Harvard lecturer: Tacit deal between Belgrade and Pristina on crime, corruption


Danilo Mandic, a sociologist and a lecturer at Harvard University, said there was a tacit agreement between Kosovo and Serbia leaderships that a joint anti-corruption, anti-smuggling and anti-mafia policy would undermine the stability of both nationalist regimes.

In an interview with the Belgrade Vreme weekly Thursday’s edition, he added that the US and Europe did not even mention the anti-mafia fight, „what is even worse.“

„Until that hits the schedule, Belgrade and Pristina will use negotiations as a rock-solid alibi for incompetence and authoritarianism. At the same time, that serves as proof to the international community that against tribal primitives a force must be used,“ Mandic, whose book ‘Gangestrs and Other Statesmen’ had been recently published, said.

He adds that when the mafia instrumentalises a state, it’s called ‘corruption,“ but when states instrumentalise mafia, that’s ‘patriotism.

Mandic’s book deals with links between mafia and separatists across the world. As Vreme writes, he discovers how the connections between criminals and national leaders often become natural.

Referring to organised crime in Kosovo, Mandic said it had flourished after the war ended, following the ‘liberation.’

„It got access to official institutions, border crossings, companies, banks, Pristina’s airport. Mafias begin when conflicts end because peace brings stability and regularity of crime and criminal partnerships, including multi-ethnic, which are not possible in the war chaos,“ Mandic said.

Asked if Serbia is among countries trying to prevent separatism by joining forces with organised crime, he says the country has attempted to use criminal links to solve ethnonational issues such as Georgia, Nigeria, Turkey, etc.