History is made out of the failures and heroism of each insignificant moment. - Franz Kafka
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 209, Part II, 26 October 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 209, Part II, 26 October 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

* SHARETSKI APPEALS TO WEST, RUSSIA TO 'RESPECT' BELARUSIAN
INDEPENDENCE

* ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER QUITS

* SFOR ARRESTS BOSNIAN SERB FOR WAR CRIMES

End Note: THE PROBLEM IS MORE THAN JUST ONE MAN
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

SHARETSKI APPEALS TO WEST, RUSSIA TO 'RESPECT' BELARUSIAN
INDEPENDENCE. Syamyon Sharetski, exiled chairman of the
opposition Supreme Soviet, has sent a letter to U.S.
President Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair,
and Russian President Boris Yeltsin asking them "to respect
the independence and sovereignty of Belarus," Belapan
reported on 25 October. Sharetski referred to the memorandum
on security guarantees to Belarus that the U.S., the U.K.,
and Russia signed in Budapest in 1994. The signatories
pledged in that memorandum to respect Belarus's political
independence. According to Sharetski, the recently published
Belarus-Russia union treaty draft means the incorporation of
Belarus into Russia in contravention of international law. JM

BELARUSIAN AUTHORITIES TO PROSECUTE MORE PROTESTERS. The
Belarusian authorities on 25 October announced that they have
instituted criminal proceedings "in general" against
participants in the opposition 17 October "freedom march,"
RFE/RL's Belarusian Service reported. The authorities,
however, have not specified how many people have been
accused. They have so far jailed six people in connection
with the 17 October protest, including Social Democratic
Party leader Mikola Statkevich and Supreme Soviet deputy
Valery Shchukin. Statkevich has been on a hunger strike since
17 October. Last week, the Minsk authorities banned a 31
October march organized by the opposition to commemorate the
victims of the Stalinist terror in the 1930s and 1940s. JM

BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION SAYS REGIME VIOLATING OSCE RESOLUTION.
The opposition United Civic Party on 25 October accused the
Belarusian authorities of violating the OSCE resolution on
political dialogue in Belarus, which was adopted in St.
Petersburg on 10 July. The party said the Belarusian regime
pledged to the OSCE at that time to begin the process of
democratizing the country's political life but has failed to
keep that pledge. The party noted that the authorities have
failed to give oppositionists access to the state-controlled
media or to begin negotiations with them on future
parliamentary elections. It also pointed out that since the
OSCE resolution, the number of political prisoners has
increased. JM

UKRAINE'S MOROZ NOT TO QUIT PRESIDENTIAL RACE IN FAVOR OF
MARCHUK. Despite the announcement that the so-called Kaniv
Four election alliance will support Yevhen Marchuk as a
single presidential candidate (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25
October 1999), Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz said
the same day that he will not withdraw from the race. Moroz's
statement came after a meeting of his party's leadership and
other groups that support his presidential bid. Moroz said
the meeting confirmed that those political forces want him
"to continue the struggle to reach the second round" and to
deprive incumbent President Leonid Kuchma of leftist votes.
Simultaneously Moroz said he "fully backs" the alliance's
decision to uphold Marchuk as the most likely candidate of
the Kaniv Four to win support among right-wing voters and
prevent Kuchma from reaching the second round, according to
Interfax. JM

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER SAYS HIS LIFE UNDER THREAT.
Oleksandr Tkachenko on 25 October said that a terrorist act
is being planned against him. "This is not a provocation, and
I have reported the names and telephone numbers of terrorists
to the appropriate bodies," Interfax quoted Tkachenko as
saying. He added that attackers want to assassinate him by
planting a bomb near the parliamentary building or in his
car. The same day, Tkachenko issued a statement to the
Ukrainian people in which he appealed to President Kuchma to
withdraw from the presidential elections. "This is the only
good deed that [Kuchma] is still able to do for the people.
Then, I think, the elections will be completed in the first
round, and the millions of hryvni he is so worried about on
television will be spared," Tkachenko said. JM

