Montenegro - Part 17

posted by usha on 2006/03/13 18:05

[ Montenegro ]

The Montenegro-myth is kept alive, as I realized when browsing through Globe & Mail's Balkans series. Interestingly, the legends of Montenegro's tradition in indepence and "freedom" which is listed at the end of the article Will Montenegro be Europe's newest state? by Doug Saunders, chief of the Globe and Mail's London-based European Bureau, under the title Split Decision are thwarted by a statement by Nebojša Medojević (Group for Change):
"It's a criminal elite fighting for their own freedom, not the freedom of the people," said Nebojsa Medojevic, a Podgorica pollster who has recently launched a political party, Group for Change. "Montenegro is a millennium old, but it has never been a democratic country -- the only independence it has was a gift from Slobodan Milosevic in 1992. The people launching this referendum want to portray themselves as fathers of the nation, but . . . they're simple criminals."

Of course, it is a powerful signal to end an article about the probable Montenegrin independence from Serbia with this comment. More so, because the other statements in favor of Montenegrin indepence in the near future don't argue quite rationally or based on "facts" for the split from Serbia, they rather draw the picture of Serbia being Montenegro's raper and millstone on Montenegro's neck on her way to European values and economy. Hence, these opinions suffer from the widespread repression of the own responsibility for the break of former Yugoslavia and the resulting bad reputation.

The list of important historical facts about Montenegro, right after the above quote by the founder of the Group for Change, starts, of course, with the only and singularly powerful heritage of freedom (that comes close to a state of being elected):

Unlike most of its neighbours, Montenegro maintained de facto independence from Ottoman rule and was governed by a succession of prince-bishops until the 19th century.

There is nothing to discuss about this historical fact, though there is another effect of Montenegro's respective traditions of ruling and keeping its freedom which is also named in Saunders' article:

"They want to make a small, private country, which would be completely owned by just a few families. And it goes against the trend in Europe now. We're in the midst of a process of European integration, so why at this moment would we want another independent state?" (Božidar Milović, a leader of the opposition Socialist People's Party of Montenegro)

Though mistrusting a bit the speaker and his power-games, the statement is worth thinking about. Nevertheless, I am not so sure about the the European trend(s). The trend of internationalization caused diverse kinds of - maybe even stronger - localisation and separation trends. Within these, the "Montenegrin myth" could be a powerful instrument.



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