Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Heavy Snow in Serbia

Belgrade, Feb. 15, 2010 (Serbia Today) - The weekend started for Serbians with the heavy snow falling all over the country. Most of the roads were over the weekend in bad condition, slippery and the visibility was very low. In the lower areas there is about 6 inches of snow on the ground while in the mountainous areas there is over 18 inches. The government agency responsible for the clean up of the roads is doing its best to maintain roads in usable condition, but it seems that only main highways and major streets in the capital city of Belgrade are being regularly cleaned. The officials warned drivers of the treacherous conditions on the roads and advised them not to go on the road unless really necessary and then only if vehicles are equipped with the winter tires and other additional winter accessories. Due to the inefficient maintenance of the roads over the year there is a lot of cracks and holes on the roads. Now covered with snow and ice they present an additional danger to the drivers.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mariza will sing on April 10th in Sava Center

Belgrade, Feb. 13, 2010 (Serbia Today) – Mariza, well known Portuguese Fado singer, will for the fourth time perform before the public in Belgrade. Each time, her concerts were great success and sold out. April concert is a part of her new European tour “Terra 2010. Mariza climbed to the top of the fado world since her debut album, Fado em Mim, in 2001, and she attracted a larger audience with the release of her CD, Fado Curvo in 2003..
Songs of longing and despair are a national tradition in Portugal. The word "fado" comes from the Latin fatum, meaning fate, destiny or doom. "Curvo" is the Portuguese word for curved or winding. "For me, curvo means that which is not straight," Mariza says. "Life is not a straight line — like passion, like music."
Fado emerged from the brothels and taverns of Lisbon about 200 years ago, and were first sung by lonely sailors. Today the songs are mostly performed in restaurants and special fado clubs.
Female fado singers, called fadistas, usually perform these fateful songs while draped in black shawls, standing very still. But Mariza's performances are different — she moves with the emotion of a song — and does not wear a traditional shawl. Like many other fadistas, Mariza goes by just one name. She was born in Mozambique, but her family moved to Portugal when she was very young. She says singing was part of everyday life, and remembers going to fado houses when she was very young.
Mariza has been compared to Amália Rodrigues, an icon of the fado tradition. But Mariza says she wants to expand on the tradition of fado, rather than emulate the fadista divas of the past.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Ambitious Tennis Project by Family Djokovic

Belgrade, Feb. 10, 2010 ( Serbia Today) – Works on the project aimed at building the largest tennis complex in Belgrade started by the family of the Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic, is well on its way. Their Tennis Center will be located at the Municipality New Belgrade. It is the idea of family Djokovic that this Center become the place where ATP Serbia Open will take place in the future. If this becomes reality, Novak Djokovic will be the first world class tennis player who owns tennis court where one of the major tournaments is playing. While many retired tennis stars have their own tennis schools and courts, those all are utilized mostly for the needs of their own schools or local level competitions.
On the website of the construction company involved in the project “Beobuild” the details regarding the future look of the Tennis Complex were revealed. The central part of the complex will be tennis arena with 5000 seats, surrounded with several smaller tennis courts. Part of the complex will be reserved for the work of the Tennis Academy Nenad Djokovic. Center will also include all side amenities that large sports centers have to offer to visitors, like hotel, restaurants, sport and souvenirs stores, vendors stands etc. The Djokovic’s “Family Sport” will spread over 37,398 square meters once it is completed.

The most popular vacation destination for Serbs – Greece

Belgrade, Feb.11, 2010 (Serbia Today) – While subzero temperatures and snow are still reminding Serbia that winter is not over yet, some of the Serbian citizens are already thinking of the summer vacations. Most of the tourist agency in Serbia are receiving reservations for summer vacation packages and some of the impatient vacationers are taking advantage of the early offers.

So far, the most popular vacation destination is Greece, particularly Greek Islands. Behind Greece is a Spanish Mediterranean Riviera. Much less interest than in the same period of the last year is for Bulgaria, Montenegro and Croatia.

Most of those who already booked their vacations are families with children or retired people. One of the reasons for early bookings is the discounts that travel agencies offer to those who book before April 1st, as well as the possibility of the installment payments without which many could not afford summer vacation.