UKRAINE'S KUCHMA REJECTS DIRTY CAMPAIGN ALLEGATIONS. The
president on 25 October denounced allegations that his re-
election campaign is engaged in dirty tricks and pressure on
the media, Reuters reported. "I am leading an honest
campaign," Kuchma said in Dnipropetrovsk where he was
greeted, according to the agency, by "thousands of
supporters" on the streets. At the same time, Kuchma noted
that "a dirtier campaign than the one unleashed against me
has never existed in a single country of the world." JM

RUSSIA TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM BALTIC BORDERS? First Deputy
Chief of the Russian Armed Forces' General Staff General
Valerii Manilov said in an article published in the 25
October "Vremya MN'" that Russia may pull its troops away
from the borders of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in an
effort to persuade NATO to reject membership applications by
the three Baltic countries, according to BNS. Manilov claimed
that such a withdrawal "would deprive NATO of the least
excuse to consider Russia a threat." Commenting on the
Baltics' bids for NATO membership, Manilov stressed Moscow's
official policy that while each country has the sovereign
right to decide which bloc to join, Russia reserves the right
to take countermeasures. MJZ

ESTONIAN ECONOMY GROWING. Central Bank Governor Vahur Kraft
told ETA on 25 October that the Estonian economy has overcome
the crisis that gripped the region following Russia's
financial collapse in August 1998. Although Estonia may end
the year with a 1.5 percent decline, the economy is expected
to grow 4.5 percent in 2000. Kraft cautioned that Estonia's
state budget deficit remains large, but he added that he
expects the adoption of the new austerity budget for 2000 to
be a first step toward balancing last year's expansive fiscal
policy. AB

ESTONIAN FARM SECTOR IN CRISIS. ETA on 25 October quoted
World Bank expert Willem Zijp as saying that Estonian farming
is in crisis. The low prices being paid to farmers are
driving them to subsistence farming rather than production
for the market, Zijp remarked. He added that the farm sector
was hard hit by the bankruptcy of Maapank, a bank that had
issued farm credit, the loss of the Russian market, last
year's flooding, and this year's drought. Zijp visited
Estonia from 11-16 October to inspect the use of a recent 176
million kroon ($11 million) World Bank loan for Estonian
farming. AB

U.S. COMPANIES TO INVEST $70 MILLION TO BUILD POWER PLANT IN
LIEPAJA. The U.S.-based companies CME International and
Caterpillar announced on 25 October that they plan to invest
$70 million in a new natural gas-fired co-generation power
station in the western Latvian city of Liepaja, according to
BNS. The two companies, which bought 4.43 million lats ($7.69
million) of Latvian government debt in the insolvent Liepaja
Heat utility, plan to begin construction next spring and hope
that the power plant will go on online in the fall of 2001.
MJZ

LITHUANIA'S MAZEIKIAI OPPONENTS STEP UP PRESSURE. Social
Democratic Party Chairman Vytenis Andriukaitis said he is
confident he can force a referendum on the government's
planned contract with U.S. investor Williams International,
ELTA reported on 25 October. Andriukaitis said he is having
no difficulty collecting the 48 signatures of parliamentary
deputies that are necessary for such a vote. The referendum
would ask the question: "Do you approve of the parliament's
and government's action to give up management control and
decision-making in the reorganized stock company Mazeikiu
Nafta?" Joining the opposition to the Williams deal, the
Lithuanian Industrialists' Confederation, a major trade
group, sent an open appeal to President Valdas Adamkus, the
parliament, and the government urging them to refrain from
signing the agreement. The appeal calls for the creation of a
commission of independent experts to assess Williams' offer
and to make their findings public. AB

LITHUANIA'S 'FRIEND FROM ABROAD' REQUESTS MEETING WITH
ADAMKUS. ELTA reported on 25 October that former Russian
Prime Minister Yevgenii Primakov, who currently heads the
Fatherland-All Russia alliance, has asked President Adamkus
for a meeting next week in Vilnius. The report has set off
speculation in the Lithuanian media about Primakov's visit.
Russian Ambassador to Lithuania Yurii Zubakov is known to be
close to Primakov and served as his deputy at the Russian
Foreign Ministry and later as chief of staff to Primakov
during the latter's premiership. Zubakov, though recently
appointed to Vilnius, has been very active in promoting
Russian business interests in Lithuania. AB

