Hundreds of thousands flood onto the streets of Belgrade, pelting Radio TV Serbia with eggs and stones, demolishing the entrance to the offices of Politika, the regime's newspapers. In Zagreb, the Croatian capital, teachers and university lecturers strike and take to the streets just one week after President Franjo Tudjman's government was forced to rescind an order closing down the independent Radio 101 following mass street protests.
For the moment the situation in Serbia remains the least predictable and the most dangerous. Once again Belgrade is convulsed in wounds inflicted by the experienced knife of President Slobodan Milosevic. Having won federal elections a few weeks ago, he and his allies assumed they would cruise to another victory in municipal elections.
By last Sunday, however, it was clear that Zajedno (Together), the opposition coalition, had swept to power in most of Serbia's main towns, including the capital. "He didn't even consider the possibility that he might lose," said Veran Matic, the director of B92, the independent radio station that has become the central symbol of opposition defiance in Serbia.
In an authoritarian swipe that was breathtaking even by his extraordinary standards, Milosevic simply annulled all the local elections that had gone against him. "The second thing he did not believe," Matic continued, "was that people would take to the streets."
But take to the streets they did. The centre of Belgrade has swelled with Serbs whose anger exploded, pent up over five years of war, sanctions and mafia dictatorship. Protests spread to the other main urban centres.
Until the middle of last week, the Americans and Europeans had ignored the growing chaos in Serbia, relegating the electoral fraud to the dustbin of Serbia's internal affairs. But last week the American State Department issued two warnings to Milosevic rejecting his "attempts aimed at nullifying the results of the local elections in Serbia". The criticism was very late in coming, however, and reflects America's dilemma.
Milosevic stands resolutely by the Dayton agreement, which meant that he has jettisoned his original goal of establishing a greater Serbia. In addition, he has been quite ruthless in his dealings with the Bosnian Serbs. He refuses to support their aim of seceding from Bosnia-Herzegovina and insists that they co-operate with the Dayton plan. Together with Tudjman, he is the main regional supporter of Dayton. And Dayton is America's strategy.
The uncomfortable fact for the outside world is that the Serbian opposition has cosied up a little too closely to the Bosnian Serbs. Vuk Draskovic, the bearded messiah who was once a favoured guest at most western embassies in Belgrade, said during a campaign rally that "the Serbian flag will once again fly over Serbian Knin". Vote to reignite the war in Croatia not to mention Bosnia? For some diplomats, this was a case of too much democracy being a bad thing. Do you choose a Balkan dictator or do you back a disparate group of people whose incompetence and romanticism could wreck the entire Bosnian peace process?
Later this week, representatives of the international community meet in London to define the mandate of SFOR (the stabilisation force), the Nato-led army which takes over from Ifor (the implementation force) for the next 18 months. If the Serbian opposition can keep its supporters on the streets; if Milosevic uses extensive force; if the army moves against the demonstrators; will the international community be able to continue co-operating with Milosevic?
The events in Serbia have happily disguised the impending power struggle in Croatia, occasioned by what American diplomats say is Tudjman's fatal illness. The Dayton agreement, just a year after its promulgation, looks like a flaky scrap of paper.
The writer is author of `The Fall of Yugoslavia'