The latest polls show that about 20 percent of Serbian tourists plan to make private arrangements for their summer vacations bypassing offers by tourist agencies. 65 percent will be vacationing this year in Greece, 10 percent in Spain, 9 percent in Egypt, 7 percent in Turkey. Only one percent plan to go to Croatian coast or to Bulgaria, while around 10 percent will spend their summer in Montenegro.

No poll posed the question what percentage of Serbians will actually go to summer vacation this year at all. If it is to judge according to unemployment rate or to the average monthly salary, many will spend their summer on the Belgrade’s Ada Ciganlija Beach, or on the local river beaches and city pools throughout Serbia.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The success of the Italian TV movie made in Belgrade

Belgrade, Feb. 08, 2010 (Serbia Today) - More and more often, foreign movie makers are turning towards Belgrade, and its picturesque neighborhoods, as a background for their movie projects. If one add to it the availability of the low cost Serbian film professionals, it would be immediately clear that the potential of the services that could be provided to foreign movie makers are very attractive.
This fact is already well known by the authors of the two-part film “Lo scandalo della Banca Romana” which was shot last year in Belgrade and has recently been shown on Italian television RAI1 with much success. The film featuring over 50 Serbian actors is directed by Stefano Reali and was watched by 6,7 million people, more than the most popular TV show- Italian “Big Brother” The film produced by TV RAI was shot last year on numerous locations in Belgrade and part of it was shot in Kotor and Rome. The executive producer of the film starring Vincent Perez and Guiseppe Fiorello is “Film 87”. Over 50 Serbian actors, among whom there are Ljiljana Blagojevic, Aleksandar Gajin, Predrag Ejdus, Irfan Mensur, Slobodan Custic, Ivan Bekjarev, have given their contribution to the film “Lo scandalo della Banca Romana”. As it was expected, the film attracted a great attention of the Italian public, because it deals with one of the biggest financial and corruption affairs in modern history of Italy.

In late 19th century, “Banca Romana” was one of the six central banks in Italy which had a permission to print notes. At the beginning of 1889, the president of the board of ministers Francesco Crispi ordered examination of bank transactions and it proved that “Banca Romana” violated all business and ethical rules- they printed overdrawn notes and above all the bank gave “loans” to the most influential politicians among whom there were Crispi, as well as the Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti!

The story about the scandal was told from the perspective of a young journalist Matija who arrives in Rome and gets involved in a network of corruption, money laundering and clashes. Matija goes through hell in order to recover his moral integrity.

Serbia to face Italy in Euro 2012 qualifiers

Warsaw, POLAND, February 08, 2010 (Serbia Today) - Serbia's football national team will play current World Cup holders Italy in their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, after the two sides were drawn together in Group C here on Sunday.

They will be joined by Northern Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia and Faroe Islands.

Group A: Germany, Turkey, Austria, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan
Group B: Russia, Slovakia, Republic of Ireland, Macedonia, Armenia, Andorra
Group C: Italy, Serbia, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia, Faroe Islands
Group D: France, Romania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Belarus, Albania, Luxembourg
Group E: Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Moldova, San Marino
Group F: Croatia, Greece, Israel, Latvia, Georgia, Malta
Group G: England, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Wales, Montenegro
Group H: Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Cyprus, Iceland
Group I: Spain, Czech Republic, Scotland, Lithuania, Liechtenstein.

Serbs vacationing more in foreign Ski Resorts than in Serbia

Belgrade, Feb. 09, 2010 ( Source: Blic) – As Belgrade daily Blic reports, this year ski season in Serbia was far from good. In an attempt to save what can be saved, certain hotels in domestic winter resorts are offering now lower prices and promoting package arrangements. They claim that the result is increased booking for the month of February.
The number of guests in the Kopaonik Mt., the most popular winter resort in Serbia, was this season by 35 percent lower than the previous one. Tourist services claim that the drop is due to economic crisis, new flu pandemic, lack of snow and shortened school holiday. Those who admit that one of the chief reasons is high accommodation and ski-pass prices are rare. Instead of going to the Kopaonik Mt. people went to ski centers in Bulgaria, Austria, Italy or France where prices are considerable lower. According to information even 20,000 of Serbian tourists spent winter season in Austria from December 19 until today. The snow that covered domestic mountains at the end of January is a chance for Serbian hotels to get their guests back. Many of them have cut the prices and offered promotional package arrangements.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Serbian women ready for Fed Cup!

