MILOSEVIC INTERVIEWED ON PRESSURES FACING FRY
AND GOOD PROSPECTS FOR NEW STATE
Radio Television Serbia in Belgrade - May 28, 1992
Text of recorded interview with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic by Milorad Vucelic, Director General of Serbian Radio and Television
[Vucelic] Mr President, it seems that the pressures on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia [FRY] and Serbia have never been greater than in recent times. In the last few days, they have even intensified. What do you think these pressures are aimed at?
[Milosevic] These pressures are, above all, aimed at destabilising Yugoslavia, that is to say, at preventing it from being established and stabilised. The forces which, with the help of their Yugoslav branches, have succeeded in the last few years in finally breaking up Yugoslavia, had in mind the need, in line with their own interests, to create as many small states in this part of the Balkans as possible, that is to say, to reduce Serbia to the greatest degree possible. Therefore, it is quite logical that they are all very upset. This is why this pressure is so fierce. It is fierce just because such a plan was countered by the creation of a stable state, like the FRY, that has by European standards quite a potential.
Therefore, this plan stopped on the borders of the FRY, and without a doubt these people, both the citizens of Serbia and the citizens of Montenegro, have a right to this state of theirs and are orientated towards this and therefore they can set such a state up and successfully live in it.
[Vucelic] Do you think therefore that adherence to its own interests and independence in the policy of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro is in some way the main cause of this kind of pressure being exerted on us now?
[Milosevic] There is no doubt that with its 11m citizens in this central place in the Balkan peninsula, on this bridge between continents and with its potential, Yugoslavia is greater than Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal or the Netherlands. Therefore, regarding European criteria, it is a medium-sized country with great possibilities for development and with great possibilities to maintain its stability, independence and even its successful economic development as an independent state in both the political and military sense. It does not in any way suit the interests of those forces that wanted to destabilise and break up the whole of the region of what has up to now been Yugoslavia.
Therefore, it is obvious that were this not so important, the pressures would not be so great. One can measure what will happen best by the resistance that is offered to the processes of such an emerging state.
[Vucelic] Do you therefore think that if we had been applauded more, we would have met other people's interests more and the situation would have been considerably more favourable, at least regarding foreign policy pressure, but, regarding our own interests, it would have been much worse?
[Milosevic] It is a great question whether we could agree to even think about putting aside some of our vital interests. That is to say, I do not believe that the huge majority of the citizens of Serbia - and I believe Montenegro, too - could even think that one could discuss tomorrow demands that we give up Kosovo or northern Vojvodina or Novi Pazar Sandzak, or the Raska region, or any other part of Yugoslavia. There can be no talk of this. I am also referring to a part of Montenegro that has been mentioned.
Therefore, it is a great question whether one can even talk about meeting such demands and interests halfway, because I would like to remind you that pressure and sanctions against Serbia started at the moment we refused in The Hague to allow Yugoslavia to be wiped away with the stroke of a pen. At that point, the reason was our so-called noncooperativeness, as if cooperativeness or noncooperativeness can be measured by our agreeing or disagreeing to our one and only homeland being scrapped.
[Vucelic] It is usually said that we are in the difficult situation that we are in primarily because we have lost the media war. I fear that to some extent that idea could be true, but it neglects the fact that we have nevertheless been the target of some other people's interests and their aspirations and that this is nevertheless a more important part of the outcome, the part we are experiencing now.
[Milosevic] It is beyond doubt that the war is no longer being waged merely by conventional means, but rather that a fierce media war is being waged. It is evident from the information that we have received that it is very difficult to find an event represented to our advantage in the media of most of the EC countries and the United States. This is very well-financed and organised propaganda that is aimed at mobilising public opinion against Serbia.
