I would like to add that both the official representatives of the Balkan
nation-states and most "ordinary people" see them being "at the crossroads of
the East and the West" as the main cause of their troubles - both past and
present. However, many other parts of Europe were at this crossroads at some
points in their history, like Russia, Finland, or Spain. This is perhaps a
remnant of the belief (quite often found in some "traditional cultures") that a
specific ethnic group is located in the center of the Universe, along the axis
mundi, so that anything happening to an ethnic group affects the Universe as a
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