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Yugoslav Daily Survey, 98-01-02
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From: Yugoslavia <http://www.yugoslavia.com>
Yugoslav Daily Survey
 YUGOSLAV FOREIGN MINISTRY ON INTERNET
The Yugoslav Foreign Ministry introduced its home page on the Internet on Monday, its website being 'www.smip.sv.gov.yu,' a statement issued by the Ministry said. The Ministry offers the latest information about its activities, daily information bulletins and data vital for Serbia, Montenegro and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in general, the statement said. The Ministry has tried to combine experience, diplomacy and Internet services to create conditions for a speedy and high-quality distribution of information to web surfers throughout the world interested in the developments in Yugoslavia, the statement said.
 YUGOSLAV PREMIER * INTERWIEV
Yugoslavia's Prime Minister has been quoted as saying that the Government's responsibility for monetary and financial discipline is being over- emphasised in the public. Prime Minister Radoje Kontic was answering questions for the New Year issue of the "Vecernje Novosti" newspaper about the international position of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, economic trends and topical domestic questions. In explanation of the Federal Government's exercise of its constitutional role, Kontic said: "Questions of this kind are most often based on Article 99 of the Yugoslav Constitution, which regulates that the Federal Government defines and pursues both the internal and the external policies. However, the Constitution, seen in its entirety, indicates that the definition and pursuit of both the internal and the external policies is shared between the federation and the republics, as indeed among the federal bodies themselves. Thus, for instance, the public often exaggerates the responsibility of the Federal Government for monetary and financial discipline, which does not correspond to its true constitutional position. The right address for attributing this authority to is the National Bank of Yugoslavia (central bank). Article 114 of the Constitution specifies that the National Bank is an independent and the sole money-issuing body, responsible for the monetary policy, stability of the national currency and financial discipline. Furthermore, constitutional authority is divided between the federation and the republics in five very important fields of the internal policy. These are the taxation system, ownership relations, labour relations, environmental protection and social security. In these fields, the federal state has authority in the basics, while the republics are in charge of the system and policy. Once it has laid down the basics of the system, the responsibility of the federal state ceases in these fields, which is something that has not been sufficiently understood by the public. These are in fact elements of a confederation, and they are defined by the Constitution. The line between the basics of the system and the system itself is a conflicting issue, which is settled by the good will of the decision-makers in Parliament. The federal state has undivided authority in the matter of foreign economic relations. However, Serbia and Montenegro, at the time of the former Yugoslav republics' secession, had objectively been forced to assume some of the federal authority in this field, too, and have not yet relinquished it entirely to the federation. I have already said that, in the field of the foreign policy, too, both the federation and the republics have their spheres of authority. The authority of the republics is defined under Article 7 of the Constitution, which gives them the right to maintain international relations, set up representations abroad, join international organisations and sign international accords. However, these must not be to the detriment of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or of the other Yugoslav constituent republic. At federal level, the Yugoslav President represents the country at home and abroad, and has other prerogatives in the field of the foreign policy which are not in the constitutional province of the Federal Government. Here should be added the actual international position of the country. Until the lifting of the world's anti-Yugoslav sanctions, Yugoslavia had not been recognised by many states, which had however not avoided communication with Serbia and Montenegro. By inertia, similar relations persist to a considerable degree to this day.
Some countries, such as the United States, for instance, still do not recognise Yugoslavia, while they have official contacts with the Federal President as a signatory to the Dayton Accord. The other states of the Contact Group, too, follow a similar practice in matters of the peace process for former Yugoslavia. Last, but not least, the Federal Government has been unable to assume certain constitutional obligations, because for various reasons the necessary regulations have not been adopted nor competent bodies set up. These matters (regional development, traffic safety, the security of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, etc.) are still being regulated at the level of the republics. Evidently, the fact that the federal state has not been fully constituted in line with the Constitution has not been due only to the political will of the Federal Government. In fact, this has been the result of very complex internal and external circumstances, some of which still persist," said Kontic in the interview.
