The Nando times - Firebomb hurled at YU official's home

By KATARINA KRATOVAC

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (December 3, 1999) - The home of an official closely allied to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was hit by a firebomb Thursday, and Milosevic's ruling party again rejected opposition demands for early elections.

Early Thursday morning, unidentified assailants threw the Molotov cocktail into the home of Milutin Levic, a high-ranking Socialist official, member of the party's executive board and head of the prominent state-run Trayal tire corporation, the independent FoNet news agency reported.

The blast occurred in Krusevac, Levic's hometown in central Serbia. Police were investigating, and no further details were available.

Meanwhile, opposition parties convened Thursday for round-table talks in Belgrade and gave Milosevic seven days to clearly state whether his party will start negotiations on free and fair elections.

However, Milosevic's party spokesman, Ivica Dacic, again rejected opposition calls for general elections.

"There is no reason to call general elections," Dacic told reporters. "If there is a crisis anywhere in this country, it is in the communities where self-rule is no longer functioning and where local government is run by the opposition."

Dacic blasted the opposition-run local government in Nis, Serbia's third-largest city, where the biggest anti-Milosevic rally in weeks was staged Wednesday.

The crowd of more than 7,000 braved freezing temperatures to call for Milosevic's resignation and protest the government's holdup of 350 tons of heating oil from the European Union. The oil is badly needed in Nis and Pirot, two opposition-run cities.

The 14-truck convoy carrying the oil has been stuck at the border with Macedonia for eight days, despite protests from the EU and Serbia's opposition, which say the delay is politically motivated. Yugoslav officials cite customs problems over the delivery.

The fuel - part of the EU's "energy for democracy" pilot project - is meant to strengthen opposition leaders struggling to oust Milosevic, whom they accuse of isolating and impoverishing the country following the 78-day war with NATO this spring.

http://www.nandotimes.com/global/story/0,1024,500064313-500106477-500482107-0,00.html

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