As you know, from the very beginning of the Yugoslav crisis, Serbia particularly strived to preserve Yugoslavia and to resolve the crisis in a peaceful manner. Furthermore, at the very beginning Serbia took the stand according to which it in no way disputes other peoples' right to self-determination, so that, if these peoples so wish they can freely form their own national states, and finally we said that it is not our right to dispute such a right. However, the same right belongs to our people, that is to say, this same right also belongs to Serbia and Montenegro as well. Does it sound logical to you that the right to secession can be stronger than the right of being devoted to one's country, stronger than the right to remain and live in one's own existing country?
[Vucelic] It seems to us, Mr President, that Serbia in its foreign political activities and in its international activities in general adhered for too long to the existing international law, legality and legitimacy, while the world in the meantime has obviously abandoned all this by recognising only de facto situations, regardless of how they were established.
[Milosevic] Well, the approach by which only de facto situations are recognised is very dangerous, not only in the particular case of Yugoslavia but, it seems to me, also as a precedent for the world. If only force and interests, but not justice and truth, prevail on the political scene then a serious question arises as to what this new world order that has been discussed so much will be like. Is this the order in which some countries or some nations are supposed to be servants and others masters, or is this the order that is supposed to represent a new way of democratisation and integration on a global scale?
There are enormous differences in the approach to this issue and one thing is clear to us. These people and this country were never servants to others, these people do not have a foreign master and they want to preserve their independence. I think that we have all the conditions necessary to preserve this independence by not taking anything that belongs to others and by not demanding anything that belongs to others because, from a historic perspective, taking away or usurping something that belongs to others may actually mean digging a grave for one's own grandchildren, as what has been taken by force and in a contested manner will certainly eventually be reopened by force and in a contested manner. It is known that in our entire history the Serbs and the Serbian people never waged wars of conquest but only defensive wars, and they succeeded in defending their freedom and their independence. We hope that we will not be forced to fight any other wars on these territories, as there have been plenty of wars and starvation here. We want peace.
The essence of the policy that Serbia is advocating at this very moment is reduced to only a couple of words, peace and economic recovery. I believe that we also meet plenty of conditions for economic recovery. And I believe that under stable circumstances in our region, which we would for this reason like to help in creating and stimulating, we can implement the economic revitalisation and raise the standard of living very rapidly. That is to say, we can ensure that our FRY becomes in all aspects a well-organised, economically developed and happy country.
[Vucelic] I believe that through the Constitution, through everything that will follow, the coming elections and so forth, we will reach stability and safety. This will facilitate the creation of better foundations and a better future for the generations to come and for us who are living now.
[Milosevic] Well, it is hard to imagine, at least as regards the majority of the citizens of this country, how any of them could be bothered by the formation of Yugoslavia. The formation of Yugoslavia can only bother our enemies and those who wish this country to be their servant. It is certainly in the interest of the residents of this country, the residents of Serbia and Montenegro, that this country be well and efficiently organised. The bottom line is that if we created the country then, naturally, this country should also function. If we formed the country then this country should have its parliament and government in order to function, and the latter two are constituted at elections. Therefore, it is evident that in the process of constituting the FRY time is a very important factor, I would even say a key factor. Furthermore, I believe that after the elections some of the, shall I say, pronounced tendencies of great pressure will have to subside, especially when it becomes apparent to what degree the residents of this country cherish their country and to what degree they want the actual constitution of this country and the creation of the economic, political and other circumstances that would facilitate successful development.
[Vucelic] An unavoidable topic in all these talks that have been conducted, the topic that serves as the motive and the cause for foreign intervention, foreign interference, or foreign pressure, is the situation in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Although you have presented your view on several occasions,although your view is known, I would like to ask you to state what you think about the situation in Bosnia-Hercegovina and possible solutions in Bosnia-Hercegovina, particularly the ones that you are promoting, the ones that Serbia and the FRY are promoting.
