News for March 14th, 1997

Belgrade students planted a plum tree, symbolizing Serbian unity, in Park of Friendship in New Belgrade today. They launched an improvised "boat with former Chancellor" of Belgrade University Dragutin Velickovic down the river Sava. They launched tens of bottles with messages prompting the former Chancellor to leave, and expressing their hopes that a person of his kind should never hold that position again. Tomorrow's protest gathering has been scheduled for 18:00, when the last "media walk" by the buildings of "Politika" and Serbian Radio-television will start. In front of the state radio-television, a TV set will be burnt.

Secretary General of the Serbian Socialist Party (SPS) and head of the delegate team of that party in Serbian Parliament Gorica Gajevic stated today that a round table conference, suggested by the coalition Zajedno, would be a "step back". According to her words, the coalition Zajedno, intended to "use blackmail to attain the objectives which it could attain at the panel discussion as well". When asked whether she would support the suggested version of the public information law, according to which private radio and television stations were allowed to cover only 25% of the population, Gajevic answered that such regulations were in accordance with international conventions.

A three-day international scientific conference, with the subject "European democracy today", began in Belgrade today. During the conference, around 20 experts and professors at Belgrade University and several German and French universities will speak about democracy as a theoretical and practical challenge. The conference has been organized owing to joint efforts of the Institute for European studies, the Goethe Institute, the British Council and the French Cultural Center. The three subjects to be presented by the participants are: Democracy as a theoretical and practical challenge, Europe and democracy and Democracy in European societies in transition.

In the Kapelica gallery within Ljubljana university, a successful and well attended public discussion about the student and opposition protest activities in Belgrade and Serbia was held yesterday evening. The discussion, which lasted for two and a half hours, was transmitted by Radio Index and through the Internet. Video clips recorded in Belgrade were shown to the audience, which reacted to the excellent organization and persistence of the Student Protest with great approval. Members of the Main Board of the Student Protest Daliborka Uljarevic and Bojan Bogdanovic, as well as writer Simon Pesic, a participant of the Student Protest 1992, participated in the discussion. Their hosts were Boris Jez and Igor Mekina, journalists of the "Delo" and "Mladina", two magazines published in Ljubljana. The subject of the discussion was the possibility of introducing changes in Serbia, but the attitude of Belgrade students toward Kosova and Bosnia and Herzegovina was also mentioned.

Hans Koschnik, former Mayor of Bremen and former EU administrator for Mostar, arrived in Belgrade yesterday. As the representative of the European syndical association, he intends to talk to people active in the syndical and political spheres in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Hans Koschnik is expected to meet the representatives of the Student Protest tomorrow. A news conference will be held at the German Embassy residence tomorrow afternoon.

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