Montenegro to separate from Yugoslavia?

President Milo Djukanovic of Montenegro is in favour of independence from Yugoslavia and makes a public statement which calls for the election of a majority of pro-independence Members of Parliament in next Sunday’s general election. This would enable the Parliament to call for a referendum in which, it is hoped, the Montenegrin people could be convinced by economic arguments to vote in favour of a separation from the Federal State of Yugoslavia. Popular unrest is high, since 30% of the working population is affected by unemployment and less than 20% receive a regular, guaranteed salary. The Montenegrin economist Nebojsa Medojevic claims : “Of the 350,000 Montenegrins of working age, only 65,000 receive a regular salary”. Many Montenegrin economists claim that the only way to re-launch the country’s economy is through independence. “My country does not have any weight in the present scenario with Serbia. The Federation only serves to block development. Political uncertainty discourages investment and so it is time for us to act,” said Mr. Medojevic. President Djukanovic’s economic advisor, Miodrag Vukovic, claims that since 1999, the Yugoslav currency (dinar) has been progressively substituted by the Deutschmark. This policy was adopted by Montenegro to give added support to the economy against Belgrade’s inflationist tendencies of recent years and the constant devaluation of the dinar. The idea of a referendum, however, does not please all the political parties in Montenegro. 600,000 Montenegrins depend on Serbia, where they work, for their jobs.Whatever the outcome of the forthcoming elections, it is certain that there is a growing independence movement within Montenegro

TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON