|Pic: Jonathan Davis|
A week after the Serbian government announced that Belgrade Pride Parade was banned following threats of mass, violent counter-demonstrations organised by nationalists and fanatical Christian Orthodox supporters, four prominent Belgrade-based journalists took part in a talk show organised by the liberal, independent channel B92.
All of them agreed that the ban was about politics and upcoming elections.
The Editor of Novi Standard, Željko Cvijanović, pointed out that a large majority of Serbians oppose the Parade. According to a study by the World Values Survey (WVS) and the Gallup Balkan Monitor, Serbians are the most prejudiced against LGBT in South-Eastern Europe - 80% oppose 'all forms of expression of homosexual orientation'.
Writing for riskandforecast.com, Political Capital explains why:
Said Cvijanović of the 2011 Parade ban:
Political Capital says that that political class' attitude to homophobia is a major stumbling block on the road to the European Union.
The Editor of the liberal weekly news magazine Vreme, Dragoljub Žarković, noted that the society was "only capable of organizing itself when some minority group needed to be belittled and threated to be beaten".
Editor of the weekly NIN, Nebojša Spaić. noted that:
[A 'Potemkin village, based on the Stalinist trick for Western visitors in the 1930s, is 'an impressive facade or show designed to hide an undesirable fact or condition'.]
Journalists Union head Ljiljana Smajlović said that, unlike last year when the Parade took place in the midst of a mass riot and injuries to 100 policeman and Serbia was praised by EU governments as a result, this year the government had an eye on elections.