Beppe Grillo hilariously sums up the commonalities between Southern Europe’s most toxic nationalist-separatist groups. Wow, takes me back to the early nineties when deeply mistaken writers were comparing Serb separatists to those sane, cozy Northern Italian separatists.
Sorry kids, it’s in Italian — it’s been a long week.
FINAL UPDATE: I can’t really say it any better than the Guardian does here.
Belgrade’s Vreme ran this story today. There was a rather choice photo of masked Ivan Bogdanov burning an Albanian flag; it’s since been replaced so I leave you with this video that tells the story even better.
Clearly burning the Albanian flag has everything to do with winning a match against Italy. The message is hardly hidden, though — the t-shirt reads “Northern Chetniks” — which I’d wager refers more to the looting murderers of the 1990s wars than to the WW2-era Royalists. And this Ultra would probably be proud to tell you that, if he weren’t currently in jail in Genoa and pathetically blaming this ugly nationalism on his sick mother. Please.
To all those naive enough to say, “politics aside, what a cool Ultra!”, I say, you are deeply mistaken if you think you can de-politicize this. These “Ultras” hung up signs comparing Kosovo to Palestine, and Bogdanov is a member of a group named after the year that the Serbs lost the Battle of Kosovo — ushering in over 600 years of victimhood that opportunistic leaders in their recent past have used to fuel toxic nationalism that, guess what, led to the first wars on the European continent since the Second World War. If you want to be boneheaded enough to glamorize pointless violence and destruction, and forcing the cancellation of a normal sporting event, be my guest. But please don’t suggest that there is an apolitical dimension to this. There isn’t; suggesting otherwise is an unwelcome parade of ignorance.
Why is Genoa always a place for spectacular violence? There is much to be said about the violence of Serbian football fans in Genoa yesterday, but alas, I have to be away from the computer all day today. Mainly what I want to say is that Vuk Jeremic can apologize in the media all he wants, but his irrational policies about Kosovo stoke this kind of gangsterism, and I’ve no doubt — none whatsoever — that this violence and the violence at the gay pride parade were nurtured by politicians. You will hear lots of blame given to gangster overlords like Darko Saric, but the informed reader would do well to keep Jeremic’s clean-cut image, excellent English, and “Western” credentials in mind when trying to understand these extremely non-spontaneous events. It has a stench of the Milosevic years.