Sunday, October 26, 2003

Balkan Analysis

politics > balkan
A site about Balkan politics and developments, by Chris Deliso an American journalist who is among relatively few western journalists (and I won't even start about "think tank experts") to actually have a working knowledge of the area its people and its languages, making what he has to say substantially more interesting than the vast plethora of commentary - even if one disagrees with him on certain issues.
Case in point his insightful article on Albanian immigrants in Greece, one of the few I've seen outside the region that recognizes that "minority issues" and immigration inside the Balkans is a bit more complicated an issue than in, say, the Benelux and recognizes Albanian nationalism as the only remaining actively expansionist nationalism in the region (in no small part thanks to the ill conceived 1999 NATO attack on Yugoslavia).
However what I see here in Greece is an Albanian immigrant population that refrains from any sort of provocation, which is assimilating gradually but steadily, and hardly can be said to constitute a national threat (since the vast majority of permanent Albanian residents are living in Athens or Thessaloniki). I can't get myself worried about the nutcases of the ALA (see this article from their own website!) and I believe that the vast majority of Albanian immigrants in Greece see them as a joke as well - since there are none (0) native Albanians in the Greek regions they want to "liberate" - and I have spent 9 years of my life in that area, I should know!
Indeed I am more concerned about Greek narrowmindedness and nationalist hysteria than I am about Albanian "irredentism" in Greece. I'll return to the subject in a future post.

Oh and as an "antidote" to "Eleni" suggested in the linked article pages (of which I doubt even the truthfulness of the major elements of the plot) I suggest Mark Mazower's "Inside Hitler's Greece"!

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