priština back in      ty halls, culture centres, schools, etc.; re-   Stories. They performed the premiere and
             1999, the members of the         hearsals were improvised and organised in       the second showing, but then, in March
             Priština National Theatre’s      private houses. Over time, the ensemble’s       1999, they all had to leave their theatre.
 Serbian Drama Ensemble have been no-         members dispersed to various theatres           Later he worked in other cities in Serbia,
 madically wandering the towns of Serbia.     around Serbia. However, after news about        serving as the director of the Theatre in
 However, the recent announcement of          the building broke, the Serbian Drama           Leskovac for three years. But then he
 the construction of a home for Kosovo’s      Ensemble gathered again. At this moment,        was recalled to gather the Serbian Drama
 Serbian Drama Ensemble marks the begin-      apart from two actors who live in Kosovo,       Ensemble and become the director of the
 ning of the end of their state of limbo.     all other members are currently residing in     theatre in exile, which was to be resettled
    Despite the construction project taking   Belgrade.                                       on the second floor of a residential build-

62 CorD / March 2008
     Kosovo’s Serbian Drama
   Ensemble currently boasts
   a team of 47 staff, including
    30 actors. From Belgrade,
    where the majority of the
   actors now live, they travel
   to perform in those places
    in Kosovo where they are
          still welcome.

   Eventually, the ensemble was again re-
located – this time to a three-storey house
in Kosovska Mitrovica with access to the

started the new theatre life with 16 actors in
the ensemble. We continued where we had
left off: we resumed Family Stories. The
National Theatre from Belgrade helped us

The Mysterious Variations, the whole town        the state of Serbia within internationally recognised borders”.
turned their heads.”
   Kosovo’s Serbian Drama Ensemble               evicted from, Priština we have never              “We were given construction land of
currently boasts a team of 47 staff, includ-     played there. Who would we play for any-      4,000 square-metres from the local admin-
ing 30 actors. From Belgrade, where the          way, considering that there aren’t even 30    istration in Kosovska Mitrovica. We will
majority of the actors now live, they trav-      Serbs living there any more?”                 not use all this land for the building; we
el to perform in those places in Kosovo             Part of the Serbian Drama Ensemble is      need only a small building of around 1,000
                                                 currently in the Belgrade National Theatre    square-metres, which can cater for an au-
have to explain how difficult that is. There                                  Mrs Minister.    dience of around 200 people and hold a
we have to sleep in our host’s houses, and       At the end of January two theatres signed
the knowledge that we are probably the           a Protocol Agreement on Co-operation,         “We do not need a bigger theatre – it is im-
only theatre in exile is not a happy thought     which considers the National Theatre’s        portant that we have a full theatre not only
                                                 aid to their colleagues from Kosovo. “Co-     for the premiere, but all the time.”
sceptic at the beginning; they feared that       operation between our two theatres has           Serbian Minister of Culture, Vojislav
there would be no interest in their plays,       been ongoing for several years, and it
but he is now happy to have been mistak-         has had its ups and downs,” says Predrag      with pleasure’ the news that Serbian drama
en. “Priština had an educated audience, an       Ejdus, director of the National Theatre.      will make a permanent return to Kosovo
experienced one – plays from Belgrade            “We are the national theatre, so it is nor-   through its new theatre in Kosovska
and other bigger cities were often per-          mal for artists to find shelter here. Our
formed there, thus we were afraid that in                                                      because the move “fits into our policy of
some places where, for instance, not a sin-                                                -   preserving and building cultural monu-
gle play has been performed for 30 years,        pass whatever our colleagues from the         ments in the state of Serbia within interna-
people would not be interested in theatre.       Province need, in both a technical and an     tionally recognised borders”.
However, we were wrong”.                         artistic sense.”
    They perform several plays a month               The premiere of Mrs. Minister will take   that the living word, our classics and mod-
in Kosovo, but “when you make one per-           place on 1st April.                           ern drama texts are nurtured, and how
formance in one place there is no need to            The members of the ensemble say that      can you nurture something if there are no
perform it again, because everybody has          they are soon to be liberated from one ma-    premises where we can nurture that?”
already seen that – those places are very        jor worry: that of their residency. They
small”.                                          will soon be going home, to take up res-      and if next May the Kosovo actors hear
    Such a situation, of course, impedes         idency in their new building in Kosovska      applause from their building, it will mark
the maintenance of the repertoire, which         Mitrovica, which is scheduled for comple-     the end of their exile precisely ten years
mainly consists of so-called scholarly text      tion by May 2009.                             after they became homeless.
al identity, we have to play domestic clas-        “It is a bit tense here for me; everybody is rushing somewhere
                                                      all day along. Life is much nicer in Mitrovica,” says Nenad
Mihiz’s Prince Marko, Marivo’s Game
of Love and Events, Martin Mac Don’s                  Drama Ensemble. “I was born in Mitrovica, but I studied in
Lieutenant                General, etc.              Priština, so the news that we will return to Kosovo, to Mitro-
                                                                    vica, means a great deal to me”.
and Kosovska Mitrovica. Since we were

                                                                                                                        CorD / March 2008 63


 They are mediators between
 the past and the present; the
 guardians of the primordial
 Serbian identity through an-    -
 cient music and voices that     -
 hark back to times of old to
 entertain new generations.
                                 -                                  -

 B                           -
                                        Performers like the

                                      only to be appreciated in
                                       Serbia after they achieve
                                     success abroad, or decades
                                      after that, only when time
                                     shows that what they did is
                                      really worthy of praise. It
                                     remains to be seen if their
                                     efforts to preserve Serbian
                                     music from oblivion will be
                                 -        main remembered.

64 CorD / March 2008
                          The two brothers who sing as one have been on the music
                     -   scene in Serbia for a long time.Their angelic voices have be-
                     -   come so recognisable among the public that the mention of
                     -                                                                -
                                     thentic folk music and unique vocals.




                                                     -   INTIMACY OF TRADITION

                     -                               -

                     -                               -


                     -                               -
                     -                                                                      -

VASILJEVIĆ’S NOTES                                   -                                      -





                                                                           CorD / March 2008 65







                       -                                -


                       -                                                                     -
                       -   GREAT MEN AND MASCOTS                                             -
                                                        -                                    -




                              …mostly without any instrumental support, without orna-
                             ments, with their voices alone, they make ancient memories
                              glisten again. By singing, with power and ease at the same
                       -    time, Ratko and Radiša lead us to a whirlpool of love and mel-
                                     ancholy – those two greatest of Balkan vices.

66 CorD / March 2008

Creating REALITY
 Belgrade art lovers are cur-     BY                                            never as attracted to painting as he was
 rently enjoying the rare op-

                                               he Ola Pehrson: Retrospective    to multimedia art. Perhson’s work was
                                               exhibition, currently showing    marked by a strong interest in media and
 portunity to see an exhibition
                                               in Belgrade’s Contemporary       communication, technology and the huge
 of the work of Swedish artist                 Art Museum, was organised in     systems that determine our behaviour and
 Ola Pehrson - an exhibition                   co-operation between galler-     mark our lives. He plays with metaphors
 which, unfortunately, neither    ies in Stockholm, Ljubljana and Belgrade.     and makes visible (and audible) the pow-
 the artist himself nor his       The story about this co-operation adds a      ers and structures which define us as indi-
                                  special quality to Pehrson’s retrospective.   viduals and govern our societies. Before
 hometown fans in Stockholm          Ola Pehrson was born in Sweden in          his tragic death in a car accident in 2006,
 have had the chance to see.      1964. He is a painter by vocation, but was    he acquired international recognition and

