BELGRADE -- New year has arrived. As we say goodbye to 2022, B92.net portal wishes everyone a happy, successful and more prosperous 2023
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We repeated the same wish at the beginning of 2022. This time, it seems that we managed to forget about the pandemic and the pain it caused us in the previous 30 months.
However, the coronavirus did not disappear - it was only replaced by a bigger suffering.
It didn't "smell" good since the start of the year, but it was as if no one wanted to believe that it was possible. And then, on February 24, it started.
War in Europe. Open war between Russia and Ukraine. "Silent" war between Russia and the West. Special operation. Invasion. Whatever.
Thousand dead, tens of thousands wounded, millions displaced and refugees all around. Destroyed country, destroyed lives, destroyed future.
And the end is not in sight. On the contrary. We enter 2023 under the threat of global conflict. And if the conflict does not occur, the economic chaos of the whole planet won't be prevented.
Problems with energy sources, supply chains, closed markets, inflation, recession... make it seem that we will still be "begging" for coronavirus.
However, war was far from the only topic the planet dealt with in 2022.
The most important events in Serbia in 2022
After half a century since the schism, the SPC and the Macedonian Orthodox Church were reconciled, the Fundamental Agreement between the SPC and Montenegro was signed, Porfirije became the new patriarch, the Constitution changed in the section dedicated to the judiciary, EuroPride was held in Belgrade...
Aleksandar Vučić, the candidate of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and the current head of state, won convincingly in the first round of the presidential elections in Serbia. In the parliamentary elections, SNS won.
The new Government of Serbia headed by Prime Minister Ana Brnabić was voted on October 26. There are many new faces in the cabinet, but Zorana Mihajlović, Aleksandar Vulin and Nebojša Stefanović are missing. At the same time, Aleksandar Šapić became the mayor of Belgrade, as a candidate and member of the SNS.
The trial of Veljko Belivuk and a group of defendants for a series of murders, drug trafficking and several other serious crimes is underway. In recent weeks, the public has been "entertained" by reading about the atrocities that were discussed at the trial.
The situation in Kosovo and Metohija was once again tense. It culminated at the end of the year when the Serbs in the north of Kosovo set up (then removed) barricades, and this was preceded by the abandonment of Kosovo institutions, arrests, closing of crossings, police actions, protests... Serbia submitted to KFOR a request for the return of a hundred to a thousand members of Serbian security forces on Kosovo and Metohija.
At the same time, the first verdict for war crimes handed down to a member of the KLA by the Specialized Chamber of Kosovo was pronounced. A little earlier, leaders of KLA war veterans were sentenced in The Hague for obstructing the judicial process and intimidating witnesses.
The most important events in the region in 2022
The public in Croatia was "entertained" by the already traditional skirmish between Milanović and Plenković, which was not absent even when a six-ton unmanned aerial vehicle "strayed" from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and fell in the middle of Zagreb in March.
Croats had something to look forward to. Not only the bronze in Qatar, but also the fact that from the first day of 2023, that country becomes a member of the Schengen zone, while saying goodbye to the domestic currency kuna and switching to the euro. Therefore, expectations from 2023 in this country are very high.
Montenegro was also going through a political crisis this year, governments and mandates were changed, protests were organized. In the end, the EU also threatened that it could stop the accession negotiations.
The year in Montenegro was also marked by arrests. The first to go under was the long-time president of the Supreme Court, Vesna Medenica. She was joined by other judges, prosecutors, police officers, officials...
In Bosnia-Herzegovina, there were elections and "fuss" before, during and after them. Schmidt, Dodik, Izetbegović, Komšić... All of them, as well as almost all the other actors, made even more complicated the already complicated situation in that country with their statements and actions.
It wasn't all bad, though. BiH finally received the status of a candidate for EU membership. And North Macedonia has formally started accession negotiations with the European Union, after 17 years of candidate status. That country also got a new government in 2022.
Slovenia is headed by a woman for the first time as president - Nataša Pirc Musar. The new government of that country is headed by Robert Golob, a Slovenian businessman and energy expert.
The most important events in the world in 2022
Xi Jinping strengthened his power in China, the Taliban in Afghanistan, the former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe was killed, Elon Musk bought Twitter and, it seems, made his already complicated life even more complex.
Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8 at the age of 96, and the British crown passed on to her son - King Charles III. In the previous year, Britain changed three prime ministers, and there were changes in other countries. Italy and Israel got strongly right-wing governments.
Conservative voices had something to look forward to in the US as well, where the Supreme Court overturned court precedent that protected women's right to abortion and allowed federal states to independently decide on the abolition of the right to abortion.
