|Wednesday, 26 February 2020|
Yugoslav Daily Survey, 98-02-23
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From: Yugoslavia <http://www.yugoslavia.com>
Yugoslav Daily Survey
 TOWNS OF KOTOR AND BARLETTA SIGN PROTOCOL ON COOPERATION
Mayors of the Yugoslav coastal town of Kotor and the Italian of Barletta Nikola Konjevic and Francesco Salerno, respectively, signed a Protocol on cooperation between the two towns on Saturday.
The talks between the delegations of the two towns focused on better transportation links, economic cooperation, tourism, and ties in culture, education and sports.
The delegations decided that Kotor present its tourism offer in Barletta in the second week of March.
 PREMIER DODIK: U.S. VISIT WAS HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL
Premier of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik said late on Sunday that his recent visit to the United States was highly successful and that he was pleased with the results of his talks there.
Dodik told Serbian state Radio and Television that the talks had related to concrete arrangements with the World Bank. These concerned crediting small and medium-sized firms in the Republika Srpska with 20 million dollars at an interest rate of 1% annually, to be repaid over 35 years and with a 10- year grace period, he said. Such a credit has been negotiated, according to Dodik, and it now remains to work out the technical details of the transfer.
"We met with great approval of the Government's work and support for the new Government, and were assured of help for the Government in its work and for the Republika Srpska to stabilise its economic situation in the coming period.
"As a result, (Secretary of State Madeleine) Albright pledged 5 million dollars, to be sent directly to the Government in order to take care of some social problems," Dodik said.
He added that he had talks also at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whose officials explained the necessary steps to be taken and conditions to be met before an accord should be signed. He explained that firm agreement had been reached about signing a stand-by arrangement in March, before which the Republika Srpska should adopt a budget "and other steps should be taken in connection with the functioning of the central bank of Bosnia- Herzegovina."
"We expect to meet these conditions very soon and in this way create conditions for making major headway as regards the status of the Republika Srpska," Dodik said.
He added he was especially pleased with a discussion concerning the preparations for a new international donors' conference, for the holding of which the Republika Srpska would be making no political conditions.
 U.S SUPPORT TO REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
The U.S. Administration is very pleased with the talks senior officials in Washington held last week with Republika Srpska (RS) Prime Minister Milorad Dodik.
State Department Spokesman James Rubin described as very positive the talks between Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Prime Minister Dodik, and the U.S. press carries statements made by senior administration officials that Washington looks with optimism on RS and calls on Muslims and Croats in Bosnia to follow suit.
Rubin repeated that Albright was very pleased with the talks with Dodik, especially as the RS Prime Minister "seems determined to do the right thing in Bosnia, to see Dayton implemented."
An unnamed senior Administration official, whose statement is carried by news agencies, said Washington was impressed by what the new Government has done over a short period of time. "It leads us to be very optimistic," the official said as quoted by news agencies.
Washington, according to him, would like that Muslims and Croats in Bosnia follow suit, in terms of showing similar positive movement on the implementation of Dayton.
The U.S. Administration is increasingly frustrated by what is going on in the Muslim
Croat Federation, the official said, adding that they were "tremendously concerned about increasing negativism and obstructionism from both the Bosniaks (Muslims) and the Croats."
The same official pointed out that the new RS Government has given wide space to reforms in all fields - from transport, communications and the media, to key economic and fiscal reforms. That is why Washington is lending its support to RS and giving assurances it will help increase economic aid to the Serb entity in Bosnia and speed up the realization of the aid approved by U.S. and international donors.
 PREMIER DODIK MET U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE ALBRIGHT
Republika Srpska Prime Minister Milorad Dodik met in Washington on Friday with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at the conclusion of a several-day visit to the United States.
"The talks were open and constructive," Dodik told Tanjug, adding that Albright had lent full support to the new Bosnian Serb Government.
Albright expressed satisfaction over what the government had done since its formation to accelerate implementation of the Dayton accord. "I hope the trend will continue", she said.
The two parties agreed that stabilization in the area was significant for the overall political situation in Bosnia and the entire region.
They assessed that Yugoslavia, and its President Slobodan Milosevic, played a constructive role in the formation of the new Government of Republika Srpska and stabilization in the Serb entity in Bosnia.
Dodik set out the many difficulties faced by the RS Government, in particular the slow inflow of economic aid to Republika Srpska.
