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Entries by John Feffer from 01/2013

Who Are the World's Top Pessimists?

| Posted 01.03.2013 | World

Bulgarians are proud to be pessimistic. Many of the people that I recently interviewed in the country spoke with pride of the various polls that bore out this depressing conclusion.

Croatia on the Brink

| Posted 01.07.2013 | World

In order to get into the European Union, Croatia needs the support of each one of the current 27 members. So far, 20 countries have ratified Croatia's EU accession treaty.

Taming the Wild East

| Posted 01.10.2013 | World

Stefan Popov is trying to change the image of Bulgaria as the Wild East frontier of the European Union. He heads up an organization called Risk Monitor, which shines a light on the more shadowy recesses of Bulgaria's illegal economy.

Where Bulgaria Went Wrong

| Posted 01.14.2013 | World

I met Ognyan Minchev 23 years ago when he participated in the Helsinki Citizens Assembly. On this occasion, we discussed Bulgarian nationalism, ethnic minority issues and the mistakes that were made more than two decades ago when Bulgaria faced several paths of transition.

The Failures of Funding Roma Inclusion

| Posted 01.15.2013 | World

This incident in Katunitsa unleashed a firestorm of anti-Roma sentiment. Local residents turned their anger on Tsar Kiro and his family. Anti-Roma activists descended on Katunitsa and, though police were on hand to provide security, burned down Rashkov's properties.

Serbia's Path to Europe

| Posted 01.18.2013 | World

For many in Serbia, the real question about EU integration is not the relationship with Pristina but what kind of state Serbia wants to be. Back in October, I talked with Srdjan Majstorovic, the deputy director of the EU Integration Office, about this issue.

When Soft Power Fails

| Posted 01.21.2013 | World

With its soft-power overtures, China has tried to expand its influence without disquieting its neighbors and trade partners. But through its hard-power posturing, China has achieved the exact opposite.

Escape From Ignorance and Chalga

| Posted 01.21.2013 | World

I met Vihar in 1990. At the time he was quite enthusiastic about the changes and was optimistic about how quickly Bulgaria could be turned into a westernized country. A couple of decades later, he looks back at that period with no small amount of bemusement and honest self-criticism.

Human Rights in Bulgaria

| Posted 01.23.2013 | World

Bulgarian politician Ahmed Dogan was in the news this weekend after surviving a dramatic assault at a party conference in Sofia. It was not a clear-cut assassination attempt.

Human Rights in Serbia

| Posted 01.31.2013 | World

One of the major problems plaguing the Balkans in particular is impunity. People commit crimes, and they get away with it.