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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kapital's rich pickings in 'liberated' Montenegro

I have always maintained that the demonisation of the late Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and the destruction of his country came about not because Milosevic was an ethnic cleanser (he wasn't), nor because he was a dictator (he wasn't), but because he was running the 'wrong' sort of economy.

Yugoslavia under Milosevic had publicly owned petroleum, mining, car and tobacco industries, and 75% of industry was state or socially owned. In 1997, a privatisation law had stipulated that in any sell-offs, at least 60% of shares had to be allocated to a company's workers.

The high priests of neo-liberalism were not happy. At the Davos summit early in 1999, Tony Blair berated Belgrade, not for its handling of Kosovo, but for its failure to embark on a programme of "economic reform" - new-world-order speak for selling state assets and running the economy in the interests of foreign capital.

Now of course Milosevic is dead, and the Balkans have been 'liberated' from his 'tyrannical' rule (under which over 20 political parties freely operated). And Kapital is free to go anywhere in the region!

The newly 'independent' Montenegro is providing particularly rich pickings for the global financial/business elite, as this Daily Mail report reveals.

What was a Yugoslav army/navy dockyard in the Milosevic era is now a piece of real estate owned by TriGranit, Hungary's biggest property developer. And what do we know about TriGranit?

It is co-owned by a Hungarian-born Canadian billionaire named Peter Munk and Nat Rothschild. Munk, 80, is owner of Barrick Gold, the world's largest gold producing company. He was advised to invest in Montenegro by the Rothschild family, with whom he has long enjoyed business ties. Then he made a call to Deripaska. 'Oleg made the first phone call to the prime minister (Djukanovic)(pictured above) and opened the door for me,' Mr Munk explained. But Munk and Rothschild were not alone in the project. Also on board are Nat's father Lord Rothschild and two other business big names. One, Bernard Arnault, the chairman of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, adds lustre.

The toppling of Milosevic and the destruction of his country has certainly proved profitable for some, hasn't it!

As Monsieur Verdoux, the eponymous anti-hero of Chaplin's classic film said: "Wars- conflict- it's all business!"


Anonymous said...

Wonder out of Tivat, in Montenegro, and in 5 minute drive you will find yourself in a village with no running water or electricity with people on the edge of existence. The governing clique of killers and thieves of this country have hijacked the country's wealth and are now holding its citizens to ransom. They have established private police force (run also by criminals) and have dismantled the army so that none can possibly try to overturn them from the powerful throne. Mandelson's talk of Montenegrin progress is a shameful example of what has Western world done to Yugoslavia in 1999 (Montenegro was part of it in 99).
We all knew then and even more today that the aim of the bombing in 99 was not to save Kosovo Albanians but to establish a free market economy in Yugoslavia and plunder its wealth through cheap state owned companies buyouts (coal mining, electrical grids, mobile communication companies, car factory, tobacco, aluminum, ports ... etc) and local workforce layouts.
Kosovo is out of the public eye although the remaining Serbs living in Kosovo (over 200.000 forced out by the ALbanians since 1999) are suffering gravely. Albanian criminals are running heroin and cocaine supply routes into Western Europe and are still one of the main people smugglers and sex trafficking barons.
Montenegro is a privately owned state and Serbia is gripped month after month by political turmoils and unstable succession of governments.
On top of it Bosnia tri-state system has collapsed.
Croatia is slowly inflating with nationalistic euphoria and will implode soon.
The western Balkan is sorted and on its way to EU - truly, it will be much easier to manipulate and control by EU's more powerful members.

Anonymous said...

Though I believe free enterprise to work better than central planning neither work as well as the crony capitalism we see in Montenegro & Russia & on yachts here & is clearly going to control the divvy of the US bailout in return for donations these banks gave.

Even if I didn't I would still want other nations to have the power to choose. After all we can never know if we are right or wrong if there is no other standard allowed to compare with. The real reason, apart from German racism, that Yugoslavia had to be destroyed was to "prove" that socialism had failed in every part of eadtern Europe. Such things cannot be proved, either way, by bombs.

Charlie Marks said...

Where's the outcry by Euro leaders over the denial of the basque independence referendum?

I wonder...

You mention Monsieur Verdoux - it reminds me of that scene in Reds where John Reed (played by Warren Beatty) is introduced to a gathering of Liberals as a man who will explain what the war is about. He stands up, says "Profits!" and sits down again.

Neil Clark said...

great comments, many thanks. Charlie: I think we all ought to follow John Reed's example. Wars are only about one word: 'profits'.

Anonymous said...

During the Milosevic, EU and USA considered Djukanovic for freedom fighter against Milosevic's tyranny, now he is, as they say, the headman of the tobacco mafia.

Obviously he is going with the wind. To bad Ivo Pukanic isn't here anymore to see end of Milo.