March 15, 2002
11:57 AM   Subscribe

Yugoslavia. Serbia-and-Montonegro.
posted by skwm (16 comments total)

 
[cool format on the post skwm]

Mr. Milosevic clung to the fiction of Yugoslavia in an effort to argue that all he had ever wanted to do was rule over a multiethnic Yugoslav state, whose breakup was the result of its rejection by other republics like Croatia. His own decisive role in the collapse of the country always eluded him.

nice little jab at the end there...interesting article.
posted by th3ph17 at 12:14 PM on March 15, 2002


(registration required to read article)
posted by magnificentsven at 12:44 PM on March 15, 2002


Nice. I've always liked Montenegro as a country name -- "Black Mountain."
posted by me3dia at 12:44 PM on March 15, 2002


"It's an important signal that the Balkans are not a place for fragmentation," Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy chief, said in an interview here

Uh huh. No fragmentation in the Balkans, nosiree. When I say "Balkanized," I mean something else. Like... "hyphenated."
posted by rodii at 12:54 PM on March 15, 2002


The plan calls for the two nations to "harmonize" these elements as well as agree on a joint constitution.
Why is harmonize in quotes? Is it only implied but not going to be put in practice?
posted by riffola at 1:08 PM on March 15, 2002


Darn it! I just bought a new world map...

:)
posted by dejah420 at 1:19 PM on March 15, 2002


There's more than a hint of irony there, and Solana must know that his words are hollow. I give this union ten years at most.

riffola, surely that's the language used in the agreement. Not all short-phrase quotes are actually scare quotes.

Here's the thing. The vision I had of the 21st century was an evolution toward federalized macrostates such as the EU. My belief was that inside the EU, regional self-determination would be limited to localized cultural issues and with rights guarantees from the outside, smaller, specialized monoculture states could become the norm -- everywhere from Northern Ireland to the Basque country to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (yes, that's still its full name, because of Greek objections). At this point, I'm less sure, not the least because I'm concerned about directions the EU is taking (e.g. flipping the structure of the US upside down). The necessary consensus in favor of national sovereignty issues makes it more difficult for the EU to collectively police abuses of same on its flanks.
posted by dhartung at 1:28 PM on March 15, 2002


CIA factbook entry on Yugoslavia.

Some officials in Serbia — whose approximately 10 million people dwarf Montenegro's population — said the ties were so loose it was unclear what exactly made Serbia and Montenegro one unified country.

Montenegro's been Western-leaning for quite some time. Their currency is the Euro, they're culturally distinct, they manage their own Customs, and speak different languages. What makes them one country is the fact that Serbs outnumber Montenegrins about 13-1, and if the Montenegrins get any real serious ideas about independance, they'll get a huge battle-hardened Serb army marching through downtown Podgorica faster than you can say "Kosovo". And the EU that's going to be considering Serbia-Montenegro for membership in 10 years is likely to include Slovenia and Croatia, who aren't going to allow it.

Mr. Solana has made the case that the European Union wished to consider Serbia and Montenegro for membership as one nation, and that a failure to unite could count against them.

This is diplomatese that he explained that he'd consulted EU members and come to the conclusion that "Well, you Montenegrins may be screwed now, but not half as badly as you'd be if you declared independance."
posted by swell at 7:08 PM on March 15, 2002


Thanks dhartung, back to grammar school I go :)
posted by riffola at 8:06 PM on March 15, 2002


When I say "Balkanized," I mean something else.

Actually, I always took 'Balkanised' to mean the exact opposite, rodii: following the Versailles settlement, Balkanisation was more like the creation of internal rivalries within artificial, externally-imposed state boundaries, without respect to traditional affiliations. So, Yugoslavia; Czecho-Slovakia; the various bits of the Ottoman Empire. (And I know that dictionary.com agrees with you, but I'm sceptical about it; the term's not in the OED, and that's the dictionary I trust.)

And swell, I suspect that the 'failure to unite' thing is based more on macroeconomics than politics: one wrecked economy is more likely to recover than two competing ones. You're right about the likelihood of Slovenian/Croatian resistance to EU membership, but by that time, they won't have the right to veto.
posted by riviera at 11:28 PM on March 15, 2002


Montenegro's been Western-leaning for quite some time. Their currency is the Euro

Where did you hear this, swell? I live in the Euro-zone, and have never heard that Montenegro is part of it ??
posted by different at 1:20 AM on March 16, 2002


Not part of the Euro-zone proper, different; it just uses the Euro (like Kosovo) because it adopted the DM as hard currency.
posted by riviera at 2:01 AM on March 16, 2002


Balkanize: to break up (as a region or group) into smaller and often hostile units (Merriam-Webster).

PS: Can anyone recommend a good read (on or offline) on the Balkan history and politics?
posted by justlooking at 2:25 AM on March 16, 2002


different - from the linked NYT article:
For now, at least, Montenegro will continue to use the euro, instead of the Yugoslav dinar, as its currency and will control its own customs regulations.

posted by swell at 6:14 AM on March 16, 2002


Cool, thanks swell and riviera. I did read the link, but obviously not carefully enough :)
posted by different at 8:24 AM on March 16, 2002


What makes them one country is the fact that Serbs outnumber Montenegrins about 13-1, and if the Montenegrins get any real serious ideas about independance, they'll get a huge battle-hardened Serb army marching through downtown Podgorica faster than you can say "Kosovo".

Swell, that's ridiculous considering that most "Montenegrins" are Serbs. "Montenegrin" is not an ethnicity in any sense, it's a regional distinction. Montenegrins are Serbs, Croats, Albanians and Bosnian Muslims, but the majority in the region are Serbs. I'm sick to death of this misinformed, simplistic, black and white image of Serbs being the absolute bad guy in every scenario pertaining to the balkans. It just isn't so.
posted by eclectic glamazon at 8:44 AM on March 16, 2002


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