Skip to comments.Census sparks tensions across Balkans
Posted on 04/03/2011 6:45:54 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Croatia, Kosovo and Montenegro have started to count their populations as part of a year of censuses across the ethnically tense Western Balkans to keep up with EU countries doing the same...
Because of the painful history organisation of the count sparked debate and controversy throughout the region: from Macedonia, where ethnic Albanians fear that their importance will be reduced, across Montenegro, where there are complaints that Serbs are being "assimilated", to Bosnia which did not even manage to adopt a census law.
In Kosovo, where the last census was held in 1981 while it was still a province in the Yugoslav federation, Belgrade called on ethnic Serbs not to take part in the count organised by ethnic Albanian authorities in Pristina.
Serbia, which refuses to recognise Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence, insists Pristina's institutions are not authorised to conduct a census.
Serbia's top Kosovo official Goran Bogdanovic said recently that Belgrade would support a census only if it was conducted by the United Nations...
Belgrade, which has the largest number of inhabitants in the region -- almost 7.5mn -- has postponed the start of its own census to October 1 due to lack of funds, and was planning to also hold it in Kosovo, which it still considers part of Serbia.
In Montenegro, where 32% of the some 620,000 inhabitants in 2003 declared themselves as Serbs, a campaign was launched recently seemingly pushing people to identify as Montenegrins.
The national television broadcast programmes insisting on the "Montenegrin identity" of the Orthodox population in the tiny mountainous country.
In response pro-Serb political parties and the Serbian Orthodox Church have slammed such attempts at "assimilation".
(Excerpt) Read more at gulf-times.com ...
I saw the headline and thought they were talking about the USA, but they really meant the other Balkans.