[R-G] 1 year later, Serbs unhappy with capitalism
bstoller at utopia2000.org
Fri Oct 5 12:31:38 MDT 2001
AFP. 5 October 2001. First anniversary of Milosevic's ouster marred by
BELGRADE - A year after the popular uprising that ousted Yugoslav
president Slobodan Milosevic, the reformers who succeeded him face
rising anger among impoverished workers impatient with the lack of
improvement in their daily lives.
A convoy of more than 100 trucks and buses took the road from the
central Serbian town of Cacak on Friday -- the same they had taken last
October to Belgrade for a mass protest against Milosevic -- to mark the
first anniversary of the ouster.
"This day should not be forgotten," Milun Kuzmanovic, one of the
organisers, told radio B92, but warned that the authorities "are being
"This day marks the date when one regime has fallen, but it is also a
warning to the new authorities," Kuzmanovic said, leading the convoy
headed by a dredge which had been parked in front of the federal
parliament last year as the first sign of the unprecedented popular
The past 12 months without Milosevic have been marked by limited effects
on economic growth.
The government risks running into serious economic and social problems
despite winning international financial [read: capitalist] support,
including pledges of 1.27 billion dollars for 2001-04 at a donor
conference in Brussels in June.
But the international reconstruction aid came at a price.
The reformist authorities had to impose tough new economic laws and
taxes -- non-existent during Milosevic's time [N.B.] -- prompting an
increase in prices and financial hardship for the population.
Salaries are among the lowest in Europe at an average of 80 euros (73
dollars) a month while the cost of living has increased by more than 50
Recent strikes at Telekom Serbia and labour tensions at Kragujevac, 120
kilometres (70 miles) from Belgrade, where privatisation of the Zastava
auto factory has brought 8,000 job losses, herald worse to come,
Last week, thousands of miners in the biggest coal mine in Serbia,
Kolubara, launched a strike demanding salary increases. They were soon
joined by hundreds of others from several mines, forcing the government
to bow to their demands.
Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic dismissed the "ultimatums" set by
"The time chosen for the strike shows that it is a political and not a
social one," Djindjic said.
Independent analyst Vladimir Goati admitted that "the economic situation
in the country might be worse than last year, but there are more
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
More information about the Rad-Green