The final outcome has yet to be announced, but supporters of Montenegro’s independence have already cracked open the champagne. Their celebration seems to be well founded: early results showed that more than 55 percent of people voted for the Balkan republic to separate from Serbia in Sunday’s referendum.
If that is officially confirmed, it will close the final chapter in the story of Yugoslavia and set what would be the world’s newest independent state on a course towards EU membership. The country’s prime minister Milo Djukanovic had long advocated an end to the union with Serbia.
He said: “I am convinced that we could be the next state from this region to join the European Union after Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia, which are already on the way.” Brussels welcomed what it called a successful referendum and said it would respect the result. However the pro-union camp has called for a recount, claiming that irregularities took place.