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McDonald's Arrives in Bosnia, Cevapi Purveyors Unconcerned

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The first McDonald's in Bosnia opened on Sarajevo's Marshal Tito Street yesterday, as "hundreds of Sarajevans waited in lines in heavy rain for hamburgers and french fries," according to Radio Free Europe's Balkan Service.





Neil MacDonald of the FT has a bit of backstory:

McDonald’s Corp started looking at the Balkan country of around 4m people soon after the 1992-1995 war, the bloodiest of the Yugoslav break-up, which had left 100,000 people dead and over 1m displaced. With tens of thousands of Nato peacekeepers, EU and US overseers and western aid workers around, a McDonald’s franchise seemed logical and lucrative, regardless of all the local ethnic sensitivities and complex post-war political structures.

However, he notes that "local cevapi (ground lamb and beef) and burek (meat pie) vendors... lobbied Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) politicians to block the new competitor."

While the tactic obviously didn't work, one burek monger tells a local correspondent for CafeBabel.com that he is wholly unconcerned.

"If people want burek, they want burek," he said. "There will be no substitute for burek at McDonald's."

Mayor Behmen did his best to soothe other vendors who might not have been as relaxed about the new arrival.

"Has McDonald's put pizza in danger in Italy or sausages in Munich? This will only broaden the choice," he said.

Only two questions remain: will Sarajevans choose McDonald's over the Golden Arches they've grown accustomed to?



And to what lengths will the King go in protecting his turf?


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