I was reading the article "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" by Mr Slavko Živanov, and I could not help but notice how biased it is, not to mention that Mr Živanov provides completely false information to his readers.
There is nothing at all in the article about the role Montenegro and its leadership played in toppling Slobodan Milošević, for example, by sheltering Serbian opposition leaders and media in Montenegro. Mr Živanov must know about this, but somehow "forgot" to mention it.
Also, he does not explain at all why a huge majority of Montenegrins did not take part in the federal election on 24 September 2000 but instead follows the new official "democratic" line in Serbia. [On 6 July 2000, Milošević rushed a set of constitutional changes through the federal legislature under which the Yugoslav head of state and the upper house would both be directly elected, thereby reducing Montenegro's representation strictly to its share of Yugoslavia's population—about 7%—whereas previously both republics had equal representation and the president was elected by the parliament; as a result Montenegro refused to take part in the fall elections, ed].
The current federal government and the president are illegal and illegitimate, because they were elected on the basis of unlawful changes to the constitution. Vojislav Koštunica [the current Yugoslav president, ed], the "legalist," suddenly "forgot" that. Furthermore, in its proposal on redefining the federation, the current administration offers more or less the very "solutions" proposed by Milošević in his 6 July constitution. I wonder why Mr Živanov had no room for these facts in his article?
He says that Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović took Milošević's side in the election by boycotting it. He does not say what would have happened if Milošević had won. The Democratic Opposition of Serbia had nothing to lose; Đukanović did. It would have meant the end of Montenegro as a state.
Mr Živanov notes that Đukanović treats the new Serbian authorities the same as he treated Milošević, but he fails to notice that Belgrade is following in Milošević's footsteps on all issues apart from perhaps threatening by military force. That would not suit its new image of "democracy and co-operation"—with everybody apart from The Hague, that is.
Moreover, it is not true that foreign aid is no longer going to Podgorica directly, but Mr Živanov also forgets to say that not a penny of the money sent to Yugoslavia has reached Montenegro yet, nor will it in the near future. That is one more reason that the majority of Montenegrins want their country to be independent.
Lastly, I would be interested to know on which basis Mr Živanov makes the claim that "Serbian voters, at least in their present mood, would almost unanimously choose to live without Montenegro." These must be the results of his own private polls, because I have not heard of any such official opinion surveys.
However, if this is, in fact, true, then what is the problem? Let's separate.
Mihailo Jovović, 6 February 2001
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