Congratulations to Montenegro ! Wonderful news.
Aside from the wonderfull news there's another side to each story,ie,the map of Europe will change again with a new nation on it,as well as a nation that will/can not survive without other countries handing out,like most in the region.Besides a beautifull coastline,rocks,mountains and valleys there is just a minimum of tourism and hardly anything else,it would take billions of Euro's to at least make that profitable.
The EU now faces another problem in how to deal with yet another nation depending on it in a monetary way and of ill repute.Montenegro has largely survived the past 15 years by smuggling on a huge scale,cigarettes,cars and...people.There they say Montenegro is one big parking lot of stolen cars,hence the joke;"Come to Montenegro.......your car is already there!"
Still,to PM Djukanovic independence is a victory as he has done everything the past 10 years to get there.Now he faces the task to convince the almost 45% who opposed independence,consisting largely of montenegrins who work and live in Serbia,the about 30% of the population who consider themselves Serbian, the muslims in the Montenegrin part of the Sandzak area,who will find themselves seperated by a border from their relatives in the Serbian part of the area.Ruffly said,the opponents of independence are among the elderly,the rural community and those with a minimum of education,the majority in favor is among well educated(especially young-) people in the cities and coastal area.
Rests Serbia,that now faces it's one but last drama in the dismantling of former Yugoslavia,(the last one being Kosovo that will gain independence later this year)and will find itself back to it's old pre-Balkan war borders of 1912.For the past 15 years,during Milosevic as well as during the democrats it has treated Montenegro as a quantité négligeable,Montenegro didn't matter,didn't count,wasn't consulted.Serbia didn't do anything to keep Montenegro within it's borders,nothing,and upto a week ago didn't even think/believe Montenegro would really gain independence.Serbia looked only towards itself,like a stubborn or authistic child without any national strategy or long term planning,it has not learned of it's recent history.At all.Or like the Serbian newsbulletin VIP puts it;"It seems Serbia looks at all it's problems as treason by others instead of lack of own strategy".
Upto a week ago,according to VIP,the Serb government refused to even contemplate/accept the possibility of a separation from Montenegro,no national debate,no government council about what to do if Montenegro chooses independence,nada!VIP said that's largely due to the large number of pro-serb Montenegrins and confidants in Serb PM Kostunica's staff.
The biggest problem after the separation for Europe will probably not focus on another small poor and divided republic gaining independence,but to weltfremd authistic Serbia.
note:translated from an editorial in NRC,a quality dutch newspaper.