POLISH MINERS STAGE UNDERGROUND STRIKE AGAINST CLOSURE. Sixty
miners at the Siersza coal mine in Trzebinia, southern
Poland, continued an underground protest against plans to
close the mine on 1 November, PAP reported on 25 October.
Other miners locked management representatives into a
conference room after negotiations had failed to yield
results. The mine's management guarantees jobs or social
cushions for all 1,600 workers at the mine, but trade
unionists are opposed to the mine's closure. JM

POLAND BACKS BULGARIA'S NATO, EU ASPIRATIONS. Polish Foreign
Minister Bronislaw Geremek told his Bulgarian counterpart,
Nadezhda Mihailova, in Warsaw on 25 October that Poland
"understands and supports" Bulgaria's bid to join NATO and
the EU, PAP reported. Geremek added that Poland sees Bulgaria
as a "great stabilizing factor" in the Balkans. Mihailova
noted that there are no political problems between Bulgaria
and Poland, adding that it is now time to develop economic
cooperation, both bilateral and within the Central European
Free Trade Agreement, which Bulgaria joined this year. JM

EXODUS OF CZECH ROMA TO U.K. EASING. A total of 195 Romany
families applied for asylum in the U.K. last month, down from
a record 255 families in August, Czech media reported on 26
October. A total of 1,240 Romany families have left for
Britain so far this year. The British Home Office said the
U.K. will not impose visa restrictions on the Czech Republic
for the time being but added that it would continue to
monitor the situation closely. In other news, criminal
charges have been pressed against a Romany woman from Usti
nad Labem. The woman allegedly screamed racist insults at a
group of ethnic Czechs during an argument over the
construction of a wall separating a Romany housing
development from four houses inhabited by ethnic Czechs in
Usti nad Labem. VG

SLOVAKS SUPPORT EU ENTRY. Sixty percent of Slovaks say their
country's entry into the EU would be "useful," while 24
percent say it would be "useless" and 16 percent have no
opinion, according to a poll conducted by the Institute for
Public Opinion Research, cited by TASR on 25 October.
Seventy-six percent of respondents said their country
fulfills EU requirements on the protection of the rights of
ethnic minorities, while only 16 percent said it does not.
But 54 percent of respondents said Slovakia meets EU human
rights standards; 36 percent believe it does not. Only 25
percent of Slovaks think their country has a functioning
market economy, compared with 60 percent who say it does not.
VG

MECIAR'S PARTY LEADS POLLS IN SLOVAKIA. Former Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia received
28 percent support in a recent poll conducted by FOCUS, TASR
reported on 25 October. The Slovak Democratic Coalition and
the Party of the Democratic Left, both key members of the
governing coalition, received 18 percent and 14.5 percent in
the poll, respectively. The extremist Slovak National Party
garnered almost 13 percent support. The parties of the
governing coalition received the combined support of 51.6
percent in the poll, compared with almost 41 percent for the
opposition. VG

'FAST-TRACK' COUNTRIES' FINANCE MINISTERS MEET IN BUDAPEST.
The finance ministers of the five countries that had been
included in the fast-track group for accession to the EU on
25 October agreed in Budapest to set up working groups that
would coordinate public finance reforms in their countries.
Jarai Zsigmond of Hungary, Pavel Mertlik of the Czech
Republic, Leszek Balcerowicz of Poland, Siim Kallas of
Estonia, and Mitja Gaspari of Slovenia also agreed that
special attention should be paid to the development and
harmonization of tax systems in their countries, as well as
to bringing currency exchange systems into line with EU
practices. MSZ

FORMER HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER DIES. Andras Hegedues died on
23 October at the age of 76. In 1956, Hegedues had signed a
request asking for Soviet troops to intervene during the
Hungarian uprising. Later, he became a leading critic of the
Hungarian regime, and, in 1968, spoke out against the Soviet-
led invasion of Czechoslovakia. VG

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER QUITS. Pandeli Majko handed his
resignation to President Rexhep Meidani in Tirana on 26
October. Information Minister Musa Ulcini said the previous
night that Majko decided to quit because he recently lost a
battle for the leadership of the Socialist Party to former
Prime Minister Fatos Nano (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 October
1999). Observers note that it was unclear until late on 25
October that Majko would indeed give up his government post.
PM