By: Milen Vesovic

Belgrade, Feb.04,2010 (Serbia Today) - The tennis competition between Serbia and Russia will be held on February 6 and 7, 2010 at the Belgrade Arena in Belgrade. On the agenda of the first day are two matches by two singles and one double match. If Serbian team wins, they will meet in the next round the winner between the United States and France, and in that case Serbia would once again be the host regardless of the opponent.
The Serbian women's tennis team coach Dejan Vranjes said that all players who will be performing against the Russians are in good shape before this very difficult clash. Serbian coach said he suspected that Russian coach placed on the list at the last moment Svetlana Kuznetsova (4th tennis player in the world).
The Russians have announced the participation of Alice Klejbanova (31 on the WTA list), Anastasia Pavljuchenko (39), Vera Dushevina (40) and Ekaterina Makarova (59).
Dejan Vranes selected the participants for the next team: Jelena Jankovic (8th on the WTA list), Ana Ivanovic (21), Bojana Jovanovski (143) and Ana Jovanovic (241). A young Serbian tennis hope 16 year old Alexandra Krunic (333) will be preparing with the team.
Former first-time world and Roland Garros winner, Ana Ivanovic told Serbian media that it is a great pleasure to play before the home audience and hopes that the Belgrade Arena will be full.
Performance of the best Serbian tennis player is in doubt. Jelena Jankovic is currently in Florida on rehabilitation of injuries she received in this year's first Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne and is the only one from the Serbian team, who didn’t participate in training before the big match.

Grand Prix of the International Trieste Film Festival goes to “Devil's Town”

Belgrade, Feb. o3, 2010 (Serbia Today) - The Serbian film Djavolja Varos (Devil's Town) by director and screenwriter Vladimir Paskaljevic won the first prize in the main competition program of the 21. International Film Festival in Trieste, the producer of the film, Milan Tomic, stated last Thursday.
The explanation of the jury said that the movie Devil's Town was awarded for the audacity and clarity of the young director's vision that displays a city forsaken by the gods through precise mounting and excellent direction. The International Film Festival in Trieste featured the movies from Central and Eastern Europe, while 12 films entered the main competition program. The first film of young Paskaljevic started its successful festival life at Karlovy Vary early in July where it had a noted world premiere. Early in November, it was presented with FIPRESCI awarded by film critiques for the best movie in Athens, and a week ago it won a special recognition of the jury at the festival in Palm Springs.

Marija Serifovic to perform at the Belgrade Arena

Belgrade, Feb. 01, 2010 ( Source: Blic) -The popular singer Marija Serifovic will have a big concert at the Belgrade Arena on April 15. This performance will announce her tour in all cities of the former Yugoslavia on which Marija is promoting her new album “Andjeo” (“Angel”) released in December last year.
According to the people from Marija’s team, preparations for this big music spectacle are already in progress and Marija is preparing something completely different, something unique, just as it is generally expected from her. Over fifty people are already included in this project and they are choosing with Marija the best equipment, as well as other interesting components related to the forthcoming concert.
“Rehearsals with the band are under way and in a music sense there will be a lot of surprises. Guests from our country and from abroad will be an essential part of this spectacle and at one moment I will sing together with ten most famous people in Serbia from different areas,” said Marija Serifovic. To remind the readers, the talented singer became famous as a winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki in 2007 with the song “Molitva”. Her tour around Europe ensued and she recorded her new album in Sweden. Ticket sale will start on February 15 and then the points of sale and ticket price will be released.

