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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    Odraz B92 vesti (by 10 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 10 PM


    The Belgrade protest`` drive'' planned by the coalition Zajedno
    for today was prevented by the police. Instead, a protest rally
    attended by several tens of thousands of citizens was held at the
    Republic Square in the center of Belgrade. After the rally,
    protesters took a walk up and down Knez Mihajlova, one of the
    Serbian capital's central streets and its only pedestrian zone.

    The police stopped the traffic in the whole of downtown Belgrade
    in order to prevent the protesters from approaching the city
    center with their cars.

    At the Republic Square, the crowd was addressed by three American
    congressmen who said that the U.S. Congress supports all those who
    fight for their basic rights. The U.S. congressmen's address was
    followed by speeches of the leaders of the coalition Zajedno. Head
    of the Democratic Party, Zoran Djindjic, called on the citizens
    not to let those who stole their votes sleep peacefully. ``Let us
    remind them that they are thieves who got caught, and that we will
    not let them go until they are made responsible for what they
    did,'' said Djindjic, adding that ``from tomorrow on, our working
    day does not begin at p.m., we will work non-stop.''

    Head of the Civil Alliance of Serbia, Vesna Pesic, said that
    Slobodan Milosevic and his wife have no intention of admitting
    that they are thieves, so they want the opposition to be smothered
    by police. ``But Serbia is a wonderful, unpredictable country.
    Every day, another rock of the system caves in,'' said Vesna
    Pesic. Head of the Serbian Renewal Movement, Vuk Draskovic, said
    that police forces in the streets constitute Milosevic's only
    ``counter-rallies,'' because the regime cannot bring anybody else
    out on the streets to support it, so Milosevic has had to send
    police forces as his supporters. ``These are counter-rallies,
    without his pictures but with machine-guns and clubs,'' said
    Draskovic. He also added: ``In all the countries of the world, the
    police catches thieves. This is the only country where the police
    are protecting thieves.''

    The noise-making campaign timed to coincide with the main news
    bulletin on state-run RTS television continues, and noise can now
    be heard in almost all larger cities in Serbia. The coalition
    Zajedno has nicknamed this operation ``Serbia, Get Into the
    Rhythm.''  Zajedno also called on protesters to bring photo-
    cameras to future rallies so as to take a photo of themselves in
    front of a police cordon. The purpose of this action is
    ``preserving these historical moments for history.''


    Member of the European Parliament, Dorris Puck, stated today that
    the government in Belgrade has only one way out of the crisis --
    acceptance of the recommendations given by the OSCE to recognize
    opposition victories in 13 Serbian cities and in Belgrade. She
    said that she has talked to Yugoslav deputy foreign minister,
    Zivadin Jovanovic, and that he has told her that ``in six cases,
    and in Belgrade, the authorities could not reach a positive result
    in relation to the OSCE's recommendation.''  Dorris Puck also
    stressed that she has had talks with the leaders of Zajedno and
    with the management of the independent Radio B92. ``All three
    leaders of the opposition told me that they support full
    cooperation with the Hague Tribunal and that they support the
    Dayton Peace Agreement. Therefore, I consider that the West should
    not think that there is only one side in Serbia which can
    guarantee the implementation of the peace agreement.''  She also
    pointed out that she has spoken to the leaders of Zajedno about
    the importance of the problem of Kosovo and that ``there will be
    no peace until that problem is solved.''


    Three of the members of the American congressional delegation
    which arrived in Belgrade today conveyed the official U.S. message
    to Yugoslav foreign minister, Milan Milutinovic. The U.S. position
    is that the authorities should reinstate the electoral results
    from November 17. ``President Milosevic should accept the
    recommendations of the OSCE's commission. We salute the courage
    and the willingness of the people who have been protesting and we
    support their right to protest in the streets,'' said the
    delegation at its press conference in Belgrade. One of the
    congressmen said that they will not press Milosevic to recognize
    electoral results; they will attempt to persuade him.


    Tomorrow's issue of Belgrade daily Nasa Borba carries an interview
    with Karl Bildt, High Commissioner for Bosnia. In his interview,
    Bildt says that ``Serbia is the most serious candidate for being
    the greatest 'sick man' in Europe.''  Its sickness, Bildt
    explained, is the result of neglecting to carry out political and
    economic reforms. ``A prolonged crisis may have long-term negative
    consequences for the stability in the region,'' observed Bildt. He
    also said that the behavior of the protesters in Serbia ``is
    getting more and more impressive'' each day. ``The main question
    in Serbia today is: Are you for the changes or for the status
    quo,'' said Karl Buildt in his interview for Nasa Borba.


    Official Croatia today warned that the current Serbian opposition
    could be a danger for peace if it assumed power in Serbia, reports
    Reuters. The agency adds that Milosevic got unexpected support
    from his former enemy. ``Croatia has no interest in taking
    Milosevic's side...  But, at the moment, Serbian opposition does
    not offer any guarantees for peace-keeping,'' Reuters quotes
    Zlatko Canjuga, political advisor of the Croatian President Franjo
    Tudjman. ``The international community must be very careful about
    Draskovic and Djindjic because of their statements made during
    wartime,'' said Canjuga. In its report, Reuters reminds its
    readers of the fact that, since the beginning of the nineties,
    Croatia has considered Milosevic most responsible for the war in
    ex-Yugoslavia, but that now, with all of Croatian territories
    retrieved, they tend to see him as ``the devil we know.''

    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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