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28 February 07

Several years ago, a large number of Chinese people immigrated to Serbia. This is not uncommon in the region - they import (although import may be too much of a legal term for that) a lot of Wal∗Mart quality products and sell them to the locals. The only problem I have with it is that they are not properly integrated into the society and that the only governmental policy on the issue so far has been: “What! There are Chinese people in Belgrade!? Oh, the Russians will have something to say about that!”

Of course, I’m in the minority. I found the poster above about two months ago. It’s signed by the Association of Free and Independent Trade Unions and the person portrayed on it is Slobodan Lalović - the Minister for work, employment and social politics. The Association says that workers of Serbia don’t need such a minister because:

He called you lazy and parasites Check!
He talks about natality rise, but decreases help for pregnant women Check!
He doesn’t consider farmers to be workers Check!
Even though there is a million of unemployed people in Serbia, he brings Chinese to take your jobs Wrong!
He finances tycoons and rich people from your pension funds Check!
His politics led to 200.000 losing their job Check!
He employed only 1 (one) disabled person in Belgrade in one year Check!


  1. bganon
    Mar 7, 07:56 PM #

    The story of the Chinese in Belgrade is quite interesting.

    Less well known these days is that the population is reducing. At least a proportion have turned up in Zagreb.

    Its true that the Chinese arent integrated but frankly I dont care. I think its good that we dont have a mono-culture here. Actually I think the Chinese story is in fact the story of Belgrade – taking people in from far away places for generations. Its what gives the city some of its vibrancy – and also some of its bad habits, unfortunately.

    Yeah, its true the Chinese with their cheap goods helped put a lot of Serbians out of work since the early 90’s.

    But hey I thought you supported a liberal political party that believes in the free market! :)

  2. Dejan
    Mar 7, 10:12 PM #

    bganon, I didn’t mean integrated as in “all of them speak Serbian and listen to Ceca”, but more of cultural interexchange, recognizing the fact that we have a new minority in the city, etc. Segregation doesn’t make the city any more diverse.

    Anyway, I’d say Serbs put themselves out of work, mostly, the Chinese just used it to their advantage. :)

    P.S. Notice how I avoid answering your questions about why I voted for a liberal party? :)

  3. bganon
    Mar 13, 07:06 PM #

    ‘Notice how I avoid answering your questions about why I voted for a liberal party? :)’

    Yes! Well I’m a hypocrite anyway, I am actually against the capitalist system (of values) and yet support it at the same time. There is nothing worse than somebody who preaches or believes one thing and does the opposite – although one has little choice but to be a capitalist in todays world!

    Oh I see you mean integration from the other side. Well it has to be a two way thing. For sure Belgrade city council should do something. For example why not call a part of Belgrade (close to block 73) China Town and encourage local Chinese to open more restaurants specifically with foreign tourism in mind?

    I should say having lived in London Chinese dont integrate much there either so it isnt just a Serbian thing. It (keeping to themselves) need not be a bad sign although I support multiculturalism.

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