Balkans: Hungarian Unrest in Serbia


October 8, 2005: Over the past few months Serbia's Hungarian-ethnic minority has expressed increasing concern over "violent ethnic incidents" in Serbia's Vojvodina province. Vojvodina is home to over 300,000 ethnic Hungarians. On October 3 Hungary's president (during a visit to Serbia) issued a statement about the complaints. Serbia's president agreed to punish "criminal acts." Serbia doesn't want the political embarrassment of either UN or EU-sponsored human rights monitors in Vojvodina. There are many old tensions at work. Vojvodina was part of Hungary. Hungary lost it in World War One. Hungary is also viewed as Croatia's ally (both are "Catholic" while Serbia is "Orthodox".) Hungary, however, is a member of NATO. For Serbia, Hungary also serves a very useful political bridge to the EU. Look for Serbia to crackdown on troublemakers in Vojvodina.


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