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Europe

European Press Review: Pointing Fingers Over Serbia

Serbia's vote, favoring ultra-nationalists, dominated editorials across Europe Tuesday. Despite winning the most parliamentary seats, the Radicals are unlikely to be able to form a government for want of a partner.

The United States and Europe are to blame for the situation, said Russia’s Isvestia. By providing insufficient economic aid, those nations did everything possible to turn Serbian voters over to the Radical Party. At the same time, the demands from U.N. War Crimes Tribunal Prosecutor Carla del Ponte became more insistent, the paper said.

For its part, Britain's Financial Times said the ultra nationalists exploited the resentment of many Serbs towards the international war crimes tribunal, which, Serbs argue, has concentrated on Serb suspects while ignoring others -- notably Kosovo Albanians.

Not only did the results of Serbia’s parliamentary elections not solve the more than two years of political crisis there, they substantially deepened it, said Poland’s Rzeczpospolitar. The paper warned the victory for the Radical Party ensures that the pendulum in Serbia is swinging dangerously toward populism and totalitarianism.

France’s Le Figaro suggested that instead of shaking fists, condemning or bullying, countries instead help Serbia implement reforms. Europe should make lowering the almost 50 percent unemployment rate in the country just as important as finding war criminals, the paper noted, adding that the transition to democratic in Yugoslavia has a price. The question of Kosovo is still unresolved, just like the situation of Serbs living in Bosnia, the paper stressed. At risk is the stability of the entire Balkan region and Europe as a whole, the paper warned.

The result of the Serbian elections was too close for comfort, Britain's The Guardian said. But it shouldn’t been seen as an endorsement for corrupt politicians. The paper pointed out that 59 percent of Serbs voted along democratic lines and did so despite lamentable inner-party bickering.

  • Date 30.12.2003
  • Author Newslink Staff
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  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/4Uqy
  • Date 30.12.2003
  • Author Newslink Staff
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/4Uqy