 YUGOSLAV ECONOMIC GROWTH HIGHEST IN EUROPE
The considerable economic growth of the last three years in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia continued in 1997, with an estimated GDP growth of 7.4 percent, Director of the Yugoslav Statistics Institute Milovan Zivkovic said on Monday. Summing up the 1997 economic activity at the traditional end-of-the-year press conference, Zivkovic said that although last year's performance as a basis for comparison was low, the growth registered this year was one of the highest in Europe. It was achieved without foreign funding and despite many limitations, such as the shortage of capital and foreign exchange resources, structural disproportions and idle industrial capacities, Zivkovic said.
In such conditions, the stable official exchange rate of the dinar was maintained, the inflation rate was slowed down considerably, production volume, foreign trade and wages in real terms increased and the standard of living was improved, Zivkovic said. The stability of prices, which are only 9.6 percent higher this December than in December 1996, is one of our greatest achievements, Zivkovic said and added this was the lowest inflation rate in Yugoslavia in 15 years, except for 1994.
Zivkovic also singled out the ten-month stability of the official exchange rate as an outstanding achievement, although the annual rate has been affected by the black market exchange rate hike in November and December. The per capita GDP will amount to 1,550 dollars this year, as against 1,250 three years ago and as against 2,850 in 1989 (for Serbia and Montenegro). It will take seven or eight years to reach the 1989 GDP level again, Zivkovic said. In this regard, Yugoslavia comes high on the list of the formerly socialist countries of eastern Europe, after the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary, where this share is about 40 percent, Assistant Statistics Institute Director Dragisa Bjeloglav said.
 REPATRIATION IS THE BEST SOLUTION FOR REFUGEES, YUGOSLAV MINISTER
The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia believes that repatriation is the best lasting solution to the problem of refugees, Yugoslav Minister of Labor, Health and Social Policy Miroslav Ivanisevic said. Ivanisevic, who headed the Yugoslav delegation to the meeting of the working group for humanitarian issues of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), told Tanjug that individual decisions and local integration of refugees in Yugoslavia should not be simply a result of necessity imposed by the absence of will and of real conditions that should ensure to repatriates safety and adequate living conditions in the communities to which they should return. The working group meeting was held in Geneva on December 17 as a follow-up to a meeting held last April. It constituted an opportunity to initiate consultations on the conditions for finding a lasting solution to the problem of refugees in the former Yugoslavia. Referring to Bosnia, Ivanisevic said that the Yugoslav delegation had proposed equal distribution of funds for the recovery of both Bosnian entities and requested that the Muslim-Croat Federation honor its commitments stemming from Annex 7 of the Dayton Agreement. The Yugoslav delegation told the participants that the Yugoslav authorities were drawing up a general program for the local integration of those refugees who cannot return home but wish to settle in Yugoslavia, which would depend on development programs of the areas in which the refugees are to settle.
 ELECTORAL COMMISSION SUBMITS REPORT ON ELECTIONS
The Republican Electoral Commission submitted a report to the Serbian Parliament on Monday on the outcome of the presidential elections of December 7 and 21. The report said it had exmained complaints and found the elections regular. The decisions reached by the commission are final.
The Commission decided in a session on December 28 not to repeat elections in 13 polling stations, where the vote had been annulled, as the outcome would not affect the final result.
 MINISTER SOKOLOVIC: YUGOSLAVIA WILL STOP KOSOVO-METOHIJA TERRORISM
Yugoslavia's Interior Minister vowed on Monday that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia would put an end to terrorism in the Kosovo-Metohija province of the Republic of Serbia. Speaking for Belgrade and Pristina state radio stations, Minister Zoran Sokolovic said that separatist aspirations in Kosovo-Metohija had escalated over the past two years and were slowly assuming the proportions of the worst form of terrorism. Not only officials of the state, but ethnic Albanians, too, were being murdered, their only crime being that of thinking differently from the separatists, Sokolovic said. He stressed that "all citizens of Kosovo-Metohija, and of Yugoslavia, should rest assured that terrorism will be effectively put a stop to." He said that, if the world, which had been applying a policy of double- standards to Yugoslavia so far, continued to support the separatists, the madness would sadly continue and be expanded by demands that had no valid grounds. He said that Serbia and its parent Yugoslavia were being asked to respect human rights, while these rights were in no way threatened anyway. However, he added, it was a different matter how some people were interpreting their rights and how they wished to exercise them. He went on to say that the separatists had been preparing for years for what was happening in Kosovo-Metohija today, and investing huge sums of money, but even ethnic Albanian leaders had to admit that they were putting their compatriots in a no-win situation.
