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The problem is this taboo that borders are untouchable. Like I said before, the last time that happened in Europe was WWII. It gives people the creeps to think about it.

At worst, a division of a state into its constituent provinces is allowed, but moving those borders is considered taboo.

For instance, the peaceful partition of Czechoslovakia. In the case of Yugoslavia, the borders of the constituent republics were preserved - which explains why displacing the Serbs around Vokovar was preferred to trading that territory for some other one, and why all efforts have been made to preserve the integrity of Bosnia even if within it both people and territory have been traded. It has been suggested that the area around Mitrovica be given to Serbia if Kosovo becomes independent. That would require moving borders, so it can't be done. Never mind that apparently Tito already moved that border in the opposite direction decades ago. Now, if a state decides to change its internal borders, that's okay. But if we're going to split up a state it must be along the existing internal borders.

It doesn't make a lot of sense. IMHO you could organize a referendum with a combination of land and population transfers based on the result. Something similar was done in Schleswig over 100 years ago, but not before two wars between Germany and Denmark.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 07:34:38 AM EST
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