Extremism Rears its Head in Serbia

BIRN – Extremism Rears its Head in Serbia
Serbia may experience another blow to its international image, due to an increasing number of incidents based on all kinds of intolerance. Amid crucial talks on Kosovo future status, racial prejudice and ultra-nationalism seem to be on rise both within and outside Serbia’s institutions. Last week, a member of parliament from one of the governing parties insulted the country’s Roma community, while neo-Nazi activists threatened to defy a police ban on their planned march through the northern city of Novi Sad, home to 27 different ethnic groups. Meanwhile, a Belgrade tabloid daily, with high circulation, attacked a famous Serb actress for playing the role of an Albanian boy’s mother. Observers agree that these incidents – despite a number of protests, the official ban on the Novi Sad march and even counter-threats by pro-democracy political leaders – call for a more serious response if Serbia wants to restore its position within the family of democratic countries.

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