Showing posts with label Yugoslavia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yugoslavia. Show all posts

01 May 1990

Situazione in Jugoslavia

Lo sfondo storico e culturale

La Jugoslavia è il più giovane dei paesi della regione bal­canica, e quello più debole dal punto di vista dell'identità naziona­le. Il Regno dei Serbi, Croati e Sloveni fu infatti fondato solo dopo la prima guerra mondiale, in gran parte su insistenza del presidente americano Wilson, in base al principio dell'autodeterminazione dei popoli che era stato universalmente sancito nei Quattordici punti del presidente americano in occasione delle trattative di pace. Il preva­lere del concetto "jugoslavo" fu per molti una sorpresa, in quanto nella seconda metà del XIX secolo le due alternative più probabili per l'unificazione politica dell'area erano quella di una "Grande Serbia" e quella di una "Grande Croazia". Più di settant'anni dopo l'unifi­cazione, questa vecchia contrapposizione tra le due maggiori etnie si ripropone come la principale fonte di attrito civile nel paese.

23 June 1980

Driving back through Yugoslavia and on to Italy

Left Balaton lake at 10.00am. It would have been nice to spend more time here, after four intense months, and relax a bit, take in the cool atmosphere and sip Hungarian wine, by far the best that is coming from the brotherhood of socialist countries. (Georgians might disagree, and I must admit I don't know Georgian wine much.) Much better than the Crimean "champagne" we had in the USSR.

The road is just OK and we proceed slowly toward Yugoslavia. No problem with this border. Two socialist countries, in theory ideological siblings. In practice, Yugoslavia has long been pursuing its own version of socialism, quite open to the West and relatively more relaxed at home.

Surprisingly, the roads in Yugoslavia are worse than in Hungary or Poland. At least the ones we drive on today. Once we reach Nova Gorica, the Yugoslav half of Gorizia, I pull into a service station to fill up Giallina. Gasoline is much cheaper here that in Italy. The man at the pump speaks Italian and says he only agrees to sell us fuel because he sees Giallina has a Roman plate. He refuses to sell to Italians from Trieste and Gorizia, who just cross the border to take advantage of subsidized fuel. Border inhabitants of both Italy and Yugoslavia can go shopping in each other's country fairly easily, and while Yugoslavs go to Italy to buy what they can't find at home, Italians hop beyond the border to buy cheap subsidized staples, fuel first of all.

We reach Mestre at about 9:00pm and get a couple of rooms at the "Garibaldi" hotel. Then out for pizza. Nice to be back in Italy, I enjoy hearing Italian and soaking the warm air, though everything now seems soooo expensive! A pizza here is more expensive than a gourmet fine dining experience in Warsaw!

04 May 1980

End of an era in Yugoslavia

Full day at home studying for our exams.

Except for a longish lunch break at Borzena's. As usual, we are treated to a wide array of hard to find animal proteins, tasty bread and veggies though I try to be careful with the alcohol so as not to endanger the prosecution of my reviewing later in the afternoon.

We hear some news which is very relevant to our studies: Jozif Broz Tito, the long-time ruler of Communist Yugoslavia, has died today. Things will never be the same in Yugoslavia, and are likely to change between Yugoslavia and the rest of the Socialist camp, not necessarily for the better. I wonder whether the USSR, strong of its initial success in Afghanistan, might be tempted to reassert its control in neutral, but nominally Communist, Yugoslavia.