68 CorD / March 2008
                                               we met at exhibition openings around the         because we have excellent co-operation
and Sao Paolo. He held solo exhibitions in     world,” explains Saša Nabergoj.                  with that museum, and finally, in October,
the Lars Bohman gallery in Stockholm,                                                           to exhibit it in Stockholm at the Centre for
Noua in Bucharest, the Collective Gallery      up with the idea of organising an exhibi-        Contemporary Art,” explains Nabergoj.
in Edinburgh and the Hammer Museum in          tion of Ola’s work. “The subjects he dealt          Those plans were cut short when
Los Angeles. His work was exhibited in         with, the influence of technology on man         Pehrson tragically died.
group exhibitions in the Moderna Museet        and the power of the mass media were also
in Stockholm, the Malmö Konsthall in           popular at that time in the artistic world, so   the planned exhibition, the attempt of
Sweden and the Yamaguchi Museum of             he often participated in major exhibitions       the superstructure of two artists, would
Art in Japan.                                  all around the world.
    At an international exhibition in Tirana       “However, he used to exhibit for only        an obligation to realise this project,” says
at the end of 1999, he met Saša Nabergoj                                                        Nebregoj, “but it seemed all but impossible
– a museum curator from Ljubljana and          an author’s exhibition for him. Nobody           to me. Namely, it was characteristic of Ole
that’s how everything started. “We held        in the world had seen anything like that.        Pehrson’s practice that his works emerged
endless talks about the books we read,         My idea was that this exhibition would           on the spot, in the gallery’s premises, and
subjects we were interested in, projects we    go to three galleries in three cities: ŠKUC      after the exhibitions they were immediate-
were going to prepare, etc. We exchanged       (Students’ Culture Centre) in Ljubljana,         ly disassembled. As such, in order to or-
catalogues and texts and from time to time     the Belgrade Contemporary Arts Museum,           ganise the retrospective we had first to
                                                                                                form his works.”
                                                                                                   Nabergoj explains that she knew how
                                                                                                those works looked, having seen them at
                                                                                                exhibitions and been present in his studio
                                                                                                during certain phases of their emergence,
                                                                                                but that was of no great help. “We had to
                                                                                                dig through computers and talk to many
                                                                                                people in order for this exhibition to start to
                                                                                                materialise. Only the last and most famous
                                                                                                of Ole’s works, Hunt for the Unabomber
                                                                                                was easy to get and set up, because the
                                                                                                Moderna Museet from Stockholm had
                                                                                                bought it. All of the others had to be found
                                                                                                and reconstructed.”
                                                                                                   A particular difficulty was posed by the
                                                                                                fact that Pehrson’s works were assembled
                                                                                                from different media, perfectly and pre-
                                                                                                cisely selected for the story they were de-
                                                                                                signed to tell. Pehrson was intrigued by the
                                                                                                accumulation of information and the crea-
                                                                                                tion of reality. “He constantly researched
                                                                                                those subjects and he was perfect at find-
                                                                                                ing the means and ways to portray possible
                                                                                                answers,” says Nabergoj.
                                                                                                   Two threads run through his works: fas-
                                                                                                cination with the mass-media and tech-
                                                                                                nology; experiences from his private life.
                                                                                                For instance, his work the Birthday Party,
                                                                                                a combination of wood, prints and vid-
                                                                                                eo, was based on a private story: Pehrson
                                                                                                had video recorded a party in his parents’
                                                                                                house in the suburb of Stockholm where
                                                                                                he was born, held to mark the occasion
                                                                                                of his mother’s 65th birthday. He record-
                                                                                                ed that private event using modern tech-
                                                                                                nology with 10 cameras to record every
                                                                                                detail of each guest that evening. Then he
                                                                                                made a wooden house, a replica of the re-
                                                                                                al house and inside it, with video, he con-

                                                                                                   NAZDAQ Vocal Index:
                                                                                                   Pehrson’s NASDAQ Vocal Index, in
                                                                                                which he connected chorale music and
                                                                                                the stock exchange; transforming index
                                                                                                changes on the international market into
                                                                                                chorale music.

                                                                                                                          CorD / March 2008 69

      Hunt for the Unabomber:
      Pehrson’s most famous work, Hunt for
   the Unabomber, which was inspired by
   events linked to the famous Unabomber.

 way he erected a monument to something
 which was repeated every year for dec-
 ades, in the same way, according to the
 same rules, each time like the first time,”
 explains Nabergoj.
    His piece Cookbook+(menus) corre-
 sponds with the Birthday Party
 on notes about guests and menus for the
 meals which his mother prepared for 45
 years. She wrote down precise details
 about each meal, the way she prepared it
 and the guests’ names.
    “This note-taking can be interpret-
 ed as man’s need to emphasise his role

                                                                                             Unabomber recorded everything in his di-
                                               from Ole’s most famous work, Hunt for         ary. That too is an example of man’s need
                                               the Unabomber, which was inspired by          to keep records of his existence” says
                                               events linked to the famous Unabomber         Nabergoj.
                                               – a solitary American man who made and            One of his famous works is the NASDAQ
                                                                    posted letter-bombs      Vocal Index, in which he connected cho-
                                                                        to people who        rale singing and the stock exchange; trans-
                                                                          were, ac-          forming the changes on the internation-
                                                                            cording          al market into chorale music. To that pur-
                                                                              to him,        pose, software was developed which trans-
                                                                               guilty of     formed the changes on the stock market in
                                                                               the tech-     America into musical notes. Choirs were
                                                                               nological     organised in various countries, with the
                                                                              destruc-       members singing the indexes of the most
                                                                             tion of the     successful companies. The biggest indexes
                                                                           world. The        were sung by basses, and the smaller ones
                                                                                             by sopranos.
                                                                                                 The motive for the Marxist Suit,
                                                  Marxist Suit:                              Pehrson’s early work, was also research
                                                  Pehrson’s early work, the Marxist          into the individual’s influence on reali-
                                               Suit, sees the first chapter of Karl Marx’s   ty. The first chapter of Marx’s the Capital
                                               the Capital printed on a man’s suit.          was printed on the fabric of a man’s suit,
                                                                                             and then the suit was made.
                                                                                                 “He always does the same thing: re-
                                                                                             searches the creation of reality; who in-
                                                                                             fluences the creation of reality and which
                                                                                             forces affect reality. Marx’s Capital is a text
                                                                                             which patterned one part of the world, and
                                                                                             the suit made of the fabric with that text
                                                                                             was a commentary on the fall of Marxist
                                                                                             ideas,” explains Nabergoj.
                                                                                                 The author of Ola Pehrson’s

                                                                                             in Stockholm will welcome Pehrson’s
                                                                                             work in the same way the Ljubljana and
                                                                                             Belgrade audience have.

                                                                                                 Birthday Party:
                                                                                                 Pehrson’s the Birthday Party: a vid-
                                                                                             eo-filled wooden house in which Pehrson
                                                                                             recreated his mother’s 65th birthday party
                                                                                             at the family’s Stockholm home.

70 CorD / March 2008
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 CLASSICAL MUSIC &                                                                           Soloists:
 BELGRADE                                                        Thursday, 13th March, 8pm   Horvat (violins)
 PHILHARMONIC                       Kolarac Hall
 ORCHESRA                           concerts in March
 7th March 2008, Kolarac Hall       Saturday, 1st March, 8pm     Saturday, 15th March, 8pm
 Ariel uckermann, conductor
       Z                                                                                     17th March, 8pm
 Thomas Demenga, violoncello
 Programme:                         Programme:                                               violin

 for violoncello and orchestra D.

