Saturday, May 12, 2007

Pro-EU government at last

I spoke to soon - coalition agreement between “democratic” or “pro-European” parties was reached yesterday (Friday) virtually in last possible moment as the government has to be elected by Tuesday, 15th May midnight as it takes about 2 days to call the Parliament session and elect the government. I must admit this comes as great relief as I don't believe either government with Radicals or new elections would be desirable outcome.

Belgrade stock exchange had about 16% of its value wiped beginning of this week at peek of the crisis (about 1 bn EUR) and virtually all of it has been regained on Friday morning before official news was floated about coalition agreement. It will be interesting to see who made money on this move when information about buyers (normally 3 days after the trade) gets published.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Same old story in the East

"Same old story in the East, no news in the West" were the words of song written by Bora Đorđević in socialist times. I started this blog day before Serbian Parliamentary Elections. Elections were finished long time ago but they, so far, failed to produce government. It looks unlikely that they will produce coalition of so called “democratic” or “pro-European” parties. Alternatives are government with Serbian Radical Party or new elections. If no government is formed by 15th May new elections must be called within 60 days.

Key question is whether there is enough support (more than 50%) in Serbian electorate for path that leads to EU. This path assumes reforming state security services and engaging in process of arresting remaining International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia fugitives and accepting fate of Kosovo as determined by UN. Both of those issues create fertile ground for nationalists and previous elections did not give clear mandate for either option (EU or nationalist).

Yesterday some people watched directly televised session of the Parliament. It was too much for me, I watched few of those events since 14th Congress of Communist League of Yugoslavia in January 1990 to sessions of Bosnian parliament in 1992 that effectively foretold of coming calamity. Democracy in Balkans failed too often in producing reasonable governments. Elected majority in Bosnia effectively lead country to war. It could be argued that same happened in Croatia and Serbia. It doesn’t look likely that Bosnia will get government any time soon that will consist of non-nationalist parties but I hoped Serbia would escape this with last elections – this is still up in the air but I’m less of an optimist now.

“May you live in interesting times “– says misquoted Chinese curse. I had my share but it looks like more is coming ...