Elections in Kosovo - the legacy of NATO intervention

On 26 February Kosovo MPs elected Hashim Thaçi as the country’s new president against a backdrop of teargas and nationwide protests.

Thaçi, the leader of the centre-right Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), the senior partner in Kosovo’s coalition government, had previously served as Prime Minister from 2008 to 2014. He rose to prominence in the late 1990s as the political leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), the ethnic Albanian guerrilla organisation that received the support of NATO forces against Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War of 1998-1999. In addition to KLA war crimes, Thaçi has been on the receiving end of allegations of organised drug and organ trafficking throughout his political career – something which he has got away with due to his support for NATO. As Thaçi was sworn in, members of opposition party Vetëvendosje released tear gas in the parliamentary chamber, which has become something of a routine act of defiance in recent months, while around 1,000 anti-Thaçi demonstrators protested outside Parliament, with 21 police officers injured in the riots, according to Reuters.

Protesters, led by Vetëvendosje (the Albanian word for 'self-determination'), an Albanian social-ethnocratic party campaigning for a unified greater Albania, are up in arms about Thaçi and Prime Minister Isa Mustafa’s role in the EU-brokered deal between Kosovo and Serbia. The deal grants more powers to Kosovo’s minority Serb population, largely living in the north of the country. It is seen by many as a concession by both governments to normalise relations with a view to eventual accession to the EU.

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Communists and armed struggle - Greece and Yugoslavia

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 91 November/December 1989

During World War II, Yugoslav and Greek communists conducted an armed struggle against the Nazi occupiers. This review by ROBERT CLOUGH contrasts the revolutionary and opportunist tactics pursued by the Yugoslav and Greek Communist Parties respectively. It elucidates fundamental principles about the relation of communists to the armed struggle.

Forty years ago saw the publication of Svetizar Vukmanovic's pamphlet, How and why the people's liberation struggle of Greece met with defeat. Written in 1949 after the final defeat of the Greek revolutionary movement, it is a document that has been unjustly neglected.

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Yugoslavia: the war of liberation 1941-45

FRFI 149 June /July 99

Background

Imperialist intervention in the Balkans is not new. History shows us that the Balkans have been a battleground for the Great Powers since the dawn of modern imperialism. At various times since the mid-nineteenth century, each of the Balkan nations has sought to ally itself with one or other of the imperialist nations, either to bolster the claims of one ruling class against another, or to suppress rebellions of the oppressed. This characteristic of the local ruling classes -- their weakness, their dependency on imperialism -- means that they have been willing pawns in the hands of competing imperialist interests and that, as a consequence, their national demands have always involved the subjugation of other nationalities within the region.

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