Local Press Digest

BELGRADE, Apr 27, 2000 (Rtr)


Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic received credentials from newly appointed ambassadors of Mexico and Argentina. Both diplomats told Milosevic they wanted further promotion of ties between their countries and Yugoslavia.

The eighth birthday of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on April 27 will be marked by reconstruction. Serbs and Montenegrins have continued to live in a joint state after the secession of four republics of former Yugoslavia. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the first European country to be exposed to a brutal aggression after the Second World War.

Serbs imprisoned in Kosovska Mitrovica were visited by a team of Yugoslav lawyers. The Serbs have been on a hunger strike for two weeks running because of double standards applied by Mitrovica's judicial authorities.

Yugoslav Airlines managing director Zika Petrovic was killed outside his Belgrade home on Tuesday evening. He was shot from the back after parking his car. Police said the murder was a terrorist act against a senior Yugoslav business official.


Belgrade wants to cause unrest in Montenegro, the coastal republic's Prime Minister Filip Vujanovic said. "I believe the Serbian opposition is unanimous in accepting the Montenegrin platform on redefining ties within the federal state. If the Serbian authorities say they are against the platform, we will have no choice but declare independence," Vujanovic said.

The Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) opposes a popular referendum on early general elections, as that won't force the regime to yield in and accept the demand, the party's spokesman Ivan Kovacevic told a news conference. "The only way is to carry on exerting permanent pressure," Kovacevic said.

Inflation is looming large again and the average purchasing power is dropping steadily, a team of economic experts said. They pointed out the Serbian government's economic measures based on controlling prices had produced shortages.

An explosive device blew up the entrance to a Belgrade apartment building in which one of the residents was Zoran Uskokovic "Skole", tipped by some media as one of the organizers of Serbian warlord Zeljko Raznatovic Arkan's murder. Uskokovic, who was in his apartment at the time of the explosion, had denied any involvement in the murder.

A member of the Serb Liberation Army (OSA) on trial for conspiring to commit subversive activities and terrorism first denied but then admitted the group had plotted terrorist acts to intimidate certain officials. Zoran Zdravkovic, 39, declined to name the officials but the Judicial Council's President assumed the targets were Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and Yugoslav Army Chief of Staff Nebojsa Pavkovic. Seven OSA members have been charged with plotting an assassination of Milosevic and Pavkovic.


The monarchy is a secondary issue as the Serbian people are bleeding, Crown Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic told the daily. "The opposition must prepare itself for victory as Serbia has had enough of strongman rule. There must be no reprisals after the elections," Karadjordjevic said.

The Supreme Court has nullified a three-year sentence against Bogoljub Arsenijevic Maki, the leader of last summer's civil protests in the Serbian town of Valjevo who escaped prison on March 8. The verdict means Arsenijevic will face a new trial.


The decision to abandon the dinar as a currency in Montenegro has produced chaos in that Yugoslav republic. The government had no choice but allow consumers to buy bread and milk for dinars, as most people still receive their dues in the Yugoslav currency, the paper comments.


The Serbian Renewal Movement could lose its seats in the Yugoslav Parliament's Upper House when the body convenes on May 3 to elect new deputies. SPO said it would boycott the federal parliament until the authorities identify perpetrators of what the party called an assassination attempt against its leader Vuk Draskovic. Four senior SPO officials were killed in a mysterious car crash last October. Draskovic escaped with minor injuries.

"Serbia faces disaster and an even tighter isolation if the opposition loses the elections," Democratic Party leader Zoran Djindjic said. "Montenegro will no longer be part of Yugoslavia while the situation in Kosovo will get even worse if President Slobodan Milosevic stays in power," he added.

Montenegro POBJEDA

Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic received Albania's Foreign Minister Pascal Milo and said the republic had won worldwide respect for integrating all its citizens into political life regardless of their nationality. Djukanovic accepted an invitation to visit Albania.


The Democratic Party of Socialists, the Social Democrats and the People's Party have signed an agreement on taking part in local elections in Podgorica as a coalition.

The Yugoslav Lef has joined the coalition Yugoslavia-SNP-Momir Bulatovic coalition for local elections in Podgorica and Herceg Novi.

Original article