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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), March 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 4 PM


    Dutch Foreign Minister Hans van der Mirlo on Monday spoke
    exclusively to Radio B92 about the Copenhagen meeting of OSCE
    Chairman Niels Hoelveg Petersen and Zajedno leaders Vesna Pesic
    and Vuk Draskovic:

    ``The topic of today's talks was democratic reform in Yugoslavia.
    As you know, former Spanish Prime Minister Gonzalez recommended in
    his report, which has now been accepted by all parties, a number
    of things besides the implementation of local election results. He
    also suggested democratic reform and reform of the electoral law.
    He suggested legislation that would give access to the media to
    all political parties, and he also suggested reform of the
    judicial system, creating safeguards for the independence of the
    courts. Today's discussion was about democratic reform, in the
    aftermath of implementation of the election results. I do not want
    to go into details.''

    ``This is part of the dialogue between the government and Zajedno
    and today one of the sides focused on identifying the areas where
    democratic reforms are needed in Serbia. The question of how to
    proceed with the dialogue was also part of the discussion and the
    possible role of the OSCE in the democratic process was discussed.
    This is a dialogue with one ot the sides. We have not spoken to
    the other side, because Foreign Minister Milutinovic was not in a
    position to come to Copenhagen today as we had hoped he could.
    There are indications that he may be available later this month,
    and in that event the dialogue would then be pursued with him.''

    Opposition leader Vuk Draskovic said that Zajedno had been
    informed that Mr Milutinovic would come to Copenhagen by the end
    of May, and that the Serbian government would be warned that it
    was obliged to accept he democratic dialogue.


    The Serbian Parliament on Monday adopted the Declaration on the
    Agreement between Yugolavia and Republika Srpska. The session was
    attended by 148 members, of whom 147 voted for adoption, and one
    abstained. Zajedno and Democratic Party of Serbia representatives
    did not attend the session.


    The French Foreign Minister Herve de Charet on Monday said that
    France wanted Yugoslavia to postpone ratification of the Agreement
    with Republika Srpska until the High Commissioner for Bosnia, Karl
    Bildt, had given his consent. Mr de Charet also said that he had
    suggested to Yugoslav Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic that the
    OSCE could organise a dialogue between the Serbian Government and
    Zajedno on electoral processes in Serbia, reform of the electoral
    law and access to media for all political parties. He had also
    reminded Mr Milutinovic of the EU's demand for the opening of an
    information office in Pristina.


    Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic convened a meeting of senior
    government members on Monday to mark the cabinet's third
    anniversary. In a statement issued after the closed session, the
    President said that Serbia's priorities in the year ahead were
    economic reform and the fight against crime. Mr Milosevic said
    that there would be a drive against crime, smuggling and the grey


    Serbian Information Minister Radmila Milentijevic told a Radio B92
    reporter on Monday that the station would have to apply for a
    licence under her new tender scheme for broadcast frequencies. She
    said that this provision applied to all broadcasters in Serbia,
    except those under state control.

    The Minister invited all broadcasters who felt they had quality
    programming to offer to apply.

    Asked to comment on the future of private commercial and folk
    television in Serbia, Mrs Milentijevic said that she thought the
    programming of these stations was insubstantial, adding that they
    should not bother applying for a licence if all they were going to
    broadcast was folk music and gossip.

    She also said that she was behind absolute freedom of the media
    and information and that censorship was unacceptable to her. ``I
    live in the USA where the media are free,'' said the Serbian
    Minister for Information, adding that Serbia must also function
    according to market principles and avoid monopoly.

    The minister said that the tender process for frequencies would
    begin in April. There will be a continuation of last Thursday's
    parliamentary panel on the law in the Serbian Parliament at 8pm on
    Tuesday evening. The panel will be broadcast live on state
    television RTS2.

    Prepared by: Goran Dimitrijevic
    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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