“Snow Kids” on the Stara Planina

By: Bojana Jankovic
Stara Planina, Feb.05,2010 (Serbia Today)-When the snow cover gets its role in the world of weather magic, Eastern Serbia has a good, high quality and very interesting offer on the Stara planina. Paths constructed by European standards, ski lifts and satisfactory accommodation capacity certainly contribute to its popularity.
Children are especially happy going to the Stara planina. A reason for that is a development camp for small skiers named “Snow Kids”, which is under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports from Serbia. The first group of children participated in a “Snow kids” camp last December.
These days, about fifty small skiers learn their first ski steps with a help of the best trainers of the Ski Federation of Serbia. They are the second group in this camp and they are aged from 7 to 10 years old. The third group of small skiers will come to the mountain in March.
Instructors who work with children on this mountain say that the idea of a ski camp for children is not just to learn to ski but one day maybe they will become the competitors who will represent Serbia on international competitions.
Last weekend, the paths on Stara planina were full of skiers. The interest for this winter sport in the Eastern Serbia is growing. About 250 children are scheduled to pass through the camp.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hotel managers from Majorca interested in Stara Planina mountain - successful appearance at Tourism Fair in Madrid

Stara Planina, Jan. 25, 2010 (Serbia Today) - Hotel managers from Majorca are interested in visiting Stara Planina mountain and getting familiar with the investment opportunities - said Slobodan Mihajlović, CEO of public company Stara Planina.

- Two representatives of Majorca-based hotel companies will come to Belgrade's Tourism Fair in February, and that is when we will take them to Stara Planina and provide them with the information on our projects - Mihajlović told Beta agency.

He said that those hotel managers were interested in running the hotels on that mountain, but that it was still too early to speak about possible investors in Stara Planina. He added that the visit was the first step towards serious cooperation.

- After good presentation, we will open all channels of cooperation and see what mutual interest we can get-said Mihajlović. He said that the tourist and investment potentials of Stara Planina had been presented at the Tourism Fair in Madrid, at which the booth of Serbia had organized the press conference. According to his words, the contact with Spanish market is of great important to Stara Planina

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Strapped for cash, but Serbs nudge towards elite

Belgrade, Feb. 01, 2010 (Source: Blic) - Partizan are the talk of the town in European basketball circles once again. The Belgrade marvel have been producing performances that have upset the biggest guns across the continent for years. The latest team to take the blow on their own turf from unwavering and fanatically determined Partizan are Panathinaikos Athens, the reigning European club champions. Hardly anyone had anticipated how much Partizan had learned from their early Euroleague defeats this season and how coach Vujosevic had fine-tuned the team’s play. It all fell into place in Athens and the Serbian champions’ victim were none other than Euroleague title holders Panathinaikos “We’ve found ourselves amongst the Europe’s elite and we have adapted by working harder and improving our commitment in training. We have reached a high level and it’s showing in games. We are the same team after the win in Athens as the one before we set out on the trip, and it’s important we keep our feet firmly on the ground. Wins like this only commit us to keep up with this work we’ve been putting in,” said Vujosevic. The celebrated coach then emphasised the importance of appearing in Europe’s top-flight club competition each season.

- “What is really important is that every new squad inherits the right to appear in the Euroleague from the previous generation of players. Every fresh qualification into the Top 16 phase is a confirmation these lads are worthy successors and that they deserve to fill the shoes of those who’d made it all possible.” Partizan are receiving increased respect and the officials are not hiding the delight.- “ Partizan have once again earned some recognition across Europe. There have been terrific results in the past, such as the winning of the European Champions Cup. Now were acquiring new authority. It can’t be a replacement for big money and large budgets, but it’s a fact we are not being treated as we were five or six years ago. That is good news for both Partizan and the Serbian basketball in general.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Actor Petar Kralj received „Golden Turkey“ Award

