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LA STAMPA

Bosnia's 'Brave Women' And The Fight For Free-Flowing Rivers

In the Balkans, developers are rushing to install hydroelectric plants on Europe's last untapped river systems. Activists — including an unlikely group of Bosnian villagers — are fighting back.

Art installation on a Bosnian dam
Art installation on a Bosnian dam
Emanuele Bompan and Marco Ranocchiari

KRUŠČICA — The country road that leads to Kruščica meanders through wooded hills, haystacks and scattered houses. It's a sleepy landscape, sometimes enlivened by the loud colors of the corrugated iron on a mosque roof or the bright red of apples in a roadside vendor's stall.

Nearby is a stream that bears the same as the village. Bosnia has a slew of formidable rivers. The thin Kruščica isn't one of them. And yet, many people here value its clean waters, so much so that for the past year-and-a-half, a group of activists has guarded — through rain and shine — what is now known as the "bridge of brave women." Their goal is to prevent the construction of two hydroelectric plants.

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Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

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To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

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