 14th March 2008, Kolarac Hall                                                               Frank, Sen-Sains

 Programme:                                                      (USA)                       Wednesday, 19th March, 8pm

                                                                 Programme:                  Thursday,
 21st March 2008, Kolarac Hall                                   Brahms, Rachmaninov         20th March
 soloist (violin)                   Sunday, 2nd March, 11am      Sunday, 16th March, 8pm
 Programme:                                                                                  George
                                    Free Entrance                                            Soloist and

                                    Tuesday, 4th March, 8pm                                  Gordan

                                    Wednesday, 5th March, 6pm,

                                    Free Entrance                                            COMPETITION OF MUSIC
                                    Saturday, 8th March, 8pm                                 22nd – 30th March
                                                                                             Kolarac Hall

                                    Sunday, 9th March, 11am                                  3rd March, 8pm

                                    Free Entrance

                                    Sunday, 9th March, 8pm                                   Programme:

72 CorD / March 2008
Pucini, Katalani, Verdi          Programme:          Concert:                             The Darjeeling Limited

Monday, 10th March, 8pm
                                                     20th March, 8pm
                                 POP, ROCK, ETHNO
                                 CONCERTS            Concert:

Mokranjac, Serocki, Rubinstein

Thursday, 13th March, 8pm

                                                                                          Schwartz an, Angelica Huston
                                                                                          Sweeney Todd: The
                                                                                          Demon Barber of Fleet
Monday, 17th March, 8pm                                                                   Street
                                                                                          Premiere -
                                                                                          FEST - Sava
violin                                                                                    Centre, 1st

Saturday, 22nd                                                                                  th
March, 7pm
                                                                                          Tim Burton
Great Hall

Monday, 24th
March, 8pm
                                 4th March, 8pm      Band
Ana Kokir,                                           29th March, 8.30pm                   Francophone Month
                                 Concert:            Belgrade Arena                       This annual
Programme:                       Bolton                                                   manifestation,
                                                     ANNUAL EVENTS                        celebrating the
                                                     Festival of                          French culture
                                                     Archaeological Film                  and language,
                                                     3rd – 9th March                      has its central

                                                                                          March is dedicated to the French
                                                                                          language and culture.
                                                     festival, FEST, is one of the most   13th March, 8pm

                                                                                          17th March, 7pm
                                                     Belgrade                             Belgrade Drama Theatre
                                                     cinemas                              Childrens’ play -
                                                     Love in the                          Evening of Stories
                                                     Time of                              Melancolie Motte (Belgium)
Bach, Ravel, Schumann            4th March, 8.30pm   Premiere -
                                 Belgrade Arena      FEST - Sava

Sunday, 30th March, 8pm          18th March, 8pm
                                 ensemble Talia
                                                                o         L
                                                     Giovanna Mez giorno, iev
                                 19th March, 8pm
                                                                     J e a
                                                     Sandimo Moreno, ohn Lguizmo
                                                                                                             CorD / March 2008 73

                                                                            GORAN MICEVSKI                          In cinemas from 13th March
                                                                            - TRAVEL GUIDES,
                                        French director Francois Truffaut   PHOTOGRAPHY
                                        Sunday, 2nd March, 6pm              EXHIBITION.
                                                                            12th February – 15th March
                                                                                                                    No Country For Old Men
                                        Andre                               JOURNEY WITH DARWIN                     In cinemas from 6th March
                                        Sunday, 2nd March, 8pm
                                        u         J
                                        J les and im                        interesting
                                        Anrie Ser, Marie Duboat             through                                 Charlie Wilson’s War

                                        Sunday, 9th March, 8pm              evolution,
                                                                            the oceans,
                                                                            nature and
                                                                            the future
                                        Sunday, 16th March, 8pm
                                        Two English adies and the
                                                    L                       Until 30th
 Muriele Bloch (France)                                                     March
 18th March, 6pm
                                        Silvia Meriot

                                        Sunday, 23rd March, 8pm
                                                                            FILM PREMIERS
 18th March, 7pm

                                                                                                                    In cinemas from 28th February
 Thursday, 20 march, 6pm

 Film:                                                                                                              Adams
 Street                                                                                                             There Will Be Blood
 Film about French writer and
                                        Sunday, 30th March, 8pm
 21st, 22nd & 23rd March at 9am
                                                                                                                    Dom Omladine Belgrade
                                                                                                                    FILM PROGRAMME
                                        Ardant, Henri Garsen                                                        1st             st
                                                                                                                                       March, 8pm
 Theatre (High school theatres)                                                                                     Sport & politics – Lenny
                                        ART EXHIBITIONS
                                        22nd February – 5th March
 Romania, Morocco, Serbia                                                    American Corner

 Francophone Month will also
 include lectures, panel discussions,   FICTION IN
                                        PHOTOGRAPHY -
 sporting events, etc.                                                       03.03.2008.                            who has become a worldwide icon.
                                        REALITY AND FICTION
                                                                             “Anne Frank: The Story                 Duration: 50 minutes
 FILM CYCLE                                                                  of a Young Girl”
 YUGOSLAV FILM                                                               at 4:00 PM                             05.03.2008.
 ARCHIVE AND FRENCH                                                          Description:                           “BIOGRAPHY: Sandra
 CULTURAL CENTRE                        7 – 26 March
                                         th     th
                                                                             oung Dutch ewish girl Anne
                                                                             Y          J                           Day O’Connor”
                                                                                                                    at 3:00 PM

                                                                             ever) has become an international

                                                                             their voracious killing machine. The
                                                                             document she left behind (one of

                                                                             the German soldiers raided the
                                                                             secret annex of the Frank home
                                                                             in Amsterdam) is a remarkable
                                                                             testament to the strength of the

                                                                                                                    best. Insights from close friends and

                                                                             Bergen-Belsen before succumbing

74 CorD / March 2008
Riefenstahl “Olimpya”

1st            nd
                   March, 8pm
Sport & politics – Part II
“Holiday of beauty”
1st             th

Star Wreck (Finland)

1st                         th
                                 March, 8pm

Manhwa, teacher
1st              nd
David Lynch as a
portrait artist
1st                th

March, 8pm
David Cronenberg & art

Dom Omladine Belgrade
Exhibition “Fraktali”

(26th             th

Saturday, 1st March, from 5pm
to 7pm
Public guide through
the exhibition
“Fraktali”, with author

speaking about her
              March, 7pm
Exhibition opening:

     March, 7pm
Exhibition opening: “Zemlja” ANA


                                                                                                                                        March 2008

  bench, and legal scholars examine           making roles in journalism on the
                                              news, the news room culture and                                        that efforts to ban abortion were
                                                                                                                     illegal, it validated the feminist
  Duration: 50 minutes                                                                                               movement and set off a debate

  10.03.2008.                                 and electronic journalism has                                          Thoughtful, balanced and
  “Not For Ourselves                                                              from her humble birth to her
  Alone”                                                                                                    .
                                                                                  tragic death of cancer at 3
  at 4:00 PM                                                                                                         most contentious issues in modern
  Description:                                who are changing the agenda of      offer their firsthand accounts,    America.
  Two women, one allegiance.                                                                                         Duration: 50 minutes
                                              are changing the world.
                                                                                  Duration: 50 minutes               31.03.2008.
                                              19.03.2008.                                                            “One Women, One Vote”
                                              “BIOGRAPHY: Evita:                  26.03.2008.                        at 4:00 PM
                                              The Woman Behind The                “Ourselves, Our                    Description:
                                              Myth”                               Bodies: The Feminist               How could America call itself the
                                              at 3:00 PM                          Movement”
                                              Description:                        at 3:00 PM
                                              To some, she was a hero. To         Description:                                                    e
                                                                                                                     to more than half of its citiz ns?

  after their deaths was their shared         naked ambition. To the world,                                          struggle which culminated in the
                                              she remains a legend.Eva            movements emerged which
                                              Duarte de Peron Evita is one of     would forever change the
  17.03.2008.                                 the most controversial figures
  “She Says: Women in
  News”                                       when she married Argentine          was more influential than the      the crusaders faced entrenched
  at 4:00 PM
  Description:                                                                    able to control their own bodies
                                                                                                                     would ignite a social revolution.
  of having more women in decision-                                               would have children.               Duration: 106 minutes

                                                                                                                                      CorD / March 2008 75

 FEST 2008

 Evolution or
     “FEST absolutely has to become a competitive festival, and that the so-called “5th October” should be done with FEST too.”

