Friday, July 16, 2004

Yes, let's all just return to the city-state

/ countries / proliferation / ban needed/
That's exactly what the Balkans need: more independent countries[/sarcasm]... This is ethnologically unfounded and economically foolish... I have a feeling that Montenegrins in Serbia are more than Montenegrins in Montenegro. It's like a (poorer and more dependent) Crete secceding from Greece.
Apparently this is the new Montenegrin flag the article is talking about. Note that it isn't the 1918 flag, as probably it is considered too close to the current S&M (we'll lose this lovely acronym as well) flag. More about the Montenegrin flag here.
Plus, now we can really have all-ex-Yugoslav European Basketball semi-finals...Great.

1 comment:

talos said...

old comments

Doug Muir:

Montenegrin independence is a deeply silly idea. And most Montenegrins know it!

What's going on here is Montenegro holding itself for ransom. See, if they make a really convincing case that they're about to bolt for independence, then (they think) the Serbs will give them a better deal when it's time to renegotiate the S&M union in a couple of years. Hey, it's worked once already — the present deal is far better for Montenegro than it should be. (Frex, M'gro has 8% of the population but 50% of the ambassadors and diplomatic staff. A Belgrade acquaintance of mine dryly asked if they could find that many M'grins who could read…)

Of course, sooner or later they're going to miscalculate, and push the Serbs too far.

Doug M.

2004-07-24 14:13

Somehow I get the feeling that this isn't a bluff… But you might very well be right.

2004-07-24 23:48
Doug Muir:

It's a bluff. It's not hard to rent a crowd of flag-waving patriots in M'gro. (Or anywhere else in the former YU.) But sooner or later Serbia will call the bluff, and then Montenegro will suddenly be in a very interesting situation.

Note that this is rather similar to the way Slovakia split from the Czechs.

Djukanovic is a clever, amoral opportunist. (I know, I know… the very last thing you'd expect to find running a republic of the former Yugoslavia.) Like some other clever, amoral opportunists, he's had a good long run, with some remarkable accomplishments. But he's nearly painted himself into a corner in the last year or so. The economy isn't growing, FDI isn't flowing in, the Serbs can't stand him, people are getting unhappy about things like dead journalists, and the international community is no longer charmed by his 'look at me! I'm a plucky democratic patriot from an appealing small nation' act.

So, time to play the independence card again, and see what more he can screw out of Serbia.

I think the Serbs will grit their teeth and let him get away with it one more time. Losing M'gro would be a huge psychological blow, and the fragile coalition government in Belgrade might not survive. But I can't see this working too much longer.

Doug M.

2004-07-25 02:55