War In The Balkans: The Balkan Question Key issues behind the war explained

Click to follow
The Independent Online
If Milosevic fell from power would the monarchy return to Serbia?

Monarchist sentiment is much stronger in Serbia than any other Balkan country, perhaps with the exception of Bulgaria, and if Slobodan Milosevic fell from power the biggest obstacle to a restoration would have been removed. Serbia's opposition leader, Vuk Draskovic, is a monarchist. So are other opponents and many members of the powerful Orthodox church.

The royal appeal is not surprising. Many Serbs contrast the optimism and military successes of the old Serbian monarchy to recent setbacks and decline. And, unlike other Balkan states, the Serbian royal house of Karadjordjevic is home grown, not a foreign import. Moreover, there was no great popular desire to overthrow it, as in Russia. King Petar was simply deposed after a rigged referendum in 1946 by Tito. In the wave of anti-Croat feeling that swept Serbia in the 1980s, that now counts in the monarchy's favour. The break-up of Yugoslavia may have helped the monarchist cause, because Croats, Slovenes and Macedonians have no affection for the old Serb royal house.