NANO PLEDGES CONTINUITY, PROGRESS. Nano told the BBC on 26
October that he wants Deputy Prime Minister Ilir Meta to form
a new government that includes many individuals who served in
Majko's cabinet. Nano made little effort to conceal his
pleasure at Majko's departure. The party leader did not rule
out his own possible return to the prime minister's job at
some future date but stressed that his main interest now is
preparing the Socialists "for the 2001 elections." Nano said
that the Meta government would continue the policy of drawing
closer to Albania's Western allies, and he praised Meta as
"young and charismatic." Observers note that these are
precisely the characteristics for which Majko was known and
that his departure is unlikely to lead to any significant
change in domestic or foreign policy. The main reason for
Majko's ouster appears to be the rivalry between him and Nano
for political power. Majko's departure after only one year in
office is likely to reinforce Albania's image abroad as an
unstable country. PM

EU GIVES THUMBS DOWN TO ALBANIA, THUMBS UP MACEDONIA.
Fabrizio Barbaso, who heads the EU's department for the
Western Balkans, said in Helsinki on 25 October that Albania
needs more "institutional and political reform" before it can
sign an association agreement with the EU. He added that "the
situation there is still unstable." Barbaso praised
Macedonia, however, and said that it will be ready to sign an
association agreement in 2000. Macedonian Prime Minister
Ljubco Georgievski said that "we will not disappoint the EU,"
Reuters reported. Signing an association agreement with
Brussels has been a major goal of the Georgievski government
and of most Macedonian political parties. PM

DEMONSTRATIONS CONTINUE IN SERBIA. Some 15,000 people
demonstrated in several Serbian cities and towns on 25
October to demand the resignation of Yugoslav President
Slobodan Milosevic and free and fair elections. Democratic
Party leader Zoran Djindjic told 10,000 protesters in Nis
that he urged U.S. special envoy for the former Yugoslavia
James Dobbins to end sanctions against Serbia as soon as
proper elections are held, Beta reported (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 25 October 1999). The U.S. remains opposed to
lifting sanctions as long as Milosevic remains in power. PM

SERBIAN-MONTENGRIN TALKS END IN STALEMATE. A discussion
between representatives of Montenegro's governing Democratic
Party of Socialists (DPS) and Serbian Deputy Prime Minister
Vojislav Seselj's Radicals ended in Sveti Stefan on 25
October after only 90 minutes. Serbia's Tomislav Nikolic said
that the talks should be transferred to the federal
parliament in Belgrade. The Montenegrins did not publicly
respond to that idea but have previously opposed such a move.
They want direct talks between the two republics' respective
governments. Filip Vujanovic, who is deputy chairman of the
DPS, said after the talks that "we will continue on the
course we have charted," RFE/RL's South Slavic Service
reported. PM

KFOR ARRESTS YUGOSLAV SOLDIERS... KFOR peacekeepers arrested
three Yugoslav army soldiers just inside the border between
Kosova and Montenegro after the three crossed into the
province on 25 October. The NATO troops took the three to
Peja until they can be "handed over to the Yugoslav
authorities," AP reported. All Serbian forces were obliged to
leave Kosova in June under an agreement between Belgrade and
NATO. PM

...TEMPORARILY CLOSES SCHOOL. Norwegian peacekeepers on 25
October closed the Serbian-held school in the village of
Plemetina after the Serbs repeatedly refused to share the
facility with ethnic Albanians. The school will be reopened
once a separate school is available for the Albanian
children. A KFOR spokesman said that would be "soon," Reuters
reported. PM

SFOR ARRESTS BOSNIAN SERB FOR WAR CRIMES. NATO peacekeepers
arrested Damir Dosen near Prijedor on 25 October. The Hague-
based war crimes tribunal has indicted him for crimes against
humanity because of his activities at the Keraterm
concentration camp, where he commanded guards in 1992. PM

