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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service

    Odraz B92 vesti (by 9 PM), February 12, 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 4 PM


    The Speaker of the Serbian Parliament Dragan Tomic said on
    Wednesday that the passing of the lex specialis ``does not result
    from this government's weakness'' but was ``an admission that the
    international community had been correct, and the international
    community should appreciate that.''

    ``The Socialist Party of Serbia was not forced to accept the
    recommendations of the OSCE.  Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic
    believed, as did we all, that the local elections were of much
    less importance than international relations,'' said Mr Tomic on
    state-controlled Radio Belgrade.


    The Independent Association of the Journalists of Serbia (NUNS)
    expressed grave dissatisfaction on Wednesday with the selection of
    Mrs. Radmila Milentijevic as Serbian Minister for Information.
    They described the appointment as daunting and demonstrating the
    current government's lack of any intention of liberating the media
    or of abolishing the government propaganda carried by the state
    media. NUNS specified that Mrs. Milentijevic had already played a
    major role in the generation of such propaganda and had supported
    the regime at any price.

    The journalists added that Mrs. Milentijevic had no professional
    connection with media and was thus an incompetent person for such
    a post.


    The Council of School Deans and Institute Directors of the UofB
    convened on Wednesday. Twenty five of the University's thirty
    deans and all instutute directors attended, along with
    representatives of Student Protest 96/97.

    The session concluded that the passing of the lex specialis had
    met the first of the student demands. The Council expressed the
    hope that a complete recognition of the people's electoral will
    would follow.

    The Council announced that teaching could resume on February 24 if
    the University Chancellor and his Student Assistant resign. Some
    2,000 lecturers have so far signed a petition demanding that they
    do so.

    Another condition was the verification of the November 17
    electoral results according to the original electoral minutes and
    the report of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
    Europe. Finally, the council demanded that those responsible for
    electoral theft and state violence be brought to justice.


    Economists have reacted with condemnation to the plan for the
    gradual privatisation of the Telecommunications Company of Serbia.
    They are concerned that the Serbian Government might sell public
    companies to raise the foreign currency essential for the
    functioning of the government and the payment of wages and

    ``The government needs some $110 billion a year for wages,
    pensions and its own expenses,'' Reuters was told by one
    economist. ``The regime expects to raise part of this sum from the
    privatization of the Telecommunications Company of Serbia and car
    manufacturer, Zastava,'' he said.

    The economist, who asked to remain anonymous, assessed that by
    selling out some public companies the Serbian Government could
    earn up to $700--800 million which it badly needs for its
    functioning and the forthcoming Autumn elections.


    Several hundred teachers, students and parents gathered in front
    of the Serbian Government building on Wednesday to protest at the
    Government's dallying over negotiations with teachers. The
    teachers have entered the 3rd week of their protest at low and
    overdue wages.


    The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF)
    recommended on Wednesday that diplomatic and economic relations
    between FR Yugoslavia and the Organization for Cooperation in
    Europe (OSCE) be made conditional on a halt to repression of the
    Kosovo Albanians.


    Peace mediator for the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
    Christian Schwartz Schilling said on Wednesday that the Bosnian
    Croat leadership must finally start implementing the Dayton
    accords and other agreements. In a statement published in the
    Sarajevo newspaper 'Oslobodjenje' on Wednesday, Mr. Schilling
    warned that failing this, there was a danger that the situation in
    Bosnia Herzegovina might escape any control, Beta reports.


    The European Union said on Wednesday that the peaceful
    reintegration of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem, as
    well as the reestablishment of the multi-ethnic structure of the
    region, was a part of the international effort to preserve peace
    and stability in the former Yugoslavia.

    The statement specified that the EU shared the opinion of the UN
    Security Council and the Interim Government in the region that the
    numerous rights and guarantees in the Letter of Intentions of the
    Croat Government, if they were implemented, represented a solid
    foundation for the holding of the forthcoming elections in

    The EU also noted that Serb refugees from Croatia in the
    neighbouring countries had the right to a citizenship, to return
    safely to Croatia and cast their votes there.

    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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