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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    Odraz B92 vesti (by 8 PM), January 10, 1997

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

    NEWS BY 8 PM


    Spokesman for the Student Protest Dusan Vasiljevic told a press
    conference today that the Serbian Government has offered the
    student delegation a meeting with Serbian government vice-
    presidents, Ratko Markovic and Nedeljko Sipovac, as well as
    minister of education Dragoslav Mladenovic, instead of the
    requested meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Marjanovic.

    Vasiljevic said that the Steering Board of the Student Protest has
    not yet decided whether to accept the offer. If accepted, the
    meetings could take place today at 18:00 or tomorrow at 11:00.
    Leaders of the Student Protest 96/96 sent a letter requesting a
    meeting with the Serbian Prime Minister to discuss possible
    solutions to the problem of police interference with the freedom
    of movement, a right guaranteed by the constitution. The letter
    stressed that their talks with Interior Minister Sokolovic on the
    same issue a week ago did not give satisfactory results.
    Commenting on today's attempts to break the police lines,
    Vasiljevic said that the students have maximally radicalized the
    situation without resorting to violence and proved to be more
    persistent and persevering than the police. Tomorrow, the students
    are to continue their standoff action in front of the riot squad
    lines until they back off and leave the streets.

    The press conference was also attended by a student delegation
    from Nis, who had come to Belgrade to support the action
    ``blockade against the blockade.''  They informed the press of the
    daily student protests in Nis, stressing the unanimity of the
    students and staff of the UofN. They said they have added to their
    previous demands the demand that those responsible for the present
    crisis in the country be sued and put on trial for their actions.
    Student representatives from Nis stressed their dissatisfaction
    with the government decision to recognize only a part of the
    Zajedno seats in that city, saying they will continue the protest
    until the real results are reinstated.


    Zajedno's Nis department has sent a message to the Nis Electoral
    Commission to reinstate immediately the results of the second
    electoral round, said a Zajedno statement today. According to the
    coalition Zajedno, 41 seats in the Nis City Council are rightfully
    theirs, 16 were won by the Socialists, the Radicals got 1, while
    voting in 12 polling stations should be repeated due to


    Spokesman of the Democratic Party, Slobodan Vuksanovic said today
    that a part of the SPS and JUL leadership are directly
    jeopardizing state interests. The reactions expressed so far by
    the Montenegrin leadership, the Yugoslav Army, Serbian Orthodox
    Church and a part of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences
    indicate a growing public awareness of the peril this policy
    represents to the future of Serbia, he said. He described the
    deployment of special police forces in Belgrade as ridiculous in
    view of the non-violent nature of these protests, and said that
    the police are now simply an instrument in the hands of the SPS
    and JUL.  The RTS crew was not allowed to cover the press
    conference because the Democratic Party has refused to continue
    being the subject of the incredible distortions of their coverage.


    The management of the Democratic Center Party (DC) today expressed
    their grave concern over the present situation, characterized by
    ``great tension, divisions within the society and ''autism`` among
    the authorities.''  Stressing the authorities' responsibility for
    this state of affairs, the DC Management warned that if they
    refuse the OSCE recommendations to recognize and reinstate the
    Nov. 17 local electoral results, the authorities would actually be
    opting for a possible civil war.


    Branislav Ivkovic, chief of the Belgrade SPS branch, has de facto
    been fired from this function and a new branch chief is being
    sought, reports today's issue of the daily Dnevni Telegraf.
    Speaker of the Serbian Parliament, Dragan Tomic, is most likely to
    take this post, while serious candidates for the new Serbian Prime
    Minister are Dusan Mihajlovic, Dusan Mitevic, Nebojsa Covic and
    Dusan Matkovic, on condition that ``Kundak [Zoran Todorovic,
    allegedly the right hand of Mira Markovic, head of the JUL]
    manages to topple Marjanovic,'' claims the daily. The daily's
    source says that some of the proposed candidates (Covic,
    Mihajlovic) will on no condition accept the office.


    The European Community once again called on ``the authorities in
    the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, particularly Serbian President
    Slobodan Milosevic, to accept the conclusions and the
    recommendations of the OSCE delegation which recently visited
    Belgrade.''  The statement appears in the EU Declaration on the
    situation on Yugoslavia which FoNet received today from the Dutch
    embassy in Belgrade. The declaration says that the European Union
    fully supports the OSCE conclusion that the coalition Zajedno won
    in 13 cities by the will of Serbian voters. Based on the
    conclusions made at the EU summit in Dublin, EU calls on the
    authorities in FR Yugoslavia ``to enter into a constructive
    dialogue with the opposition and make sure that independent media
    are free and accessible to all.'' EU once again calls on Yugoslav
    authorities to refrain from the use of force against the peaceful
    demonstrators and journalists.