SESELJ'S PARTY BANNED FROM BOSNIAN VOTE. Representatives of
the OSCE, which organizes elections in Bosnia under the 1995
Dayton peace agreement, said in Sarajevo on 25 October that
the Bosnian branch of Seselj's party cannot participate in
local elections slated for 2000. The reason for the ban was
the Radicals' failure to remove three ultra-nationalists from
party offices, including former Republika Srpska President
Nikola Poplasen. PM

THOUSANDS DEMONSTRATE IN SARAJEVO. Some 30,000 workers
marched in central Sarajevo on 25 October "for greater social
justice," RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. Federal
Deputy Prime Minister Edhem Bicakcic declined an invitation
from unions to speak to the workers, saying that mass
protests are not the way to solve social problems. PM

PETRITSCH'S OFFICE SLAMS JELAVIC. A spokeswoman for the
international community's Wolfgang Petritsch said in Sarajevo
on 25 October that Ante Jelavic, who is the ethnic Croatian
representative on the joint presidency, is wrong in alleging
that the republic's Croats are victims of discrimination (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 25 October 1999). She stressed that the
Croats have the same rights as the Serbs and Muslims to block
legislation in the federal parliament, "Dnevni avaz"
reported. PM

EUROPEAN CRITICISM OF CROATIAN ELECTIONS. A spokeswoman for
the European Commission said in Zagreb on 25 October that the
international community will soon send two formal protests to
the Croatian government. One will object to the timing of
parliamentary elections on 22 December and the other will
criticize the electoral law, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service
reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 October 1999). Elsewhere,
opposition representatives boycotted a meeting with the
governing Croatian Democratic Community that was to discuss
the electoral law. An opposition spokesman said there is no
purpose in talking about the law until President Franjo
Tudjman makes it clear that he will accept the results of the
ballot. PM

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT REJECTS CALL FOR EARLY ELECTIONS. Emil
Constantinescu rejected a call by the opposition Party of
Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) for early elections,
Mediafax reported on 25 October, citing the BBC.
Constantinescu described PDSR leader Ion Iliescu's proposal
as "a simple electoral maneuver" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25
October 1999). On 22 October, the president had criticized
the governing National Peasant Party Christian Democratic
(PNTCD), saying they are not giving him enough support. He
also said the opposition Greater Romania Party (PRM) is
waging "a campaign aimed at intimidating" him. Constantinescu
noted that "tiny groups" of PRM supporters follow him
everywhere. He said one PRM group recently hurled insults at
him during his visit to Cluj-Napoca. VG

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT SIGNS AGREEMENTS IN KUWAIT. Constantinescu
was in Kuwait on 25 October for a meeting with Emir Jabir al-
Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah, Rompres reported. The reported
purpose of the meeting is to increase bilateral economic
relations between the two countries and to attract greater
Kuwaiti investment in the Constanta free zone on the Black
Sea. VG

BULGARIA, ALBANIA AGAINST BORDER CHANGES. Bulgarian Prime
Minister Ivan Kostov and his visiting Albanian counterpart,
Pandeli Majko, said on 25 October that multiethnic states in
the Balkans should remain intact and that borders should not
be changed along ethnic lines. Both said they are committed
to the stability and territorial integrity of their common
neighbor, Macedonia. Kostov added that Bulgaria will support
regional infrastructure projects in Albania and Macedonia,
Reuters reported. The projects are aimed at connecting the
Black and Adriatic seas by highway and railway links as well
as constructing oil and gas pipelines that would run through
Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Albania. VG

FINAL RESULTS OF BULGARIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS. According to
final results of the local election released on 25 October,
the governing United Democratic Forces won 31.30 percent of
the total vote and the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party
29.39 percent, according to a Bulgarian Radio report cited by
the BBC. The ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedom
and the Euro-Left took 11.06 percent and 7 percent,
respectively. VG

