Today the tiny region of Montenegro of old Yugoslavia held a poll and voted itself into nationhood. They separated from Serbia with over 55% of the vote.
The official results are expected today. If, as expected, the prediction is confirmed, it will establish a new small state in the Balkans and leave a shrunken Serbia nursing intense grievances from 15 years of Yugoslav disintegration. But while the margin of victory appeared solid, the projection was close enough to the threshold set by the EU to make a dispute over the outcome almost inevitable.
The region is only about 10% native Montenegrin, the rest are Serbian. So you figure it out. Serbia here is the big loser, and they have to see it that way. Boy are they sore losers.
The leader of the pro-Serbia unionist side, Predrag Bulatovic, refused to concede defeat and talked of "destabilisation" and "tricks."
Not being able to bury the hatchet and put the past behind them, but stew on their ill fortune and loss of libido, is not conducive to keeping it all together. As if losing Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia years ago didn’t send a flashing red signal to Belgrade, this sure will. Serbia will go down in history as yet another community of people who thought they had some God given right to dominate the other cultures of an artificial construct of post-WWI Europe. They picked the wrong era of humanity to try and pull that kind of stuff off in, as Western culture decided it was better to split all that up. And thus three new countries were born in the 90s.
Instead of learning a lesson about being human, they decided to pick on what little they had left, as bullies often will. Those kind folks didn’t take that well either, and now negotiations in Vienna appear to have the region of Kosovo joining the Montenegrins in fast retreat.
The separation won’t be immediate, and they are still competing in this year’s World Cup as one nation. Sort of swan song for the old country. I raise a toast to the passing state of Yugoslavia. They gave us Tito. They gave us really cheep little cars. They gave us a memorable winter Olympics and something useful for our last President to do overseas. We note that the only thing constant in our world is change, and wish the poor bitter people of Serbia well, and hope they don’t try anything rash as a result of all this.
Hat tip to Publius.