Montenegro secedes from Serbia

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Correction — June 21, 2006
 
Due to the sensation resulting from the passage of the referendum, the sources used by this article noted that Montenegro actually seceded. This is not true — while the referendum indeed passed, the actual independence would not be declared until later. We apologize for this inaccuracy.
The coverage of the actual independence is outlined in Montenegro prepares to declare independence.
 

Monday, May 22, 2006

Serbia and Montenegro, with Montenegro highlighted.

After a referendum, the Montenegro region of Serbia and Montenegro declares independence to form the new Republic of Montenegro. Unlike other Balkan states such as Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia, Montenegro has achieved independence without violence. "I am convinced Montenegro could be the next country from this region to join the European Union, after Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia, which are further along the process," says Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, who has promoted Montenegro's independence. It is also predicted that Montenegro will join the United Nations in September.

The referendum, with an 86.3% voter turnout, had a 55.4% approval for the secession, which satisfies the European Union's minimum 55% approval. With a population of 650,000, Montenegro is the world's newest country. Serbia reluctantly agreed to the split, and the European Union approved. Despite expectations, there were no riots that night; however, early celebrations had occurred in the capital Podgorica based off of expected results.

This is the first time Montenegro has been independent since 1916, when it became a part of Austro-Hungary. In 1918 Montenegro merged with Serbia. Soon Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia together formed "Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians", which later changed the name into Kingdom Yugoslavia. In 1945. Yugoslavia became a communist state. In 1991 and 1992 four of six Yugoslavian republics declared independence but two, Serbia and Montenegro, remained together.

Some analysts note that Serbia and Montenegro has not functioned as one state since the Belgrade agreement, signed three years ago. Each republic had separate anthems, laws, and currencies and their joint parliament did not meet very often.

Sources

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