Montenegro | Crucial census for national identity
Defence Redefined
Published on 01/12/2023 at 13:03

The December 3 census in Montenegro seems to be a major issue for both the country and Serbia.

On Sunday, the Montenegrin population will declare their national identity, with around 600,000 citizens likely to declare themselves Serbs. Belgrade is even reportedly pressuring them to do so, something Montenegrins don’t like at all, given the region’s violent past.

Following the pressure exerted by Serbia on the Montenegrin minority to declare themselves Serbs, there are serious concerns even about the creation of tension or incidents before Sunday’s census.

Billboards promoting Serbian identity have been placed on the country’s streets. Montenegrin authorities believe that more than 50% will declare that they speak Serbian, which could mean the return of the Serbian language in schools and as an official language of the state, Euronews reports.

According to official data, Montenegrins represent 45% of the population and Serbs almost 28%. But even nationalist Montenegrins have Serbian as their mother tongue.

Those who were against the independence referendum are now in power and have imposed the census. They see it as an opportunity to strengthen their arguments and influence to change the Constitution regarding the position of the Serbian language and nationality, says Miroslav Doderovic, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Podgorica.

In 2006, Montenegro withdrew from the confederation with Serbia. This year a new governing majority emerged that ousted the Montenegrin Nationalists who had been in power since the country’s independence until today.

Also read: Serbia | Over 15,000 illegal weapons surrendered




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