He said that "there can be no compromise with the separatists. Serbia will guarantee safety in every inch of its territory, to its every citizen, regardless of religion, nationality and other affiliations. The state must and will do this." What was happening in Kosovo-Metohija was obviously terrorism practiced by a minority of the ethnic Albanian community, and this would be resolutely stamped out, Sokolovic vowed. He added that "those who have been master-minding the separatist movement in Kosovo-Metohija over the past eight years and maybe even longer are certainly dissatisfied with the stabilisation of the overall situation in the area." He said that Yugoslavia had definitely become a sovereign state, but that efforts to destabilise it were unfortunately being made not only in Kosovo-Metohija, but elsewhere, too. "I am convinced that the process of stabilisation will continue in this region, which means that all people in Serbia and Yugoslavia will be able to live in peace, elect their leaders without outside tutelage, to lead them where they want to go," he said. "The state bodies of power were manifesting their increasing efficiency every day, he said, adding that whoever attempts the life of another must feel the force of the law. This is done in every state in the world. U.S. President Clinton has set in motion a whole international machinery to fight terrorism, and we respect this. But, neither he, nor German Foreign Minister Kinkel have condemned terrorism in Kosovo-Metohija".
"Terrorism is the worst evil threatening mankind today. I expect the whole world to stand up soon in defence of the huge majority of the people in Kosovo-Metohija, not only Serbs, Montenegrins and Turks, but most ethnic Albanians, too, I am sure, who have realised they have been led astray," Sokolovic said. He added he believed that they themselves would one day rise against the terrorism of the separatists and continue to live in Kosovo-Metohija in peace with their neighbours.
 CHAMBER OF CITIZENS APPROVES FEDERAL BUDGET FOR 1998
The Yugoslav Parliament's Chamber of Citizens passed a law on a federal budget of 9.693 billion dinars for 1998 on Monday evening. The law was passed with 78 votes for, 14 against, and 3 abstentions. The approved budget is to account for 9.13 percent of the social product and is only 4.93 percent higher than the 1997 budget. The bulk of the sum, or 6.5 billion dinars, i.e., 67.6 percent, will go on the defense, 13.6 percent on the federal authorities and organizations, and 12 percent on veterans benefits.
 SERBIAN PARLIAMENT ELECTS ITS FOURTH DEPUTY SPEAKER
Deputies to the Serbian Parliament on Monday elected unanimously Istvan Ispanovic of the Alliance of Vojvodina's Hungarians (SVM) the fourth Deputy Speaker. Commenting on Ispanovic's nomination at the Serbian Parliament's constituent session, SVM leader Jozef Kasa said he was confident that the newly-elected deputy speaker would perform his duties well.
 YUGOSLAV FINANACE MINISTER * STATEMENT YUGOSLAV PARLIAMENT RATIFIES SEVERAL AGREEMENTS WITH RUSSIA
The lower house of the Yugoslav Parliament ratified on Monday at its first autumn session several agreements concluded by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Russian Federation. The House of Citizens ratified the agreement on a Russian credit of 150 million dollars signed on December 3 in Moscow, which is to be used to finance the import of equipment, goods and services from Russia. The credit is to be used from 1997 to 1999, and the period of grace varies according to each imported item. The House also ratified the agreements on cooperation in construction, processing of agricultural produce, veterinarian medicine and quarantine and plant protection.