 Belgrade’s traditional annual



                                                Russia’ – dedicated to current Russian        ferent interests, from intellectual to emo-
 BY                                             cinematographic trends, a cycle of young      tional ones”.
                                                filmmakers entitled ‘Map’, and films as          Preparations for this year’s event got

             EST 2008’s programme con-          part of the programme ‘Europe Out Of          underway a full eight months ago, with key
             sists of 75 new films from all     Europe’, showcasing cinematography            contracts signed back in late November
             around the world, laureates of     from Europe’s non-EU countries as part        and December of last year. Nevertheless,
             the most prestigious film festi-   of the competitive programme.                 as FEST draws closer, the list of films to
             vals and the works of top con-        Volker Schlondorff ’s latest film,         be screened continues to be amended on a
 temporary filmmakers and actors from the       Ulzhan, will open the festival, while Darko   daily basis. Three such amendments have
 international cinematographic scene.           Bajic’s On the Beautiful Blue Danube will     seen media announce that the previous-
    Since its inception back in 1971, FEST      bring FEST 2008 to a close.                   ly expected Redacted, by Brian de Palma,
 has included various special guests from          Belgrade’s Culture Secretary, Darijan      Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There, and Wong
 abroad, including filmmakers, actors and                                                     Kar Vai’s My Blueberry Nights, will not
 producers, who attend the festival’s offi-     visited FEST last year, adding that prep-     appear at FEST ‘08.
 cial screenings. This year’s guest of hon-     arations for this year’s FEST got under-         Though FEST was the only film festi-
 our will be German filmmaker Volker            way in good time. The festival’s organis-     val in the region to attract big Hollywood
 Schlondorff, and the festival will be di-      ers hope to up the number of visitors from    stars and directors during the Cold War
 vided into several programmes, includ-         last year and, according to FEST art di-      years, in more recent years it has often
 ing a cycle of modern Asian film entitled                                                -   been marred by controversial issues –
 ‘Fantasy’, another called ‘Sincerely from      gramme has been designed to “satisfy dif-     from the cancelling of films, to disputa-

76 CorD / March 2008
ble selections of guests, and controversy
surrounding the artistic management of
the festival. Indeed, the guest appearance
of celebrated French actress Catherine
                                    FEST in
2005, was described locally as “an in-                                                                                                    -
sult to both film and the festival”, because
her guest appearance had cost organisers

also a direct violation of festival rules not                                                                                                 -
to pay fees for guests. Adding insult to in-
jury, many had recalled Deneuve’s neg-
ative comments about Serbia during the
NATO bombing campaign six years ear-

critic, and professor at the Dramatic Arts
Faculty, told CorD that there are numer-
ous reasons why FEST should be adapted
in order to be harmonised with the times         tival (which has meant that is has not been     festival to be redefined.
in which we live:                                of a competitive nature since its very be-         “The new habits of the Serbian audi-
   “At the time it was established, FEST         ginning) should be changed. According to        ence in the digital era have also led to a
was one of the most important film fes-                                                          different perception of multimedia enter-
tivals. However, in the 1960s and 1970s          been transformed into something which is        tainment. Going to the cinema is no long-
people experienced cinema completely             seen as a necessary evil developed through      er a cultural ritual; film culture is acquired
differently, therefore it is difficult to com-   inertia:                                        through pirate copies watched, primarily,
pare FEST before and FEST now. We can                                                            in a home setting. Therefore, it is difficult
say that FEST was a significant festival                                                         to separate the fate of FEST from the fate
until the mid 1990s, and after that it was a                                                     of cinemas in Belgrade and Serbia,” says
festival which needed to change. The per-
ception of cinema and cinematic culture                                                              “Our cinema culture, in contrast to the
has now significantly altered, therefore I                                                       western one, has been reduced to may-
can indeed say that in the last ten years                                                        be three to five really good cinemas. Our
FEST is a second class selection of films                                                        cinema culture is fading away, or is even
which time has simply passed by. Some                                                            perhaps in reanimation, and in that con-
other festivals in the region have proved                                                        text there is a certain stratum of people
that, such as the one in Sarajevo, which in                                                      who like to go to festivals. The paradox is
only a few years has become more impor-                                                          that films are watched more at FEST and
tant than FEST.”                                                                                 Cinemania than in cinemas. As such, it
   Disputes about the artistic management                                                        would seem that there is an audience, but
of the festival are by no means a recent oc-                                                     it has to be entertained in a completely dif-
currence. The last several years have seen                                                       ferent way than has been the case to date.
debates raging over whether the festival                                                         The current situation is not at all encour-
should be edited artistically, who should                                                        aging, because in a capital city of two mil-
do that and whether the concept of the fes-                                                      lion inhabitants 25 cinemas do not work.”
                                                                                                     What is worse is that even the cinemas
                                                                                                 that do work – Takvud, Roda, Šumadija
                                                                                             -   and Dom sindikata – do not fill their au-
                                                                                                 ditoriums in accordance with the potential
                                                                                                 this city has. This not the case of issues
                                                                                                 relating to the current existence of the so-
                                                     “FEST, particularly in recent years, is a   called ‘kiosk culture’, because at the kiosk
                                                 selection of films with no identity or integ-   we also buy books, films and music; nor is
                                                 rity, and there is really no point in patch-    it linked to the fact that the young genera-
                                        -        ing up something which is, in fact, sink-       tion is growing up having never bought an
                                                 ing. It is actually necessary to start from     original DVD or CD. Rather, it is a matter
                                                                                                 of idleness and inertia. Simply put, there
                                                 new, fresh people in order for FEST to es-      is no consumer desire to see a film at the
                                                 tablish a new identity. I am not talking        cinema, which is not in harmony with in-
                                                 here about pirate films, and about the ma-      ternational trends. The CD culture is fad-
                                                 jority of films we have already seen, but       ing away, and in America and Europe cin-
                                                 about the fact that FEST absolutely has         emas are becoming increasingly more
                                                 to become a competitive festival, and that      popular and the cinema culture has nev-
                                                 the so-called “5th October” should be done      er been better. That change here will cer-
                                                 with FEST too. As it stands, we only have       tainly not happen by proclamation or mar-
                                                 an illusion of something we like. We will       keting, but by an increase in the standard
                                                 attend FEST, but it would be better for the     of living.

                                                                                                                           CorD / March 2008 77

 Media revolution
 one of Serbia’s most renowned and awarded TV journal-
                                                                                                  But I’ll most probably continue my career in
                                                                                                  some of our biggest media houses.”
 ists, and a founding director of both the Serbian-American
                                                                                                  HIGHLY ACCLAIMED
 Friendship Association and the Annual TV Festival of Mini-                                          You have been the recipient of numer-
 atures “Press Vitez” which has become an internationally                                         ous awards, including the Belgrade Gold
 recognised event in only the second year of its existence.                                       Medal for directing, the Bar International
                                                                                                  Olive for author reporting (1999 in Mon-
                                                                                                  tenegro), a special award for journalistic
 BY VIK JENSEN;                                  than once. In 1989, with my colleague
 TRANSLATED BY DIJANA HINIC                                                                                                      Visa Dream,

           ecalling the initial spark of his     young journalist of the then Yugoslavia.         about the region’s young people and their
           interest in journalism and me-        That award opened the media door for me,         dreams of travelling, won the Grand Prix
                                                 while I was still very young.”                   at one of the oldest TV festivals in Europe,
              children we dream of becom-                                                         in the Slovakian city Kosice. Have these
              ing this or that, but when we      and radio, before taking his first steps as a    awards helped your career and did they
 grow up we usually end up doing something       TV journalist at TV Novi Sad in 1994. There      make you feel like a star?
 we never dreamt of. It’s different with me.     he served as editor and also authored doc-          I don’t think there are TV stars in Serbia.
 In second grade I learnt the art of writing a   umentary films and presented. He contin-         Journalists’ wages are too modest, journal-
 basic news story, and that’s when my first                                                       ists aren’t protected enough and, above all,
 text was published. After that I knew that      I worked as video-journalist for The Voice of    I consider that to feel like a star it’s neces-
 journalism was my only choice.”                 America, and at the moment I am resting un-      sary to have fans, the people who would be
    Fast forwarding to the start of his fledg-   til I decide what to do next in my career. I’m   happy to see you. The happy times haven’t
                                                                                                  arrived for many people here, so I don’t
 of the civil war, luck smiled upon me more      so it’s logical for me to take a little break.   think there are any stars. I have never seen

