Serbian media react angrily to Kosovo secession

Other News Materials 18 February 2008 13:44 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - The Serbian media on Monday carried angry, even crass, headlines over reports and comments of the secession Kosovo declared a day earlier.

Headlines such as "Kosovo hijacked," "hijack declared" and "a clash of justice and force" typically announced reports of Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia passed by the Kosovo assembly on Sunday with the blessing of major Western powers.

Most dailies also highlighted Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica's accusation that the United States was the creator of a "false state" on Serbian soil, but also that Europe had "bowed its head" to Washington's interests.

"America humiliated Europe," "Europe humiliated, not Serbia," were some of the captions.

Newspapers also extensively reported the riots set off in Belgrade by a few hundred demonstrators targeting US and Slovenian embassies in apparent protest at the US and EU support of Kosovo.

Some however noted that ransacking and vandalizing stores and kiosks seemed to be the primary motive of what mostly were hooligan football fans - "They wrecked their own city," one headline said.

More than 50 people, including 30 or so police, had to be treated after being hurt in skirmishes and by flying stones and bottles. Similar incidents occurred in Novi Sad, while protests at Kosovo's secession held elsewhere in Serbia ended peacefully.

The far-right boulevard daily Press went the furthest in displaying its view of developments in Kosovo, which now expects international recognition from US and the leading EU states.

"F**k off" it says in English, a huge block of letters placed centrally on the front page, under the portraits of the US President George W Bush, Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and EU's top diplomat Javier Solana.