 MILAN MILUTINOVIC TAKES OATH IN PARLIAMENT
The newly elected President of Serbia, Milan Milutinovic, took oath in a ceremony before Parliament on Monday. "I swear that I will devote all my strength to preserve the sovereignty and integrity of the Republic of Serbia, ensure that human and civic rights are exercised, honor and defend the Constitution and law, keep the peace, work for the prosperity of the people and carry out my duties conscientiously," said Milan Milutinovic. Milutinovoic said, after the swearing-in ceremony in the Serbian Parliament that the coming period will be a time of development and prosperity for Serbia, as that was the interest and need of all those living in Serbia. Speaking in Parliament, Milutinovic said that development is our answer to the difficulties that are behind us and to the needs of the coming period.
"It's an overall project of social recovery based on reforms of the state, economy, education, health, information, culture - and everything that makes up the basis and content of a contemporary, democratic society. And more than that." "The basis of that development is our potential in agriculture, the power industry, transport, tourism, industry and above all an educated young generation, work and know-how of our people. Development and reforms have a sense only if they are humane and just", Milutionovic said. And they will be like that, he said, if progress in the economy, technology, health, education, culture, can be in the service of all. "We need prosperity that will mean more work places, greater employment, more humane conditions of medical treatment, efficient education, improved care for children and the elderly and those in need." In short, a better standard of living and improved conditions for all, the Serbian President said. "The project of recovery and reforms should be based on the latest achievements in science, technology, culture, politics. Following those criteria, we will catch up with the developed world, become part of scientific, cultural and first of all economic integrational processes in Europe and in the world," Milutinovic said. Milutionovic said that in organizing the society there was no need for many inovations but that we should apply what proved to be good, useful and efficient in other similar societies. Of course, that process is not possible, if we do not take account of two basic conditions, Milutionovic said. The first is: life in peace, freedom and independence and the strengthening and assertion of FRY as a state of equal citizens of the Republics of Serbia and Montenegro. The second condition is: rallying all those who can, know how and want a developed, stable and strong Serbia. We are rich in differences, ethnic, religious and political. Those differences can be an advantage, if everyone - regardless of nationality, religious feeling and political affiliation - contribute to developement and reforms. We need a miniumum of agreement about the national program and basic social values, for a rich, developed and democratic Serbia, a goal which, we believe, is the goal of the huge majority of our citizens and political parties. Only like that we can ensure for the citizens of Serbia greater security, and a better standard of living, President Milutinovic said. "State bodies, national institutions and political parties must respect that will. Only like that we can prevail over destruction that is present in different forms - through the pressure of those for whom such a Serbia is not to their liking, crime and illegal activities, and various information and cultural forms of destruciton of national consciousness. Only in that way we will be able to discourage those who want to impair our national interests, freedom and territorial integrity," he specified. "With an obligation to do everything, within my constitutional competencies, for the peaceful and continuous development of Serbia, and with a wish that this Parliament also contributes to that, as the supreme legislative power, and the government of national unity, believing that will also be done by all other relevant national institutions, and calling on all political parties to also make their contribution, sincerely believing that is what the citizens of Serbia expected from us - I salute you and wish you a happy New Year and that it be marked with the prosperity of Serbia in the interest of all people living in it," Milutionovic said speaking in the Serbian Parliament.
 THERE WILL BE NO DEVALUATION OF THE DINAR NEXT YEAR
Yugoslav Minister in charge of developement, science and the environment Jagos Zelenovic said on Friday that there will be no devaluation of the dinar and that the national currency will preserve its current official rate of exchange against the German mark. Zelenovic, who spoke at a regular news briefing in the Federation building, also said that the economic policy for next year, determined by the Yugoslav Government, represented a continuity of the economic policy from previous years and was designed in support of overall economic reforms. National Bank of Yugoslavia Director for foreign currency operations Dragan Slijepcevic said that a fixed rate of exchange of the dinar will remain in place and that economic policy plans for 1998 did not provide for any changes. Reminding that the National Bank of Yugoslavia and the Yugoslav Government were pursuing a joint policy, Slijepcevic said that the Central Bank had, in 11 months this year, sold to citizens 270 million German marks. He said that in 11 months this year the balance-of-payments deficit was 1.7 billion dinars, of which 800 million dollars was covered through foreign currency investments, and the rest by short-term and long-term foreign loans. Yugoslav Minister of Economy Slobodan Djokovic said there will be no shortages of oil and oil by- products and added that sufficient quantities of all kinds of fuel will be supplied for January next year. He said that the consumption of all kinds of fuel for next year was planned at the level of 4.1 million tons, of what one million will be supplied from domestic resources.
