Resolutions: To add value posts to this site. Visit more interesting and unusual places and people in the XYZone. Report in-depth on social and personal issues effecting everyday life in these nations and not just tourist sites. To make blogumentaries and video blogs on my travels in the XYZone.
Predictions: Slovenia will not benefit from the Euro currency in the short term, salaries will not increases though prices will, retailers will be the big winners.
Croatia will make progress on being accepted to join the EU by 2009, will continue to sell state-run assets to the highest bidder.
Serbia will adjust to it’s new size and lack of sea-side tourism and continue to make reforms quietly while still keeping it’s balancing act and east-west juggle.
Kosovo will not resolve the independence issue this year.
Montenegro will feel the full implications of being Europe’s smallest independent nation and will not begin to reap the benefits of it in this year as much as in years to come.
Overall I think it will be another growing year for the region, Slovenian is fully “graduating” from the school of democracy with the implementing of the Euro and will be faced with finding it’s place and roll to play in greater Europe. I’d liken it to a student finding a first job, it will not be as easy as first perceived in finding the trust and interest from others but it will find and gain experience and go from there, it has an impressive record, it just needs experience and that only comes with time.
The other nations will continue in their respective “classes” of making deadlines and meeting the conditions set on them by the UN, NATO, and the EU council. It will continue to be a time of molding and will be interesting to see what concessions of national identity and nationalism their respective parties and Parliaments make in exchange for European benefits.
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As a follow up on the article #44… where I talked about Croatians playing world level sports I thought it would be interesting to see where they currently stand in the sport of basket ball.
A few years ago I was told that Croatia had the most “imports” in the game then any other country but that is no longer the case, this was the stats I found from the 2005-2006 season. (in alphabetical order)
Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 (1 inactive player)
Croatia 4 (plus 2 inactive)
Serbia and Montenegro 8, the most of one nation in the league for that season (plus 4 inactive)
Slovenia 5 (plus 3 inactive)
Collectively as former Yugoslavian nations they total 17 active players out of 82 foreign players making up nearly 20% of all active foreign players playing in the NBA that season. Of approximately 450 players registered in the whole league that year 16.6 % of them (27 players) came from this little area of Europe .
To break it down for you, Slovenia with five players (and only 2 million people back home) had as many as Russia (population of approx: 145 million), Croatia (pop approx: 4.5 million) with 4 active players tied with large nations like France, Brazil and Argentina. Serbia and Montenegro with 8 had two more players then the second place Lithuania which had 6 players.
With the recent event of Montenegro becoming the worlds newest country this summer (2006) it farther fractures this area’s break down and perticularly what was last year Serbia and Montenegro is now two independant countries and the 8 players that they had colectivly are now from one of the two sides.
It’s not just basketball or sports for that matter but I just thought the NBA was a good ‘micro cosmos’ example, as it is often been nicknamed the “united nations” as (at least as U.S sport are concerned) it has a lot of foreign players from all over the world. The same study could be done for football players playing in international clubs, skiers, water polo or any number of sports or skills but I do not have the time now to research it.
Little is much, when it is talent from here.
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I’ve been blogging for some time on other sites and decided to start this all new blog to write and share my experiences traveling around the region of Europe commonly referred to as former Yugoslavia. They are now the independent republics of Slovenia, Hrvatska (Croatia), Bosnia i Hertsagovina, Serbia i Montenegro (for now), Macedonia and UN administered Kosovo, I’ve settled for calling it the XYZone for this blog for simplicity’s sake. I know that despite sharing a part of history together there are many differences and I do not want to generalize or it would be the same as saying all countries in Western Europe are alike, they’re not and neither are you. I aim to put politics aside and use this blog to celebrate each country’s unique history, heritage, culture and people and my personal on-the-ground experiences. My purpose is to give a unique outsiders’ look into this region both for those of you amazing people who call this region home and those of you who have little or no knowledge of this land and my hope is it will inspire you also to visit and explore the wonders of this area for yourself living in the XYZone, but until then there is always my blog.
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