Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Montenegro breakaway vote to be fixed in February

PODGORICA, Serbia and Montenegro, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Montenegro President Filip Vujanovic called for a special February 7 session of parliament on Wednesday to schedule a referendum by the end of April on independence from Serbia.

Vujanovic made the request in a letter to parliamentary speaker Ranko Krivokapic and the speaker promptly complied.

A minimum of 45 days must elapse between setting a date and holding a vote, and the vote must take place before local elections due at the end of April, Vujnaovic's office said.

That leaves a five-week period in which the date can be set.

Montenegro's ruling coalition is intent on holding an independence vote this year to break away from the loose union it formed with Serbia in 2003 under European Union pressure, replacing what was left of Yugoslavia.

The EU would rather not see Montenegro become independent, in order to avoid further messy fragmentation of the Balkans. It has grudgingly acknowledged the Adriatic republic's right to hold the plebiscite, but wants clear, internationally accepted rules so there is no dispute about the outcome. Brussels has appointed Miroslav Lajcak of Slovakia as special envoy to help negotiate the terms of the vote with the Montenegrin government and opposition, which favours preserving the union with Serbia.

The staunchly pro-independence government is certain the result of the vote would be a majority "Yes" for breaking up the state union, despite polls which suggest the republic is split almost down the middle on the issue.

Serbia's 7.5 million people have separate laws and currency from Montenegro's 650,000 and the EU is negotiating separate economic terms for an association agreement, although it says a final deal would be signed with one country - Serbia-Montenegro.

The EU warns that a split would inevitably interrupt Stabilisation and Association Agreement talks on eventual EU membership, a first phase that is supposed to be concluded by the end of the year.

The EU also worries that a divorce between Serbia and Montenegro could complicate talks on the status of United Nations-run Kosovo province, formally a part of Serbia, which started late last year and are expected to end this year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was disturbing to hear such tragic news, but let God rest his soul.
I am a Student at Montclair Uni. and am an Orthodox/Albanian from Tirana living in NJ, USA.
Kosovo is and always will be Serbian. However, the world does know along with the Republic of Albania, that the Albanians that live within that territory are migrated. I feel ashamed when someone from Kosovo says that they are Albanian, because they are not. They do not even pronouce nor speak proper Albanian. Its ashame that "mountain poeple" have to take Albanian identity. I do not like Kosovars, due to the reason they are religiously converted from Christian to Islam. That justifies the people as cowards. Everyone else in the Balkans kept Christianity, why didn't the Kosovars? If they had kept their initial religion Christianity, during the Ottoman empire, there would not have been any issues in the Balkans.
The Kosovars are a sold nation that need to regain their identy once again, but through other means not through claiming unrightful land as their own.