Adriatic Deja Vu

winds of change

  • On December 30th, 1988 Yugoslavia’s Prime Minister Branko Mikulic resigns due to the severe economic discrepancies in a country spanning from Slovenia to Macedonia.
  • On January 11th 1989 Slovenian Democratic Union, the first independence movement in all Yugoslavia, was founded.
  • On May 20th, 1989 in Zagreb the independence movement Social-Liberal Croatian Alliance was founded.
  • On March 9th, 1990 the Lubjana’s parliament declares Slovenia’s “economic” independence. In the political elections in Zagreb and Lubjana the independence movements win triumphantly.

At the time, Milan Kucan was Slovenia’s president, after a career within Yugoslavia’s communist party. However, the opposition controls parliament, with Lojze Peterle as prime minister and Dimitri Rupel as foreign minister.

Kucan, Rupel and Peterle agreed that Yugoslavia’s political structure was failing, but they disagreed on Slovenia’s future. For Kucan independence was out of the question, while Peterle suggested a confederation only between Slovenia and Croazia. Rupel was pointing out that the only thing Yugoslavian that remained was the army and advised to build a Slovenian defense force.

Then in less than a year (in 1991) history accelerated and Slovenia gained independence. It was the unforeseen option, but time proved it to be the most favorable put forth. After less than 20 years (by 2010) Slovenians would be on average richer than Italians.

In the meanwhile, on the other side of the Adriatic, after about  two decades history appears to repeat itself. Italy is in economic shambles. It has the worst debt in Europe (120% of GDP), the worst deficit in Europe (5% of GDP), the worst recession (-6%). It’s geography and economy is more heterogeneous than Yugoslavia ever was. The first independence party in Veneto was born in 2008, and in 2010 there will be regional elections.

Now we just have to sit back, find out who will be the Venetian Kucan (the old guard politician against independence), who will be the Venetian Peterle (the politician envisioning a Padania federation), and who will be Rupel (the one that notices that the Carabinieri have the bad habit of extorting and bribing politicians).

With Slovenia, president Bush Sr. was taken by surprise and initially failed to recognize the winds of change. Let’s see if the current president of change is more farsighted.

Filipo Dal Lago
Venetian National Party (PNV)

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