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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service

    Odraz B92 vesti (by 3 PM), February 17, 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 3 PM


    The Democratic Party (DS), a member of the opposition coalition
    Zajedno, said on Monday that Sunday's signing of an agreement
    between the Serbian Government and striking teachers was an
    ``obvious trick of the Serbian Government'' aimed at double-
    crossing the teachers. The DS said that one of the signatories was
    a Socialist official engaged in breaking stikes and confusing the
    general public. The DS said that the teachers would continue to
    struggle for their fundamental rights, and that the DS would
    continue to support them, FoNet reports.


    Radio B92 learned unofficialy on Monday that the Belgrade City
    Government had given firm guarantees to the Belgrade Public
    Transport Company that the drivers of the company would have their
    January wages paid by Tuesday. Thus the basic demand of the
    striking union in this company was met and the normal functioning
    of public transport was resumed.


    Zajedno leader Zoran Djindjic said on Monday that the coalition
    would accept a round table as a method of negotiation between the
    government and the opposition in Serbia for the liberation of the
    media, but would not accept panel discussions.

    In an interview on Radio Jagodina, Mr. Djindjic declined the
    proposal that the opposition take over a channel of Radio
    Television Serbia, saying that some citizens were attached to
    particular parties and the parties had no right to split public
    property among themselves, Beta reports


    Part-time workers at Radio Television Politika continued their
    strike on Monday, demanding clarification of their status, payment
    of overdue vages and a public apology from Radio Television
    Politika's Editor in Chief, Dragan Kozic for insulting the
    workers. The Sunday issue of Politika newspaper carried an article
    by Mr. Kozic saying that all the strikers had been sacked.


    The newly appointed Serbian Minister for Information, Radmila
    Milentijevic told state-controlled daily Politika on Monday that
    had accepted the portfolio because she wanted to help Serbian
    President Slobodan Milosevic. The minister described the president
    as ``a man who has the trust of the Serbian people... a very
    important factor for the preservation of stability in Serbia, the
    former Yugoslavia and the Balkans.''

    Ms Milentijevic commented that Serbia should develop closer
    relations with the US because ``a war in the Balkans is not in the
    interest of the Americans.'' She added that Serbia must, however,
    preserve its integrity and full independence, rather than allow
    the Americans to interfere in internal affairs to the extent that
    they have.

    Ms Milentijevic also discussed the role of the media in the war.
    ``The truth about the role of the Serbian people is that they were
    the greatest victims of the war on the territory of the former
    Yugoslavia,'' she said. The minister believes that not enough
    attention had been paid to foreign journalists, that more contacts
    with them should have been established, and that their reports
    should have been followed and promptly responded to if they were

    The minister announced a new law on the media which would bring
    local standards closer to those of western Europe. She described
    the media in Serbia as having enormous freedom.

    Ms. Milentijevic said that she would identify the shortcomings of
    Radio Television Serbia (RTS) in an effort to make it a model of
    professional media. She also said that RTS news bulletins must
    reflect real life in Serbia.


    The Monday issue of London's Daily Telegraph claimed that a
    campaign wa under way in Serbia, led by Vuk Draskovic, president
    of the Serbian Renewal Movement, for the restoration of the

    ``If I were elected Serbian President, I would restore the
    monarchy, and then withdraw from politics and write books,'' Mr.
    Draskovic is reported as saying.

    The daily says that Mr. Draskovic had decided to invite Aleksandar
    Karadjordjevic, the heir to the Serbian throne, to return to his
    people. Mr. Draskovic explained that Aleksandar Karadjordjevic had
    been born abroad and had spent his whole life in democratic
    countries such as Great Britain and the US. ``He is not like us,
    who have grown up under communism and cannot understand
    democracy,'' Mr. Draskovic said.


    Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic began an official visit
    to Italy on Monday, FoNet reports. Mr. Djukanovic is to meet with
    the top officials of the Italian region of Veneto. The aim of the
    visit is to present Montenegrin investment opportunities, and the
    possible signing of an agreement on cooperation with the Italian
    Association of Communal Services.


    Croat Foreign Minister Mate Granic will arrive in Belgrade on
    Wednesday, FoNet reports. A statement from the Croatian Foreign
    Ministry on Monday said that the visit, at the invitation of the
    Yugoslav Foreign Minister, was part of the normalization of
    relations between the two countries. Zagreb and Belgrade
    established diplomatic relations in September 1996. Mr. Granic was
    to arrive in Belgrade last December, but the visit had been
    postponed because of anti-government demonstrations in Serbia.

    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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