Skip to comments.Montenegro is no one's junior partner
Posted on 05/03/2006 10:18:06 AM PDT by mark502inf
The bloody collapse of Yugoslavia shamed Europe. But those of us who live in the Balkans know particularly well that dismantling that artificial state involved a series of murderous ethnic and religious wars and cost at least 100,000 lives, while hundreds of thousands had to flee their homes. This is not to mention the physical devastation. Such appalling and widespread massacres and ethnic cleansing Europe had not seen since the defeat of Nazism.
There is, however, one positive story from those dreadful years. It involves my own small but fiercely proud multi-ethnic country, Montenegro, which was wiped off the map by the Allies after the first world war and forced to become part of the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which was renamed Yugoslavia. Before that, Montenegro had taken pride in its 1,000-year history and its freedom-loving spirit, the only nation in the region not to have succumbed to Turkish rule during the Ottoman empire.
But today our inspiration for restoring statehood is not derived solely from national and historic sentiments. It is about the future. We want to take charge of our - European - destiny.
We Montenegrins, who hope to reclaim our national sovereignty and independence in a referendum this month and then accelerate accession talks with the European Union, have more recent reasons to be proud. We are the only one of the six former Yugoslav republics in which there was no war at the time of Yugoslavia's disintegration. Uniquely, we defied the evil that swept across Yugoslavia in the 1990s and stood up for all that is best in European culture. Our mixed population - Montenegrins, Serbs, Bosniaks, Muslims, Albanians and Croats - stood together throughout the horrors. We refused to join the madness and slaughter each other. We took in wave after wave of refugees from the killing fields across our borders, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. At times, refugees accounted for more than 20 per cent of our population.
You might have thought the EU would hold Montenegro up as an example to the region. Instead, it sometimes seems Montenegro is being punished by the rest of Europe for its generosity and self-restraint. When the wars ended, my country was the only one of the Yugoslav republics (Kosovo is a province of Serbia) not allowed by the international community to go its own way as an independent nation. Instead, under the Belgrade agreement of 2002, we consented - after overwhelming pressure from the EU - to stay in a kind of union with Serbia that is unknown in international practice. Consequently, we had to apply for membership of the EU as one nation.
So why was the EU so determined to force us to retain a link with Serbia that was disliked by most Montenegrins? Part of the problem, perhaps, was that Europe was preoccupied with the possibility of another bloody round of destabilising breakaways in the Balkans. Was the EU worried that an independent Montenegro would set a "bad example" to those in Kosovo who wanted independence from Serbia?
Whatever the reason, it is simply not fair to deny us our democratic and national rights in order to set an example to others. Luckily, the Belgrade agreement gave us a way out. It stipulated that after three years both Serbia and Montenegro could hold a referendum to decide whether these old Balkan and European states would head for Europe as independent nations just as the other Yugoslav republics did.
Montenegro decided to exercise this option and the vote will be held on May 21. Our decision did not please the EU, which last month imposed yet another condition on us. Our independence would not be recognised - and so talks on joining the EU would be impossible - unless at least 55 per cent of those voting endorsed independence. As prime minister, I protested that this was undemocratic. But I decided that we had no option but to accept it, convinced that a majority of Montenegrins is determined to enter the EU.
The alternative evidently preferred by the EU - for Montenegro and Serbia to attempt to join the EU as a single entity - has already been fraught with difficulties. To put it frankly, the choice is between Montenegro joining the EU as an independent, modern state with a clear sense of identity, or joining as the junior partner in an unbalanced, dysfunctional union with big brother Serbia, constantly fearful of losing our identity. The truth is that the imposed union between our two states does not work properly and its continued existence would delay the integration of both states into the EU.
Montenegro's economic record in the past three years is impressive. As an independent Balkan state within the EU, we can rapidly become one of the most developed nations in the region. So, within a few weeks, I believeMontenegro will become a sovereign state, ready, willing and able to take its rightful place in the EU.
If a substantial majority of my fellow countrymen and women vote for independence, do not take this as a sign that we are small-minded, inward-looking, Balkan nationalists. We have proved we are not. Instead, accept the result of the referendum as a welcome victory for democracy, tolerance and, above all, for European values.
The writer is prime minister of Montenegro
Hey, got those pancakes ready yet or do you need more time at the dentist?
But didn't you tell me that the last of the sanctions would remain until Mladic and Karazdic were captured?
