Desperate poverty in Montenegro

This video says about itself:

This movie was made to serve as a prime example of post Yugoslav Balkan mentality.

A destruction of a state that was once economically and socially prosperous nation with high inspirations in the world’s affairs. Today, the countries that have sprang from her are only the corrupt, inefficient, filled with post Yugoslavian Balkan uncivilized ignorant mentality in other words, only the light shade of a country that was once SFR Yugoslavia.

Long live Brotherhood and Unity, long live Yugoslavia.

By Ante Dotto:

Hunger strikes spread in Montenegro

27 July 2011

Since the beginning of the year many people have gone on hunger strikes throughout Montenegro, the smallest of the states emerging after the breakup of Yugoslavia. It has a population of around 620,000.

The spate of hunger strikes reflect the desperate situation facing layers of the population amid rising social deprivation and a complete loss of confidence in the political establishment—both the judiciary and the official trade unions.

The main cause of widespread poverty and the widening social divide in Montenegro and neighbouring Balkan states is the restoration of capitalism in Eastern Europe 20 years ago. It was accomplished through a privatisation process in which formerly state-owned factories and infrastructure were sold off to private investors at fire sale prices. Most production in Montenegro has since been discontinued, with plants closed and equipment sold off.

A prime example of this process is described in the Montenegrin weekly Monitor of July 15. The article deals with the social situation in the city of Berane in the underdeveloped northern region of Montenegro. Even though the city itself has only 11,000 people—and the whole municipality around 35,000—Monitor estimates that around 10,000 jobs were lost in the “transition” since the closing down of the region’s larger companies. Currently, only 300 people in the town are employed in the private sector!

The consequences for the living standards of Berane’s citizens is shown by the example of the Arslani family, who have been poor for generations and live on meagre welfare payments. When one brother succumbed to the grinding poverty and took his own life a month ago, the other brother had to take out a loan to bury him.

The family has to bake their own bread three times a day, since they can afford very little but flour. They take their turns bathing in a tin tub after they’ve heated the water on the stove. The mother of the house exclaims, “Sometimes I don’t know which century we are living in”.

The situation is similar in another northern city of Bijelo Polje, once an industrial hub of the region. In the last couple of months, the city has seen hunger strikes at the Lenka shoe factory, the Krisma Bjelasica bakery, and by disabled workers from a number of different companies. Krisma Bjelasica workers have announced they will extend their protest by trying to block the main railway connecting Montenegro with Serbia in the north.

Talking about former Yugoslavia: the 1999 NATO war, the subsequent ethnic cleansing of most non-Albanian people from Kosovo, and the “independence” of Kosovo (not recognized by most countries in the world) have failed to bring the peace and prosperity which war propagandists claimed. Most people in Kosovo are desperately poor; and conflicts are getting bloody once again.

7 thoughts on “Desperate poverty in Montenegro

  1. Border skirmish condemned by EU

    KOSOVO: Special police withdrew from border crossings in the north today after a deal thrashed out by Nato representatives, but the breakaway province’s premier Hashim Thaci defended their initial deployment as “the right decision” despite the death of a policeman and the wounding of four others.

    The EU condemned the operation, which was designed to take control of the border with Serbia.

    Serbia does not recognise Kosovo’s independence and neither does the largely Serb population of North Kosovo.


  2. Health workers begin strikes

    MONTENEGRO: More than 4,000 public-sector health professionals in Podgorica kicked off an indefinite strike today demanding higher wages and improved working conditions.

    Two Montenegrin health unions said they would not give up until their demands are met by the government.

    They called on the rest of the country’s 4,300 medical workers to join the strike and said that patients requiring urgent care will be treated for the duration of the strike.

    The average monthly salary of Montenegrin doctors is €470 (£409) while nurses earn €270 (£235) a month.

    They are demanding a 20 per cent wage boost.


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