Albright said the aid had to be accelerated and promised assistance toward that end. She said the U.S. Government would immediately send five million dollars to Republika Srpska for settling the most urgent problems. Various U.S. Government agencies are expected to send 50 million dollars for development projects in Republika Srpska.
Dodik also met with Robert Dole, who heads a Commission for Missing Persons in former Yugoslavia. Dole said other states in the region should follow the example of Yugoslavia in working to shed light on persons who went missing in the war.
Dodik had a number of meetings in the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, where he discussed concrete projects for support and aid to Republika Srpska.
 SERBS ARE LOSING JOBS AND GETTING SEVERANCE PAY IN DINARS
Since the reintegration of the region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and West Srem into Croatia, 343 citizens of Serb nationality have been fired from jobs they held in the local administration while the region was administered by the United Nations.
Those who were given notices in the Osijek-Baranja and Vukovar-Srem counties in early January were given an "agreement" to sign, pledging that they would not seek a job in Croatian state bodies for the next five years, and were "generously" offered 9,000 Yugoslav dinars as "compensation."
Thus, Serbs who had believed the promises of the Croatian side and even more so trusted the international community, which had been represented by Generals Jacques Klein and William Walker, are now compelled to leave the region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and West Srem.
By signing the "agreement," which gave them the "choice" of "take it or leave it," Serbs were made to renounce their right to seek jobs in the state administration, although they possess all valid documents as Croatian citizens.
Finding themselves before an accomplished fact and without any prior notification, 250 of the 343 employees of Serb nationality took the "severance pay" in dinars.
Pressed by a scandal which followed, Croatian Deputy Minister of the Administration Mirko Tankosic, whose signature was on the "agreement," drew up a "more humane version" of the document.
Under the revised "agreement," Serbs are offered "severance pay" of 6,000 kunas (Croatian currency) for agreeing not to seek employment in state institutions for the next six months and not five years.
Croatian Deputy Minister Tankosic has said that the move is a result of the Croatian Government's "good will, since such severance pay is not provided for under any law and is not binding for the Republic of Croatia."
Tankosic said that notices had allegedly been given to employees with inadequate qualifications.
Croatia has once again shown that it is not ready to contribute to the building of inter-ethnic confidence in the region.
The announcement made by its authorities that 30,000 more jobs would be closed in the next four months means that as many Serbs will be left jobless and they and their families without a livelihood.
This means that Croatia will make the remaining 50,000 Serbs or so to leave the region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and West Srem and itself definitively become the ethnically purest state in Europe.
The International Commission which monitors the implementation of the Erdut Agreement between Croatian authorities and the local Serb population in the region has so far only sharply censured Croatia for failing to carry out and violating the Agreement's provisions.
The Commission is made up of representatives of 11 Western countries, the UNHCR, the European Union and the OSCE and is headed by U.S. Ambassador to Croatia William Montgomery.
 AGREEMENT ON THE RETURN OF REFUGEES
An Agreement enabling a free return of refugees and trading in real estate whose owners are in Yugoslavia or Croatia, made by a joint Yugoslav- Croatian Commission in Zagreb last week, is the most important step forward in the implementation of Article 7 of the Yugoslav-Croatian Agreement on the normalisation of relations.
A protocol was drawn up on the organised two-way return of all refugees and displaced persons who wish to do so, which means that a mass return of refugees from Yugoslavia to Croatia can be expected this spring.
The Commission also agreed on a protocol on the way of cooperation between the Property Protection Service in Yugoslavia and the Croatian State Real Estate Agency.
The Yugoslav side succeeded in preventing the sale of Serbian property below its real value, because none of the purchase and sale contracts would be verified if a small price was offered.
The Yugoslav side proposed a draft agreement on the compensation of all destroyed, damaged or missing property of refugees and displaced persons from Croatia and of Yugoslav citizens, but Croatia did not fully accept it.
Under the protocol on the organised return, both sides are prepared to guarantee necessary conditions for a free, normal and safe life to all people who decide to return. This means that Croatia must observe the general amnesty, which means that all people who are not war criminals and who are not charged by the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, can return to Croatia.
Both sides agreed that all repatriates would have the right to choose where they would live upon their return to Croatia or Yugoslavia.
