The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 160, Part II, 18 August 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 160, Part II, 18 August 1999

A daily report of developments in Eastern and
Southeastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central
Asia prepared by the staff of Radio Free Europe/Radio
Liberty.

This is Part II, a compilation of news concerning
Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe.  Part I
covers Russia, Transcaucasia and Central Asia and is
distributed simultaneously as a second document.  Back
issues of RFE/RL NewsLine and the OMRI Daily Digest are
online at RFE/RL's Web site:
http://www.rferl.org/newsline

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Headlines, Part II

* POLISH MINERS THREATEN STRIKE OVER REFORM

* SERBIAN GENERAL THREATENS CRACKDOWN

* TORTURE CHAMBER DISCOVERED IN PRISHTINA'S GRAND HOTEL

End Note: SERBIAN PROTESTS: WILL THIS TIME BE DIFFERENT?
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

FORMER BELARUSIAN MINISTER SAYS HIS FATE ALREADY SEALED
BY LUKASHENKA. The trial of former Agricultural Minister
Vasil Lyavonau, who was arrested in 1997 on charges of
corruption, began at the Supreme Court on 17 August.
Lyavonau is charged with embezzlement, bribe-taking,
exceeding his authority, organizing a criminal group,
and owning illegal arms. He told the court that he does
not believe in a fair trial because his fate has already
been decided by President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. "I am
innocent but I realize that this is of no significance
for the judges because I am actually being tried by
Lukashenka himself," Lyavonau said, adding that
Lukashenka has publicly called him a criminal on at
least two occasions. Lyavonau added that he wants to use
the trial to record for posterity the absurdity of the
charges brought against him. JM

HALF OF MINSK RESIDENTS AGAINST BELARUSIAN-RUSSIAN
UNION. A poll conducted by Belapan among 600 Minsk
residents in mid-August showed that more than 51 percent
of respondents would vote against the creation of a
union state of Belarus and Russia if a referendum were
held on the issue. Thirty-one percent would vote for the
union state and 11 percent would abstain, while 7
percent said they were undecided. JM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT BLAMES ECONOMIC WOES ON FOREIGN
'SHOCKS.' Leonid Kuchma on 17 August said Ukraine's
economy is not sufficiently protected from "outside
shocks," which cause economic instability in the
country, AP reported. He cited acute gasoline shortages
in Ukraine this summer as the latest example of such
instability, adding that those shortages were provoked
by world oil price hikes. The same day, the government
reported that the country's economy shrank by 2.9
percent in January-July 1999, compared with the same
period last year. Since Ukraine's independence in 1991,
the country's economy has been in steady decline. JM

UNEMPLOYMENT IN ESTONIA, LATVIA DECREASING. ETA reported
on 17 August that the July unemployment rate in Estonia
stood at 5 percent, down 0.6 percent from the previous
month but up by more than 50 percent from July 1998.
More than 57 percent of those looking for work are
women, while nearly 20 percent are over the age of 50.
Meanwhile, the Latvian National Employment Service
reported that Latvia's July jobless rate was 9.9
percent, down by 0.1 percent from the previous month.
MJZ

FOREIGN TRADE SLUMP CONTINUES IN LATVIA, LITHUANIA.
Lithuanian exports dropped 23.5 percent in the first
half of this year, while imports decreased by 19.4
percent, according to ELTA on 17 August, citing
Lithuanian Statistics Department data. In Latvia, the
Central Statistics Administration announced that exports
there were down by nearly 11 percent, while imports
decreased by more than 13 percent, LETA reported the
same day. Both countries blamed drastically reduced
trade with Russia. MJZ

LATVIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES LASCO PRIVATIZATION
PROCEDURES. The government on 17 August approved
procedures for the long-delayed privatization of Latvian
Shipping Company (LASCO), one of the world's largest
shipping companies. According to these procedures, the
authorities plan to sell 44 percent of the company to a
strategic investor, with part of the proceeds being used
to satisfy claims of employees at bankrupt state
enterprises, BNS reported. LETA reported that the
government will offer an additional 15 percent of LASCO
to holders of privatization certificates, while
reserving 6 percent for LASCO employees. Economics
Minister Vladimirs Makarovs said LASCO's privatization
should be completed by 1 September 2000. Privatization
Agency head Janis Naglis predicted that the first-round
auction could be completed by 1 December 1999. MJZ

