Anti-violence march announced in response to the death of Brice Taton

Yesterday, the french football fan that was attacked on 17th of September in Belgrade has died from his injuries. Heads of State sent out condolences to his family, and there was an united call for an end to street and sport violence from all major political parties in Serbia.

Also, according to B92, Human Rights Ministry State Secretary called on citizens to gather at Belgrade's central square at 11:30 CET on Wednesday, (30.09.2009) to pay tribute to the victim.

Attend this important, although very sad event if you can, no mater where you come from.

Safety in Belgrade

In the last few days, 4 foreigners were attacked in Belgrade. One, a supporter of Toulouse FC was badly injured in a fight that broke out before a match with Partizan FC, and just few days ago, a Libyan student was a victim of an a apparently random attack.

So, did Serbia, and especially its capital, suddenly become unsafe for visitors from abroad?

I don't believe so.

Although street violence is a horrible thing, I don't see this as something endemic (although some do). The bright side is that all of these crimes got a lot of attention from the media. In my experience, it's better to maybe overestimate these kinds of problems, then to underestimate them.
With increasing publicity, the justice and the police department got under more public pressure. Police officers are more visible than before, and now, all most all alleged perpetrators of these attacks are incarcerated and waiting for their trials.

It is also comforting that a lot of statesmen have voiced their concerns about these attacks - the most recent is the statement of the tourism Minister about the negative impact these incidents have on Serbia's international standing.

photo from

Hopefully, all of this will transform those attacks into a bad memory.

Lake of Ledinci is gone

Usually, I write about interesting places and events in Serbia. This time I will write about something opposite - the complete destruction of one of those places.

Ledinacko lake (or Lake of Ledinci) formed in an abandoned quarry on Fruska Gora mountain. The first time I saw it I was amazed, because it looked like something from the pages of National Geographic magazine. Surrounded by steep rocky hills, the water in the lake was light blue, cold and very clear. During the summer, people came from Novi Sad and other near-by towns and villages to enjoy this great place that wasn't meant to be. Few years ago, a boulder fell from the rock wall and injured a few people, forcing the authorities to close all access to the lake.

This year, the site was drained and the lake is no more.
Local politics, business interest and safety issues aside, it's hard for me to believe that there was no other solution except the one that called for total annihilation of this gem.

I can just hope that the next generations won't look at these pictures and wonder what the hell were we thinking...

photos by Sel Emil