Persons who decide to return to their pre-war homes are to fill in a universal form in the presence of officials of the Serbian Refugee Commissioner, the Montenegrin Commissioner for Displaced Persons and the Croatian Bureau for Refugees and Displaced Persons. The forms will be exchanged between the two countries' diplomatic and consular offices at a pace which is yet to be agreed on.
The date on a form marks the start of a procedure that is to be completed in three months' time. The procedure will continue even if a returnee does not have all the required documents.
Under the protocol, the two sides have assumed the obligation to ensure the monitoring of conditions for the return of refugees and displaced persons as well as of their present living conditions.
Yugoslavia has already submitted to Croatia lists of places to which refugees and displaced persons want to start returning collectively already this spring.
Moreover, Yugoslavia insists on the speedy return of 3,700 persons whose papers have been checked by Croatia which has decided that there are no obstacles for their return.
Croatia has submitted to Yugoslavia a list containing the names of persons expelled from Croatia that have returned individually from Yugoslavia since May 1997.
The protocol that regulates real estate trading is aimed at making it easier for refugees and displaced persons to sell their real estate and movable property as well as for Yugoslav citizens to sell property they have in Croatia.
Consequently, the Yugoslav Bureau for Property Protection and the Croatian State Real Estate Agency will only broker deals which means that they will advertise real estate that is to be sold and offer legal advice in drawing sales contracts.
Under the protocol, both the Yugoslav Bureau and the Croatian Real Estate Agency are to respect the owners' right to property.
Sales funds will be transferred through Yugoslav and Croatian banks authorised for the job by the Yugoslav Bureau and the Croatian Real Estate Agency.
 AKSENYENOK: OUTER WALL OF SANCTIONS DETRIMENTAL TO PEACE PROCESS
Alexander Aksenyenok of the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday that maintaining the so-called outer wall of sanctions against Yugoslavia was detrimental to the Balkans peace process and that the country must be re- admitted to world bodies.
Russia's Itar-Tass news agency quoted Aksenyenok, the Ministry's special envoy, as saying at the close of his several-day tour of the Balkans that the outer wall of sanctions and pressure exerted on Yugoslav leaders were detrimental to the interests of the peace process because Yugoslavia could do much to help stabilise the situation in the region.
He said that, unlike Western partners that exerted pressure on Yugoslavia in order to get something in return, Russia's attitude towards the country was friendly and well-intentioned.
He said Yugoslavia must be re-admitted to international organisations and in particular to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations.
He said Yugoslavia, for its part, must show flexibility and initiative in solving its internal affairs. He said this especially referred to Serbia's southern province of Kosovo and Metohija that is predominantly populated by ethnic Albanians, saying the province could become a powder keg and a threat to security in Yugoslavia and the rest of the region.
Aksenyenok visited the Balkans within preparations for a meeting of the five-nation 'Contact Group' in Moscow on February 25 and for Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov's visit to the states emerging from the former Yugoslavia scheduled for mid-March.
Primakov is to attend the opening of Russia's Embassy in Sarajevo and new Russian Embassy offices in Ljubljana. He is also to attend talks in Zagreb and meet with the Yugoslav leadership.
 VILEST KIND OF TERRORISM AT WORK IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
A terrorism of the basest and vilest kind, whose victims are innocent and peaceful citizens and people who are on a mission of preserving peace, security, the freedom and dignity of citizens, is at work in Serbia's southern province of Kosovo and Metohija, Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) official Zivorad Igic said on Saturday.
"How other than as the basest and vilest crime can we qualify the latest killings of two Serbs solely for being Serbs, or of three ethnic Albanians within a span of just a few days and only for being loyal to their state Serbia," member of the SPS Main Committee Igic said on Radio Pristina in the provincial capital.
Igic also listed the attack on a police vehicle in Luzan two days ago, when Serbian Interior Ministry employee Nebojsa Cvejic, a Serb, was killed "only because it was his work to protect peaceful citizens against criminals and their political sponsors and instructors."
Serbia will reckon with all types of criminals, Igic said and stressed that persons who were ready to employ crime against the state and its peaceful citizens must be ready for the state's repressive measures against them.
Igic said that frequent growing statements by ethnic-Albanian political leaders about Kosovo and Metohija allegedly being on a brink of war and other means employed to increase tensions were part of the ethnic-Albanian political engineering and sounding of the domestic and foreign public, while waiting for reactions to the provocation, above all from the foreign public.
Igic set out that the aim was also to intimidate the population which was not ethnic Albanian.
