Balkans: March 14, 2002


: Bye-bye Yugoslavia, hello Serbia-Montenegro. Well, StrategyPage has been calling the rump Yugoslav state Serbia and Montenegro for almost three years. Now well add a hyphen, as Serb and Montenegrin leaders side an EU-sponsored agreement to form a new state, officially named Serbia and Montenegro. The new federation will last at least three years. At the end of three years either nation can seek independence. Of course, the nation that was seeking more or less immediate independence was Montenegro. With the demise of Milosevic, however, that movement lost steam, though Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic swore he was aiming for independence. The EU, however, became less and less supportive. Here was the question post-Milosevic independence posed: If Montenegro goes independent, whats to keep Albanian communities from seceding in Macedonia, further complicating the Balkan puzzle? Djukanovic issued a statement that said the new agreement met Montenegros interests, but many Montenegrins (particularly his political opponents) pointed out that he had backtracked from almost three years worth of pro-independence statements. The euro (money) talks, and independence walks. According to the agreement, the state of Serbia and Montenegro will have one national president, a unicameral parliament, a council of ministers, and combined court system. (Austin Bay)


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