Germany's military union has accused the government of abandoning German troops stationed in the Balkans. Union chief Bernhard Gertz told the
Leipziger Volkszeitung that depending on the permanent presence of German soldiers is not the way to prevent the region from falling back into civil conflict. More political action was needed, Gertz said. Kosovo, he added, has become Europe's criminal hotspot -- something that should give the government cause to question the effectiveness of Germany's mission there. Last month, peacekeeping troops in Kosovo were unable to prevent another outbreak of ethnic violence. Gertz said this was not only frustrating for the troops, but also robbed them of motivation. Given that Germany has such a large number of troops in the Balkans, he said, the German government should be making more of an effort to find a political solution to the region's problems.