(eng) ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN, Supplement 33

Tom Burghardt (tburghardt@igc.apc.org)
Thu, 25 Apr 1996 18:24:34 +0200


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CONTENTS: Supplement 33

_____

1. (CAQ) COVERT ACTION QUARTERLY: Dismantaling
Yugoslavia, Recolonizing Bosnia, Part Two

2. (AANCO) A Call For A Moratorium On The Death Penalty

3. (UPDATE) Israeli Peace Action Against Lebanon Invasion

4. (REUTER) Top German Jew Joins Debate Over Holocaust Book

5. (AP) Islamic-American Group Reports On Violence And
Discrimination

6. (REUTER) Extreme Romanian Politician Stripped Of
Immunity

7. (ANA) ARYAN NEWS AGENCY: "Vaderland" 'Zine #4

8. (AP) U.S. Seeks Deportation Of Pro-Nazi Propagandist

-----

** Topic: ARTICLE: Dismantling Yugo **
** Written 8:55 AM Apr 16, 1996 by odin@magg.net in
cdp:p.news.discuss **
From: Erebus <odin@magg.net>

[*********PNEWS CONFERENCES************]

/* Written 3:16 PM Apr 8, 1996 by chosso@travel-net.com
in igc:econ.internati */
/* ---------- "No Subject Given" ---------- */
From: chosso@travel-net.com (M Chossudovsky)

DISMANTLING FORMER YUGOSLAVIA, RECOLONISING BOSNIA

by Michel Chossudovsky

The author is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa.
Copyright by Michel Chossudovsky, Ottawa, 1996. This text can be
posted. For publication in printed form kindly request permission
from the author: E-Mail:chosso@travel-net.com, fax:
1-613-7892050.

-----

{Begin Part Two}

THE BANKRUPCY PROGRAMME

Industrial enterprises had been carefully categorised. Under the
IMF-World Bank sponsored reforms, credit to the industrial sector
had been frozen with a view to speeding up the bankruptcy
process. So-called "exit mechanisms" had been established under
the provisions of the 1989 Financial Operations Act.17 The latter
stipulated that if an enterprise were to remain insolvent for 30
days running, or for 30 days within a 45 day period, it must hold
a meeting within the next 15 days with its creditors in view of
arriving at a settlement. This mechanism allowed creditors
(including national and foreign banks) to routinely convert their
loans into a controlling equity in the insolvent enterprise.
Under the Act, the government was not authorised to intervene. In
case a settlement was not reached, bankruptcy procedures would be
initiated in which case workers would not normally receive
severance payments.18

In 1989, according to official sources, 248 firms were steered
into bankruptcy or were liquidated and 89,400 workers had been
laid off.19 During the first nine months of 1990 directly
following the adoption of the IMF programme, another 889
enterprises with a combined work-force of 525,000 workers were
subjected to bankruptcy procedures.20 In other words, in less
than two years "the trigger mechanism" (under the Financial
Operations Act) had led to the lay off of more than 600,000
workers (out of a total industrial workforce of the order of 2.7
million). The largest concentrations of bankrupt firms and
lay-offs were in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and
Kosovo.21

Many socially owned enterprises attempted to avoid bankruptcy
through the non payment of wages. Half a million workers
representing some 20 percent of the industrial labour force were
not paid during the early months of 1990, in order to meet the
demands of creditors under the "settlement" procedures stipulated
in the Law on Financial Organisations. Real earnings were in a
free fall, social programmes had collapsed, with the bankruptcies
of industrial enterprises, unemployment had become rampant,
creating within the population an atmosphere of social despair
and hopelessness. "When Mr. Markovic finally started his
"programmed privatisation", the republican oligarchies, who all
had visions of a "national renaissance" of their own, instead of
choosing between a genuine Yugoslav market and hyperinflation,
opted for war which would disguise the real causes of the
economic catastrophe".22

The January 1990 IMF sponsored package contributed unequivocally
to increasing enterprise losses while precipitating many of the
large electric, petroleum refinery, machinery, engineering and
chemical enterprises into bankruptcy. Moreover, with the
deregulation of the trade regime in January 1990, a flood of
imported commodities contributed to further destabilising
domestic production. These imports were financed with borrowed
money granted under the IMF package (ie. the various "quick
disbursing loans" granted by the IMF, the World Bank and
bilateral donors in support of the economic reforms). While the
import bonanza was fuelling the build-up of Yugoslavia's external
debt, the abrupt hikes in interest rates and input prices imposed
on national enterprises had expedited the displacement and
exclusion of domestic producers from their own national market.

"SHEDDING SURPLUS WORKERS"

The situation prevailing in the months preceding the Secession of
Croatia and Slovenia (June 1991) (confirmed by the 1989-90
bankruptcy figures) points to the sheer magnitude and brutality
of the process of industrial dismantling. The figures, however,
provide but a partial picture, depicting the situation at the
outset of the "bankruptcy programme". The latter has continued
unabated throughout the period of the civil War and its
aftermath... Similar industrial restructuring programmes were
imposed by external creditors on Yugoslavia's successor states.