APPEALS COURT RULING MAY CHILL POLISH-LITHUANIAN
RELATIONS. Following a 17 August ruling by the
Lithuanian Appeals Court to extend the jail sentences of
four ethnic Polish activists, three Polish Senators and
a former head of that legislative body vowed to act to
"cool off" Polish-Lithuanian relations, according to BNS
and ELTA. Former Senate chairman Andrzej Stelmachowski,
who now heads a society for relations with Poles abroad,
said that the trial was "purely political" and therefore
"we should take political actions in Poland itself." The
activists, all officials of a Soviet-era local governing
council, were found guilty of trying to create a Polish
autonomous territory at the time Lithuania regained its
independence. MJZ

POLISH MINERS THREATEN STRIKE OVER REFORM. Poland's 12
coal mining unions have threatened to stage a two-hour
warning strike on 30 August to protest the government's
reform of their industry, Reuters and PAP reported on 17
August. The trade unions oppose the amendments to the
1998 reform program, which would speed up layoffs in the
industry (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 August 1999). They
demand negotiations with the government on the reform of
the coal mining sector. "The mining reform carried out
by [Jerzy] Buzek's government has collapsed. The
proposed changes only aggravate the situation," Reuters
quoted a trade union activist as saying. The 1998 reform
envisaged closing down half the mines, cutting
employment by 115,000 jobs, lowering coal output, and
making the sector profitable in 2002. Such goals became
unrealistic this year when the sector's losses amounted
to 3.3 billion zlotys ($833 million), instead of the
planned 1.3 billion zlotys. JM

FORMER SLOVAK COMMUNIST LEADER TO BE AMNESTIED? Vasil
Bilak, former chief ideologist of the Czechoslovak
Communist Party, may be amnestied under a pardon
issued by President Rudolf Schuster at his
inauguration, SITA reported on 17 August. Bilak is
eligible for the amnesty, which was granted to those
over 65. Prosecutor-General Milan Hanzel said Bilak's
case is being examined and that his office will make a
recommendation to Schuster over whether Bilak should
be amnestied. Bilak was indicted for breaching the
peace and violating some economic laws. He has
confessed to being among those who extended an
"invitation" to Warsaw Pact countries to invade
Czechoslovakia in 1968. MS

AUTONOMOUS UNIVERSITY FACULTY FOR SLOVAK HUNGARIANS?
Deputy Prime Minister Pal Csaky, who is in charge of
minority issues in the Slovak cabinet, told the
Hungarian daily "Magyar Hirlap" on 17 August that he
is proposing the establishment of an autonomous
Hungarian-language university department for the
country's 600,000-strong ethnic Hungarian minority. He
also said the Education Ministry has asked him to
outline his ideas for training primary-school teachers
and pastors for the country's ethnic Hungarian
community. MS

SLOVAK HUNGARIAN PARTY WARNS AGAINST REFERENDUM ON
LANGUAGE LAW. Also on 17 August, Csaky warned that if
President Schuster decides to call a referendum on the
law on minority-language use in contacts with the
authorities, Slovakia's "international credibility"
will "suffer again," SITA reported. Csaky, who is
deputy chairman of the Hungarian Coalition Party, said
the referendum would contravene those provisions of
the constitution prohibiting plebiscites on human
rights issues as well as infringe international
conventions. Two out of three teams of experts have
advised Schuster not to call the plebiscite. The
opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia warned
that if he does not call such a vote, it will launch a
petition in favor of early elections. MS

OPPOSITION CRITICIZES HUNGARIAN FAR RIGHT. Balint
Magyar, chairman of the opposition Free Democratic
Party, warned on 17 August that the 20 August
demonstration planned by the Justice and Life Party
(MIEP) will endanger ethnic Hungarians living beyond
the country's borders and harm Hungary's external
relations. The demonstrators intend to express support
for annexing a part of Vojvodina to Hungary. MIEP
chairman Istvan Csurka said that ethnic Hungarians in
Vojvodina cannot wait for democratic changes in
Yugoslavia. He added that the area that MIEP wants
annexed is "small even in Vojvodina terms" and that
MIEP will continue its campaign to "show that the
borders established in Trianon are no longer binding."
MS