78 CorD / March 2008
myself as a star, although people have rec-     EUROPEAN THERAPY
ognised me in the street and shown their
appreciation for my work, which is very
satisfying to any normal person. It might          For many years you have reported from Kosovo. What is your opinion on
seem odd, but I consider my greatest suc-        how to solve the independence deadlock?
cess to be that I never thought about my-           It would be best if the whole of Serbia, without any conditional policies (which
self as a star. I made viewers and ordinary      obviously yields no results together with Kosovo) and under special international
people stars, but I’ve always loved to put       surveillance, were to be accepted into the EU. That would be the only way to make
                                                 the borders irrelevant to both sides.
what I’m proud of.
   Even in the darkest of times, viewers            Do you believe in continuing a dialogue with the Albanians?
have approached me in the street and told           Yes. A dialogue indicates the desire of both sides to speak. It will take more time
me something positive about my work.             to create a normalised situation, but that doesn’t mean that people with strong moti-
I’m extremely proud of the trust that view-      vations from both sides should stop discussing any possible solutions.
ers have in my work. Awards only helped
me to find new jobs – they are useful when
you show your CV to a new employer,            also from Belgrade and the Novi Sad
but they won’t help you with your every-       Faculty of Management. It was organ-              those dark years. I consider that Western
day work. No matter how long they have         ised by the Serbian-American Friendship           principles and values should be spread to
worked, the journalist must always think       Association and the Association of                places where they are lacking, not where
like they are at the beginning of their ca-    Journalists of Serbia.                            they are already used... However, you can
reer, because they must prove themselves          How was the second instalment of this          feel that the UNS wants to turn the page
everyday as if it is their first.              annual festival realised?
                                                                                                 fact that the UNS gathers together around
GLOBE TROTTER                                  over the former Yugoslavia. I’ll name just
   What inspired you to initiate The                                                             only a third of that number. I think that
TV Festival of Miniatures PRESS                & Herzegovina, TV POP from Slovenia,              the NUNS is a great organisation, but the
VITEZ?                                         Croatian national TV, HRT, national TV            UNS should also be revived through its
   I was lucky to be able to travel through-                                                     inclusion in good projects. Not long ago
out Europe and America as much as I            Macedonia, TV BN from Republika Srpska,           I became a member of the UNS commit-
wanted. There were moments when I                                                                tee. I think it would be ideal if they were
wanted to leave Serbia, but in the end my                                                        to unite, because Serbia needs a strong or-
love for Serbia won out. I decided not to      TV VOJVODINA, TV STUIO B, etc. Of                 ganisation of journalists.
                                               course, there were also dozens of local TV           The PRESS VITEZ Festival has a large
my own country. Since I’m not a banker,        stations who were given many scholarships         Jury, comprising some fifteen television,
but a journalist, I created the TV Festival                                                      film and university professionals. How did
of Miniatures PRESS VITEZ. The aim of          Canal 9 from Kragujevac, TV YU ECO from           you select the members, and how did they
this festival is to promote good journal-                                                        choose the winner?
ism, to be a institution without political     on. You can find all the details about the fes-                                             -
connotations which connects people from        tival on our website at      fessional colleagues in the jury. The main
within the region and internationally, and                                                       condition was that they be experienced pro-
above all gives them valuable awards.             Amongst your other duties, you are             fessionals. They came from many different
    A major problem of the region is that      also president of the Serbian-American
journalists are not educated well enough,      Friendship Association. Why did you                                                            -
so one of the festival’s main missions is      choose the Association of Journalists             ed staff of various universities… The best
to award University Scholarships. Thanks       of Serbia (UNS) to be the partner of the          thing about this festival is that it manages
to the Information Secretariat of Vojvodina    festival, as opposed to the Independ-             to unite people with different political and
and the Serbian Ministry of Culture, we        ent Association of Journalists of Ser-            media opinions. Not just members of the
                                               bia (NUNS), whose members are more                jury, but also the people who participated
That year the running costs of the festival    western orientated?                               and came from TV stations that are often
                                                  That’s a great question. The Associa-          opponents in real life; this is a rare and ex-
                                               tions of Journalists of Serbia has a tra-         traordinarily special jury.
                                                                                                    Every TV miniature Jury member gives
                                               Independent Association of Journalists            a written grade, and grades are later ar-
us to offer scholarships for basic and post-                                          -          ranged by the middle or average grade.
grade studies to twenty one media profes-      teen years. In the almost two centuries
sionals. That fund was mostly provided by      that they have existed, the UNS have had
the Megatrend University from Belgrade,        their dark times, which was particularly          Slovenia, who was awarded for his short,
and partly by the Singidunum University,       the case during the regime of Slobodan            analytical TV story entitled Fight for jour-
                                                                                                 nalism. He had one of the biggest average
                                                                                                 scores and I, as president, also give him
   NUNS vs. UNS: I consider that Western principles and values
   should be spread to places where they are lacking, not where                                  exceptional from both aspects, journalistic
    they are already used... However, you can feel that the UNS                                  and technical. It’s interesting to know that
             wants to turn the page and “head West”.                                             we don’t give awards only to journalists,
                                                                                                 but also to cameraman and editors, ensur-

                                                                                                                           CorD / March 2008 79

                                                                                                 our journalists will be able to compare their
                                                                                                 work with that of colleagues from the rest of
                                                                                                 the world, but the concept will stay regional.
                                                                                                 University scholarships will be given to jour-
                                                                                                 nalists from within the region, and to jour-
                                                                                                 nalists from Serbia that work abroad, so we
                                                                                                 help the Serbian media abroad to develop.
                                                                                                     In only its second year, the festival gained
                                                                                                 an international reputation. Why do you
                                                                                                 think it’s become so popular so quickly?
                                                                                                     TV professionals felt that the festival
                                                                                                 hadn’t merely been created so that some
                                                                                                 people could get paid or just another award
                                                                                                 night for friends to be awarded, but rath-
                                                                                                 er to really improve the profession itself.
                                                                                                 It’s also very important that we managed
                                                                                                 to abolish any and all politics from the fes-
                                                                                                 tival, and that we award only journalists
                                                                                                 personally – as opposed to awarding their
                                                                                                 media house. I truly believe that the festi-
                                                                                                 val succeeded, because we have managed
                                                                                                 to unite different TV stations from all over
                                                                                                 the regain, and a large section of profes-
                                                                                                 sionals as jury members… In the Balkans,
                                                                                                 politics and politicians are everywhere –
                                                                                                 except at our festival.
                                                                                                     Serbia boasts a plethora of local and re-
                                                                                                 gional television stations. How important
                                                                                                 is their role and how do they effect State
                                                                                                 television (RTS)?

