Friday, May 11, 2007

Rock The Vote

According to the Independent, Serbia's democracy was saved at the 11th hour, although some bloggers were less than 100% convinced. Included in the prize package however, is the possible reopening of the SAA talks.
Not to be left out, the ousted Toma Nikolic shared some of his thoughts and predictions with the press.

Meanwhile, onto a less important, but no less controverstrial election; the Eurovision contest.
Bosnia's entry is one of the youngest participants: Maria Sestic. Her song, despite containing lyrics such as:
: "You are my pain, You are my sorrow, Just once more I want, To be with you, And let my heart ache, Forever for you, With it I DIE."(cap. for dramatic effect) ; we are told is really is not a sad song, but a love song. And speaking of sad songs, Spinner Magazine just came out with their list of the 25 Most Exquisitely Sad Songs in the Whole World (English language songs only though).

Before attending the Eurovision comp. Maria visited Serbia where she was a guest of Serbia's very popular entry, Marija Serifovic.

Rounding out some of the regional finalists include: Alenka Gotar-Slovenia, Korolina-Macedonia, Sarbel-Greece Kenan Dogolu-Turkey, among others.

But alas, no singing competition can be complete without some slight ethnopolitical controversy.

And as a way of uniting these two seemingly disjointed topics (the ousting of Nikolic and the Eurovision competition) together, here is a link to the very entertaining Music for Maniacs Blog.


Owen said...

SAA talks resumption is supposed to be based on "concrete results" from the search for Mladic. I wonder what "concrete results" will turn out to mean.

Ms Sestic seemed to have strayed into some sort of Nazis in stilettos rally. I would normally give up the will to live rather than watch Eurovision but was switching channels and caught the Serbian lady and then - worth it all, even Terry Wogan's commentary - the incredible Ukrainian! Didn't seen any of the ones before Serbia, couple of real wets afterwards (including UK) but I think I can switch off now in the knowledge no-one's going to match Ukraine.

observer said...


While in Zagreb, Olli Rehn let it be known SAA talks with Serbia will begin with or without results regarding Ratko. The only precondition is a government that doesn't include the Radicals. Real cooperation with the ICTY has sadly become largely irrelevant to the enlargement process.

Owen said...

Observer, I just checked back on the letter I got from the Foreign Office - it wasn't "concrete results" that the General Affairs and External Relations Council required, readiness to resume negotiations was provided that a new government in Belgrade "shows a clear commitment and and takes concrete and effective action for full co-operation with the ICTY". That's not the "concrete results" that I think was referred to previously. But I wonder where the threshold for concreteness and effectiveness will be deemed to have been reached.

The Ukrainian didn't win and I muddled Sestic and Serifovic. Once Kosova gets into Eurovision FRY will be condemned to host the Kornfest contest between here and eternity.

observer said...

A clear commitment was supposed to mean key ministries would be controlled by individuals seen as willing to make an arrest. It looks like instead Brussels is willing to accept the creation of a coordinating office for intelligence agencies that answers to the president. Of course if the individuals in these intelligence and security agencies remain unchanged and key ministers come from the DSS...

I would recommend taking a look at the 2003 Thessaloniki Agenda for the Western Balkans, written at a time when Brussels believed what mattered was not a symbolic commitment but rather results. Also, Denis MacShane(UK) once advocated the need for the EU to link progress with actual arrests and not vague commitments, I wonder if he has made any comments regarding this recently?

Anyway, even absent pressure from the EU, hopefully Belgrade will do the right thing and hand over the remaining fugitives.

Owen said...

Thanks, Oberver, that's a very helpful explanation. I think an inquiry about changes with relation to Denis McShane's previous position might be a useful topic for my next letter to the FO. At the upper levels obviously that sort of thing's a gnatbite on an elephant's hide but it's always a reminder to the civil servants down in the depths of the mine that the public's still looking to see coal at the surface.

cd said...

good competition with many excellent performances besides many corny, cheese ones, of course (after all it's eurovision.)

you guys can read more on my blog.

Daniel said...

Hey guys, please read comments and respond to the lawyers' arguments:

My response is following tommorow, please post your comments so I can approve them.

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