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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 12, 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


    Acting as an unofficial mediator in the political crisis in
    Serbia, Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos today stated
    that there is a way out of the impasse based on the OSCE report
    which recognized the opposition's victory in the local elections
    in a large number of Serbian cities and constituencies.

    Reuters reports that after his separate meetings with Milosevic
    and the coalition Zajedno leaders, Pangalos made the following
    comments: ``Judging by the talks I've just had, it seems that
    Gonzalez's report must be accepted in full, including [the
    reinstatement of opposition victory in] the Belgrade City Council.
    This should take place immediately, and after that I believe that
    the authorities and the opposition will be ready for dialogue.''
    Pangalos refused to say if Milosevic had told him that he will
    accept the OSCE report in full. However, emphasized Pangalos, ``I
    am deeply convinced that that solution is possible, and those who
    are to initiate certain actions should do so immediately lest
    Serbia suffer extremely unpleasant economic consequences.''

    The only announcement coming from the office of the Serbian
    President today stressed that both Milosevic and Pangalos endorse
    a common belief that the internal matters of each country should
    be dealt with within the legitimate institutions of that state and
    that the internal development of each country is for the benefit
    of all who want stable and prosperous international relations.


    Speaking after today's meeting of Greek foreign minister Pangalos
    with Zajedno's leaders, head of the Democratic Party Zoran
    Djindjic stated that the coalition Zajedno has no room for
    maneuvering. ``We have no space for that because if we make
    concessions, it would mean that we acquiesce in the violations of
    the law. We are grateful to everyone who wants to assist in the
    solving of this political crisis. They can help only by putting
    pressure on the regime to return to legality and to respect the
    law. There is not much to talk about. We are defending the
    principles of legality in this country. Unfortunately, we are
    having to defend them from the authorities themselves, because
    they have been violating the law.''


    Surrounded by large contingents of special police units, several
    dozens of thousands of coalition Zajedno supporters attended the
    protest rally held in Belgrade today. This was the 54th straight
    protest rally held in the capital of Serbia to date.

    President of the Serbian Renewal Movement, Vuk Draskovic, told the
    citizens about the meeting of Zajedno leaders with Greek foreign
    minister Pangalos. ``Pangalos expressed to Milosevic Greek
    government's grave concern for what might happen to Serbia. That
    is: international isolation, withholding of any economic aid,
    cancellation of Serbia's re-entry into the international
    community, all of which could result in hyper-inflation,
    unemployment, misery and an all-out economic decline,'' said
    Draskovic, adding: ``The Greek minister advised Milosevic to
    accept the election results from November 17, and that without
    delay. He asked us if we would, after their reinstatement, enter
    into dialogue with the authorities. We said that we will be ready
    for dialogue, but only if that dialogue is broadcast on the state
    TV and correctly reported in state media.''

    President of the Democratic Party, Zoran Djindjic, said: ``We have
    grown into adults and we are not satisfied with the baby clothes
    Milosevic has tailored for us.''

    Head of the Civil Alliance of Serbia, Vesna Pesic, emphasized:
    ``We said that we are not for compromise -- not because we are
    some kind of lunatics, or because we want to go against the grain,
    but because the very future of our country is in question. We told
    him [Pangalos] that Serbia wants nothing more and nothing less
    than what other democratic countries want.''

    Unable to walk in any of the city's other boulevards because of
    the heavy police lines blocking downtown Belgrade, after the
    rally, the protesters took a walk up and down the Knez Mihajlova
    Street, right in the heart of central Belgrade. The special
    curiosity of today's rally were the three sheep wearing slogans of
    support for Milosevic. They were brought to Belgrade by a farmer
    from the mountain of Zlatibor to see ``if there is any freedom in
    Serbia.''  The farmer said that his animals are dissatisfied with
    what they've observed because Belgrade is full of police who do
    not allow passage to anyone, not even to the sheep.

    Leaders of the coalition Zajedno announced that tomorrow there
    will be no protest rally, but they called on the citizens to come
    to the Republic Square tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. to celebrate the
    Orthodox New Year.


    President of Montenegro Momir Bulatovic has rejected a proposal
    put forward by president of the People's Party of Montenegro,
    Novak Kilibarda. Kilibarda suggested that the ruling Democratic
    Party of the Socialists of Montenegro (DPS) should terminate its
    alliance with the Socialist Party of Serbia and, together with the
    Serbian opposition, elect a new Federal government, using the
    legal means available to the Federal Parliament, reports Montena-
    fax. ``Your proposal is completely unacceptable to the DPS and we
    reject it. Yugoslavia will not be endangered for any reason, and
    its democratic development will not be stopped,'' said Bualtovic
    in his reply to Kilibarda.


