For a Sunday the Bahnhofstrasse was surprisingly busy this afternoon.
The weather was cold, but sunny so we thought everyone was out taking advantage of the Spring like day.
We heared the tooting of car horns and at first thought it was coming from supporters of a football derby being played in the Hardturm,but then as we reached the first crossroad we saw that this was something rather different.
Passengers of cars were hanging red and black flags out of the windows while the drivers seemed to have their hand continually on the horns causing an almost deafening noise.
The peaceful Sunday afternoon in the city was over.
It’s Kosovo I said.They have declared their independence whether Vladimir Putin likes it or not.
Kosovo and Serbia have been fighting against each other for the last 800 years. They endured many aggressors,and took on the faith of the Ottoman Empire. They are still fighting the Serbs in the north of their country but the tables have been turned.
After the last war the estimated loss of lives in Kosovo was 12,000.
In August 2000 the International Criminal Tribunal exhumed 2,788 bodies from mass graves. 3368 civilians have never been been found.
Many of the refugees came to Switzerland, it is said a third of the male population looked for work in Switzerland and Germany. We harboured their shadow Prime Minister Bujar Bukoshi too, and much of the work and funding of the Kosovo Liberation Army came from exiles here.
From today they are on their own. Judging by the cars flying the Albanian flag ” they made it here,” the ones I saw were all big and shiny. One of the reasons maybe why they aren’t particularly liked. The average Swiss can’t afford that kind of car,to say nothing of the average refugee.
The question is what will happen in the Balkans now , and will the Kosovo Albanians leave their good life here and go back to Pristina where they are needed.