                                                                                                 freedom of speech even before they pro-
                                                                                                 moted democratic values. Today, their role
                                                                                                 is different. They can be rivals to RTS be-
                                                                                                 cause they report on local events in their
                                                                                                 area in more detail, which is more interest-
                                                                                                 ing to the local audience.
 ing ours is a high profile TV festival.        Ghetto effect and lack of professional be-           How do you see the future of TV in
                                                haviour among journalists in Kosovo. My          Serbia?
 Novi Sad & Subotica. Why did you decide        own experience can confirm that. There               Serbia is one of the poorest countries
 to organise it in three different cities?      are neither Serbian nor Albanian media           in Europe, but it is modernising in all are-
    The Jury screening and public voting        professionals in the province, and without       as. Serbian television stations will increase
                                                knowing it they only serve to further com-       their standards in all areas, especially jour-
 Kinoteka”. In Novi Sad we welcomed             plicate an already complicated situation in      nalistically and technically.
 guests from within the region and hand-        Kosovo. That’s why it’s necessary to in-             The transfer from analogue and old dig-
 ed out the official awards, and in Subotica    vest in their education. The most important      ital technologies to HD-TV will occur lat-
 we organised the open discussion & lec-        part of that education would be to elimi-        er here than in the rest of the Europe, but
 ture about the media in Kosovo.                nate the speech of hatred.
     I was taught by my experiences of the          The festival is set to become more in-       have full HD-TV. Maybe we can’t have
 American nation that it’s best to act local-   ternational this year. What are your plans       expensive or up-to-date technology at the
 ly, but think globally. It’s a big festival,   and will there be any Albanian journalists       moment, but we can improve our knowl-
 which needs to be shown in everyday life.      in the jury?                                     edge. Small countries, no matter how
 I hope we managed to do that.                      Of course, there’re enough opportunities     poor, should invest in education, which
     Subotica City Hall served as the ven-      for them to be members of the jury, or par-      is the main motto of the TV Festival of
 ue for the lead discussion and theme           ticipants within the contest itself. We invit-
                                                ed them last year, but we’ll make more effort    wealth, only one intelligent word can be
    I’ve recently trained a number of           to ensure that they come this year. The fes-     worth more than a million dollars.
 Serbian journalists in Kosovo. Then I vis-
 ited Albanian Radio and Television serv-
                                                  State vs. Local: Local media started contributing to freedom of
 ices in Kosovo, and invited independ-
 ent Albanian journalists to visit Subotica.       speech even before they promoted democratic values.Today,
 Frankly, it was there that I came across the      their role is different.They can be rivals to RTS because they
 idea to organise the lecture. But we on-           report on local events in their area in more detail, which is
 ly succeeded in bringing representatives                      more interesting to the local audience.
 of minorities that have complained of the

80 CorD / March 2008

                                                                                          documentary became more and more in-
                                                                                          teresting in Europe and in the world at the

                                                                                          mentaries made for cinema audiences.

                                                                                            How complicated has it proven to se-
 BY: VIK JENSEN                                                                       -   cure private sponsorship and funding
 PHOTO: KRISTOFFER KLEM                                                                   for the festival, and how forthcoming
 BERGERSEN                                                                                have state institutions been?
    The 4th annual Magnificent Seven        knowledge was very high. Our main aim            This festival became an important cul-
 Documentary Film Festival was opened to                                         -
 a packed house at the Sava Centre by the                                                 and partnership with the Sava Centre.
 now legendary Mr. Tue Steen Müller with      I must say that we encountered numer-           The Serbian Ministry of Culture and
 the quote “A documentary a day keeps the   ous obstacles – principally related to the    the City of Belgrade are great support-
 doctor away”                               general economic and political situation      ers of most cultural events in Belgrade
                                                                                          and Serbia. Those institutions were the
     You have successfully run your own     interest of young people for filmmaking al-   first to recognise the importance of “The
                                            ways gave us the strength to overcome the     Magnificent Seven” festival by including
 for many years. Could you tell as about    problems we faced.                            it in annually supported events.
 their origins and some of the obstacles                                                      Private sponsorship is growing as the
 you’ve encountered over the years?                                               -
                                            tivals. What inspired you to add to the       additional support from some cultural cen-
                                        -                                         -                                                -
                                        -                                                 so a forum for the promotion of European
                                               Serbia has a very long tradition of        culture and contacts.

                                                                                            One of the honoured guests at this
                                                                                          year’s festival was Mr. Tue Steen

82 CorD / March 2008
Müller, a leading authority on docu-

between Mr. Müller and the festival?

one of the most important people on the

more as a great enthusiast and friend.
   The initial idea for the festival was de-
veloped with him from the very first mo-

and as workshop developer and moderator.
ple responsible for the increasing popular-
ity and success of the festival.

                                                      What made you decide to become              tant authors meant the possibility to learn
are chosen on the basis of their diver-            an EDN (European Documentary Net-
                                                   work) member?                                  close to authors’ precious experiences.
                                                      Since Serbia suffered severe economic
what other factors are taken into con-                                                      -
sideration during the selection process?           rybody felt the lack of communication with

job every year. First of all he watches            educate young people in documentary

                                                   was the natural answer for us.
tion studios or editing rooms. We are hon-
oured and privileged to see one of the best        has provided your festival and the wid-

very hard to make the right choices with              EDN is a network spread all over Eu-

    There is always one criterion above all oth-   was very important. It is basically about
ers: high quality. “The Magnificent Seven”                                                          There is a major movement towards
is the selection of the seven best of the best                                                    recording on HD. What effect do you
                                                                                                  think this is having on the industry
and on the other hand it is always a very spe-     all the EDN people that we were in contact
cial and personal choice of the selector.          with gave great support to our ideas and
                                                   helped in staring projects that involved       will improve the quality of picture. But
                                                   more and more people here.                     the revolutionary change has already oc-
                                                       When “The Magnificent Seven” festival
                                                                                            -     technology thousands upon thousands of
                                                   ern documentaries and most of the film         documentary projects are made every year.
                                                   students and young film directors consid-      That technology has provided the freedom
                                                   ered the documentary format to be merely
                                                   a means of helping kick-start the making       the future will be able to discover more
                                                   of fictional feature films.

                                                   changed and a significant number of young         Where do you see the future of the
                                                   filmmakers are involved in documentaries       festival movement and the documen-
                                                   with great enthusiasm and high hopes.
                                                      You offer a workshop and Master             ture that we dreamt about four years ago.
                                                   class free of charge during the festival.      The festival is becoming more and more
                                                   ence attracted?
                                                      One of the basic concepts of the festival
                                                                                                  and supporting all of that is our constant
                                                   and to get the most from their presence.
                                                                                                  becoming more and more important on
                                                                                              -   the European documentary scene.

                                                                                                                          CorD / March 2008 83

          Useful information:

 This month CorD & the Tourist Organisation
 of Serbia recommend that you pay a visit
 one of the horse farms of Serbia – Zobnatica,
 with horse-breeding and the history of horse


 B                              -



                                -            -

84 CorD / March 2008
          Useful information:












                                CorD / March 2008 85

             Useful information:



                                   -                                   -
                                   -   -                               -

                                   -   -


                                                 Useful information:
                                       -   TOURIST ORGANISATION OF






86 CorD / March 2008

              Useful information:



    J                                                    -


-                                   -                    -

-                                                        -


-                                   -
                                    -                    -

