Translation and contextual information by Konstantin Kilibarda
Montenegro has been ruled by the same political party, the Democratic Party of Socialist (DPS), for the past 23 years. Along with the government of Belarus, Montenegro has the dubious distinction of being the only country in Europe that hasn’t seen a change in government since 1989. In the past several months an unprecedented wave of protests has hit the country, with workers, students, NGOs and citizens mobilizing against the government. The growing movement has called for the government to resign by 15 May 2012 or the organizers plan to escalate their campaign of non-violent civil disobedience. The movement’s demands include a call for an end to criminal privatizations, free post-secondary education and a serious confrontation with organized crime and corruption in Montenegro.
Below are two translated interviews with Janko Vucinic, head of the Niksic Steelworkers Union and a key trade union official in the Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro (UFTUM) that originally appeared in the independent dailies Vijesti (The News) and Dan (The Day). The first interview deals with the lead-up to the last mass protest held last week (5 May 2012). The second interview deals with the position of Montenegrin workers in light of May Day. Images accompanying the text and the accompanying captions help provide further context to the protest movement.