HUNGARIAN OFFICIAL ON RELATIONS WITH MAGYARS ABROAD.
Foreign Ministry State Secretary Zsolt Nemeth said in
Debrecen on 16 August that a "key concern" of
Budapest's foreign policy is to help Hungarians living
abroad improve their situation and remain where they
are. Nemeth noted that a Permanent Council of
Hungarians was set up in February for this purpose and
helped Vojvodina's Hungarians draft a blueprint for
their demand for autonomy. MS

HUNGARIAN PROSECUTOR-GENERAL ORDERS INQUIRY INTO ANTI-
SEMITIC PUBLICATION. The Prosecutor-General's Office
on 17 August launched an investigation into the recent
publication of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion,"
saying the book serves as a "propaganda tool inciting
hatred against Jews," "Magyar Hirlap" reported (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 11 and 16 August 1999). The
Federation of Jewish Religious Communities and the
Association of Hungarian Book Publishers and
Distributors welcomed the announcement. MS

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBIAN GENERAL THREATENS CRACKDOWN. General Nebojsa
Pavkovic, who commands the Nis-based Third Army, told
Belgrade's "Glas javnosti" of 17 August that the army
must intervene to separate opposing groups if that is
necessary "to prevent civil war." He stressed that the
army will not allow anyone to seize power "illegally."
Pavkovic noted that the army's crackdown in March 1991
led to "human losses and destruction." But he stressed
that the death and destruction would have been far worse
had the army not intervened to put down demonstrations
against Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. Observers
suggest that Pavkovic's remarks are a warning that the
army may intervene again if there is politically-
inspired violence in conjunction with the Yugoslavia-
Croatia soccer match on 18 August or the opposition
rally the following day. Both events are to take place
in Belgrade. PM

BELGRADE REGIME WARNS OPPONENTS... Yugoslav Prime
Minister Momir Bulatovic told the parliament on 17
August that an unspecified "powerful, illegal,
international movement" seeks to overthrow the "legally
elected Yugoslav government." Telecommunications
Minister Ivan Markovic of the hard-line United Yugoslav
Left said that "the agents of terrorism in Serbia are
not just the members of the so-called Kosova Liberation
Army (UCK), but those gathered in the Alliance for
Change." The alliance is one of the main sponsors of the
19 August demonstration. Elsewhere, the state-run daily
"Politika" called unnamed members of the opposition
"political midgets and losers." PM

...TAKES MEASURES AGAINST THEM. Seven policemen beat up
and arrested artist Bogoljub Arsenijevic on 17 August in
front of the Belgrade offices of former General Momcilo
Perisic's Movement for Democratic Serbia. A spokesman
for the movement criticized the police action and
promised that "our lawyers will launch proper legal
action" on Arsenijevic's behalf. The artist attracted
public attention in July when he led a violent take-over
of the town hall in Valjevo (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13
July 1999). In Pancevo, the local Prosecutor's Office
began an investigation into opposition leader Vesna
Pesic's remarks at a recent rally in Vrsac, RFE/RL's
South Slavic Service reported on 17 August. Pesic told
the protesters that the Serbian people might get rid of
Milosevic by using the "Romanian method" unless he goes
voluntarily. Her remarks were an allusion to the violent
overthrow of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in
December 1989. Top Serbian officials subsequently
accused her of encouraging "terrorism" (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 16 August 1999). PM

BELGRADE DEMONSTRATION LOSING SUPPORT? Serbian Renewal
Movement leader Vuk Draskovic said in Belgrade on 17
August that he will not attend the Belgrade
demonstration but will be represented by his deputy
instead. Draskovic did not give a clear reason for
reversing his earlier decision to attend. He said only
that he cannot "accept many many stupid ideas of
[unspecified] irresponsible people," Reuters reported.
He also suggested that he fears that the rally could
turn violent, AP noted. Observers said that Draskovic is
piqued because he was slated to speak only second.
Shortly after Draskovic announced his decision not to
attend, Alliance for Change leader Vladan Batic said
that he will not address the gathering, the Frankfurt-
based Serbian daily "Vesti" reported. It is unclear why,
nor is it clear whether he plans to attend at all. PM

YUGOSLAV PARLIAMENT CUTS IMPORT DUTIES. The federal
legislature on 17 August approved significant cuts in
the import taxes for cigarettes, alcoholic beverages,
and used cars, "Danas" reported. At that same
parliamentary session, Sports Minister Velizar Djeric
denied rumors that his ministry bought up 22,000 out of
a total of 70,000 tickets to the Yugoslavia-Croatia
match. Critics had charged that the ministry sought to
pack the stadium with Milosevic supporters. PM

SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER BACKS MONTENEGRIN PLAN. Social
Democratic leader Vuk Obradovic said that the Serbian
opposition finds Montenegro's proposal for redefining
relations between the two republics "basically
acceptable" (see "RFE/RL Balkan Report," 10 August
1999). He added, however, that Montenegrin officials
would be "wasting their time" if they tried to negotiate
the plan with Milosevic, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service
reported from Podgorica on 17 August. Obradovic stressed
that this is the view of most opposition parties in
Serbia. PM

EU PREPARING TO END SANCTIONS AGAINST KOSOVA,
MONTENEGRO. A spokesman for the EU Presidency, which is
currently held by Finland, said in Brussels on 17 August
that EU officials will lift economic sanctions against
Kosova and Montenegro "soon." He added that experts are
studying ways to make sure that Milosevic and the
Serbian authorities do not benefit from the move,
Reuters reported. One key problem is preventing
Montenegrin oil imports from reaching Serbia. Another is
ensuring that Serbia's JAT airlines does not profit from
the reopening of flights from EU countries to
Montenegro's two airports. PM

LOCAL SERBIAN LEADER DENIES BREAKTHROUGH IN MITROVICA.
Oliver Ivanovic, who is the leader of Mitrovica's Serbs
on the city's UN-chaired interim council, denied on 17
August that Serbs and Albanians in the city have agreed
on a plan to end the division of the city, AP reported.
The previous day, Bajram Rexhepi, who is Ivanovic's
counterpart in the Albanian-dominated south of the city,
reported that both sides agreed on the return of 25
Albanian families per day to the north. Ivanovic,
however, stressed that "relentless Albanian onslaughts
on the Ibar River bridge [which divides the two parts of
the city] are very dangerous." He referred to several
recent incidents in which local Albanians seeking to
return to their homes in the north clashed with French
troops who were blocking the bridge. FS

ANOTHER GRENADE ATTACK AGAINST SERBS IN GJILAN.
Unidentified attackers wounded three Serbs in
Gjilan on 17 August, AP reported. It was the second
grenade attack against the Serbian community in
that region within two days (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
17 August 1999). The same day, Russia charged
Western countries with "turning a blind eye" to
attacks against Serbs (see Part I). FS

TORTURE CHAMBER DISCOVERED IN PRISHTINA'S GRAND
HOTEL. The Prishtina daily "Rilindja" reported on
17 August that the staff of the Grand Hotel has
discovered two prison cells and a torture chamber
in an underground building belonging to the hotel.
The daily added that the employees found women's
clothes and lists containing the names of
unspecified students, an RFE/RL South Slavic
Service correspondent reported. During the recent
conflict, journalists reported that Serbian
paramilitaries used the building as their command
center. Many foreign journalists stayed at the
hotel, which also housed the regime's media center.
International war crimes investigators have started
investigations. FS

UN LAUNCHES PRISHTINA CLEAN-UP CAMPAIGN. UN Special
Representative Bernard Kouchner launched a
municipal clean-up campaign in Prishtina on 17
August, Reuters reported. Kouchner said that since
the war "all over the place in the city garbage
was...disposed [of in a way that poses a] real
danger for public health." He added, however: "We
are confident that through this project, we'll be
able to make Prishtina a clean and beautiful city."
The initiative, called "I love my city Prishtina,"
is the beginning of a larger cleanup project for
the whole of Kosova, which is jointly financed by
the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the UN
Development Program. It receives substantial
technical support from KFOR and employs 330 locals.
FS

MAJKO WANTS 'PAN-ALBANIAN EDUCATION SYSTEM.' Albanian
Prime Minister Pandeli Majko has urged Education
Minister Ethem Ruka to draw up plans to unify education
in Albanian language in Albania, Kosova, and Macedonia
and intensify cooperation between the universities of
Tirana and Prishtina, Reuters reported on 17 August. He
said that "it is time to talk about [creating] a unified
strategy for education in Albanian wherever Albanians
live in the Balkans." Majko stressed that "this is...a
turning point to make the biggest investment for the
future of the Albanian community in the Balkans," adding
that first steps should include an exchange of teachers
and professors. Majko argued that "Albanians should read
the same history because we are part of the same
history. Now it is time for us Albanians in the Balkans
to make history." FS