Did you get that wrong as well?
It sure can't get any worse! But then it does.
I had to stay up late and work the phone out to your part of the USA tonight, but it's after midnight now, so I'm hitting the rack.
What do you expect from the Soros fluffers and the Clinton kneepad brigade, anyway?
Plus the mafioso Djukanovic is a liar when he says that montenegro was never under the Turks. In fact, similarly to Serbia, Montenegro was under the rule of the Ottoman Turks for the duration of their reign in the Balkans.
I guess he is fooling people like you markie but not the rest of us. Djuka must be thinking of Zeta - the Serbian independent principality that replaced the ancient Kingdom of Duklja.
In any case the Montenegrans are Serbians.
Just a few tidbits. I think I shall go get some coffee now..
The head troglodyte speaks forth from his rectum, as usual.
Add this post to the list...
Muslim is a religious designation.
Actually, Montenegrins are themselves Serbs. In fact, historically the pro-independence element of Montenegrin society, or 'Greens' based their pro-independence claims on the notion that the Montenegrins are purer or truer Serbs than their lowland brethren. Also, have you bothered to ask yourself if Djukanovic's motivation for independence is really pure...or something not all together savory.
"Fiercely proud"? Yes, fiercely proud center of Serbian identity and rebirth. If tiny Montenegro separates from Serba it will become prey to "multi-ethnic" (Albanian/Muslim etc ) forces.
BTW, Radovan Karadzic - the leader of Serbs in Bosnia is Montenegrin and so was Vuk Karadzic - the reformer of modern Serbian language. Others like current President of Serbia Boris Tadic and actress Milla Jovovich are Montenegrin too.
So when the current President of Serbia Boris Tadic is going to get away? Is he under house arrest?
Also Milosevic was a Montenegrin Serb by origin, (although born in Pozarevac, Serbia)
Perhaps, but look at what the citizenry are looking at.
Former Yugoslav Republics, date of independence, & est. 2005 per capita GDP (PPP)
Slovenia: June '91 $21,000
Croatia: June '91 $11,600
Macedonia: September '91 $7,600
Bosnia: March '92 $6,800
Serbia & Montenegro $2,700
While some of that has to do with the north-west of former Yugoslavia being traditionally economically more developed, the majority of the difference is due to Serbia's inability to pursue a course of enlightened self interest. If you were a Montenegrin voter, how much weight would you give to ethnic solidarity vs. the fact that everybody in the neighborhood, to include Albanians, are economically better off than you are and the longer you wait for Serbia to get its sh*t together the further behind you're falling in relation to everybody else?
If it wasn't Djukanovic, it likely would have been someone else trying to free Podgorica from Belgrade's orbit.
Lovely place.. SERBIA should toss them to the "curb"!!
LOL.... mark should change his handle to "dumbbbbbbbb".
This isn't true. It appears that way. Long story short, the CIA got hold of Milosevic in the 1980's after he came to the U.S. and study banking. They turned him to politics and work to becoming president. Milo returned to Serbia but was turned back around by the Serbian nationalist to become a nationalist. The U.S. lost him, so, the Clinton Admin, Introduced the Muzzies from Afghanstan to Bosnia to stir up the Serbian rule, and fabricated much of what the Serbs are accused of. However, the Serbian leaders and paramilitaries got somewhat heavy handed and did execute without due process. This carried all the way to Croatia and certainly to the fabrications about Kosovo that people have seemed to forget about. People still believe that 8,000 Muslims were murdered in Srebrenica for example. The whole idea was and is to break up Yugoslavia enroute to the Russian states as well. The Albanians are working hard to bring about the Greater Albania, as their control of Montenegro will be to vote for Independence. Second, Kosovo independence, third; start rumors and accusations about how ill treated Albanians are in South Presevo (referred to as East Kosovo), and certainly provocations in the western part of Macedonia. I suspect that the powers that be are working to eliminate Macedonia by 2008 to 2010.
It has little to do with Serbian oppression. It has to do with provocation and exploitation. Ever since 1999, not one wimper of suppression was uttered from the Albanians in the Bujanovoc or Presevo. As a matter of fact, during the days of the UCPMB, one of the leaders, a criminal named Shifket Misliu, was threatened by Albanians in Presevo to leave them alone and stop asking for support of the UCPMB. These are the facts.............
you are right on track...........keep moving on. good job.