Foreign Agencies on December 1st, 1996
ASSOCIATED PRESS Yugoslavia Youth Protest Grows
Sunday, December 1, 1996 10:13 am EST
By MISHA SAVIC
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) -- Defying bad weather, thousands of students took to the streets Sunday to press their protests against Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, who they say stole elections from the opposition.
One independent radio station reported that Western diplomats were
trying to mediate between Milosevic and the protesters, whose numbers
increased Saturday to 150,000. On Sunday, about 10,000 marched.
Students gathered in front of the university's philosophy department, where 700 professors have already signed a petition supporting the students.
Carrying huge posters saying ``Students' Protest 1996-1997,'' and ``We Are Not Tired Yet,'' students marched through the capital. Other protesters joined them on the route.
Those who stayed home greeted the students from windows.
After days of hurling eggs and firecrackers at city hall and state television offices, students on Sunday threw inflated condoms at the Supreme Court building as a sign of derision.
Students and other opposition supporters want Milosevic to recognize an
opposition victory in the Nov. 17 local elections in Belgrade and other
major Serbian cities.
More than 200,000 young people have left Serbia since Milosevic rose to power in 1987. and encouraged wars in Croatia and Bosnia before publicly backing peace in the Balkans.
Many left because they did not want to fight, but others went searching for a better future in the West.
Serbia's economy is still suffering from the Communist legacy. It has been devastated by mismanagement, corruption and economic sanctions imposed for fomenting the conflict in former Yugoslavia.