    Head of the UN's office in Belgrade, Suzanne Manuel, stated today
    that General Secretary of UN Kofi Anan today called for the
    respect of human rights and democratic processes in Yugoslavia.
    Anan believes in the importance of free and fair elections in
    general and hopes that all parties will be able to find an
    appropriate solution, stated Suzanne Manuel at a press conference
    in Belgrade. She also emphasized that the UN's Special
    Representative for Human Rights will arrive in Belgrade on January
    14 and that she will talk to the authorities, the opposition, the
    church, and the refugees.


    The United States today announced that official Belgrade's
    decision to accept the ruling party's defeat in the local
    elections in one city is not enough and that Serbian President
    Slobodan Milosevic cannot expect to international support for
    ``making petty concessions,'' reports Reuters. Spokesman of the
    State Department, Nicholas Burns, emphasized that the Serbian
    government's announcement about its recognition of the
    opposition's victory in Nis represents a positive, but
    insufficient first step. In the meantime, according to the State
    Department, assistant secretary of state John Kornbloom yesterday
    set off on his new tour of the Balkans whose focus will be on the
    crisis in Serbia; however, he will not visit Belgrade
    deliberately. ``Serbian government has no right to grant already
    won victories to the opposition,'' said Burns. ``It is not the
    officials who decide in the elections but the citizens. Mr.
    Milosevic seems not to have learned this fundamental lesson on
    what democracy is,'' observed the spokesman for the State
    Department. Accusing Milosevic of resorting to the kind of
    politics reminiscent of the cold war, communism and autocracy,
    Burns added that Milosevic cannot expect U.S. approval by making
    small concessions to the democratic opposition and dragging it out
    over weeks and months. Burns emphasized that Milosevic must
    reinstate electoral results `` before he can even think of having
    normal relations with the U.S. and our partners in Europe.''


    The lead news story yesterday and today on the Canadian radio and
    TV is the acknowledgment of the opposition victory in Nis as well
    as the announcement by opposition leaders that the demonstrations
    will not cease until the local electoral results have been
    recognized in all 14 cities in which Zajedno won. The respected
    daily Globe and Mail says that the Serbian government has promised
    to correct all irregularities concerning the annulment of the
    opposition victory in Nis. The author of the article claims that,
    while Milosevic might be prepared to acknowledge opposition
    victory in smaller towns, he will desperately clutch on to
    Belgrade. A CBC correspondent shares this opinion, but stresses
    that although Milosevic's letting the opposition take over Nis is
    the first sign of his giving in, after six weeks of daily
    protests, the opposition shows no signs of weakening, fatigue, or
    fear of the thousands of police forces in the streets of Belgrade.


    President of the Foundation for Peace and Crisis Solution Boris
    Vukobrat said in an interview published in today's issue of the
    daily Nasa Borba that the present authorities and the regime in
    Serbia are unacceptable for both the world and the people here.
    Vukobrat believes that the recent events in Yugoslavia have
    affected Europe's preparedness to offer help in two ways. In the
    light of the regime's disrespect of the principles of democracy,
    the likelihood of such help has receded further than ever before,
    said Vukobrat. On the other hand, he said, the peaceful and
    spirited protests across Serbia have improved the image and
    reputation of its people so that the willingness to help such a
    people is stronger than it has ever been. Apart from the
    reinstatement of the local electoral results, top priority for re-
    entering Europe is the establishment of full freedom of the media,
    said Vukobrat. According to Vukobrat, this does not imply only the
    freedom of the independent, small media, like Radio B92, whose
    role and influence are enormous but whose range and audience size
    are limited. It refers primarily to the freedom of the state media
    -- Radio Television Serbia, Politika and others, who must start
    doing their jobs in a professional and unbiased way.


    Miodrag Perovic, manager and one of the founders of the
    ``Montenegropublic,'' the parent company of radio Antena M, said
    today that this radio station is the sole instance in Montenegro
    where the legal provision for negotiating direct deals with the
    relevant authorities is denied. Instead, the radio is being forced
    to apply for the extension of its frequency in an open bid
    situation, reports Montena Fax. Perovic stressed that there are
    more frequencies available in Montenegro than those who want to
    operate them, so there is no need for open bidding as minister
    Gomilanovic insists. He also said that minister Gomilanovic has
    already decided that this radio cannot get frequencies for two
    other Montenegrin towns, although at the last open bid for them,
    there were more frequencies for these towns than are at present
    operated. He underlined the case in which open bidding was used to
    grant several radio frequencies to the Belgrade company ``Braca
    Karic'' in order to eliminate other bidders; this company never
    started operating these frequencies. The Ministry will use this
    method again to deprive Antena M of its frequency as it deprived
    it of a TV frequency over two years ago. Radio Antena M is still
    broadcasting its programs, although its frequency license has been

    Prepared by: Aleksandra Scepanovic
    Edited by: Vaska Andjelkovic (Tumir)

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

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