The World Bank had estimated that there were still in September
1990, 2,435 "loss-making" enterprises out of a remaining total of
7,531.23 In other words, these 2,435 firms with a combined
work-force of more than 1,3 million workers had been categorised
as "insolvent" under the provisions of the Financial Operations
Act, requiring the immediate implementation of bankruptcy
procedures. Bearing in mind that 600,000 workers had already been
laid off by bankrupt firms prior to September 1990, these figures
suggest that some 1.9 million workers (out of a total of 2.7
million) had been classified as "redundant". The "insolvent"
firms concentrated in the Energy, Heavy Industry, Metal
processing, Forestry and Textiles sectors were among the largest
industrial enterprises in the country representing (in September
1990) 49.7 percent of the total (remaining and employed)
industrial work-force.24

POLITICAL DISINTEGRATION

Supporting broad strategic interests, the austerity measures had
laid the basis for "the recolonisation" of the Balkans. In the
multi-party elections in 1990, economic policy was at the centre
of the political debate, the separatist coalitions ousted the
Communists in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia.

Following the decisive victory in Croatia of the rightist
Democratic Union in May 1990 under the leadership of Franjo
Tudjman, the separation of Croatia received the formal assent of
the German Foreign Minister Mr. Hans Dietrich Genscher who was in
almost daily contact with his Croatian counterpart in Zagreb.25
Germany not only favoured secession, it was also "forcing the
pace of international diplomacy" and pressuring its Western
allies to grant recognition to Slovenia and Croatia. The borders
of Yugoslavia are reminiscent of World War II when Croatia
(including the territories of Bosnia-Herzegovina) was an Axis
satellite under the fascist Ustasa regime: "German expansion has
been accompanied by a rising tide of nationalism and
xenophobia... Germany has been seeking a free hand among its
allies to pursue economic dominance in the whole of
Mitteleuropa..."26 Washington on the other hand, favoured "a
loose unity while encouraging democratic development... [the US
Secretary of State] Baker told [Croatia's President] Franjo
Tudjman and [Slovenia's President] Milan Kucan that the United
States would not encourage or support unilateral secession... but
if they had to leave, he urged them to leave by a negotiated
agreement"... 27

ENDNOTES

17. Ibid., p. 33.

18. Ibid., p. 33

19. Ibid., p. 34. Data of the Federal Secretariat for Industry
and Energy, Of the total number of firms, 222 went bankrupt and
26 were liquidated.

20. Ibid., p. 33. These figures include bankruptcy and
liquidation.

21. Ibid, p. 34.

22. Dimitrije Boarov, op. cit.

23 World Bank, Industrial Restructuring p. 13. Annex 1, p. 1.

24. "Surplus labour" in industry had been assessed by the World
Bank mission to be of the order of 20 percent of the total labour
force of 8.9 million, -- ie. approximately 1.8 million. This
figure seems, however, to grossly underestimate the actual number
of redundant workers based on the categorisation of "insolvent"
enterprises. Solely in the industrial sector, there were 1.9
million workers (September 1990) out of 2.7 million employed in
enterprises classified as insolvent. See World Bank, Yugoslavia,
Industrial Restructuring, Annex 1.

25. Sean Gervasi, op. cit., p. 65

26. Ibid., p. 45

27. Zimmermann, op. cit.

_____

Michel Chossudovsky

Department of Economics,
University of Ottawa,
Ottawa, K1N6N5

Fax: 1-613-789-2050
E-Mail: chosso@travel-net.com

Alternative fax: 1-613-562-5999

-----

COVERT ACTION QUARTERLY
1500 Massachusetts Ave., # 732
Washington, D.C. 20005

Tel: (202) 331-9763
Fax: (202) 331-9751
E-mail: caq@igc.apc.org
WWW: http://www.worldmedia.com/caq

SUBSCRIPTIONS: One Year

US: $22
Can./Mexico: $27
Lat.Am./Eur: $33
Other Areas: $35

** End Part Two: Dismantling Yugoslavia **

*****

Date: Tue, 23 Apr 1996 16:01:13 -0500 (CDT)
From: William Todd Leech <blast@csd.uwm.edu>
Subject: A Call for a Moratorium on the Death Penalty

A CALL FOR A MORATORIUM ON THE DEATH PENALTY
by Lorenzo Komboa Ervin

"Let us use this time to build a stronger
and broader movement, not to "stay" one execution,
but to halt them all. Down with the racist U.S.
death penalty!" [words of Mumia Abu Jamal]

Now that we are once again hearing "rumors" about a new death
warrant being signed by the governor of Pennsylvania to kill
Mumia Abu Jamal despite his legal appeals, this may be the time
to think about new strategies to defeat the death penalty.

Last August, the Southeastern regional office of Amnesty
international held its 2nd annual Death Penalty Institute in
Houston, Texas. The international organization, AI, is opposed to
the death penalty, but like most such seminars, the participants
who came to this one generally wound up doing nothing but the
usual social or legal work in their professional lives, [if
that]; but something happened during the institute which touched
me deeply: a Chicana, whose husband was on death row, had come to
deliver us a message from the condemned prisoners of Texas. They
called for us to engage in a civil disobedience campaign [while
we were in Texas] to dramatize our opposition to the death
penalty and to begin to fight for a national moratorium against
the death penalty. They said while we would fight out here in the
"free world", they would begin to resist their executions inside
and engage in hunger strikes and other actions.

