MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti) – Simon Gwyn Roberts, the deputy head of the University of Chester School of Media, draws parallels between Wales' potential independence following a referendum in Scotland and Montenegro's secession from Yugoslavia in 2006 in a new study published by ClickonWales on Monday.
According to Roberts, the independence of Montenegro was largely forged by the political class in the traditional Montenegrin "heartlands" against the will of the Montenegrin population, a third of which identified themselves as "Serbs".
"The political class in Montenegro saw their opportunity for independence despite the relative lack of popular will", Roberts' statement reads. "They wanted to join the EU and wanted to cement their own power base. The hopeless imbalance in population with their Serbian neighbors added to the pressure to call a referendum. Even then, support was limited with the "yes" vote backed largely by that political class."
In analyzing the political life in Wales with that in Montenegro back in 2006, Roberts notes that there is a similar picture.
Namely, "British Wales", which is English-speaking and Tory-voting, has always been against a split from the United Kingdom. When compared to Montenegro, 70 percent of people living in Northern Montenegro, which borders Serbia and Bosnia, similarly opposed the independence of Montenegro in 2006.
In the meantime, the Welsh-speaking population has always sought separation from the UK just as people of the traditional Montenegrin heartlands did, where 86 percent of the people were for independence.
To further prove his message, Roberts noted that both in Yugoslavia and in the United Kingdom the peoples were held together through a unifying ideology or factor: Communism in Yugoslavia, Protestantism in the United Kingdom. Besides, according to Roberts, Serbia and Montenegro had close historical and religious ties, with Serbs "seeing no real distinction".
To conclude, Roberts stressed that independence is not necessarily a matter of civic identity, ClickonWales reported Monday.
"… the example of Montenegro does demonstrate that independence is not necessarily just a matter of civic identity, nationalism or self-determination, but can become a kind of "default option"," the article by Simon Gwyn Roberts, the deputy head of the University of Chester School of Media, claims.
Montenegro's independence was proclaimed in 2006 with only 55.5 percent of the population standing in support.
Roberts' study comes amid the upcoming Scottish referendum this September 18, which could see Scotland independent from the United Kingdom. Many experts already predict that the vote will have a major impact on Wales, which inspired by Scotland"s example, may also claim its independence in a few years.