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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2006, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
Montenegro vote delights press
Montenegrin pro-independence supporters celebrate their victory
National fervour: 55.5% voted for independence
Papers in Montenegro are thrilled by the vote for independence from Serbia in Sunday's referendum. Two dailies say a decades-old dream has come true.

There is joy that independence was achieved without bloodshed.

Serb papers accept the narrow result but there is also irritation, with some editorials arguing that the votes of "ethnic Albanians" tipped the balance.


Montenegro has fulfilled the dream it has had for decades. When a May day dawned it became an independent state. This dream is particularly beautiful because of the way everything happened - with a pencil in hand, at polling stations, without casualties or any blood being spilt. The ruling party is drinking the champagne of victory. But when this slight intoxication passes they have a hell of a job ahead of them. They will no longer have the privilege of blaming many things, justly or not, on our neighbours. They now have to put the house that is exclusively ours in order.


Cetinje, the town where the story of Montenegrin independence began, has lived to see its great evening. The dream our ancestors bequeathed us has been made real, the injustice has been corrected. One could see all this in the eyes of thousands of Montenegrin citizens who came to celebrate the great victory together with the inhabitants of Cetinje. The positive energy infected even foreign journalists and observers who were there on business.


The entire world is congratulating us. The unionists will spend the next few days trying to deny the defeat, using alleged irregularities to justify such claims, despite the fact that during the campaign they kept repeating that the list of voters was up-to-date.


Off they go, the brothers. Independence is expected to be declared on 13 July. Montenegro took care of every detail of its statehood, while Serbia waited for it unprepared.


In Montenegro the Albanians have won! 219,683 voted for independence, among whom there were around 25,000 ethnic Albanians and some 40,000 Muslims; the majority of Serbs and Montenegrins voted for SCG! [union of Serbia and Montenegro].


179 Montenegrins decided the referendum. Independence won in a "photo-finish" when ethnic Albanians from Ulcinj, Plav and Rozaje rushed to the polling stations. Northern Montenegro in shock after vote for independence: A night of sadness. With the separation from Montenegro, Serbia will blossom economically, but on the other hand she is in danger of losing Kosovo.


Serbia is already independent. [These are] the consequences for the legal status of Serbia following the declaration of Montenegrin independence. The Constitution of Serbia was drawn up as the constitution of an independent state because of an assessment that there was a real danger of the break-up of Yugoslavia.


[The pro-independence side] won only a few votes more than the required 55%, which are precisely the votes contested by the pro-union bloc. Our brothers cost us 150 billion. Montenegrin independence will reduce the tax burden for Serbian taxpayers.


Serbia's President Boris Tadic to Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica: You are finished: You are even a bigger loser than Milosevic.

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