Letter: After the war

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The emphasis on "widespread public sympathy for the Serbs" amongst Bulgarians in the context of some pan-Slavic solidarity (The Balkan Question, 5 May) is misleading.

In the last 120 years the two nations have clashed in four wars and have largely defined themselves against each other. The Serbs focus on two brutal Bulgarian occupations in the First and Second World Wars. Bulgarians remember a relentless Serbian expansion in the 19th and 20th centuries: towns that are now bombed daily by Nato, like Nish, Leskovatz, and Vranya, once had thriving Bulgarian communities.

Widespread Bulgarian opposition to the bombing of Serbia exists despite the past, not because of it. It is fuelled by mindless acts like the destruction of Serbian bridges to halt navigation along the Danube, which was done by Nato without any thought whatsoever about the dire economic consequences for other riparian countries like Bulgaria.


Lecturer in Politics

University of Keele