The Prime Minister of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, has claimed victory for his independence faction following a referendum on the country’s future. Hopes were high among those in favour of a break with much larger neighbour Serbia, with the interim voting results close to the minimum needed to approve independance.
Earlier predictions of a sizeable margin for the yes-camp have changed. Experts have revised downwards the estimated numbers of yes votes. They now stand at 55.3 percent of the ballot papers counted and not 56.5. However, the minimum threshold for independence set by the EU of 55 percent has now been crossed.
Montenegro has succeeded in re-establishing its independence, claimed Djukanovic, referring back to a brief period in 1918 when the country had full autonomy. If Montenegro succeeds in its bid for independence, the Adriatic state will become the newest, and one of the smallest, in Europe. It would be the final rupture between the six republics of the former Yugoslavia, whose union fell apart amid much bloodshed in the early 90’s.