Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Perils of Kosovo’s Independence

by Srdja Trifkovic
Chronicles Magazine

Italy’s political forces of all color and hue are alarmed by the possibility of Kosovo’s proposed independence even though some prefer to pretend otherwise, Alleanza Nazionale Senator Alfredo Mantica, deputy chairman of the Commission on Foreign Affairs, told me in Rome earlier this month. Mantica, a veteran politician who was Italy’s deputy foreign minister in Berlusconi’s coalition government, favors a pause (of several months “to reflect on this issue, and to consider the consequences of opening what may well prove to be Pandora’s box.” Mantica has no doubt that Kosovo’s independence would establish an important precedent, regardless of various assurances from Washington and Brussels to the contrary. He fears that this precedent would have the potential to destabilize Europe: the “right to self-determination” would be invoked by every dissatisfied minority, especially in the eastern half of the Old Continent.

Alfredo ManticaSenator Mantica regrets the fact that the position of Italy in the European debate on Kosovo is weak, which reflects the lack of either principled courage or imagination within the ruling leftist coalition. In the beginning, he points out, the position of the Italian government was totally different. Initially, after the end of the intervention by NATO in 1999, that position was based on the need to devise a form of specific autonomy for Kosovo but not to consider independence as a viable option, let alone support it. The focus at that time was on the well-known “109 Standards” for Kosovo, standards concerning the respect for human rights of the Province’s minority communities, the rule of law, the return of refugees, and so on, before any “final status” could be considered.

“The problem of Kosovo was perceived in Rome as a problem of Italy’s national security,” Mantica says, “because we considered Kosovo a territory incapable of introducing the rule of law. We realized that Kosovo was a criminal would-be state whose criminality was largely directed against Italy..... Excerpt -- Read the Rest at Chronicles

(SerbBlog: And see post below for just why Ahtisaari would be so adamant and uncompromising re Kosovo Albanian Independence -- he was heavily paid to back it!)

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