IZETBEGOVIC SLAMS FRAUD CHARGE. Bosnian Muslim leader
Alija Izetbegovic called a "New York Times" report on
massive fraud in his republic "lies." He charged that
the article constitutes an attempt to discredit his
government and deter foreigners from investing in
Bosnia, "Oslobodjenje" reported on 18 August (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 17 August 1999). Izetbegovic issued a
statement rebutting several specific charges of fraud
cited in the article. In Washington, a State Department
spokesman noted that "U.S. government assistance has not
been misused or abused to the best of our knowledge."
VOA's Croatian Service reported that the embezzled funds
amount to 20 percent of all public money in Bosnia. In
Sarajevo, a spokeswoman for the office of the
international community's high representative said the
"lost" money probably totals more than $1 billion. PM

SACKED CROATIAN MINISTER BLAMES TOP LEADERS. Zeljko
Luzavec, whom President Franjo Tudjman recently fired as
minister of transportation, maritime affairs, and
communications, has blamed several top officials for his
demise (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 5 August 1999). Luzavec
singled out Ivic Pasalic, who is Tudjman's top adviser,
as well as Deputy Prime Minister Ljerka Mintas-Hodak and
Reconstruction Minister Jure Radic, "Novi List" reported
on 18 August. Luzavec charged he was the victim of a
"palace coup" aimed at covering up evidence of
mismanagement of the bankrupt shipping company Croatia
Line (see "RFE/RL Balkan Report," 17 August 1999). PM

DEMOCRATIC PARTY LEADER TO RUN FOR ROMANIAN
PRESIDENCY. Petre Roman told a 17 August meeting of
the Democratic Party in Targu Mures that he will run
for president in 2000, an RFE/RL correspondent in the
Transylvanian town reported. Roman, who is leader of
the party, said the Democrats will not participate in
any election alliances formed for the 2000
parliamentary elections, adding that after the ballot
they will agree to participate in a government
coalition only if it is set up on the basis of a
"clear joint program" and not for "the sake of power
alone." One day earlier, Roman said the Democrats are
ready for "a dialogue" with the opposition Party of
Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR), provided the PDSR
"seriously reforms its political philosophy." PDSR
deputy chairwoman Hildegard Puwak on 17 August
responded that her party welcomes a dialogue but
rejects Roman's conditions. MS

ROMANIA'S HUNGARIAN CHURCH TO SET UP PRIVATE
UNIVERSITY. Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania
honorary chairman Bishop Laszlo Tokes, addressing a
forum of the Ady Endre Academy in Debrecen, Hungary,
on 16 August, said that a Hungarian-language high
school in Oradea will be transformed in September into
a private ecclesiastic university for the Hungarian
minority, Romanian Radio reported the next day. Tokes
said that in 2000 the new university, to be called the
Partium Christian University, will set up branches "in
all of Transylvania." MS

MOLDOVAN COMMISSION RECOMMENDS CHANGING DESIGNATION OF
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE. The Republican Commission
overseeing the implementation of the law on the
official state language has recommended that the
official designation of that language be changed from
"Moldovan" to "Romanian," RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau
reported on 17 August. The recommendation will be
submitted to the government and later to the
parliament. The commission said that the 1994 decision
to opt for "Moldovan" was prompted by " political
considerations that ignored the opinion of experts
from Moldova and abroad." The mentioning of "Moldovan"
in the country's constitution must be changed
accordingly, the commission says. MS

BULGARIA'S KOZLODUY REACTOR SHUT DOWN. Reactor No. 2
at the aging nuclear power plant at Kozloduy was shut
down on 16 August following a non-radioactive water
leak, Reuters reported. A spokeswoman for the plant
said the leak did not affect the plant's safety and
that the unit will be shut down until 27 August for
repairs. MS

END NOTE

SERBIAN PROTESTS: WILL THIS TIME BE DIFFERENT?