[Milosevic] The situation in Bosnia-Hercegovina shows that many who are exerting pressure regarding the whole situation in Bosnia-Hercegovina simply do not understand the problems of Yugoslavia or the problems of Bosnia-Hercegovina. This lack of understanding has pushed the peoples in Bosnia- Hercegovina into this bloody conflict. This conflict represents a tragedy for all its citizens regardless of their nationality. Our view about this, as known, was very clear. It was even formulated in our Assembly, as you remember, at the beginning of March. This took place much earlier, before any clashes broke out in Bosnia-Hercegovina. In our opinion, this view was in fact the only possible principled view, and I hold the same view today, considering that Bosnia- Hercegovina is made up of three equal nations, three constituent, three constitution-making nations. By definition, Bosnia-Hercegovina has been such a state from its very creation. If Bosnia- Hercegovina were an island in the ocean, if it did not have Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, or any other country around it, this principle of equal treatment of interests of all three nations would still have to be applied.
Therefore, I would like to remind you that from the very beginning we have been striving for the crisis in Bosnia-Hercegovina and relations in it to be regulated on the basis of consensus and equality of all three nations. We even said before all this that to help such a process and such a principled approach we would respect any solution that these three peoples reached on an equal footing. This is the beginning and the end. I do not see any other solution. I do not seen any other solution to this agony in Bosnia-Hercegovina other than for hostilities to stop immediately and for the conference that was in fact based on this principle of equality and consensus of the three constituent nations to resume immediately.
The destabilisation in Bosnia-Hercegovina arose just because this very delicate balance and this principle were not respected. On the one hand the EC endorsed this principle, the principle of tripartite consensus, as the starting basis and as the main and only principle of the conference on Bosnia-Hercegovina, while on the other hand, in parallel, it embarked on a completely opposite process involving a truncated referendum and premature recognition. In brief, these moves had to endanger the principle that the community itself opted for. In this way they produced destabilisation and conflicts. Now, those who produced this are looking for culprits for this. They are finding them in Serbia, even though it is known that neither Serbia nor the FRY are at war there. After all, if they were at war, this could easily be proved. (?If we) were the ones who carried out some kind of invasion in Bosnia-Hercegovina, could anyone hide this in Serbia? How could we at all carry out a secret invasion of Bosnia-Hercegovina? It appears to me that this is understood by every one of our citizens, but, unfortunately, it is very difficult to penetrate the foreign media and this message is not reaching their consciousness, that is to say, the establishment of a view on Yugoslavia.
However, I think that in this respect there have recently been some indicators, at least some articles or programmes are sporadically appearing in Western Europe and the United States and are presenting the true events in Yugoslavia. This is only an indication that in this case the truth will surface after all, probably with some delay, a break, which is the result of such a great media blockade, but the truth cannot be hidden. The truth must come out in the end and it will triumph. If we did not believe in this outcome, would we believe that we can achieve success, bearing in mind that our aims are just and solutions honest regarding all our neighbours?
[Vucelic] Mr President, is there anything that the international community and international organisations like the CSCE, EC and the like have demanded from us, something that is principled, that is to say, have they presented a demand to Serbia and the FRY that was scrupulous, principled, that concerned the principles of humanism and that Serbia may not have responded to so far, or may not have complied with so far?
[Milosevic] No, nothing. Certainly nothing that would concern the principles of humanitarianism, especially if one bears in mind that from the very beginning we opposed any sort of armed clashes through our words, work, stance and behaviour. However, there were political demands. The main pressure was that we accept the so-called Carrington document from The Hague. We simply could not accept this document because it contained a decree, implications that abolished our country. We even suggested then that, departing from the principles from which the [EC] conference [on Yugoslavia] in The Hague had departed, we retain what was written in the document about sovereign and independent states for those who want it, but that the document also equally consider our choice, which is acommon state of those who want it. Therefore, in both cases the document would contain the wishes of all sides. What could be more just than to establish, organise and bring to a status of normal function a state in accordance with a wish that was, naturally, expressed in a democratic manner?
Therefore, owing to such a one-sided approach we could not accept this document. It is hard to imagine that any patriot could have accepted it.
