Rescued from a long-dead blog

Met this morning with President Djukanovic, in the Plaza Hotel downtown. He seemed in good form, though understandably harassed. He gave me an hour of one-on-one conversation over coffee, with the only others present being his translator, and Slavica and his foreign affairs advisor Milan Rocen on the edges, and some bodyguards. His main concerns were 1) the internal dynamics of the EU encouraging nationalists in CG and Serbia; 2) safeguarding his own economic autonomy and the existing reforms; 3) the unworkability of the institutions of any federation and 4) the sheer cost of Montenegro’s contribution to keeping the Yugoslav army afloat. His determination seemed undiminished.

I told him that his weak spots were the budget deficit, the perception that they were weak on crime, and their lousy press strategy. On the budget he was a bit complacent (as was his Prime Minister when we met in January), on crime he was quite defensive, but claimed they had done a big clean-up and that the EU and Washington had declined his invitations for them to take a stronger role in policing. He took my point on their press strategy. Generally rather thrilling to be able to say this kind of thing to an actual head of an almost-internationally recognised state.

Also Elizabeth Meehan offers me the choice of “Honorary Senior Research fellow” or “Honorary Reader” at her Institute in Belfast, once I transfer the website to their keeping. So that is nice too.

On my way back up the hill from town I picked up “Bridge of Birds”, “The Ant-Men of Tibet” and “Ship of Fools” from Sterling Books. They all three look promising…

This entry was posted in Uncategorised. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Rescued from a long-dead blog

  1. mizkit says:

    My dad has a similar train story, from when he was in his early 20s and crossing Canada with no money and hadn’t eaten in a couple of days. Someone gave him twenty bucks and told him to pass it on. He’s been passing that twenty on for fifty years now.

Comments are closed.