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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    Odraz B92 vesti (by 8 PM), December 31, 1996

    e-mail: beograd@siicom.com      URL: http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/
            odrazb92@b92.opennet.org     http://www.siicom.com/b92/
    All texts are Copyright 1996 Radio B92. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    NEWS BY 8 PM


    Radio B92
    Internet B92
    Odraz B92

    To all our associates, to our friends as well as to our enemies,
    to our readers and viewers, and to our listeners across the world,
    to those who read our news either in Serbian or in English, in the
    Cyrillic or the Latin script, or listen to us with the help of
    RealAudio files, we wish a peaceful, happy and successful New
    Year. We hope that our contact with you will last and be as strong
    as it is now even when we do have some more democracy in Serbia.
    And we are sure that it will: because there is never enough
    justice to make redundant the need for these attempts to present
    and learn of the events in our world in as truthful a form as

    For Radio B92,
    Sasa Mirkovic and Veran Matic


    EU diplomats stated today that Serbian authorities are prepared to
    accept the recommendations of the OSCE report which calls on
    Serbian President Milosevic to acknowledge the electoral results
    of Nov. 17. The statement was made after a meeting of the Dutch,
    Irish and Italian diplomatic mission chiefs in Belgrade with
    Yugoslav Assistant Foreign Minister Nikola Cicanovic. At this
    meeting, the foreign diplomats expressed the European Union's
    expectation that Serbian authorities will urgently and fully
    comply with the OSCE's recommendations.

    Head of the European diplomats' delegation, First Secretary of the
    Netherlands Embassy Meno Lenstra said he understood that the
    Serbian authorities are looking for the ways to implement the
    OSCE's recommendations, Reuters reports. The EU delegation met
    with Cicanovic after their attempts to see Milosevic of Yugoslav
    Foreign Minister Milutinovic fell through.


    Yugoslav Assistant Foreign Minister Nikola Cicanovic reiterated
    the comments Yugoslav Foreign Minister Milutinovic made on Felipe
    Gonzalez's report describing it as ``good, well-balanced and
    constructive,'' stated EU statement forwarded to FoNet from the
    Dutch Embassy.

    Although he could not confirm that the Serbian government will
    accept all OSCE recommendations, Cicanovic said the government's
    intention is make sure that the will of the electorate, as
    expressed in the second local electoral round, is fully respected.

    Cicanovic said that this process cannot be expected to begin in
    the next few days because of the New Year holidays, said the EU


    French Foreign Ministry stated today that Yugoslav Foreign
    Minister Milutinovic considers the OSCE report as
    ``constructive.''  In his telephone conversation with French
    foreign minister Ervet de Charet, Milutinovic said that he needs
    more time to fully examine the OSCE report and its
    recommendations, reports AFP.  The French foreign ministry
    statement said De Charet asked Milutinovic to step up the efforts
    to comply with the OSCE recommendations.


    France warned Belgrade today that it risks growing isolation if it
    fails to acknowledge the opposition's victory in the Nov. 17 local
    elections. Foreign Ministry spokesman Jacques Rimmellard called on
    Serbian President Milosevic to immediately open a dialogue with
    the opposition, whose supporters have been demonstrating in the
    streets of Belgrade, reports AFP.


    Radio Antena M in Podgorica, the largest independent station in
    Montenegro, has received an official note from the Ministry of
    Industry, Energy and Mining, which says that the station's working
    license expired on December 15. The Ministry has announced that it
    will call a public competition for the frequency 87.6 MHz, on
    which Antena M has been broadcasting its programs up to now.

    This newest development means that Antena M may well lose its
    frequency, because the competition is an open bid one, so the pro-
    Government media or organizations have the chance to offer a
    higher bid and obtain the frequency license without the obligation
    to broadcast anything. This has already happened in the past.

    The Montenegrin Minister of information has already announced that
    Antena M will be ``punished.''  All this comes at a time when
    Radio B92 is again being oppressed in Belgrade. The world
    considers Montenegrin authorities more liberal than Milosevic: as
    far the position of the media is concerned, however, the two
    regimes are comparable. We call on the associations of
    professional journalists to demand from their governments to put a
    pressure on Montenegrin authorities, so the position of the
    independent media may be improved and the contract with Antena M

    The Association of the Independent Media calls on the Government
    of the Republic of Montenegro to reverse the decision of the
    Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining which has canceled Antena
    M's license and to respect the universal principles regarding the
    freedom of the press.

    Veran Matic
    Coordinator of the Association of the Independent Electronic Media
    Editor-in-Chief of Radio B92 Belgrade


    Spokesman of the Serbian Renewal Movement Ivan Kovacevic told a
    press conference today that the coalition Zajedno has demanded the
    OSCE make clear their statement as to whether they meant that
    Zajedno had won in the local elections in the Belgrade City
    Assembly and 8 of Belgrade municipalities or in 9 Belgrade
    municipalities. He said Zajedno expects the reply after the New
    Year holidays.

    Asked whether it is true that some Yugoslav Army regiments have
    offered support for the democratic protests, Kavacevic said that
    the announcement by the Yugoslav Army Command Headquarters
    yesterday itself hints that the assurances of support which
    Zajedno has received are true.


