Serbia: No place for pride

The only foreigners who visit Serbia these days are journalists, aid workers or disaster tourists. The Serbs cater well for the latter. Postcards for sale throughout Belgrade depict horrific scenes from last year’s NATO ‘mistakes’ – the train on the bridge, the refugee convoy and the Chinese embassy. Isolated by sanctions, Serbs are increasingly impoverished and bemused about what ordinary people can do to escape their predicament.

The World Today Updated 27 October 2020 Published 1 April 2000 5 minute READ

Fiona Fox

Head of Media, CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development)

February’s partial lifting of the flight ban on Serbia came too late for my visit, making for a gruelling twelve-hour trip. By the time my train from Budapest reached the Serb border it was virtually empty. If visitors to Serbia are rare these days, Serbs with money to travel are an endangered species.

The only man left in my carriage is intrigued and asks politely if he can practise his English. He has worked out that I’m a journalist and wants to tell me a thing or two about life in Serbia and pass messages through me to Prime Minister Tony Blair.

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