‘Independent Montenegro unavoidable’

22 May 2006

‘Independent Montenegro unavoidable’

SP Euro-MP Erik Meijer, an observer at the referendum on independence for Montenegro, said: “The vote has been conducted in an extremely correct and meticulous manner. The result will lead to an independent Montenegro. This was unavoidable, actually, and I would expect it to be respected by all of Montenegro’s citizens.”

In performing his duties as an observer, Erik Meijer has, during the voting, seen nothing which could be regarded as an irregularity. “The polling booths were staffed by both supporters and opponents of independence who cooperated in an exemplary fashion. The vote was extremely well-organised and with great mutual respect. I would think that this indicates that the result will in the end be accepted by everyone.”

Meijer, moreover, does not believe that this will produce any great change in Montenegro: “Since 1999 the country has been so autonomous that formal independence will lead mainly to change abroad, with other countries accepting the situation, for example in relation to Montenegran passports. I don’t think we need to fear serious disorder, or that the result of the referendum will lead to some kind of civil war.”

At over eighty percent, the outcome was exceptionally high, which, Meijer argues, “means that the decision must be taken extremely seriously. When I spoke on Saturday to Montenegro’s prime minister he was already convinced that whatever the outcome the union with Serbia wasn any case set to end. The call for formal independence will mark this more clearly.”

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