    The Steering Board of the Student Protest in the city of
    Kragujevac informed Radio B92 that more than 4,000 students and
    citizens attended today's protest in that city. Gathered in the
    center of the city, the protesters attended a ceremony at which
    they mounted a plate bearing the inscription: ``Kragujevac: A Free
    Walking Zone -- signed, the Students.''


    Yesterday, late in the afternoon, Municipal Court in the city of
    Vrsac reached two decisions: one positive for the coalition
    Zajedno, the other negative, said Branislav Ivkovic, local leader
    of the Civil Alliance of Serbia, in his statement for Radio B92.
    Although the coalition Zajedno, even under these court rulings,
    will retain a majority in the City Council, they will file
    complaints until the results from November 17 are reinstated in


    Radio B92 has received an e-mail from the newspaper Nezavisne
    Novine, published in Toronto, in which they say that the paper
    will arrange a protest rally as an act of support to the protests
    of the citizens and students in Serbia. The rally will be held at
    Nathan Philips Square in Toronto, on January 25, at 2 p.m. The
    paper has also published a list of demands that will be read aloud
    at this rally:

        1. Complete reinstatement of the election results from
        November 17;

        2. Freedom of the media in Serbia;

        3. The right to vote for the citizens of Serbia living abroad.


    Radio B92 today received an e-mail from John-Ragnar Aarset, member
    of the Young Conservatives of Norway, saying that his organization
    today arranged the demonstrations in front of the Yugoslav Embassy
    in Oslo. Protesters in Norway expressed support for the protesters
    in Serbia, emulating protest actions such as ``Noise Is All the
    Rage'' and phoning the Yugoslav Embassy in Oslo in such numbers
    and with such frequency that its lines were virtually unavailable
    for regular embassy work.


    From now on, student protesters in Belgrade can count among their
    supporters the British techno-rock band The Prodigy. Today, Radio
    B92 received a telegram, via HMK Music, coming from The Prodigy,
    which says: ``The Prodigy send their true message of support to
    the students in Belgrade who, by demonstrations and protests,
    fight for the freedom of speech and democracy. We are honored and
    astonished by the fact that our music served as an inspiration for
    your struggle and we hope that Serbia, due to your efforts, will
    be freed from oppression as soon as possible. We are looking
    forward to playing in Belgrade again soon and meeting some of you
    personally,'' says the telegram signed by the members of The


    Once again, on his current visit to the region, US assistant
    secretary of state John Kornblum has pointedly left Belgrade from
    the itinerary which has taken him to both Zagreb and Sarajevo.
    Kornblum's decision to detour Belgrade confirms the US
    announcement of a boycott of all official contacts with Serbian
    President, reports FoNet. Washington also confirmed the existence
    of a plan for a complete break-up of relations with Yugoslavia if
    Milosevic does not fulfill all US demands by the end of next week.
    These demands are: acceptance of the opposition's victory in the
    local elections, dialogue with the opposition, and freedom of the
    media. So far, economic sanctions have not been mentioned as one
    of Washington's intended pressure tactics against Milosevic's


    The first expression of Russian support for the opposition and the
    protesters in Serbia came from a visitor to Belgrade, reports
    FoNet. Leader of the party Russia Nas Dom, Sergei Belayev, who is
    on an unofficial visit to Belgrade, stated today that democratic
    forces in Russia support the demands for democratic changes in
    Serbia. Regarding the contradiction between the attitude of his
    pro-government party and the Russian Foreign Ministry, Belayev
    said that Russia Our Home has the right to its own position.
    ``Only the acceptance of the election results can release the
    tension in this explosive situation in Serbia,'' emphasized


    Western diplomats stationed in Belgrade observe that, despite some
    hints and speculations, neither Serbian President Milosevic, nor
    any of his collaborators, has so far publicly announced that they
    accept the OSCE report on the opposition's victory in the local
    elections in 14 cities, including Belgrade. Western analysts think
    that the ruling SPS and its closest ally JUL are now anxious to
    save face and are trying to pass the buck to the government. The
    ones who are at least trying to save their own personal dignity
    are making an effort to be in contact with the students but not
    with the coalition Zajedno. Meanwhile, Milosevic is running out of
    time as the West begins to distance itself from the authorities
    and to broaden its contacts with the opposition, say foreign
    analysts stationed in Belgrade.


    Czech President Vaczlav Havel stated today that he is carefully
    observing the events in Serbia and that he sees many parallels
    with the Czech experience. ``It is obvious where I stand, where my
    heart is. On the side of freedom and democracy. I would like
    Serbia to be a normal, integral part of the family of European
    peoples who share common values, including the principles of civil
    state and society, so I support everything in Serbia that tends
    that way,'' said Havel.

    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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