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(en) Serbia, (Coppied from pga_europe_resistance@squat.net) "Obituary" for ex-anarchist ')

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 15 Mar 2003 11:20:58 +0100 (CET)


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Who was Djindjic?
Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic was a long time dissident. During his
student days in the mid-1970s, he left for Germany to join other dissidents
who were, with the help of western intellectuals,  escaping harassment in
Titoist Yugoslavia.

After his return to Belgrade, abandoning his anarchist ideas, Djindjic was
among the founding members of the Democratic Party in 1989 - one of the main
anti-Milosevic parties. A master tactician and a ruthless technocrat he soon
took over as its leader.

Djinjdic came to international prominence at the end of 1996, when he was
one of three opposition leaders who inspired and coordinated nearly three
months of mass street demonstrations against the attempts of the Milosevic
administration to annul the victories of the "Zajedno" (Together) coalition
in municipal elections across Serbia.

The demonstrations - unprecedented in length and intensity in recent
European history - brought victory. Djindjic's prize was to become mayor of
Belgrade in 1997.

During the Kosovo conflict, when NATO carried out its aggression against
Yugoslavia, Djindjic took refuge in Montenegro and the west, leaving the
country, and suggestions that "Serbia should be bombed" were not received
with support in Yugoslavia

After  the aggression against Yugoslavia, Djindjic -  as probably the most
unpopular of Serb politicians - stayed in the background directing the
ultimately successful campaign of another opposition leader, Vojislav
Kostunica, in the race against Milosevic.

Kostunica gained the largely honorary post of Yugoslav President, while
Djindjic took over at the centre of power - as prime minister of Serbia.

Djindjic had  transferred Milosevic to The Hague Tribunal in 2001 - in the
face of opposition from the people and many Serb political forces, including
President Kostunica.

He introduced neoliberal capitalism of the worst kind in Serbia. His media
manipulation and his technocratic behavior made him more and more unpopular,
as Serbia was becoming one of the poorest countries in the region. Every
day, more than 15,000 workers were on the street, protesting. More than
900,000 people in Serbia were fired (Serbia has a population of  about 7
million), unions were aroused and social unrest was brewing.

So called "Workers Resistance", from  Kragujevac, an industrial city of
Serbia, was vehemently protesting against Djindjic 's neoliberal policies.
Coalitions and social movements, such as "Another World is Possible", and
others, were starting to  take shape, and to resist IMF-iseration of  the
country. A handful of intellectuals and journalists were fighting against an
imposition of a "false debate"- you have to choose between neoliberal
"reformists" or "ultranationalists" - and there emerged a so-called
"Belgrade consensus": a convergence of the neoliberal and the nationalistic
political elite and intellectual commissars who were restoring the capacity
of coercion against the people who tried to look beyond both options being
presented, nationalism and neoliberalism.

With regards to political parties, for much of the past two years, there has
been a power struggle between  Kostunica and Djindjic.  Kostunica enjoyed
popularity, and Djindjic was detested because of his technocratic  approach
and what is called "reforms" ( meaning: stabilization, privatization,
liberalization, in the spirit of the "Washington Consensus")
Yet Djindjic was very succesful. He has used his links with President
Djukanovic of Montenegro to establish a loosely-knit union of Serbia and
Montenegro.

The power struggle with Kostunica finally went Djindjic's way with the
replacement of Yugoslavia by the union of Serbia and Montenegro over the
past month. This left Kostunica without an office and transferred him back
to the opposition.
Djindjic was not able to enjoy the fruits of his almost absolute power for
more than a few weeks. There are a lot of speculations about today's
assassination.  According to one scenario, the most probable one perhaps,
Djindjic was a victim of his own alliances with organized crime.
Post-Yugoslavia, as every other "country in transition" (towards complete
poverty) has seen a "new class" being formed, a group of oligarchs who made
their money under Milosevic and found new protectors in Djindjic or
Kostunica. A virulent element of this new class, comprised of buisness
people and politicians, was mafia and organized crime. Another scenario is
interpreting Djindjic's assasination as a political plot, perhaps even tied
to the rivalry between Washington and Berlin . There is a suggestion that he
was perhaps executed by Albanian nationalists who are gaining more and more
strength in the south of Serbia.

Djindjic's circle, neoliberal technocrats, will use this situation and
benefit from it. This is not good: I have seen it happening with Milosevic
who had become almost a martyr after his extradition to the Hague. As I am
writing these lines, one of the TV stations loyal to Djindjic is
broadcasting the movie "JFK". There is, also, another danger, the one of
organized crime transforming this situation into a gang warfare. After this,
gangs, and mafia in general, could be encouraged. And a situation of
complete disorder could be introduced.

In the best scenario, neoliberals-in-power will use and exploit this
opportunity  for their own benefit and further impoverishment of the
country. Nationalist forces could be encouraged as well.  As for the people
who are fighting for "another Serbia", against neoliberalism and
nationalism, for them, at least at the moment, the situation doesn't look
very promising

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