-                                   -

                                        CorD / March 2008 87

 bird paradise

 All the deep rich soil of Vojvodina produces an abundance of                                  The most spectacular predator may be the
 grain, and of course other crops.The wheat, corn and sun-                                     White-tailed eagle, a flying barn door of
                                                                                               a bird that breeds successfully along the
                                                                                               Danube and Tisa rivers; seeing an eagle
 It is our larder; our feed store for livestock, and with the                                  drop like a thunderbolt on a wild goose is
                                                                                               something you never forget.
                                                                                                   This abundance of predators only ex-
                                                                                               ists in Vojvodina because there is the food
                                                                                               to support them. The grain supports a
                                                                                               healthy rodent population, and thanks to
                                                                                               owls and birds of prey, there is a fierce
 TEXT & IMAGES:                                   I met a Bulgarian wildlife tour operator     balance maintained between predator and
 ROB MACCURRACH                                who was beside himself with excitement          prey. Organic farmers know all about this,
                                               to hear that Vojvodina had a good popula-       and leave rough field edges and encourage

              here are fine grain-growing      tion of Saker falcon, that larger and fierc-    nesting sites so that nature keeps things in
              areas in Germany and France,     er steppe version of the Peregrine falcon.      a healthy equilibrium.
              but the remorseless commer-      The reason it is flourishing in Vojvodina,          One of the most remarkable birding
              cial pressure has only served    apart from the fact of less industrial perse-   days I have had was during a severe freeze
              to catastrophically reduce the   cution, is the abundance of quarry – from       up with a good covering of snow to make
 biodiversity of arable farmland. In Serbia,   duck and wild doves, to ground squirrels.       life difficult for ground-feeding birds. We
 thanks, perhaps so far to a more benign       There is a truly breathtaking abundance of      found a field of unharvested sunflower,
 pace of development and lack of capital,      birds of prey. In the right season, you can     with their seed-heavy heads bowed and
 ecological degradation has not yet tak-       see Marsh harriers and Hen harriers, Saker      frozen above the snow. It must have been
 en place. The land is rich, and we share it   falcon and Merlin, Goshawk and sparrow
 with a glorious abundance of wildlife.        hawk, Long-eared owls and Little owls.


88 CorD / March 2008
          All you need to know:
  Birdwatching and wildlife trips and

  knowledgeable and enthusiastic
  Self-catering farmhouse where you
  can take a break
  Mail rob@eunet.yu
  Phone +44 7990 921 405 or
            +381 63 7082 680
  Tours and itineraries can be
  arranged. 3 minutes on a bike to
  local lake full of birds.
  Photographs are by Katarina

  galleries at                                  tion of all this bird life is the finest theatri-   the cranes pass over, just as old people                           cal event. The sounds, the dramas, the un-          point when the first storks return in Spring,
                                                expected; the hunting and the hunted, all           circling over the “stork villages” along the
                                                come out onto this watery stage to thrill           Tamiš river, where huge and ancient nests
the best feast for many miles, because tens     and leave us marvelling.                            rest on the roofs and electricity poles.
of thousands of finches had congregated             If asked, I would choose Autumn as                  Whether you are a serious birder, with
there. Colourful bramblings, goldfinches,       my favourite time of the year. The diversi-         field guide and binoculars, or simply some-
greenfinches, chaffinches, linnets, redpolls;   ty is less spectacular, but these grain lands       one who loves to celebrate all this diversi-
they were all there, along with bewildered      and wetlands harbour great congregations            ty and beauty, while sitting by a lake with
predators wondering which way to hunt.          of visitors from the Arctic. Duck begin to          a bottle of beer, there is a mass of it to be
   The birding hotspots are inevitably the      fill up the carp ponds, reed beds hide rafts        enjoyed in Serbia. Noticing it and recog-

extensive carp ponds. Again, it is thanks to    of new visitors every wind swept morning,           nising it, hearing familiar bird calls, mak-
the grain that the carp are fattened so suc-    the wild geese arrive to glean the stubbles,        ing friends with your wildlife neighbours,
cessfully. Wheat is literally shovelled in-     but best of all are the wonderful cranes.           becomes a delightful habit with its endless
to the ponds for the carp and cat-fish to       They gather in their thousands in Banat,            seasonal cycle. Like the migration call of the
fatten like pigs. But where there is shal-      where they spend the winter feeding and             birds, we somehow recognise something an-
low water and Turska reed, there is also        surviving, flying out in straggling skeins          cient within us, perhaps from a distant hunt-
a whole world of water birds. In May the        with their trumpeting calls. Every villager         er-gatherer past when we needed to notice
reed beds are almost deafening with the         will look up with pleasure when he hears            these things and follow their secret signs.
singing of reed warblers and the calling
of frogs, while penduline tits are building
their perfect hanging-basket nests hidden
in the bending willows. If you sit quietly
by a fish pond in the evening, you will see
Great bitterns, Little bitterns, Great egrets
and Little egrets, Water rails and spoon-
bills, herons and cormorants.
   The diversity and the pure concentra-

                                                                                                                              CorD / March 2008 89

              Packard Bell Compasseo
              Manufacturer: Packard Bell
              Price: €175
              As you bomb along the Belgrade-Niš Motorway, burek in one hand,
              iPod in the other, steering wheel being handled by your dextrous
              knees, you will need a few things from your sat-nav. One: that it has
              a wide 3.4in screen for seeing your next manoeuvre before you hear

              in; three: that it has a decent speaker – without a hand free to change

              Now we just have to wait for Serbia’s transport systems to catch up.

                   Tesla Roadster
                   Manufacturer:Tesla Motors
                   Price: $98,000
                   After the Sinclair C5 debacle, electric power was rightly deemed unsuitable for any road vehicle other than a milk

                                             Lotus Elise-inspired chassis. Though it won’t roar, it will get you up to warp speed with

                                                                   by the electric motor, it only needs two gears. Tru a vehicular

                                                                   iAudio Q5
                                                                   Manufacturer: Cowon
                                                                     rice: €620
                                                                   You don’t read the spec sheet of Cowon’s new iAudio Q5 – it
                                                                   shouts at you like a child on the mother of all sugar highs

                                                                   a touch-sensitive, 5in display that offers an LCD TV-baiting

                                                                   Richards’ lungs. It’s got Wi-Fi for Flash-enabled internet access

                                                                   play every digital video and audio codec you can think of –

90 CorD / March 2008
                                                                                            Linx Dragon-I
                                                                                            Manufacturer: LINX
                                                                                            Price: €95
                                                                                            You’ve reached stalemate.
                                                                                            It’s been four hours
                                                                                            since you got home and
                                                                                            discovered your iPod
                                                                                            ensnared by a beast from
                                                                                            an alternative dimension.
                                                                                            Its four pseudopod heads
                                                                                            watch you silently; you
                                                                                            watch back. Later, you
                                                                                            pluck up the courage to
                                                                                            approach and discover
                                                                                            that some human virus has
                                                                                            killed it. But it turns out its

                                                                                            your iPod’s music comes
                                                                                            out of its heads if you press

                                                                                            many directions, truly an
                                                                                            alien desire.

Elonex LNX PF7501
Manufacturer: Elonex
Price: €140
As a rule, digital photo frames are boring. Not just boring, but
supremely boring – like taking a trip to a museum of beige paint
samples with Melvyn Bragg. Thankfully, Elonex’s does more than
scroll through your snaps, cramming a digital TV, Freeview tuner

shows you what’s on TV and a schedule function reminds you about
programmes you want to watch. The digital picture frame functions
mean you can view your pictures and vides as a slideshow, rotate
them and zoom in but, like we said, that’s the boring bit.

                                                      Evesham Zieo NX600-HDX
                                                      Manufacturer: Evesham


                                                      done very little for the world of gaming. Conversely, Intel’s

                                                      but will deliver gaming greatness, especially packed into

                                                                       hard drive, a dual-layer DVD-RW drive and

                                                                                        into a decidedly attractive
                                                                                         shell. How much do we like
                                                                                         this? More than words.