In 1988, the planned production growth of all kinds of energy was 5.8 percent which, Djokovic said, will be sufficient for meeting the needs of the economy, especially the projected industrial production growth of 10.5 percent.
 BOSNIAN SERB PARLIAMENT INTERRUPTED
The constituent session of the Republika Srpska Parliament was interrupted on Friday as the parties were unable to agree on the Parliament officials. The date for resuming the constituent session was set tentatively for January 12. The Parliamentary parties are expected by that time to complete consultations and reach a compromise on the Parliament's President, Vce Presidents and Secretary-General. The Serb Democratic Party (SDS) proposed that the President, one Vice President and the Secretary-General be from SDS, and the other Vice President from the Serbian Radical Party (SRS). The Serb National Alliance (SNS) proposed that the President be from SDS, the Vice Presidents from SNS and SRS, and that a third Vice President be appointed from the Coalition for a Single Bosnia-Herzegovina, which rallies parties from the Federation. The Secretary-General would be from the Socialist Party of Republika Srpska (SPRS). The SPRS proposed that the President be from SDS, the Vice Presidents from SNS and SRS, and the Secretary General from SPRS.
 FEDERAL BUDGET BILL ENDORSED
Yugoslav Council of Citizens Budget Committee endorsed on Friday the Bill on the Federal Budget for next year. Yugoslav Minister of Finances Dragutin Vucinic, in his exposition of the Bill, said that the 9.693 billion dinar Budget represented 9.13 percent of the estimated social product of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for next year. Vucinic pointed out that the Budget for next year will be financed only from real sources and that it was practically at the level of last year's budget. He said that the largest income - 5.2 billion dinars - is to be obtained from the tax on turnover of goods and services and from excises. Income from taxes, it is estimated, will be 835 million dinars, from custom and other import duties three billion dinars, while other sources of incomes under special federal regulations, the income of federal bodies and organizations, and other income will be 650 million dinmars, Vucinic said. The planned income for financing the competencies of the FRY next year will for the greatest part - 6.5 billion dinars - be used for defense needs, which represents around 67.6 percent of resoucres for financing the competencies of the federal state. The pensions of invalids and veterans will be financed with 1.16 billion dinars, or 12 percent of the total Federal Budget, and 13.6 percent of the Federal Budget is intended for financing the work of all federal bodies and organizations.
For intreventions in the economy and giving an impetus to development have been earmarked 251,5 million dinars or 2.6 percent of the total Federal Budget, of which the greatest part - 140 million dinars - will used for repaying a part of the debt to foreign currency depositors.
 REPUBLIKA SRPSKA PRESIDENT DELIVERS SPEECH AT PARLIAMENT
Republika Srpska President Biljana Plavsic said on Saturday that unemployment, social poverty and life on the edge of subsistence of most Republika Srpska citizens called for a programme of unity, survival, construction and prosperity of the Bosnian Serb entity. "The lives of 18, 000 young people who died defending their fatherland do not permit clashes among parties and disagreements," Plavsic said and urged the rule of the law in a debate at the Republika Srpska Parliament session in Bijeljina.
Plavsic said that the world had confirmed the integral and indivisible Republika Srpska under the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, which had brought peace. "Dayton also granted much of our sovereignty, which we can strengthen by consolidating the legal state, but also lose through political voluntarism," she warned. Plavsic said that Republika Srpska representatives would take part in the work of joint organs and institutions of Bosnia-Herzegovina as equal partners, in the same way its integrity would be observed. "The Republika Srpska's territorial integrity must also be observed, as envisaged by the Dayton Accords," she said. "We expect that the unfinished business of Dayton negotiators regarding Brcko will be finished, that reason will prevail that the Republika Srpska's territory must not be divided, because this would mean the end of the Dayton accords," Plavsic said.
