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Coal scuttle and axe for gasless Balkans

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Coal scuttle and axe for gasless Balkans


Bosnians out of gas have been turning to coal or wood. If it is hard for people in new EU countries to cope with no gas in the early depths of winter, try non-EU Bosnia.

Around 100,000 households in the improverished Balkan state were left in the cold by the Russian gas cuts. It has reminded people of 1990s wartime. But at least on Bosnian rural wood-cutter said he will not do as the Russians are doing with their gas: he said that even with demand high and stocks running low he will keep his prices the same. In Bulgaria, at least 65,000 households were without central heating when temperatures hit minus 10 degrees Celsius. Cornstalks served where nothing else would. The poorest EU member Bulgaria asked Brussels for help. One town official said: “All the industrial companies, public buildings, administration and so on, they don’t have anything, schools are closed, children have to stay home.” The lesson for young and old was that even when a near-neighbour has a row with Moscow (Romania lies between Bulgaria and Ukraine) it can freeze your windows. And the ice is thickening.

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