Neoliberalism and Protectorate States in the post-Yugoslav Balkans
February 19, 2008
By Global Balkans
"......Tariq Ali: Well, I mean the first question which arises is: transition from what to what or from what to where? And for me the big tragedy of Yugoslavia is that it was split up.
This was a country in the middle of Europe where different communities lived with each other for 50 years quite well. And it is not suddenly that they developed ethnic hatreds and killed each other. It had material bases for it. And that material bases was the insistence of the IMF on the implementation of its program, which broke the unity of the Yugoslav Army which couldn`t be paid. It was the intervention of some of the European powers, mainly the new Germany after the collapse of the Wall, which encouraged the secession of Slovenia and subsequently encouraged the separation of Croatia. So I hold the Germans largely responsible for breaking up the Yugoslav federation.
Now this doesn`t mean that there weren`t contradictions within the country, but in my opinion these contradictions could have been sorted out by the European Union if it had been visionary and farsighted - offering a billion dollars to Yugoslavia to put its house in order, to democratize itself more, to remain a federation, to give to Kosovans the same rights as those enjoyed by the Croats and the Slovenians. And it probably would have happened.
But that`s not the way they decided to go about it. Then, once you have a process of separation and partition beginning – people panic, you know, the worst comes out in people, they sometimes want to drive what they regard as the enemy ethnic community out of their locality. We saw this all in India and Pakistan in 1947 when they were broken up and a million people died in that particular partition. It was horrific. This is what partitions tend to do......."