Gallup: Yugo-nostalgia is alive and well

Residents of the most former Yugoslavian republics still feel that the break-up of the federation had harmed their country, a Gallup poll showed on May 18.

“Many residents of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia feel its break-up 25 years ago harmed their country,” Gallup said in a statement. “These residents may be mourning the loss of the benefits that socialism provided, or are frustrated with the current high unemployment rate, the loss of income, or the lost illusion of peaceful coexistence among different groups.”

Yugoslavia started to split up at the beginning of the 1990s, and its citizens endured almost a decade of ethnic conflicts. Political stability across the region is still threatened by ethnic tensions. 

As many as 81% of Serbs think that the breakup of Yugoslavia harmed their country, while 77% of Bosniaks and 65% of Macedonians agree. Only 4% of Serb think that the break-up of Yugoslavia was beneficial for their country, while just 6% of Bosniaks and 15% of Montenegrins feel positive about the split.

The negative attitudes in Bosnia & Herzegovina may be linked to the frustration with persistently poor government performance, Gallup said in an emailed statement. “Similar to the Russian attitude toward the dissolution of the former Soviet Union, Serbs may feel an acute sense of loss as the core nation of a former multinational state,” the report said. 

In Macedonia, where the lengthy political crisis recently erupted into violence within the parliament, 61% of those surveyed see the break-up as harmful, while 12% think it was a positive development for their country.

But this nostalgia is not uniformed across the region. The highest rates for people who think that the break-up of Yugoslavia was beneficial were recorded in Croatia and Kosovo. 

In Croatia, the EU’s newest member state, 55% of respondents saw the break-up as beneficial and just 23% as harmful. By contrast, in the other former Yugoslavian EU member state, Slovenia, 41% see the break-up as beneficial while 45% think it was harmful.

The highest number of respondents who welcomed the break-up of Yugoslavia were in Kosovo, the last country in the region to gain its independence, where 75% said the split was beneficial and only 10% regretted it.

Ethnic minorities are more likely to see the break-up as harmful, according to Gallup.

The survey was conducted among 1,000 adults from the seven former Yugoslav countries: Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

(BNE Intellinews, 18.05.2017)



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