As for its relations with Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Plavsic said that the Dayton Accords had left the possibility of establishing special ties. Plavsic said that the Republika Srpska "is a national state of the Serbian people, but it also has room for others who are prepared to adopt the value of our state and defend it like their fatherland."
 PLAVSIC, KRAJISNIK DISAGREE ON NEW PREMIER-DESIGNATE
Republika Srpska President Biljana Plavsic described the Parliament session on Saturday as successful. Most of the work had been done, said Plavsic, commending the tentative date for the next meeting, around January 12. The parties will have time to adjust their stands on the appointment of parliament officials, she said. Bosnian presidency member from Republika Srpska Momcilo Krajisnik has disputed the right of President Plavsic to name Mladen Ivanic as the premier designate. Krajisnik said it was without precedence that the premier-designate be a non-party man. The elections in November were in held to decide who would have power in the entity, and not to resolve the crisis in Republika Srpska. We have not solved the crisis, said Krajisnik. We have only made it more complicated. Krajisnik said he had proposed that the new Premier be designated after the Parliament had been constituted and its officials appointed. Krajisnik expressed optimism that a solution would be found and better cooperation established.
 MARJANOVIC: 1998 WILL BE A YEAR OF ECONOMIC, SOCIAL STABILITY
Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Marjanovic said on Friday in the Institute of Transport that the economic policy for 1998, adopted by the Serbian Government, was a policy of economic and social stability, economic growth and development, and speedy implementation of reforms. In this way we wish to secure the continuity of a successful policy of implementation of the program of economy recovery, started in 1994, Marjanovic said. The Serbian Prime Minister said the main goals of the planned economic policy were a continuation of the policy of a full stability of prices and exchange rate, economic growth of 10 percent, export growth of over 30 percent, growth of salaries, pensions and other earnings, continuation of the policy of full budget discipline as the basis of economic and social stability and the continuation of reform processes in the field of ownership transformation and restructuring of enterprises and banks, strengthening competitiveness and liberalization of market relations, speedy opening up to the world and attraction of foreign capital. Describing 1997 as the year when market and reform orientations of the Serbian Government were very pronounced, Marjanovic said it was the year of the most stable prices, when industrial production registered a double-digit rate of growth, and exports rose over 25 percent.
 REPUBLIKA SRPSKA PARLIAMENT VERIFIES MPS' MANDATES
The mandates of Republika Srpska Parliament members were verified at the constituent session in Bijeljina on Saturday. The Serbian Democratic Party holds 24 seats, the Coalition for an Integral Bosnia-Herzegovina 16, the Serbian National Alliance Biljana Plavsic and the Serbian Radical Party 15 seats each, the Socialist Party nine, while the Party of Independent Social Democrats and the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia-Herzegovina each hold two seats. After the verification, Deputy International High Representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina Hans Schumacher said that it was important that the constituent session was being held in Bijeljina, where some excesses had been registered before the elections. He said that this was a signal to the world which wanted parliament to be constitued and the past to be forgotten. He said that the Office of the High Representative and other international community's representatives would help the Republika Srpska Parliament in its efforts to ensure a dignified and civilised life for all peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina. We are determined to stay here until our goal is reached, Schumacher said and added that U.S. President Bill Clinton and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl had sent similar messages during their recent visits to Bosnia. Head of the Russian mission to Sarajevo Vladimir Kuznyetsov felicitated the MPs on the verification of their mandates and wished Parliament success.
 YUGOSLAV PARLIAMENT LOWER HOUSE TO MEET ON MONDAY
The Yugoslav Parliament Lower House will hold its first meeting of the autumn session on Monday. The meeting, which will have a 60-item agenda, will focus on a draft law on the 1998 Federal Budget that should amount to 9.693 billion dinars. The Lower House is also to review a draft law on basic rights of veterans and disabled veterans, and amendments to the law on administrative fees and stamp duties and the law on travel documents. The deputies are also to endorse 36 inter-state agreements, including a dozen of agreements that Yugoslavia has reached with Croatia and Macedonia. They are also to review a number of other draft laws.
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