[Vucelic] In this context -
[Milosevic, interrupting] Without these corrections, of course. Without these corrections and amendments upon which we insisted and that were completely clearly - this can always be verified as these are documents that will be kept - they were perfectly clearly and evidently such that they did not threaten anybody else's interests, but were merely facilitating those who wished to continue to live in their own existing state and to naturally reorganise this state in accordance with their interests.
[Vucelic] Another issue that also arises is the issue of ethnic minorities in the FRY, with a special emphasis on Kosovo.
[Milosevic] It seems to me that our answer was very principled here. We guarantee to ethnic minorities all rights that the CSCE countries guarantee, we grant them all rights that are granted or that exist in the EC countries. They cannot ask us to guarantee something other than the countries who are making this demand guarantee their own ethnic minorities.
The idea that Kosovo should be given some kind of special status is another indication of the lack of knowledge about the whole situation in Serbia. The problem in Kosovo is not that the human rights of Albanians are being trampled on, but a problem involving a clash with a separatist Albanian movement whose only aim, which it has finally openly proclaimed, is to separate Kosovo from Serbia and join it to neighbouring Albania. This is an issue that concerns our integrity.
Kosovo is not merely another part of Serbia, although Serbia does not have parts to give away, anyway. Kosovo is the heart of Serbia; our entire history lies there. Finally, even today there is an enormous number, several hundred thousand - [changes thought] that is to say, not only Albanians but also Serbs, Montenegrins and others. In the end, Kosovo never was an Albanian autonomous region. Kosovo became an autonomous region because of the specific structure of its population, for specific reasons, regardless of whether this was justified or not.
Therefore, Kosovo has never belonged, not even as an autonomous region, to the Albanian ethnic minority and it never in history belonged to Albania. True enough, a part of it belonged to Mussolini's Greater Albania, that is, it was under fascist rule. However, neither before nor after, never in history did Kosovo belong to Albania. Kosovo will remain a part of Serbia and this really cannot be discussed under any circumstances.
It is another thing that there are instances of violations of human rights in Kosovo. This has to be eliminated. However, this cannot be either a cause or a reason for anyone to demand that Kosovo be given a special status in which the Albanian minority would enjoy virtual state powers and in this way realise integration with neighbouring Albania to the detriment of Serbia. This is out of the question.
[Vucelic] Mr President, it is often said that because of a lack of foreign policy Serbia has lost allies and that at present it has neither friends nor allies in the world. Considering that you have been very intensively contacting foreign officials - you have such contacts every day - to what extent do you consider this impression justified and correct?
[Milosevic] I do not think that this impression is correct. We have neither lost friends nor allies, despite the fact that at this hot stage of huge pressures and in this situation of a disturbed balance in the world, some forces are undoubtedly dictating solutions and dictating the attitudes towards us. I do not believe that this can last a long time. It can last only for a very short time, because the relations that have so far been established on an equal basis were not established by force but because of the interests of Yugoslavia and other states that have entered into these relations with it.
The interests are alive, they still exist, and there is no doubt that they will be preserved even after the wave of these mostly unfounded accusations and pressures on our country has gone.
[Vucelic] Frequent targets of criticism are the domestic policy of Serbia, the FRY and you, as President, as allegedly being an undemocratic policy, a policy that contains elements of Bolshevism, communism and similar things that are a part of the collection of things that have become (?odious). Could you say something about these objections?
[Milosevic] According to, I think, a Russian proverb that is often used in our country, one is not too choosy about a stick in a fight. Many things have been said at the expense of Serbia, at the expense of the ruling party and at my expense. However, one should have discussions and appreciate what is in fact happening in this country. This country has held free, multi-party elections. Neither foreign forces nor their domestic branches can determine or elect who will be sitting in the assembly or the government in a democratic country. This is the right of the people. The people realised this right in free elections.
