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HOW AND WHEN YUGOSLAVIA WAS CREATED

Ljubljana, 10 July - Yugoslavia (originally named the Kingdom of Serbs, Croatians and Slovenians, abbreviated as SHS) was created on December 1st 1918 after the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed at the end of World War I.. In the Kingdom of SHS were united the Kingdom of Serbia and those Serbs, Croatians and Slovenians who lived on the territory of the former Habsburg monarchy. The unification took place without a precise prior agreement about the internal political organization of the new state, or the relations between its regions. The unification occurred under the pressure from the Allies (Entente) and the demands of Italy to occupy the Yugoslav territory which the Allies had promised it in a secret pact in 1915 as a condition of its entry into the war on the Allied side. The Kingdom of SHS thus had to first secure its borders. Only later - during and after the peace conference - was an internal agreement reached as the basis for its constitutional order. As soon as the first few discussions began, two opposing concepts concerning the constitution of the Kingdom of SHS became evident : federal, which was preferred by the western part of the new state and centralistic, which was preferred above all by Serbia. The Constitution of 1921 reflected the Serbian preference. All political and other conflicts during the two world wars and after 1945 resulted from this basic conflict : federalism or centralism. The conflicts which we are witnessing today are the fateful realization of the prediction made by the French expert for Balkan affairs , Louis Leger, who wrote as early as 1915 that the eventual state of Southern Slays would be able to survive only as a confederation similar to the Swiss model. Otherwise a catastrophe would result.

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