At the same time, Iran has been rocked for months by mass protests over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for not wearing the hijab properly and died in the hospital where she was transferred in serious condition after her arrest. Hundreds of people died, thousands were arrested, and the terrifying "morality police" ceased to exist.
Sports highlights in 2022
As for other news, Real Madrid won a record 14th European Championship title, Efes won the Euroleague, and Golden State won the NBA. The Winter Olympic Games in Beijing were marked by Norwegian biathletes Johannes Thingnes Boe and Marte Olsbu Roeiseland, who each won five medals.
When the year starts with Novak Djokovic in a detention cell, you can bet that the rest of the year will be quite interesting as well.
Novak, by the way, missed the US Open, won Wimbledon and the final Masters, and is currently chasing Nadal on the eternal list of the most trophies. He doesn't have to worry about Federer anymore. Roger is now retired. And Novak is back in Australia, "eager" to take revenge for the last year experience.
The end of the year was marked by the World Championship in Qatar. Serbia returned from the desert even before it left, with only one point in the group and the question - are we really as good as we think we are.
On the other hand, Argentina is the champion of the world and Messi finally won the title he was missing to break out perhaps the last arguments about who is the best ever. One of the best ever, Pele, has gone to eternity.
The basketball players made sure that it wasn't only the football players who disappointed us. Despite the second consecutive title of the best in the NBA, even Nikola Jokić failed to introduce our national team into the top eight in Europe. In 2023, we hope to go to the Mundobasket, so we will again hope for a medal, fearing yet another failure.
Other national teams also had a rather weak year. At all three major competitions, the water polo players were left without a medal, without a coach, and worried the nation with failures in the sport in which we dominated for decades.
The volleyball players were eliminated in the round of 16 of the World Championship, and the women's and men's handball teams were eliminated in the group stage. The women's basketball players lost to the defending champions USA in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
But our volleyball women national team won the title at the World Championship for the second time in a row, led by Tijana Bošković.
On the club level, Red Star footballers won another double crown with a failure in Europe. Partizan was bad "at home", but it awaits spring in Europe.
For the first time in the history of the Euroleague, Red Star and Partizan are playing together. And that's good.
Celebrities who left us in 2022
At the end of the year we got the saddest news, the celebrated Serbian football player and coach Siniša Mihajović died. A magnificent farewell in Rome, but also in Serbia, Italy and around the world showed in the best way the mark that Miha left behind.
Along with Miha, Queen Elizabeth, Abe and Pele, in 2022 we also bid farewell to Pope Benedict, Olivia Newton John, Ann Hatch, Kirsty Ely, Robbie Coltrane, Ivana Trump, Ray Liotta, Mina Raiola, Jerry Lee Lewis, Vivienne Westwood, Peter Bogdanović, Madeline Albright, Vangelis, Nick Bollettieri, Bill Russell, James Kahn, Dietrich Matešić, Mikhail Gorbachev, Coolio...
Serbia and the region also said goodbye to Massimo Savić, Kornelije Kovac, Aki Rahimovski, Dejan Tiago Stanković, Gorica Nešović, Purisa Djordjević, Branko Cvejić, Latinka Perović, Radko Polič, Miodrag Ješić, Milutin Šoškić, Ivica Osim...
What awaits us in 2023
When it comes to sports, we hope for Novak's success, placement (and then a medal) at Mundobasket, good results of our clubs in European competitions...
We hope that the conflict in Ukraine will finally end and that the planet will return to normal, whatever that "normal" even means now. We will not mention the coronavirus, let it definitely stay behind us.
After the strengthening of the right in 2022, the elections this year could bring many changes around the world. Czechs, Slovaks, Finns, Estonians, Greeks, Poles, Swiss, Bulgarians, Turks... and Montenegrins are also waiting for the elections, with which they will try to solve the political crisis in that country.
The solution of the "Kosovo knot" is announced by many for 2023. Although such optimism is certainly exaggerated, it is to be expected that in this year a lot could happen on that front.
There is also the question of Serbia's position on the international stage, due to Kosovo, due to the non-introduction of sanctions against Russia, due to the general energy and financial crisis that is forecast for 2023 throughout the world.
This year too, major works on the construction of numerous roads in Serbia are expected, visible results in the construction of the Belgrade metro, the opening of new factories, an increase in the standard of living...
What will 2023 bring us in the end - we will see. Until then, we wish you success, happiness and good health.
We also want to thank you for reading us in 2022. Thank you for being with us.
We will be here for you in 2023 as well. B92.net will continue to keep you informed of all the events that are significant for Serbia, the region and the world, and we believe that you will visit our page and trust us even more in 2023.