Since the beginning of the financial and economic crisis in Greece, the number of suicides has increased dramatically. Greeks also suffer from mental illnesses that are caused by the crisis. A conversation with Andrew Armatas who works for more than ten years as a clinical psychologist in Athens.
jungle word, 2.5.2013
Bulgarians do not hold much of their politicians. They accuse them of only following their self-interest and being associated with organized crime. A protest movement died down, it has little chance to enter parliament. Many will therefore not even go to vote.
Serbia and Kosovo have reached an agreement after months of talks brokered by the European Union over the normalisation of their relations. Under the agreement, the north of Kosovo will be absorbed into the legal framework of the country but retain limited autonomy in areas of health, education, policing and courts.
The Bulgarian population is shrinking aging and impoverished. This is particularly evident outside the cities - in the province, where the roads are bumpy, where it seems as if the lives of most people stopped mid-century. Here, in the north-western Bulgaria, one of the poorest regions in Europe, the country's problems are most apparent.
Dirk Auer and Merlin Nadj-Torma
Vojvodina is not only the geographical border between Central Europe and the Balkans, it was always too borderland between different Government spheres. And to this day it remains a region of great ethnic diversity. Unlike other heavily mixed areas of the former Yugoslavia, there has been no violent conflict. But as a result of the wars in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, the population composition has also shifted here seriously. Over 300,000 Serbian refugees have settled again, while many ethnic minorities have migrated.
Singing in the pedestrian zone: With their songs self-organized choirs draw attention to social injustice and solidarity. Their trenchant, witty songs are a sung statement against nationalism and the taboos of society. Rooted in the tradition of partisan songs, they now mostly compose the lyrics by themselves.
Half a year ago, Al Jazeera Balkans began to work. The target audience: 20 million people from the countries of former Yugoslavia, which by the news channel will also receive information from the neighboring states - through cross-border topics with high journalistic standards.
Bayerischer Rundfunk, 27.5.2012
Dirk Auer, Simone Böcker
His portrait is found on T-shirts, mugs and baseball caps. In former Yugoslavia, Josip Broz, known as "Tito," is still regarded as a hero. He symbolizes a nostalgia for the old federation, which - unlike in Eastern European countries - also afflicts young people. Because for the majority of the population the presence in the economically starving successor states performs poorly compared to Tito's Yugoslavia. But who was this legendary statesman? And could - as it is often claimed - only he hold together the multi-ethnic state?
Actually, Bulgaria and Romania should be included already in early 2011 to the Schengen zone. Due to inadequate border control technology, the recording was postponed - until the EU summit in Brussels. But there the decision has now been postponed again.
Sparse population, dying villages, high unemployment rates: where the EU ends, and Greece and Bulgaria clash with Turkey, one encounters zones of national unimportance. Important here is only the border which determines the live of the people in different ways.
The border crossing between Bulgaria and Turkey is the largest on the Balkan Peninsula. But there, at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, the freedom to travel applies only in one direction: Turks need a visa to the West. For many, this is an almost insurmountable obstacle. Now, Bulgaria has announced visa facilitation - a great hope, especially for Turkish businessmen.
Four years ago, the former south Serbian province of Kosovo declared its independent. Tens of thousands of Albanians celebrated on this day in the streets of Pristina. But in fact Kosovo has become a divided country. Because around 60,000 Serbs living in the north want nothing to do with the "youngest state in Europe". All attempts of Pristina to gain a foothold in the north, meet fierce resistance. What is life in "no man's land", where two states raise claims, but none of them has effective power?
The journalists Dimana Trankova and Anthony Georgieff have followed the traces of Jewish life in Bulgaria. "A Jewish Guide to Bulgaria" is a handbook which meticulously lists the sites of Jewish heritage and tells their story.
Jüdische Allgemeine, 10.11.2011
Ski holidays in Bulgaria is an insider tip. But the construction of hotels and ski lifts is destroying the nature.
Die Presse, 20.10.2011
Dirk Auer and Simone Böcker
Bulgaria is the only country in the EU with an autochthonous Muslim population. About ten percent of the population are Muslims: Turks, Pomaks and Roma. Therefore Christians and Muslims have a long tradition of living together, especially in the villages of the Rhodope Mountains. But still Islam is not really accepted as part of the bulgarian society.
On 3 July 2011, three macedonian dailies - Shpic, Vreme and Koha e Re - closed down. The newspapers allegedly owe one million Euros in unpaid taxes. Meanwhile, the country’s only critical national TV station, A1, also faces closure for the same reason.