My wife and I were in the Balkans last summer. Our guide Ivan, a Bulgarian mountaineer and son of a prominent Bulgarian communist writer, had strong ideas about vengeance, and war, generally in favour.
He told us Albania is an honour culture, where vendettas are common. Men fight to the death or murder each other over slights to their honour. And he told us that most of Macedonia (which he said he hated) should be divided between the Albanians (who he said were awaiting their chance) and Bulgarians (who he said were too weak to participate, but hoped the Albanians would give them their fair share).
I liked Macedonia, and felt sorry they were between such wolves and jackals – if that’s really the case. I liked the Bulgarians, too. Can’t see why they wouldn’t like each other. Must be some “history” thing.
Oh, and the Greeks hate the Macedonians for stealing the name (though it was Tito originally), and Kosovo is a gangster state (confirmed by our Macedonian friend, who runs a mine there). So poor Macedonia, surrounded by antipathy.
It’s certainly a different world view than we have in Canada. On the plus side, despite all these feelings, they are all at peace and travel easily from country to country, though it is not borderless like the EU. More like going to the USA from Canada.
By the way, Serbia doesn’t share border with Albania. In your article what is called Serbia is probably either Macedonia or Montenegro – both probably unseparated at the time.