Foreign Agencies on December 10th, 1996
The Guardian Tuesday 10 December 1996
The Force that Milosevic fears
International criticism is important, but internal dissent vital.
The students may control the streets, but Slobo can still manipulate the seats.
The current protest in the streets is based on a coalition of student and inteligentsia calling for free speech with a broader stratum of middle class opinion which complains of public corruption and private hardship. Over the past three weeks it has been an impressive performance,not least because of its relative restraint (eggs and a few stones rather than firebombs or worse). But it has failed to reach a critical mass comparable to that of the Czech velvet revolution - to which it has nonetheless been compared.
Serbian's Foes Are a Varied Lot
By John Pomfret
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, December 10, 1996; Page A01
BELGRADE, Dec. 9
A disparate band of students, Belgrade's once-prosperous middle class and, lately, some workers have trudged peacefully through the broad boulevards in the center of the city for 22 days straight, tooting whistles and kazoos in a boisterous stream. A few are obviously untouched by the economic collapse that has lowered the average standard of living in Yugoslavia to the level of Ghana. But most have been ruined by the five-year-old financial collapse, scratching by on salaries of $40 a month.
Whatever their motives, since they took to the streets following the
overturning of the Nov. 17 municipal elections, the marchers have
attracted worldwide attention and mounted the most sustained challenge
to Milosevic's rule since he took the helm of the Serbian Communist
Party in 1987. Their protests, although unfocused beyond opposition to
the president, have reminded Europe and the United States that the
Balkans have other problems besides the conflict in nearby Bosnia.
Students protest in the late morning and have refused to join their march with an opposition demonstration starting three hours later.
At 20, Goran Karadzic said he should be feeling "hopeful, optimistic -- whatever you want to call those feelings a man my age should have."
Instead, the medical student feels that living in Yugoslavia today is like inhabiting a blind alley. Most of his 25-year-old sister's friends have left the country. Most of his friends want to leave, too. "This place sucks," he said, spitting out the words.
So each day for the last 22, Karadzic has marched with his classmates to express disgust with the Milosevic regime.
(c) Copyright 1996 The Washington Post Company
Serbian opposition loses challenge to nullified elections
December 10, 1996
Web posted at: 8:45 p.m. EST
From Correspondent Brent Sadler
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- Despite protests in the center of Belgrade that have now lasted for 23 days, the Yugoslav Federal Supreme Court rejected an appeal Tuesday to reinstate opposition victories in last month's municipal elections.
Enraged at the court's decision, student demonstrators brandished copies of the Serbian constitution, hoping to attract the attention of judges. "They behave like people who've never seen the constitution, let alone read it," said one student.
The protesters were left unanswered. Nobody inside the court came
(c) 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.