bosnia report
New Series No: 21/22 January - May 2001
Montenegro on the eve of independence
by Gordana Borovic, Monitor, Zarko Rakcevic, Tonino Picula

‘ "The federal government is now functioning also on Montenegro’s territory. Ladies and gentlemen, I now declare the federal government’s office in Podgorica open." And so it was, with its front door parading the FRY flag and an elegant metal plate with the inscription "Federal Government Office". The speaker was federal minister of economy Danilo Vukanovic, who added that "the logic of capital is far more important than all former, current and future speculations regarding Montenegro’s statehood". This event took place on 29 January 2001. By 30 January 2001 both flag and plate were gone, removed by the city council on the grounds that advertising material can be displayed in public places only with its permission. The Montenegrin government did not comment.’

Gordana Borovic, Monitor (Podgorica), 2 February 2001


‘Vojislav Kostunica likes to explain his "democratic nationalism" by reference to Charles de Gaulle and his vision of a nationalist France, a peaceful Europe and independence from the USA. He could, of course, learn from de Gaulle’s readiness to face up to realities in Algeria when considering his own policy towards Kosovo and Montenegro.’

Comment in Monitor (Podgorica) 9 March 2001


‘Croatian prime minister Racan and foreign minister Picula have great understanding for the choice made by Montenegro citizens. Mr Nanos Fanto [former Albanian premier] has also expressed his support for Montenegrin self-determination. Bosnia’s foreign minister Zlatko Lagumdzija has publicly stated that Sarajevo would respect the will of the Montenegrin people. Independent Montenegro will not be a factor of instability, but a bridge for renewing ties and relationships in southeastern Europe.’

Montenegrin SDP president Zarko Rakcevic, Monitor (Podgorica), 9 February 2001


‘Croatia will recognize Montenegro, if its citizens vote in favour of independence. Croatia does not wish to apply to others rules different from those it sought itself. It is our belief that the right to self-determination is a basic democratic right.’

Croatian foreign minister Tonino Picula, Monitor (Podgorica), 9 February 2001


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