The SPS official said that ethnic-Albanian political leaders expected that "their beating of the drums or their alleged fear of war will further homogenize and mobilize their compatriots for separatist and secessionist goals."
Igic illustrated the growing interest of international factors in the developments in Kosovo and Metohija with the numerous visits paid to the province recently by individuals, groups, commissions, diplomatic, governmental and non-governmental missions from abroad.
Igic reiterated that Kosovo and Metohija, just as any other part of Serbia, was strictly Serbia's internal affair.
Asked about the implementation of the agreement on education, earlier signed by President Slobodan Milosevic and ethnic-Albanian political leader Ibrahim Rugova, Igic said that the ethnic-Albanian separatists were preventing ethnic-Albanian children from studying the legal curriculums of Serbia's education authorities, just as children of other national minorities were doing.
They can not expect the agreement to legalize their separatist programs. In any case, only elementary education is compulsory in our country, and anything higher is a matter of a free choice, Igic told Radio Pristina.
 ANOTHER TERRORIST ATTACK IN KOSMET
A terrorist attack on persons in a freight vehicle with Kosovska Mitrovica plates took place in the village of Lausa, municipality of Srbica, Kosovo and Metohija, at about 13:30 hrs local time on Friday, said a statement by the Serbian Interior Ministry.
The attack was carried out with automatic firearms. Muraj Djakaj, born in the village of Rakitnica, seated in the vehicle beside the driver, was killed in the attack.
Serbian police are actively searching for the perpetrators of this terrorist act, the police statement said.
 GELBARD: U.S. DOES NOT SUPPORT VIOLENCE AND TERRORISM
The United States does not support violence or terrorism of any kind, and believes that democratic groups in Serbia's Kosovo-Metohija province should raise their voices and condemn terrorism, said U.S. presidential envoy to the Balkans Robert Gelbard who was speaking at a news conference at the U.S. Information Centre in the province's capital Pristina after meeting with government officials of the Kosovo District and ethnic Albanian party activists.
Gelbard said the U.S. Administration did not support secession, adding that the ethnic Albanians' demand for independence of this southern province of the Yugoslav republic of Serbia was unrealistic.
He explained that the United States believed that the province Kosovo and Metohija had a future in the FR of Yugoslavia.
He went on to say that a solution for Kosovo and Metohija should be sought through talks, and stressed a need for the agreement on education reached between the Government and ethnic Albanians to be implemented.
 GELBARD VISITED PRISTINA
An eight-member U.S. delegation headed by Robert Gelbard, special envoy for the Balkans, visited Pristina on Sunday.
The U.S. delegation first visited the Kosovo District and talked with District Deputy Chief Veljko Odalovic and Provincial Information Secretary Bosko Drobnjak.
The situation in Kosovo and Metohija was described in the talks as very complex, due to increasingly frequent terrorist attacks of the so-called Liberation Army of Kosovo, the Provincial Information Secretariat said in a statement.
Veljko Odalovic said that last month alone, seven persons were killed in terrorist actions carried out by ethnic Albanian extremists.
Ambassador Gelbard reiterated the U.S. stand that it does not support secession or border changes and that it condemns terrorist violence in Kosovo and Metohija. He agreed that the leaders of ethnic Albanian political parties must unequivocally condemn terrorism in these territories, the statement said.
Gelbard said that Kosovo and Metohija, in terms of human rights and security in the region, can not be only an internal issue of Yugoslavia, but also of the international community, the statement said.
It was mutually concluded that the issue of education in the Albanian language must be resolved as soon as possible, as any delaying of a solution would only aggravate the already complex situation in Kosovo and Metohija, which can be overcome only by constructive dialogue, the statement said.
 OSCE DOES NOT SUPPORT INDEPENDENCE OF KOSMET
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly President Javier Ruperez said on Friday, in a session break in Vienna, that OSCE did not support the independence of Kosovo and Metohije, nor border changes in FR Yugoslavia.
U.S. representatives at the session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Permanent Committee proposed a resolution on Kosovo and Metohija condemning terrorist attacks in that southern Serbian province.
Terrorist actions of "frustrated individuals" can lead to the destabilization not only of Kosmet but also of the wider region of the Balkans, U.S. Congressman Stany Hoyer said.
