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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service

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


    Ivor Roberts, British Ambassador to Belgrade, said in a statement
    to Radio B92 on Monday morning that the British government was
    concerned at the situation in Serbia and condemned the events of
    Sunday night.

    ``It is a matter of the gravest concern. My government has
    consistently warned against any use of violence against peaceful
    demonstrators. There was a meeting of the Contact Group on Friday
    at which this same point was registered very firmly by all the
    members. It is therefore particularly depressing tht their
    strongly held views should have been reacted to so strongly in
    this way.''

    Mr. Roberts went on to describe the government's action as
    catastrophic and a step backwards. He warned that if the
    government again resorted to force on Monday, Serbia would be in a
    cul-de-sac and the country's repuation would be worsened. He
    stressed that the only way out for the Serbian government was
    recognition of the Gonzalez report.

    Mr Roberts warned that the international community would react
    very strongly. He said that of particular concern was the beating
    of Civic Alliance leader Vesna Pesic, whom he described as
    synonymous with peaceful demonstration.


    French Foreign Minister Ervet De Charette soundly condemned Sunday
    night's police intervention against demonstrators in Belgrade, AFP
    reported on Monday. He said that the use of police force could
    only lead to catastrophe.

    Mr De Charette also announced that he would invite the Zajedno
    leaders to visit Paris as soon as possible. He specified that the
    invitation was tantamount to recognition of the Zajedno leaders by
    the French Government, adding that they merited this by the
    maturity they had shown during the demonstrations.

    Mr De Charette also stressed the need for Serbia to renew
    international relations and address its economic problems, but
    added that recognition of the November 17 election results was
    essential to both these aims.


    German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel on Monday condemned the
    previous nights police intervention against demonstrators in
    Belgrade, saying that by such actions the Serbian Government was
    blocking the country's reintegration with Europe.

    Mr. Kinkel warned the Serbian Government not to allow a further
    escalation of the crisis, also saying that the opposition must
    stick to its peaceful course. The German Foreign Minister
    reiterated the need for Belgrade to recognise the November local
    election results, open a constructive dialogue with the opposition
    on democratisation, allow the independence of the media, ensure
    the proper conduct of the forthcoming republic elections, respect
    human rights and grant autonomy to Kosovo.


    Several hundred taxi drivers blocked streets near the Federal
    Parliament building in Belgrade on Monday, protesting at the
    murder of a colleague on Monday night. The driver was shot in the
    back of the head by a passenger in his cab. The taxi drivers said
    that the murder was unrelated to Monday night's police actions
    against demonstrators.


    More than 3,000 teachers in Nis have joined industrial action
    throughout the country in support of demands for the payment of
    overdue wages. The Teachers Trade Union of Nis announced on Monday
    that 52 of the city's 55 schools have joined the strike.

    Workers in kindergartens and medical institutions in Nis have also
    announced that they plan to go on strike in the next few days.


    The Montenegrin newspaper 'Pobjeda' carried an article on Monday
    accusing the Yugoslav Government of doing little to bring the
    country back into international monetary bodies and other
    instituions. The article said that Yugoslavia was the only
    European country which was excluded from all European and most
    international institutions. Pointing out that Yugoslavia had the
    lowest financial rating among countries in transition, the article
    condluded that there was little hope for the Montenegrin economy.

    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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