By Christopher Walker

	The mass protest scheduled to take place on 19
August in Belgrade will be the third in a series of
demonstration waves that the Serbian opposition has
staged since the beginning of this decade. On the two
previous occasions--in 1991 and in the winter of 1996-
1997--ordinary Serbs took to the streets to vent their
frustrations with the miserable state of affairs in
their country.
	But to date, each protest wave has fallen short,
with the opposition unable to achieve the crucial
precondition for setting Serbia's reform process in
motion: Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's removal
from power.
	The earlier protest campaigns failed owing to a
variety of reasons, including a fragmented opposition, a
passive, exhausted Serbian population, deft political
maneuvering by Milosevic, and the manipulation of Serbs
through tight control over state-run media.
	In addition, Milosevic has been the beneficiary of
short-sighted Western policies that have allowed him,
among other things, to convince his electorate that the
West--and the U.S. in particular--is the villain and
Serbia the victim. Thus while it is encouraging that the
opposition is once again working to muster an organized
effort against the status quo, its ability to effect a
leadership change in Belgrade is questionable.
	In the two months since the cessation of
hostilities between Serbian forces and those of NATO and
the Kosova Liberation Army, there have been small,
spontaneous pockets of protests throughout Serbia. The
round of demonstrations scheduled to begin on 19 August
will be the first broad, organized effort to pressure
the Milosevic regime since the winter of 1996-1997.
	At that time, tens of thousands of Serbs marched to
protest the annulment of the results of municipal
elections that Milosevic's Socialist Party had lost.
While Milosevic's extralegal action served as a catalyst
for the demonstrations, a host of other chronic problems
in Serbian society--including a very sick economy-- kept
protesters on the streets every day over three months.
Ultimately, Milosevic reversed the annulment but
otherwise paid only lip service to the key opposition
demands for reform.
	As was the case in the earlier rounds of protests,
the planned demonstrations starting this week will
feature the participation of two main opposition
figures: Democratic Party leader Zoran Djindjic and Vuk
Draskovic, the controversial head of the Serbian Reform
Movement, who served in Milosevic's government until his
dismissal during the conflict with NATO.
	Both Djindjic and Draskovic are calling for a
transitional government but have not agreed on a
blueprint for achieving this goal. While Djindjic is
seeking Milosevic's unconditional departure from power,
Draskovic has indicated he prefers some sort of power-
sharing arrangement with the Yugoslav leader. Whether
the two opposition leaders will be able to work together
to mount a successful challenge to Milosevic and then
orient Serbia's policies toward the West is an open
question.
	The challenge for the opposition has always been
formidable, but post-Kosova politics in Serbia may make
the task even more difficult. During the two previous
rounds of major protest activity, the opposition was
able to associate itself with the values of the West,
including calls for deeper integration into and
cooperation with Western institutions. As a variation on
the "divide and conquer tactic" so often used by
Milosevic, Serbian advocates of cooperation with the
West face the prospect of being branded as "traitors
against Serbia" or "lackeys for NATO." Democratic Party
leader Djindjic, who fled to Montenegro during the
Kosova conflict, is the best known of those labeled an
agent of Western interests.
	As a result, proposing closer ties to the West as
an important part of any prospective reform program may
not be a winning message with many Serbs. The shift from
pre-Kosova discourse, in which it was normal to view the
West as a desired partner, to the more ambiguous post-
Kosova climate, raises questions about the direction
Serbian politics will take in the post-Milosevic era,
whenever it arrives.
	Other key institutions in Serbia have not made
their intentions fully clear with respect to the
country's leadership. The Serbian armed forces,
considered by the rest of the world to have suffered
overwhelming losses during its conflict with NATO, seem
to have weathered the storm by having resourcefully
squirreled away much of their crucial weaponry during
the conflict. Despite some rumblings in the immediate
aftermath of the war, the military--a conservative
institution not easily disposed to changing the existing
order--has not made any bid to alter the current
leadership.
	The Serbian Orthodox Church, for its part, has sent
mixed signals. While it has decided not to take part in
the
opposition-led demonstration this week, Church leaders
have publicly appealed for the resignation of Milosevic
and Serbian President Milan Milutinovic, both of whom
are indicted war criminals.
	For Serbia--as well as the rest of the world--there
is no more to be learned or gained from Milosevic's
leadership. If 12 years ago someone had scripted a
worst-case scenario for his rule, it would have been
difficult to imagine one as tragic as today's reality.
	The latest cycle of protest in Serbia will be
viewed as a success only if it achieves the goal of
removing Milosevic, thereby distinguishing itself from
previous efforts.

The author is a New York-based analyst specializing in
East European affairs (intrel@aol.com).
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Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
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Updated: 1998-11-

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