Russia, Armenia and Kirghiztan voted against the U.S. draft resolution expressing concern by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe over the situation in Kosovo and Metohija. The vote was taken during a session in Vienna of the Permanent Committee of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
The document also called for condemnation of terrorist attacks in Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija.
 SERBIAN GOVERNMENT DISCUSSED IMPLEMENTATION OF 1998 ECONOMIC POLICY
The Serbian Government met on Friday to discuss the implementation of the 1998 economic policy, the Serbian Information Ministry said in a statement issued after the session.
It was noted at the session chaired by Mirko Marjanovic, that the economic policy, implemented by the Serbian Government along with the Yugoslav Government and the National Bank of Yugoslavia (central bank), was strongly committed to laying conditions for market business operations, keeping the exchange rate of the national currency, the dinar, and prices stable and continuing reform.
It was also heard at the session that Government measures had stamped out disturbances of the dinar exchange rate and prevented inflation.
In this context, the Government fully backed measures of further tightening of financial discipline and curbing the grey economy and also supported steps taken to that effect by the Yugoslav Government and the National Bank of Yugoslavia.
The Government concluded that there was no need for its February 2 regulation tightening financial discipline to stay in force any longer as competent Yugoslav bodies had passed measures defining in more detail the way payment operations are to be renewed, including conditions for opening or closing accounts at the central bank, and regulated other issues concerning control of financial operations.
Therefore, at the proposal of the Finance Ministry and the Serbian Legislation Secretariat, the Government passed on Friday a regulation stipulating that the February 2 regulation on financial discipline was no longer effective.
In an effort to additionally improve financial discipline, the Government passed also a regulation specifying conditions under which the deadline for paying taxes in 1998 could be extended.
The set of measures will enable companies to service their debts to the state and thus deblock their accounts.
 SESSION OF THE COMMISSION FOR RELATIONS WITH THE PEACE IMPLEMENTATION COUNCIL
The Yugoslav Commission for relations with the Peace Implementation Council and international financial and trade organisations held a meeting on Friday.
The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Radoje Kontic, adopted a report by the Yugoslav delegation to the Succession Group on a meeting with international mediator Arthur Watts and a plenary meeting of the Council's Succession Group held in Brussels in mid-February, said a statement released by the Yugoslav Information Secretariat.
The Commission said certain headway had been made in succession talks, especially as regards non-economic issues, saying further effort should be made to reach agreement on them.
The Commission also reviewed an analysis of effects of U.N. sanctions on the Yugoslav economy and society and implications of the sanctions for succession issues, the statement said.
 FRANCE AND SPAIN BACK YUGOSLAVIA'S RETURN TO INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
Yugoslav Foreign Minister Zivadin Jovanovic returned to Belgrade on Friday evening from his official visits to France and Spain.
Jovanovic told Serbian Radio Television that he had been assured by both French and Spanish officials that their respective countries would urge that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia be returned preferences in trade with the European Union (EU) and that the process of overall normalization of Yugoslav-EU relations and cooperation be stepped up.
He said that both Paris and Madrid had shown understanding of the status of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other international organizations.
Jovanovic also said that France and Spain had taken unanimous stands that it was in the interest of both Yugoslavia and Europe that Yugoslavia take its rightful place in all European and other international institutions as soon as possible.
He said that it was noted in talks in Paris and Madrid that, in order to achieve Europe's constructive goals and commitments, it would be more efficient to influence Yugoslavia within these organizations rather than through an unjustified suspension of its position.
Jovanovic said that, to that effect, France and Spain had voiced complete readiness to support the return of Yugoslav rights in European and other institutions.
 FOREIGN MINISTER JOVANOVIC MET WITH DEPUTY SPEAKER OF THE SPANISH PARLIAMENT
Yugoslav Foreign Minister Zivadin Jovanovic met at the close of his visit to Spain on Friday with Deputy Speaker of the Spanish Parliament Lower House Lopez de Lorma.
The talks focused on the promotion of bilateral relations, parliamentary cooperation, and relations between Yugoslavia and European institutions, specifically the European Union and the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.
De Lorma said Yugoslavia played an important role in developments in the region and the rest of Europe, saying it should be part of the community of European states.
He backed the normalisation of Yugoslavia's relations with the European Union and other European organisations, saying Spanish parliamentarians would work on it in European institutions.
After the talks, de Lorma said they had been cordial and friendly, saying parliamentary cooperation was the best way of stepping up overall relations between the two countries.
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