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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service

    Odraz B92 vesti (by 3 PM), February 1, 1997

    E-mail: odrazb92@b92.opennet.org, beograd@siicom.com
    WWW:    http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/, http://www.opennet.org/b92/
    All texts are Copyright 1997 Radio B92. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    NEWS BY 3 PM


    The British daily Financial Times reported on Saturday that the
    National Westminster Bank's investment branch has given up its
    attempt to help Serbia negotiate a solution for its debt to
    commercial banks.

    Nat West Market had pledged assistance at the time when Serbian
    President Slobodan Milosevic was in favour of an economic program
    based on liberalization and privatization. But recent developments
    indicate that this program has been abandoned, and the NWM has
    informed Belgrade that it can no longer be involved in working on
    settlement of the debt.


    Zajedno leader Zoran Djindjic claimed in an interview in
    Belgrade's daily Demokratija on Saturday that the purpose of his
    visits to Germany and Austria had been to seek unification of
    political and economic reform in Serbia. He stressed that economic
    problems must be addressed as soon as the political system is

    Mr Djindjic told Demokraitija that he had urged the European Union
    to grant Serbia a special status, similar to that enjoyed by
    Greece after the fall of the junta, and Spain after the death of

    According to Mr Djindjic, the issue of Kosovo should be dealt with
    after democratic and economic reforms and until that time the
    province's status must remain autnomous as stipulated in the
    Serbian Constitution. The actual extent of this autonomy could be
    determined only once the pressing political and economic issues
    are resolved. Attempts to give the province any other status at
    the present time would only play into the hands of President
    Milosevc and jeopardise the process of democratisation, Mr
    Djindjic warned.


    Belgrade's weekly 'Nedeljni Telegraf Plus' claimed on Friday that
    top Yugoslav Army officers had given the government until January
    31 to decide whether the Federation needed an army. They had
    warned the government that the army could not survive in the
    current financial and social conditions. Army commanders, pressed
    by their junior officers had recently petitioned Army Chief-of-
    Staff Momcilo Perisic on this issue, demanding that he refer it to
    the Supreme Defence Council, the weekly reported.


    Never before has there been such unanimity of European opinion on
    a single issue as the demand for immediate recognition of Serbia's
    local election results, said French Academician Jean-Francois
    Deniau in an interview with 'Nasa Borba'. Mr Deniau has been
    visiting Belgrade on behalf of the French parliamentary commission
    for national defence.

    He went on to say that the current crisis could be overcome only
    by implementation of the recommendations of the Organization for
    Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) through the state institutions. In
    this way the Serbian Government could be seen to acknowledge the
    election results without foreign pressure.

    Mr Deniau said he had the impresion that the stumbling block in
    Serbia was that there was no legal avenue for the formal adoption
    of the Gonzales report. He stressed, however that the Serbian
    Government must be aware of the fact that the OSCE mission was not
    an attempt to strike at the independence of a state's legal
    opinion, but the voice of European opinion, invited to comment by
    the Serbian Government itself.


    The Trade Union of Educational Workers, one of several bodies
    representing teachers in Serbia, held a protest meeting at the
    Trade Union Hall in Belgrade on Friday. The chairman of the union
    urged representatives of all teachers' unions to form a committee
    to draft unified demands.

    The union has written to Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Marjanovic,
    but has not received a reply. Another letter has now been sent
    demanding a meeting with Mr Marjanovic on February 7.

    Prepared by: Marija Milosavljevic
    Edited by: Steve Agnew

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    E-mail: odrazb92@b92.opennet.org, beograd@siicom.com
    WWW:    http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/, http://www.opennet.org/b92/

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