Got an email from an international official based in Belgrade about the report we published yesterday:
This is an astonishgly bad report. Apart from being the only organisation to accuse the government of’stuffing the ballot boxes” ICG is foregoing its last shred of independent credibility. There are legitimate reasons to criticize the constitution, none of which is addressed by ICG — instead, you try (without any basis of argumentation) to portray the constitution as an obstruction to Kosovo independence. What on eareth persuaded you to dilute ICG’s credibility further by circulating this ver poor report.
(All typos as originally received.)
So I replied,
Dear Mr X,
Thank you for your comments.
In my view, and that of my colleagues, it is those international officials who refused to publicly acknowledge what the dogs in the street are saying about the conduct of the Serbian referendum who need to worry about their independent credibility.
I do look forward to your office publishing its analysis of the legitimate reasons to criticise the Serbian constitution; I will be glad to make a point-by-point comparison with our analysis, which as far as I know is the only one out there in English.
Our head of office in Belgrade is with me in Brussels at the moment, but I am sure he will be glad to engage your office in dialogue on these and other issues on his return.
It was the kind of afternoon when I was writing messages like that!