March 2006 - Back from a February visit to Belgrade, I concluded that simply situating Serbia between one rock—Kosovo—and one hard place—the European Union—will not suffice. A number of rocks and hard places need to be identified. Start with Mladic and Montenegro as well as Kosovo and the European Union, then add a dispirited public, a troubled economy and a discouraged electorate, suspicious of all political parties. And they feed off each other. Both Bosnia's suit against Serbia in The Hague's International Court and anniversary dates of the NATO bombing campaign were also impending, even before the demonstrations that followed the death of Slobodan Milosevic. Yet their limited extent and impact is one positive sign.
Book Review, The New York Sun
The following report is aimed at a broad analysis of the most important changes that the author has observed in his travels and studies in Eastern Europe over a period of 50 years. The main theme behind all these changes has been a transition toward modernity.
October 1997 - Over the course of 1996, economic collapse and prolonged political malfeasance seriously shook the integrity of the Bulgarian body politic. As a result, the government of the "new democratic majority," elected in April 1997, has taken a number of extraordinary measures to recapture the confidence of the population and the international community. Top priorities for the new cabinet of Ivan Kostov have been to attempt to liquidate organized crime, to rebuild the macro-economic and the state institutional frameworks, and to aid the population, which has been battered by economic decay. Public perceptions have made these tasks all the more difficult. The government has had to push for reforms before a population that for years has been exposed to the schemes of many previous "reformers."
January 2001- Roma arrived in Europe around the 13th century, after migrating from Northern India through Persia to Armenia and into Europe. They then spent three centuries - beginning around the 15th century and ending with the establishment of the modern Romanian state in 1864 - enslaved in what is now modern Romania and Moldova. The end of slavery led to the significant migration of the Roma from the Romanian/Moldovan states deeper into the Balkan peninsula.