END NOTE

THE PROBLEM IS MORE THAN JUST ONE MAN

by Patrick Moore

	The ouster of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is
the top priority of the Serbian opposition and of NATO's
Balkan policy. While the removal of the man most responsible
for the destruction of Tito's state and for four bloody wars
will be a great step forward, it will hardly be the end of
Serbia's problems or of other countries' Serbian problem.
	Once Milosevic is removed--however that may come about--
there remains, above, all, the matter of his henchmen. Some
300 prominent men and women from Serbia-Montenegro are banned
from receiving EU visas, which suggests the approximate
number of members of the elite closest to Milosevic.
Particularly important are the four men whom the Hague-based
war crimes tribunal indicted in May along with the Yugoslav
president.
	The Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO), among others, is
counting on peacefully undermining Milosevic by appealing to
some members of his power structure to save their own skins
and defect to the opposition. There was much speculation at
the end of the summer that no less a person than Serbian
President Milan Milutinovic--who is one of the four indicted
war criminals--may have unsuccessfully tried to do just that.
Meanwhile, any successful defections remain very cleverly
concealed.
	And even if the fractious opposition of some 150 parties
and 800 NGOs were to oust Milosevic along with the most die-
hard of his lieutenants, there is no telling what it would
put in their place. The opposition, with its squabbling egos,
took weeks to agree on a common platform on the vital issue
of elections--the first such agreement in 10 years. Party
leaders still fight among themselves over matters such as who
will march or speak at whose rally and who will speak before
whom.
	Thus, there is little likelihood that the rise to power
of the opposition will prove a panacea for Serbia's ills. The
squabbling that beset the Slovak cabinet once former Prime
Minister Vladimir Meciar was out of the way offers a possible
example of what might come to pass in a post-Milosevic
Serbia. And it should also be noted that the governing
coalition's behavior has been such that Meciar was able to
make political capital out of the cabinet's disarray and
prepare to launch his come-back.
	In all likelihood, Serbia's problem has less to do with
the presence of one man than with the nature of its political
culture. One aspect is the tendency to rely on strong
leaders. Even foreign observers fall prey to this approach
when they bemoan the lack of "an alternative" (read: another
strongman) to Milosevic. Democracy, however, grows from the
bottom up. The real alternative to "caudillo" rule is likely
to come from the opposition-run cities and towns and their
mayors and other elected officials. It is there that Western
countries have wisely begun to concentrate their hopes and
attention, not on the well-known egos of Belgrade.
	Another issue in the political culture is the all-
pervasiveness of nationalism. Many of his once fervent
supporters have turned on Milosevic not because they have
become good democrats, but because he failed to live up to
his promises to create a Greater Serbia. He is responsible
for a disaster for the Serbian people that is as huge as
Adolf Hitler's for the Germans in terms of territorial losses
and migrations of Biblical proportions. It is primarily
because of this that many opposition politicians seek his
ouster. It is difficult to say how much peace and progress in
the Balkans one could hope for if disgruntled nationalists
are in power in Serbia (not to mention the problems Bosnia
and Kosova will have regardless of who governs in Belgrade).
	A third problem is the lack of civic consciousness,
which is another term for political immaturity. Many among
the ranks of the opposition and intellectuals provide good
examples of this. In the course of the Milosevic years, many
Western governments and NGOs have spent tidy sums supporting
Serbian NGOs and the independent media. But when Milosevic
launched his full-fledged campaign of genocide in Kosova this
spring, the private media for the most part censored
themselves or generally fell into line. It is true that one
could not expect them to write editorials in praise of NATO
air raids or the Kosova Liberation Army. But it is telling
that barely three dozen individuals were willing to sign a
document that, though repeatedly slamming NATO, dared to
criticize the genocide, if only in one short passage.
	At a recent OSCE-sponsored conference in Montenegro,
several leading figures from the Serbian private media showed
a high degree of defensiveness when Westerners criticized
them for their docility during the genocide. Some of the
journalists showed touches of the paranoia and xenophobia
that is characteristic of the regime and its propaganda.
Knee-jerk mistrust of the major powers--the Americans in
particular--has never been far beneath the surface in Serbia.
	Perhaps the best that will come of gatherings such as
the OSCE one is what an observer called the beginnings of a
"thinking process" on the part of the Serbian intellectuals,
opposition politicians, and journalists regarding their roles
and responsibilities. This could lead to what some observers
have called a "cleansing" or "denazification" of public life.
Similar reflection by those foreigners who would promote the
democratization of Serbia might also be of value. Perhaps
they should not expect too much too soon from a society
imbued with authoritarianism and nationalism and where the
average per capita income is $50 per month.

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Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole