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Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo Resentful of Handke's Nobel Win

Media & Culture

7Dnews London - AFP

Fri, 11 Oct 2019 03:02 GMT

Austrian writer Peter Handke's Nobel literature prize win on Thursday, October 10th has utterly angered Bosnia, Albania, and Kosovo, where the new laureate is seen as an admirer of late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

In the 1990s, Handke was seen as an enthusiastic defender of the Serbs during the bloody collapse of the former Yugoslavia, to the extent that he compared them to Jews under the Nazis, a stance he later retracted, according to AFP.

His 1996 travel book "A Journey to the Rivers: Justice for Serbia" caused wide controversy, and in 1999 he returned Germany's prestigious Buechner prize in objection of Nato's bombing of Belgrade.

Kosovo has reacted angrily to the news of the award going to Handke.

Vlora Citaku, Kosovo’s ambassador to the United States, tweeted that the Nobel committee rewarded "a propagator of ethnic hatred & violence."

The Muslim member of Bosnia's joint presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic, described the decision as "scandalous and shameful," according to France 24.

"Never thought would feel to vomit because of a Nobel Prize," Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote on Twitter, according to France 24.

"Given disgraceful choice made from a moral authority like the Nobel Academy, shame is sealed as a new value. No, we can't become so numb to racism and genocide", he added.