Hope on the Balkans Kosov@ Crisis 2000
Higher salaries for all, Milosevic tells factory workers
KRAGUJEVAC, Friday -- Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic told workers at the Zastava plant in Kragujevac today that better days awaited them and many others in the country involved in great and successful work
"All you in Zastava, and everybody in this country will have higher salaries, more free time, a higher standard of living and better conditions for health care and education," Milosevic told the assembled employees. However, he added, the condition for this was that Yugoslavia must stay free, be kept from slavery and domestic treason and be protected from the missionaries of slavery and war. "This is our task," said Milosevic, "to live like all the world, like Europe and above all like Yugoslavs".
Management at the Zastava factory told the workers that Milosevic was making a "working visit" which was not connected to the election campaign.
Workers at the factory were handpicked for front-row appearances at the Milosevic rally and given placards to carry. Brand new overalls were also distributed to all employees on duty today. Radio B2-92 learnt that about 10,000 people greeted Milosevic in front of the Zastava management building, many of them bussed from other factories around Serbia.
A worker at the Zastava factory, which Milosevic visited, was arrested before the president's arrival. Gradimir Patric was detained briefly by police after he had distributed opposition leaflets outside the factory, opposition official Zarko Jokanovic told Radio B2-92. Petric was warned not appear at the factory, "especially during Milosevic's visit".
Kragujevac was given a hasty clean-up early this morning, with particular attention to lawns in the city's parks and the grounds of the Zastava factory.
An entire section of the Nis-Belgrade highway was blocked this morning to allow a black Mercedes to pass, the deputy president of the Democratic Party, Zoran Zivkovic, said today. Zivkovic said later that the entire city of Kragujevac had been in a state of siege for Milosevic's visit. All streets used by the convoy were blocked and people on the route through the town were given written orders to keep their windows closed and not to stand at them. Police guarded all entrances to Kragujevac and there were at least three police officers stationed at every crossroads in the town.
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