We are in fact just about to hold free elections during which everyone will be able to freely express their wish, as our citizens know. There is nothing more rational for those who believe that they enjoy the support of the people than to take part in the elections, nominate themselves as candidates and obtain this support. They should have their beliefs confirmed in the correctness of the views and policies that they are advocating.
[Vucelic] Mr President, in your opinion, does a policy, policies, or aspirations that definitely exist on the political scene and that would like to restore divisions from a civil war in Serbia stand any chance of success, or do you believe that this is not possible in Serbia in present times and in this crisis and complex situation in which we live?
[Milosevic] Nothing is impossible, and because they believe that this is possible, numerous forces are trying hard to make Serbs start killing each other. Well, a successful outcome of these efforts would be tragic for Serbia and I am convinced that such an outcome will not occur in Serbia. These people want to live in peace, to assume successful economic development and not to kill each other, as finally, in who else's interest could this be but that of our enemies? It is nevertheless the end of the 20th century and in Europe, where we live, it is not possible to assume that a justified interest and aspiration of either individuals or groups, if they are any good and if democratic support can be won for them, could not come to prominence through the democratic mechanism that has been established in this country. I do not believe that anyone with good intentions in this country could claim this.
[Vucelic] Mr President, it is usually believed that economic prosperity and revitalisation, which you have just mentioned, in a crisis situation are not possible without foreign aid. Therefore, there are some doubts that we - [changes thought] that it would not be possible for the FRY to achieve an anti-inflation programme and a stable economic situation that would facilitate not only stability but also prosperity by merely relying on its own resources and potential.
[Milosevic] Even so far we have not been receiving foreign aid, that is to say, I suppose Yugoslavia was receiving foreign aid a few decades ago. However, entire decades have passed not in receiving aid but in paying off the enormous interest rates on loans that were taken for what was needed and for what was not needed.
I believe that Yugoslavia stands extremely good chances in the circumstances of a reasonable economy. I believe that there is not one country among the East European bloc countries - in which we are unjustly included, although we were never a part of that bloc - that could experience an economic recovery faster then Yugoslavia.
Therefore, we are not considering the closing of Yugoslavia here, but on the contrary, its opening in all directions and aspects in an economic sense. The co-operation with partners in foreign markets has no perspective if we have to count on somebody's aid. We can count on somebody's economic interest. Foreign businessmen will invest in numerous economic projects in which they are interested if they will benefit from it and so will our businessmen. Therefore, here we are talking about mobilisation of foreign capital on good and attractive projects in which both sides will find a corresponding benefit.
Today, we have numerous large - [changes thought] I can say there are a considerable number, a significant number of large projects for which there is obviously great interest among the developed countries. Precisely because of the attractiveness of these projects we are one of the countries that do not need to search for investors. Therefore, it is in our interest that the politicalsituation in the region stabilise as quickly as possible. On the other hand, however, it must be clear that the creation of Yugoslavia, its survival and its continuity are factors for stabilisation and peace in the region.
In this sense, in a stable political situation, which we need, there are numerous conditions for a speedy economic recovery. We expect that we shall very quickly realise major investment projects - above all in the economic infrastructure; this means motorways, railways, the unification of forces within the framework of the new state, including transport enterprises, port authorities, telecommunication systems - that is, everything that is part of the economic infrastructure. The fact is we now produce more than half of all electricity of the former Yugoslavia, and that apart from France, we are the only country in Europe with a surplus of electrical power.
So with such a state of affairs in the electricity industry, with such big investment projects and communications at the international level, and, on the other hand, with a comprehensive opening for new investments, private investments, joint ventures and long-term industrial co-operation, it is beyond doubt that this country has exceptionally great development potential, not to mention that its biggest development potential lies in the enormous number of highly educated workers, engineers, technicians and all types of experts who can be mobilised for almost any technological process currently used in the modern world.
The fact is we have reduced our foreign debt in the past few years. Serbia owes only 4bn dollars. It is, as you can see, about 400 dollars per person. This is incomparably less than almost all surrounding countries, and in a normal situation we could very quickly activate our participation in the world financial markets, and the stock market and internal financial market, integrated with external markets, could start operating here so that economic life, in the full sense, would be orientated towards economic expansion, which undoubtedly is bound to succeed.
