Kosovo and Germany: Trouble in Paradise

An interesting article in Regard sur l’Est describes an absurd episode from the end of last year, in which three agents of the German secret service BND were arrested under the accusation of complicity in a bombing attempt against the International Civilian Office in Pristina. After the affair stirred up things dramatically in Germany, making public yet another failure of the BND, and after the Kosovo authorities could not bring any proof for their claims, the three agents were set free and evacuated.

The RSE analysis is a good recap of the facts, but cannot answer the central question: why? What makes someone like Hashim Thaci turn against one of his biggest allies? The theory most widely accepted is that it seems to be an act of retaliation of a heart ego. In 2005, the Swiss Weltwoche publishes excerpts of an internal BND paper linking Hashim Thaci (alongside with Ramush Haradinaj and Xhavit Haliti) to organised crime, which the latter seemed not to have been very pleased with. Oh, well.

The fact that the act of retaliation would happen more than three years later makes this theory seem rather unlikely. Even the hypertrophied egos of Balkan war lords becoming politicians cannot allow themselves to bite the hands that keep them in their comfortable positions. Or can they?And if so, does that not mean that something went terribly wrong?

In any case the incident did not contribute to more sympathy for the Kosovo government in Germany. And somehow the poor German  reaction reminds me of Goethe’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice:

Spirits that I’ve cited
My commands ignore.

The problem is that I don’t see a sorcerer around who could come up with the magic formula:

To the lonely
Corner, broom!
Hear your doom.
As a spirit
When he wills, your master only
Calls you, then ’tis time to hear it.

Vision? Duh!


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