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CORRUPTION AND ORGANIZED CRIME
Introduction: United Mafia of the Balkan
The assessments that the newly created independent Balkan states have ended their wars might be true. But, there is no doubt that most, if not all, post-socialist states of the region are firmly in the clutches of organized crime and corruption which are increasingly manifested as destructive for the local feeble democracies, having become so powerful that they control the key social segments. This might be an expected result in societies in which politics is considered to be the most profitable business which enables making quick money and ensures an abundance of privileges. And it is not subject to any responsibility.
The following several texts from six Balkan countries will make it clear that in this space everybody is declaratively in favour of the struggle against corruption and organized crime. However, these phenomena are becoming increasingly apparent, with an increasingly powerful and decisive role in everyday life of ordinary man. These texts will point out to the similarities between the stories about organized crime and corruption, and regional interconnections among persons engaged in illegal deals, and the stories on empty declarative political language used to fight the battle against these evils. Balkan mafia and local criminals have a long time ago achieved what all the projects for the future of Balkan are striving to achieve - multiethnicity of their networks and relativization of state borders. And that is why cynics say: " Balkan is ruled by multiethnic mafia backed by nationalistic political elites. The opposite probably equally applies. Because for quite some time nobody can determine the demarcation line between politicians and criminals. Moreover, often those who shout "Catch the thief!" are doing it just to raise as much turmoil as possible in order to conceal who is chasing whom. This imposes the dilemma: are these countries developing mechanisms which will protect honest citizens from destruction or institutions which will protect the criminals from the law.
The known saying that all the states have criminals, but only in the Balkan the criminals have their states could be supplemented by the conclusion that in all states you will have to face the law due to your guilt, only in the Balkan you could encounter misfortune because you are innocent. In the so-called "countries in transition" for a long time there has been an equation mark between politics, business, crime and justice, so you may run into trouble if you naively believe that these professions are separate from each other. It is, indeed, a single river called by all these different names just in order to confuse the naive, a river in which the unprotected shall drown - those who are powerless to do anything - ordinary mortals.