[Vucelic] Mr President, will this Yugoslavia avoid inheriting some of the bad features of the preceding Yugoslavia, especially in its last phase? Namely, numerous elements of the confederal system, a lot of power to republics that did not recognise federal bodies - in which, of course, Serbia and Montenegro were the last - which later boomeranged on them, but nevertheless these tendencies to reduce authority from the federal to the republican level did affect them. In what way do you think that the future authorities, the future system, will be organised in order to avoid the destructive tendencies which destroyed the former Yugoslavia?
[Milosevic] If we are not to avoid those tendencies, then we would be not be on the right track. That is certain. We approached the creation of this federation with the aim of creating a real federation, and not a confederation. If we make one or three states out of two - [changes thought] if the latter then it is better not even to start creating them. We have created - in accordance with how it is defined in the Constitution - a modern federation that meets every condition to function efficiently. I hope that in the course of the implementation of the concept defined by the Constitution, everything that does not need to be at the republican level will be done in one place and the federation will function efficiently.
For instance, regarding economic issues, we used to have nine central banks, nine national banks, one federal and eight republican and provincial banks. We will not have three banks, but one. There is only one currency, one monetary system, which means one issuing bank and not one Yugoslav and two republican issuing banks. All those were nonsensical features of Yugoslav confederalism, and, in fact, a reason for Yugoslavia's disintegration. Because of that, Yugoslavia did not have the grounds and conditions to survive in the economic sense, because destructive mechanisms were built into the system. Now we have tried to avoid such mechanisms. So one monetary system with one central bank, one fiscal system with one system of economic relations with foreign countries - all this defines a single market, which must be defined as a single economic space so that it can function as a single market.
On defence, why do we need defence ministries in the republics and in Yugoslavia? If there is one defence system, one Yugoslav Army, why do we need three ministries? And why do we need a series of parallel bodies for functions that we said in the Constitution belong to the federal state? My firm belief that Yugoslavia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, will be able to function as an efficient and modern federation, is based on this and on the institutions of the system.
[Vucelic] That federation, of course, remains open for co-operation, as you have already said, with all former subjects, former republics of Yugoslavia - co-operation based, naturally, on equality - and remains open not just for co-operation, but also for the possibility that a state can join otherstates if it is in its interests. Does this leave some opportunity for us to look after the Serbian people living in neighbouring republics and in the former republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, barring interference in the internal affairs of these neighbouring countries?
[Milosevic] And what opportunities! Independent of institutional solutions, it is beyond doubt at this moment that there are no opportunities to disintegrate the Serbian nation and to erect among it barriers that would stem the flow of vital issues that link it together. In the final analysis, regarding all those political, social, cultural, educational and all other links, I do not think that at this moment anyone thinks that someone could divide [the Serbian nation] . In all respects, whatever institutional solutions are adopted in resolving the crisis in Bosnia - and regarding the issue of the Krajinas and other issues - the relations and links, interests and concerns of the entire Serbian nation cannot be brought into question.
Regarding relations with the former Yugoslav republics, there are very considerable interests, both ours and - I am convinced - of all the republics, to re-establish, first of all, intensive economic and then many other types of relations. I am convinced that when this fever of nationalistic confrontation, this fever of bloody conflict, wanes, links will be re-established in the mutual interests of all those living in those parts of the former Yugoslavia, because both they and we have such interests, there is no doubt about it.
[Vucelic] All in all, it can be concluded that the FRY will also in the future take care of the concept of the spiritual unity and integrity of the Serbian people and the Serbian nation. Not to the detriment of others, of course, but above all respecting all its own interests and the interests of its people.
[Milosevic] Naturally, I am sure that, bearing in mind what you said about us never having intended to do anything to this effect, to the detriment of others, I see no reason why others should have anything against the fact that we care for our own interests and the interests of our own people.