Jagodina, Jan. 25, 2010 (Serbia Today) - Since 1972 in Jagodina are traditionally held „The Days of Comedy“, from March 20-27. The Award for Lifetime Achievement„The Golden turkey“ was established in 2001. This is the highest award of the festival, and consists of a diploma, the statue „Golden turkey“ and monetary amount.
Miodrag Petrovic Ckalja, Danilo Bata Stojkovic, Mira Banjac, Ljubomir Ubavkic Pendula, Nikola Simic, Olivera Markovic, Bora Todorovic and Vlastimir Đuza Stojiljkovic are actors who were winners of this special award throughout the years. This year the actor Petar Kralj received that award for his life’s work of the best comedy achievements of Serbia. Award will be presented at the “ Day of World Theater” on March 27 2010.
The Chairman of the Board of the festival Dobrica Milicevic made the following announcement to the journalist: “The decision was unanimous, and for the prize were competing two more actors. Peter Kralj is one of the leading actors of today.“
During “The Days of Comedy”, Kralj was awarded already this award three times. In 1977 Kralj first received this award for his role as Captain Ivulic in “The mace” by Klema Gubišića, performed by Atelje 212 in Belgrade. He received the same award for the role of Sisyphus in “Plots by Inspector “ by Ranko Marinkovic, performed by the Belgrade Drama Theater. At 2001th King won the same gold turkey for Nicholas Hair for his role in “Dr. Shuster” performed by Zvezdara Theater.
Peter Kralj is a Serbian theater and film actor, born on April 4, 1941 in Zagreb, Croatia. He graduated from the Academy of Theater, Film, Radio and Television in Belgrade. Since 1968 until 1979 , Kralj was a member of Atelier 212 Theater. By crossing over to the free artists his membership in the Atelier 212 ceased, where in addition to the National Theater he played the most. He received many prizes, including the most attractive awards, such as: Milos Zutic in1994 ,statue of Joakim Vujić in 1994 , Dobrica’s ring in 1996 . His most famous films are: Ward, Suspicious person, 7 Hamlets, The drug of love, Lost happiness, Moliere, The Battle of Kosovo, The Calvary, Dervish and death, Vuk Karadzic, Without the broom handle, Forgotten, Sunflowers, All the people, The Family mild, Bitter fruit, The dollars coming, Farmers, The White ship.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bojan Frleta – handball player from Stara Pazova

Stara Pazova, Jan.25,2010 (Serbia Today) - There is no doubt that Belgrade as the capital of Serbia has a lot to offer when it comes to sports. What is evident is that not all sports clubs have good working conditions.
Talented handball player from the club “Stara Pazova” Bojan Frleta (22) told us in the interview something more about how handball players train in the town Stara Pazova.
„I think that Stara Pazova is a real example how clubs in Serbia lack the conditions for good work in sports clubs. Our senior team competes on the concrete because in Stara Pazova there are no sports halls of appropriate dimension. Lack of halls is a big problem also in work with the younger categories”.
The club competes in the league Srem - South Backa. What are the plans for the placement of high rank competition? “We are currently by far first in our league and we have excellent prospects to reach in the high rank competition”.
How did you start to train handball? “I started to train handball when I was 13, in the club RK Stara Pazova. I’ve chosen handball because my best friends from school started training handball.  Soon sport entered in my blood and now I cannot imagine a single day without the ball.  I participated in various championships, tournaments and when I was younger in school competitions I have repeatedly won awards for best shooter”.
Frleta plays at all positions, but handles the best the position of the left wing. In addition to being one of best players in the club, he also works as a coach to younger categories. “I work as a coach and currently it is my first preoccupation. I work with two selections - boys and girls under the age of 13. I think that for now everything goes well and that we work well but there is much room for improvement, as well as theirs and mine. Selection of boys with whom I was on a tournament in Nova Pazova three months ago took second place behind Partizan from Belgrade. Boys played in a final a really good quality game. On one of the competitions in mini handball selection organized by the Handball Federation of Serbia  in which performed both boys and girls, our team won the third place. These results are worthy of attention”.
Bojan also studies the University of Political Sciences in Belgrade. How you manage to combine sports obligations with the university?
“I can manage all, especially now when I am at the final year of the University. Now things are a little easier.
Sometimes it was really hard but I like what I do and it is not difficult to arrange all”.
Your future plans are mainly related to handball? “I have a plan to stop to play handball  and to dedicate myself exclusively coaching work with kids. In addition I plan to enroll in couching school after Faculty” - said at the end Bojan Frleta.