Georgia has great touristic potential with beaches, mountains, ancient cities, castles and churches, but political instability, conflicts and economic crisis have not made the country attractive to visitors from the West. The war and the global economic crisis have hit all sectors of the Georgian economy, but the tourism sector, which had begun to recover in the last 2 to 3 years, has taken the hardest fall
He has been guarding sheep and shepherds' families around the Balkans for centuries. When Macedonia became independent in 1991, the Shara mountain sheepdog was given a place on the new Macedonian one denar coin
Already notorious more for its political block voting than even its kitsch and glitzy musical entries, nothing could have prepared anyone for the controversy surrounding the three countries of the South Caucasus in this year's Eurovision Song Contest
Internet penetration remains low in regions such as the South Caucasus. However, as costs come down and connection speeds increase, there is no doubt that online and mobile communication will become important tools in the hands of civil society and political activists alike
On May 4, daily Dnevnik revealed to its readers secret contracts between the Skopje Municipality and the Fonderia Artistica Ferdinando Marinelli from Florence, for the production of a series of monuments, the biggest of whom is that of Alexander the Great, which will be 22 meters high
The Bull, the Beggar, the Bimbo....These are only some of the sculptures the Macedonian government has been installing in the centre of Skopje as part of its recently launched architectural renewal spree.The process has not left anyone dispassionate, stirring political controversy over the city's urbanistic development
With his eclectic studies, urban researcher Kai Vöckler, curator of the exhibition Balkanology: New Architecture and Urban Phenomena in South-eastern Europe is trying to accomplish a "mission impossible": to prove that a participatory and sustainable urban life is also possible in South-eastern Europe. Second part of our interview
As presidential elections approach, Macedonians have become embroiled in a heated debate over who they are. The "identity issue" will clearly be a thorny one in the upcoming campaign. And while VMRO revives the myth of Alexander the Great, many Macedonians are still perfectly comfortable with their Slavic roots
In Macedonia, economic crisis has spurred a new trend: treasure hunters are increasingly scouring the furthest reaches of the country in pursuit of Ottoman gold, Roman antiquities and other treasures. Whether basing their searches on actual history or dubious legend, hunters are going to great lengths to cash in on the proverbial jackpot...often illegally.
Mother Theresa, one of the icons of the 20th century, was born in Skopje. Her place of birth commemorates her with a special award for humanitarian engagement and a Memorial House in the centre of the capital of Macedonia
Rising prices and galloping inflation. The expensive life is squeezing Croats as in a clamp. Over a third of an average family's monthly income goes for food. Discontent is growing and might explode in the streets this autumn
Few real exchanges of experiences occur between Belgrade and Pristina. One of the few recent attempts to break the isolation was "Exception", a retrospective of the contemporary art scene in Pristina. The exhibition ran in Novi Sad, but not in Belgrade, where extremist protestors violently obstructed it
Public and private space. The latter eats up the former, chewing away bits of freedom and identity. The collective dimension overwhelmed by traffic and private property. A sociological reflection on urban planning in Tirana
With an official inflation rate of 4.4 percent (highest in the European Union), a real rate estimated at 6 percent, and food prices rising at 7 percent annually, Greece risks becoming the most expensive country in the EU. Most Greek families suffer from the crisis
The Old Bazaar is the ancient heart of Skopje. Today it's but a pale remnant of what it once was: a bit dirty and dusty, but still brisk and dynamic. The Old Bazaar, though, is waiting for its next rebirth, and to gain back it's central role in the economic and social life of the city
Toshe Proeski, Macedonia's greatest pop star died in a tragic car accident, near Nova Gradiska in Croatia, on 16 October 2007. Macedonia lost not merely a star, but a humanist and a unifier, someone who could unify people Macedonians with Albanians, and former Yugoslavs, too.
The history of the indipendent Macedonia is strongly linked to its first president, Kiro Gligorov, who led it during the difficult years of the Yugoslav crisis. Gligorov, still active and respected in his country, marked last week his ninetieth birthday in a Skopje restaurant
Alshar, an ancient mine located in the southern Balkans, in Macedonia, is said to contain minerals to be found nowhere else on the planet. The rarest of them all - the lorandite, is thought to have the potential to let us understand the work of the sun. Science-fiction or reality?
Silence, desolation, houses in decay, lifelessness. This is a common sight from the Macedonian countryside. As odd as it may seem in a country as small in territory as Macedonia, its rural parts are dying out.It has started more than 50 years ago. But its consequences are more and more visible with time
"At the Marshal's", a new place on the map of center-town Skopje, is a house of remembrance and nostalgia, and a unique memorial place which pays respect to Tito, all of this combined with the smell of traditional Balkan cuisine. A restaurant. Dedicated to the Marshal and his country
There has been quite a lot of talk lately of re-branding the image of the Balkans by acknowledging that it is capable of producing not only wickedness and that it can contribute or be the home to also good things.This article is a small contribution in this direction