    Radio Television Serbia's prime time news show broadcast this
    evening the season's greetings by Serbian President Milosevic,
    whose message altogether failed to mention the present political
    crisis in Serbia. Milosevic merely said that ``we have used the
    past year very well indeed, if we take into account all
    interferences we have been subject to, from inside the country and
    abroad, especially in the last few months.''  He stressed that the
    gross national product, as well as export, employment and income
    levels have all increased, but that this is still not sufficient
    as a great number of citizens still live in conditions of economic
    hardship. ``The following year will be a year of reform, huge
    property and structural changes, which should enable the
    affirmation of all those elements of the motivational mechanism
    characteristic of a market economy. It will be a year of huge
    investment projects which will really change the outlook of our
    country,'' said Milosevic, wishing the citizens a happy New Year
    and adding: ``Let us be a peaceful, free, prosperous and
    independent state.''


    Montenegrin Parliament rejected last night the text of a
    resolution proposed by the opposition coalition ``Narodna Sloga.''
    Instead of the stern condemnation of the Serbian regime for the
    nullification of Zajedno's victory in the local elections in major
    cities of Serbia and for its brutal show-down with the peaceful
    demonstrators in Belgrade, the adopted resolution expressed
    concern over these events, reports Montena Fax.

    The watered-down resolution stressed concern over the negative
    consequences the events in Serbia might have for the international
    position of FR Yugoslavia. The resolution expressed its support
    for finding a democratic way out of the existing problems and
    urged restraint from all sorts of violent confrontations. It also
    called for a political dialogue in Serbia and urged tolerance
    among the major political forces in Serbia and respect for the
    Serbian Constitution, its institutions, the international
    democratic principles championed by the OSCE.


    In an interview to the Montenegrin newspaper ``Pobjeda,''
    Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic said that during 1996
    Montenegro, ``with its high quality, mature and responsible
    government, within FR Yugoslavia, had a historic chance to realize
    its development projects rapidly, decisively and efficiently'' and
    reintegrate in the international community, developing its
    democracy and economy.


    Some 30 members of the Steering Board of Student Protest '96
    managed to reach the Dedinje neighborhood and almost got to
    President Milosevic's residence today, using public transport.
    They held a session of the Steering Board on the street itself,
    not far from where the President resides. The president of the
    student board read out the students' declaration of freedom:

    ``We, UofB students, make public this declaration of freedom from
    the very heart of the forbidden city. The right to truth is the
    inalienable right of any individual and any nation. For the truth
    is the only road to freedom. All human beings are born free with
    the right to find their own happiness. Despotism, imposed by a
    minority on the majority of people, is not a future of our
    civilization. Democracy is our goal and the duty of any free
    individual is to resist lawlessness and tyranny.''


    After having read the declaration of freedom the students tried to
    reach the President's residence but were prevented by a group of
    policemen. Taking a side street, they reached Dobrica Cosic's
    home. He greeted them and wished them a happy New Year. The
    students returned to the School of Philosophy, where the
    celebration of the New Year's Eve began at 9 p.m.


    Radio B92 has unofficially learned that a session by the managing
    board of the Radio Television Studio B, the once independent
    station seized by the authorities earlier this year, convened this
    afternoon. The head of the station, Djordje Minkov, said that
    either he or the signatories of yesterday's petition must go.
    Studio B's journalists and editors sent an open letter yesterday
    to the Student Protest '96, supporting the students' demands and
    condemning the brutal beatings of local and foreign fellow-
    journalists. Radio B92 has learned from reliable sources that a
    great majority of the staff supports the letter and will stick to
    the position expressed there.


    The celebration of the New Year's Eve organized by the coalition
    Zajedno in downtown Belgrade began in the Republic Square in the
    early afternoon hours with a distribution of presents to several
    thousand children, for whom a special entertainment program was
    performed. Huge screens and public address systems are already set
    up for the program to take place in this square later tonight.
    Numerous Belgrade musicians and actors are to perform here as well
    as in front of the School of Philosophy, where the Student Protest
    is organizing a party for the youth of Belgrade.


    Inviting all Belgraders to spend the New Year's Eve at the
    Republic Square, one of Zajedno leaders Zoran Djindjic said: ``Let
    Belgrade tonight be the most luminous spot on the earth. Let this
    be the eve of solidarity of all who want Belgrade to be a European
    metropolis, as it once was and surely will be again.'' He said the
    protests at the nullification of Zajedno's victory in Serbian
    local elections will continue into the New Year.


    Some parts of Belgrade have spent the last hours of the passing
    year without electricity, although the Power Company of Serbia
    announced this afternoon that the causes of these power-cuts have
    been eliminated.


    Today's issue of the daily ``Dnevni Telegraf'' said that the new
    Yugoslav President might be Pavle Bulatovic, while the current
    President Zoran Lilic might become the Federal Prime Minister. The
    daily, quoting sources close to the management of the Democratic
    Socialist Party of Montenegro, says that the proposal came from
    the Serbian President himself in a talk he had with Montenegrin
    President Momir Bulatovic.


    Civil unrest and the protest in Serbia against the authorities'
    manipulation of local elections take a prominent place in the list
    of the most important events in the world in 1996 as seen by the
    leading Moscow newspapers, Branko Stosic reports for FoNet.
    ``Delavoj mir,'' a Moscow business magazine, says Yugoslavia is in
    danger of another split as Montenegro has threatened to find its
    own way into the international community if Milosevic fails to
    find a compromise with Zajedno. ``Moskovske Novosti,'' however,
    believes that the compromise is possible by calling a fresh round
    of elections. The Moscow weekly claims that a new set of elections
    would suit both the opposition, which can expect better results
    due to the mass anti-government protests, and the authorities who
    might be able to avoid repeating their mistakes from the last

    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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