                                                                                                                 CorD / March 2008 91

                 Ricoh GR Digital II
                 Manufacturer: Ricoh
                 Price: €540
                 Popular digital cameras are
                 all good and well, but they
                 don’t attract any attention.

                 the touchscreen’. What do
                 you do? Deny it? Better to
                 bin it and get a more obscure
                 camera, like the Ricoh GR Digital.

                 know’ shrug, you tell them that this

                 has ferret fur micro-mirrors, a nano-

                 optimiser. Of these, only the last is
                 actually true. But they don’t know

                                                     Intempo iDAB
                                                     Manufacturer: Intempo
                                                         ce: €80
                                                     url: w
                                                     Like one of those birds that clean food from alligators’ teeth, the Intempo
                                                     iDAB perches at the feet of the iPod, grabbing a lifeline but giving something
                                                     in return. Plug it in to your pod and it’ll add DAB radio, allowing you to set
                                                         favourite stations and scroll through them on its four-line LCD display.
                                                     ten fa
                                                     Because it knows diversity is the key to survival, it’ll also plug directly into
                                                     iPod speaker clocks and blends in with its surroundings via a range of iPod-
                                                     complementing colours.

                 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator
                 Manufacturer: 3D
                 Price: €55
                 It can all be traced back to your childhood – not so good at maths

                 shortcomings. Twenty years later, you’re still winging it. You’re the

                 openings and recently binned your mouse in favour of a trackball.
                 But it’s not working. You need the SpaceNavigator: a mouse
                 designed for professionals that use 3D workspaces. You only
                 use it to buzz around in Google Earth like you’re at the helm of a
                 spaceship but, temporarily at least, you look the part.

92 CorD / March 2008
                                                                 Creative Zen Stone Plus
                                                                 Manufacturer: Creative
                                                                 Price: £70 (4GB); £70 (8GB)
                                                                 We used to have a stack of stone-based puns
                                                                 but since the Zen Stone Plus came along,
                                                                 we’ve used them all up. Now Creative’s back
                                                                 again carving more features into its sound-
                                                                 slinging slab. The Nano may feel smug in its
                                                                 new video-playing shell, but the Zen Stone

                                                                 it could well be knocked from its pedestal.
                                                                 Especially since this rolling Zen Stone
                                                                 gathers less cost…

Oakley Split
Price: tba (due
March ’08)
Once wearing shades
indoors was the preserve of
rock stars and fading screen
icons, but now it seems that every
Tom, Dick and Harry is doing it. So,
a word of advice: we recommend you use
the new Oakley Split Thumps in their natural
habitat, i.e. on the slopes. Like the Thumps of old, they
include a built-in MP3 player, but this time the controls are

                                          BluFM; Gear4 BluStream RX
                                          Manufacturer: Gear4
                                          Price: BluFM: €70; BluStream: €70
                                                  Bluetooth is the Donald Trump of data standards. It doesn’t
                                                          have a tendency to marry inappropriate women or

                                                                  does want to take out everything. As part of

                                                                  hiding in the BluFM and BluStream RX
                                                                  fr Gear4. BluFM is an FM transmitter that
                                                                  w play music from any MP3 player and
                                                                  accept calls from a Bluetooth-enabled mobile.
                                                                  The BluStream RX hooks up to your stereo
                                                                  turning it into a Bluetooth speaker for mobile
                                                                  calls and wireless streaming. Soon nothing
                                                                  w be safe. Next stop, the Bluetooth tumble

                                                                                                               CorD / March 2008 93
     Knez Mihajlova 28, 011 303 69 69
Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 88, 011 302 06 60
     Delta City, blok 67, 011 312 95 16

          for Serbia and Montenegro
                11000 Belgrade
              Kneginje Zorke 84/II
    tel/fax: +381 11 244 3708, 344 2329
     Knez Mihajlova 28, 011 303 69 69
Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 88, 011 302 06 60
     Delta City, blok 67, 011 312 95 16

          for Serbia and Montenegro
                11000 Belgrade
              Kneginje Zorke 84/II
    tel/fax: +381 11 244 3708, 344 2329

                                                                           S D
                                                                          CR O
   …Get food delivered day and night?
   Fancy some take-away food, but not sure where and what you can
   get? Check out the website This innovative site,
   available in both English and Serbian, lists restaurants by type of    Solve this crossword puzzle and test your Serbian – the clues
   cuisine and provides details of the menu on offer, including prices,   may be in English, but the answers should be entered in Serbian
   location, delivery zone and working hours.
   …Go skating?
                                                                                   1      2      3      4      5      6      7      8      9
   grit laying on Belgrade streets this winter, why not visit one of
   Belgrade’s skating rinks and enjoy warming refreshments while            1
   you skate the day away? Belgrade’s Olympic-sized skating rink
   at ‘Hala Pionir’ is open to the public year-round, and also stages       2

   winter months, the fresh air skating experience is provided at           3
   the romantic setting of Kalimegdan fortress. Situated beside the
   basketball and tennis courts, Kalimegdan’s skating rink is open          4
   throughout the winter months and offers skating to music, as
   well as a snack bar.                                                     5
   …Visit the Royal residence?
   Ever wondered how the royals live? Now you can see for                   6
   yourself. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Aleksander
   Karadjordjevic and family welcome visitors to Belgrade’s                 7
   Royal Palace for tours and to view the artistic treasures of the
   residence. Those wishing to visit need merely contact the Palace         8
   more information at                                 9
   …Hire a limousine?
   Luxury transportation is available from Limousine Service. With
   their luxurious, stylish and glamorous vehicles, Limousine Service
   will ensure an unforgettable ride for those choosing to hire one of
   their cars. Make reservations by email, fax or phone. First-time

   online at                                         13
   …Get emergency car repairs or roadside assistance?
   If your car breaks down while you are driving in the city, or          HORIZONTAL: 1.Part of Belgrade, around Technical
   even in the countryside, you are best advised to contact the           Universety,2                                                     3.
   ’International Touring and Information Centre of the Automobile        Then, therefore-catle breeding,4.Yell of impatience-Handball
   Association of Serbia & Montenegro’. If you happen to be               Club (short)-Toward, in a direction of, 5.Car plate for Loznica-
                                                                          Hopeless situation-Symbol of phosphorus,6.Symbol of sulphur-A
                                                                          big elevator (plural),7. City in Romania, 8. Town in Southern
   organisations, you can receive special terms. All relevant
                                                                          Serbia-Symbol for neutron,9. Registration plate for Romania-River

                                                                          Valjevo,10.Fashion magazine for women from Paris-Same letteres-
   …Find an English-speaking dentist?
   Sick of being unable to explain just how much your tooth hurts
                                                                          birth place of Mihajlo Pupin,12. Kitchen dish-French harbor at
   to your Serbian dentist? Why not try out the services of dentist
                                                                          Lamansh,13.”Village” which Emir Kusturica built at Mokra Gora.
                                                                          VERTICAL: 1. Gas combined with butane used in the home; the
                                                                          inside part of a coat, 2. part of an animal’s body that wags (plural);
   …Make yourself understood?                                             American journalists’ association (abb.); name of a British actor …
   Find yourself frustrated by your inability to say simple things in     Guinness, 3. name of American actress …. Williams; Serb holy land
                                                                          on Halkidiki, personal pronoun, 4. British chess player Michael … ;
   the region a tad less alien by providing a few simple phrases that     a thousandth of something; vehicle symbol for Tunisia, 5. movement
   will help you make yourself understood:                                of water along a river, Serbian positive word; hypothetical citizen
      Is this your responsibility?                                        of the moon, 6                                               7. on
      Da li je ovo vaša odgovornost?                                      top; decoration on the head of a rooster; area meant for building a
      Where was this manufactured?                                        house, 8
      Gde je ovo proizvedeno?                                             picture; to damn someone, 9. value in money; symbol for argon;
      Is there a hotel in this town?                                      mountain pass, 10. Biggest peninsula in the world; city in Pakistan
      Da li postoji hotel u ovom gradu?
      I would like to buy some milk and cheese?

      When does the train to Zagreb depart?
      Kada polazi voz za Zagreb?
      Serbia has great nightlife, if you know where to look

98 CorD / March 2008