I am ashamed to say that no one heeded their message, but it has
stayed with me, and I at least wanted to raise the issue with all
death penalty opponents, esp. supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal, the
best known death row prisoner in the world. For it is they who
have the critical mass to make what I am talking about a reality,
along with supporters of Gary Grahmn and others around the
country facing executions. We must now unite in a mass movement
for direct action against executions. It is the institution of
the death penalty that we must fight, not the individual case of
Mumia, important as that is. He, more than anyone understands
that because with a moratorium, not only is he going to live, but
so will everyone else on the many death rows all over America.

It almost begs the question to say that the death penalty is an
instrument of racial oppression and class injustice. no rich man
has ever been executed in this country in a capital case, no
matter how many workers he has killed. In addition, very few
whites [even Klan members] have been put to death for the murder
of a black person; and yet racial "minorities" are
disproprotionately represented on death rows nationwide. All of
this and other atrocities can be cited over and over by death
penalty opponents, but the truth is that the opposition movement,
even Mumia's campaign [powerful though it is], has reached a
brick wall of indecision and confusion, and does not know where
and how to proceed further at this critical juncture. I believe
that the fight now is for a moratorium on further executions, and
we must get in the streets in large numbers to obtain and fight
for the lives of the condemned.

WHAT IS A "MORATORIUM"?

A moratorium is a long-term stoppage of the carrying out of death
penalty warrants by state or federal officials. In contrast to a
"stay", which is just a legal postponement of the exection of a
sentence or penalty by a court, a moratorium can really only be
won by mass action. A moratorium is the first step toward
elimination of the death penalty entirely in the United States.
It means that we have a definable objective beyond Mumia's case,
and we understand that the classist and racist government weapon
of the death penalty itself must go. It means an end to mere
moral appeals to politicans and bigoted criminal justice
functionaries who could care less, and putting some muscle in our
struggle. It means that we can end the haphazard practice we have
lapsed into, and build a more united movement of all death
penalty opponents and anti-racist activists.

How Can We Get A Moratorium?

It is possible to use an infinite variety of tactics once we
agree that a moratorium is what we seek as the first real step to
stop executions in America. We can work on the state level to get
it state by state, we can use existing mass coalitions like those
around Mumia's case, and we can bring many new people into the
struggle. We can collect signature, have mass rallies, mass civil
disobedience at the site of executions, state tourist or product
boycotts, and numerous other tactics, even use "lobbying" and
public education, something we already do but it becomes more
potent with a campaign for a moratorium. The main thing is that
we would have a place to go, because we would understand our
objectives, and since we would be organized we could turn the
tide on the current bleak political situation. To be sure, this
will require hard work on our part, there is no magic wand, but
the good thing about all this is that it can be done.

What impact could a moratorium have on the current political
climate?

Winning a moratorium, I am convinced, would have the potential
of throwinmg the present political situation on its head. It
would be a tremendous defeat for the Right-wing conservative
movement in this country, who have used fear, hysteria, hatred,
religious bigotry, and racism to win passage of the death penalty
in state after state. It would also be a tremendous boost for the
Left progressive forces in this country; if we could win this
victory on a very unpopular issue, could we not press forward on
other issues in the political arena and create a new agenda and
mass movement entirely? We would be in a position to re-phrase
the whole question of crime and punishment, educate millions, and
really call for and implement new solutions to the current
repressive system.

What do we need to really do this?

I believe that we need a National Coaltion for a Moratorium on
the Death Penalty, to unite all sort of anti-death groups into an
effective movement. Only if we can consolidate many of the
movements which already exist, along with others which seem to
come into existence each day around individual cases will we be
able to build a critical mass. I am hopeful that we can begin to
discuss this matter now, and then have a founding conference of
this group to fight for the moratorium.

I am not the only person calling for a moratorium, and as I have
pointed out, the original idea was not even mine. The death row
prisoners in Texas issued the call, I am just one of those who
has responded, just as I hope you will respond to this letter. I
know it does not answer every question you may have, but it at
least raises the issue. I have no staff, no financial resources,
and no celebrity status, but I have common sense, determination
and good will, and with these I will try to work with others to
make this possible. Please write me if you or your organization
are interested. Could you do one thing: circulate this letter to
your friends, print it in your organization newletter or
newspaper, and send it along with your mailings? Maybe we can get
something started from jsut the circulation of this letter, who
knows? Thank You.

Lorenzo Komboa Ervin
AANCO/Ad Hoc Organizing Drive for a Moratorium
145 Park Drive
Decatur, GA. 30030

*****

ISRAELI PEACE ACTION AGAINST LEBANON INVASION

This past Friday, April 19th I think, about 1000 supporters of
the Communist Party, the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality,
Gush Shalom and other peace groups held a demonstration in
Tel-Aviv protesting Israeli military activity in Lebanon. The