[Vucelic] You were the exponent of one of two national strategies when you appeared on the political scene, on the big political scene. Some time has passed. What do you think, Mr President? Would a national strategy be possible in Serbia today that would take less care of the interests of the entire Serbian people, whether it would have legality and legitimacy among the Serbian people?
[Milosevic] No strategy, no policy, in Serbia can be successful if it neglects the interests of the people. It must be based on these basic interests, and I think that in this process of Yugoslavia's disintegration every Serbian citizen today understands what would have happened to Serbia had it not been reunited in 1989, and how its various parts would have behaved now under these dramatic conditions. I can freely say that had it not happened the question would have arisen whether the Serbian people would have had a homeland.
Therefore, it is beyond doubt that oscillations are possible, deviations from one side or another, more or less, but the main orientation of the overall interests of Serbia, its citizens and the Serbian people cannot be subject to negotiation, trade and, least of all, to rotten compromising. Therefore, in these circumstances we have to endure and preserve our interests. We are obliged to do so not only for this people, for citizens who now live in Serbia and Yugoslavia, but also for future generations.
[Vucelic] A while ago you spoke about the economic situation giving rise to a certain optimism and faith in a better future, for some hope. But in light of the situation in the world and our surroundings and pressures to which we have been exposed, undoubtedly we have reason to be apprehensive. Do you think there are reasons for fear, or should we only remain apprehensive and somewhat concerned?
[Milosevic] I do not believe there is a single citizen of Serbia who is not worried today. There are many reasons for concern. In the final analysis, civil war is raging around us. We are exposed to enormous pressures and threats. But I think there are no reasons for fear for the simple reason that we are doing nothing that is detrimental to the interests of others. We are trying to organise our country in a way best suited to its citizens, and I think there is nothing else, there could be no other choice, than to hold our destiny in our own hands while acting honestly towards the surrounding environment and while also not letting others determine our fate; that is, letting others determine how we shall act and how we shall organise our country.
[Vucelic] Mr President -
[Milosevic, interrupting] So there are no, no reasons for fear. Certainly there are reasons for concern. It can be said that anyone who is not concerned today is irresponsible.
[Vucelic] What do you think is the best way to get out of this mood of concern and fear - [Vucelic corrects himself] concern and disquiet? What should the citizens, all of us together, all political subjects in Serbia, and finally all citizens do so that we can get out of this situation in which we find ourselves at the moment as soon as possible?
[Milosevic] The stabilisation of our state should help everyone as soon as possible. So, starting from the Constitution (?and) its institutions, after six years we shall in a few days have one, I hope, reciprocal federal government that will not be split by mutual quarrels, that will be orientated to resolving vital problems of this country. So, to establish as soon as possible the entire system of institutions in this country; to contribute towards everyone working as well as possible at their workplaces in their own interests, in the interest of their families and in the interests of their nation [sentence as heard] . There is no another way for successful economic development, cultural development and general social development.
We will, I hope, very quickly end this chaos in our economy, where citizens rightly protest that they are facing corruption, speculation and enrichment on the basis of this speculation and corruption and not on the basis of work. We must try to have a rich society, but a rich society where people live off the fruits of their labour and not corruption and speculation. I hope that with the establishment of the institutions of the FRY, with the election of its Assembly, with the election of its government and with the speedy adoption - on the basis of tasks that are already under way in Serbia and Montenegro - of an efficient programme of economic stabilisation and the curbing of inflation, we will be able to build a basis on which a turnaround will be made with respect to the current economic chaos in the country, on which it will be possible to create a stimulating economic atmosphere in which productivity and, especially, economic efficiency can be raised as well as individual and social standards.
Copyright 1992 The British Broadcasting
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts
SECTION: Part 2 Eastern Europe; C. SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT; YUGOSLAVIA; EE/1395/C1/ 1;
Posted For Fair Use Only