The world at a glance . . . Europe
Defying Serbia: The government of Montenegro last week angered Serbia—and its own Serbian minority—by formally recognizing the independence of Kosovo. Montenegro was the last Yugoslav state to split from Belgrade’s rule, remaining part of Serbia until 2006. More than one-third of its people consider themselves ethnic Serbs, and they were as upset as their brethren in Serbia when the province of Kosovo declared its independence from Belgrade last February. At a rally this week in the capital, Podgorica, protesters angry over the government’s move threw rocks at police, chanting “Treason! Treason!” and “Kosovo is Serbia.” The opposition is now demanding that the government either revoke its recognition of Kosovo or call early elections.
Prague, Czech Republic
Was novelist an informer? A leading Czech weekly has accused acclaimed novelist Milan Kundera of once betraying a spy for the West to the Communist authorities of Czechoslovakia. Respekt published archival documents showing that in 1950, Kundera, then a university student, gave authorities the whereabouts of a Czech pilot who had defected and returned to Prague on an undercover mission. The spy was arrested and tortured, and he served 14 years of hard labor. Kundera, the author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, has admitted that he was a committed Communist in his youth. But this week he broke a 25-year media silence to deny the Respekt story. “It did not happen,” Kundera said, calling the allegations “an assassination attempt.”