Obergurgl memories: Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be

Stepping back in time from my previous post, the turn of the millennium is when my relationship with alpine Austria firmly took root. For decades, my family had already established individual connections with the Alps but aside from a visit as a young child to Salzburgerland's St. Wolfgang these experiences were never shared together and…

The Kosovo question leaves Serbia in a no-win situation

The ongoing standoff between Serbia and Kosovo shows little realistic chance of rapprochement any time soon. Propped up by international aid, wracked by swingeing levels of youth unemployment and emigration, Kosovo, two decades on, is still in effect policed by American troops without whom the embryonic nation would at best feel uneasy, at worst under…

Catalonia can only look on enviously at Kosovo’s independence and international recognition

A undoubted esprit de corps binds together Catalonia and Kosovo, who, despite the former's break for freedom having isolated itself from the international community and the latter still polarizing opinion since its 2008 secession from Serbia, share a singleness of purpose predicated on unshackling themselves from parents with whom they seemingly have little in common.…

Secessionist movements, land swaps, and an enforced name change threaten to destabilize Europe

The sight of a million Catalans converging on Barcelona to celebrate the region's "National Day" highlights, a year on from declaring independence from Spain, that the strength of conviction to eventually secede from Madrid remains as resolute. The international community will though not only be mindful, should a schism eventually occur, of the potential for…

Salisbury Poisoning: UK can Expect Few Favours from Serbia

The UK will in effect be crossing its own Rubicon should it take steps to request of Serbia that it denounce its Russian ally, in the wake of the Salisbury poisoning scandal. Moscow and Belgrade have long since forged impregnable ties, which have only strengthened during the perceived impression of anti-Slav bias from those seemingly…