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Yugoslav Daily Survey, 98-01-15
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From: Yugoslavia <http://www.yugoslavia.com>
Yugoslav Daily Survey
 YUGOSLAV PRIME MINISTER RESUMED TALKS IN PODGORICA
Yugoslav Prime Minister Radoje Kontic on Wednesday resumed talks in Podgorica on the latest political situation in Montenegro and steps aimed at its settlement, the Yugoslav Government said in a statement late on Wednesday.
In Podgorica, Kontic is accompanied by Yugoslav Information Secretary Goran Matic.
After comprehensively reviewing all important elements of the current situation in the intensive talks with Momir Bulatovic and Milo Djukanovic and members of the negotiating teams, an agreement was reached on the holding of the Montenegrin parliamentary elections and conditions for their holding.
It is expected that an agreement on other most important disputed issues will be reached and that steps aimed at a peaceful and democratic settlement of the crisis in Montenegro would be agreed on in the resumption of the talks.
A further strengthening of Montenegro and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia will be ensured only in this way, the statement said.
 YUGOSLAVIA AND ROMANIA SIGN AGREEMENT ON CUSTOMS COOPERATION
Director of the Yugoslav Customs Administration Mihalj Kertes and his Romanian counterpart Nini Sapunaru signed on Wednesday in Belgrade a cooperation Agreement on customs and prevention and investigation of violations of customs regulations.
Kertes told the press that the agreement also covered the fight against international crime, including drug and arms smuggling. Customs officials of the two countries will meet daily to resolve current problems, Kertes said.
The agreement will intensify the already good bilateral cooperation in the field and the efficiency of both customs services, and local border traffic will be facilitated, as Serbs in Romania and Romanians in Yugoslavia constitute a bridge between the two countries, Kertes said.
Sapunaru said the agreement was very important as it provides for direct cooperation between the two customs services and facilitates the movement of people and goods across the border. Romania plans to sign similar agreements with all its neighbours this year, he said.
The agreement will also contribute to the overall bilateral cooperation on the basis of the inter-governmental Agreement on customs cooperation signed in Bucharest in 1970.
 BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA PRESIDENCY APPOINTS 32 OF 33 AMBASSADORS
The Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency has appointed so far 32 of the 33 ambassadors abroad, Sarajevo media said on Wednesday. The ambassadorial post in Washington is to be filled on Monday by the appointment of a Serb, at the proposal of Republika Srpska Presidency member Momcilo Krajisnik.
The appointment will mark the beginning of a massive change of Bosnia- Herzegovina diplomatic representatives. Of the 33 ambassadorial posts, 22 are held by the Muslim-Croat Federation, of which 13 by Muslims and 9 by Croats, and 11 are filled by Republika Srpska.
The Presidency on Tuesday appointed ambassadors to Austria, Hungary, the United Kingdom and Canada. It has confirmed the mandates of ambassadors to Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Sweden, Italy and the Holy See, and the heads of the missions to the New York U.N. headquarters and the OSCE.
 YUGOSLAVIA ADOPTS STRATEGY OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
Information technology will be a decisive factor of stepped up economic development in the future, since it does not require the immense investments which have characterized industrial society to date, and it is an opportunity Yugoslavia must take, Yugoslav Minister of Development, Science and Ecology Jagos Zelenovic said on Wednesday.
Presenting at a news conference a strategy of information technology development, adopted by the Yugoslav Government on November 27 last year, Minister Zelenovic stressed that Yugoslavia could make use of the offered opportunity only if it understood the world trends toward a global information society and made optimal use of its resources, especially the know-how.
The adopted strategy sets as a goal Yugoslavia's integration into global information society through the development of the national information infrastructure, as a pre-condition of the restructuring of the national economy.
The set goal calls for a continued elimination of state monopoly and the creation of conditions for continual competition, which is to be the motor force of the development of the national information infrastructure, Minister Zelenovic told the press.
Zelenovic said that the strategy of information technology development was conducive to the attainment of the basic goals of social and economic development as set in the Government's development policy through the year 2005.
The Yugoslav Government will set up a Commission which will coordinate the overall activities in the implementation of the strategy of information technology development.
 MONTENEGRIN AUTHORITIES BEGIN TALKS WITH PROTESTERS
Representatives of the Montenegrin Government and the Organization Board of a two-day protest staged by the Democratic Party of Socialists met on Wednesday to seek a way out of the state and political crisis.
The protesters demand new presidential and early parliamentary elections, annulment of a resolution noting disregard of decisions by federal bodies, and bringing an end to activities aimed at revising the republican Constitution and calling a referendum on the state status of Montenegro.
The talks began after a meeting on Tuesday between Yugoslav Prime Minister Radoje Kontic and Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic and Premier Milo Djukanovic.
 STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE YUGOSLAV JUSTICE MINISTER
Special units and other Montenegrin Interior Ministry forces late on Wednesday dispersed in a most violent way and without any cause peaceful demonstrations against irregularities at the Montenegrin presidential elections, the demonstrations which have been scheduled and held in keeping with the law, Yugoslav Justice Minister Zoran Knezevic said in a statement.
These aggressive operations have come at a time when representatives of the protesters and political authorities were holding talks aimed at finding a peaceful and democratic solution to the crisis with the mediation of Yugoslav Prime Minister Radoje Kontic.
The fact that the behaviour of representatives of current political authorities caused an unjustified stalling of the talks throughout the day points at a well-prepared scenario of the organised physical attack at the protesters in the evening, which was aimed at dispersing the demonstrations.
The use of chemical agents, firearms and combat vehicles, together with the sowing of fear and misinformation, announcements of arrests and other means have created a dramatic situation in Podgorica, which has led to the injuring of a number of citizens and there is a threat of an escalation, which may have dramatic consequences.
The Organisation Committee of the rally and especially Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic are investing efforts aimed at stabilising the extremely difficult situation, the statement said.
 YUGOSLAV DEPUTY PREMIER RECEIVED THE BRITISH AMBASSADOR
Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Vojin Djukanovic received on Wednesday the British Ambassador to Yugoslavia Joseph Bryan Donnelly, the Information Secretariat said in a statement.
The present level of economic cooperation between the two countries is very low, and measures should be taken to intensify it as the former Yugoslavia used to be Britain's chief trade partner in this part of Europe, and many British companies are interested in investing in Yugoslavia and in its tourism potentials, it was noted during the meeting.
To this end, the cooperation between Yugoslavia and the European Union should be resumed, trade measures detrimental to cooperation should be cancelled and EU trade preferences should be restored, which would enable Yugoslavia to export its goods, especially wine and agricultural produce, to Britain, the statement says.
 DEFENSE MINISTER RECEIVED GREEK OFFICIAL
Yugoslav Defense Minister Pavle Bulatovic received on Tuesday Ioannis Zbokos, General Director of the Arms General Directorate with the Greek Defense Ministry. The two officials conferred about promoting bilateral military-economic and scientific-technical cooperation, said a statement issued by the Ministry's Information Office. They agreed that current cooperation fell short of the level of friendly relations between the two countries and peoples, and that conditions and interests existed for considerably boosting ties, the statement said.
The Greek delegation, which is paying a working visit to Yugoslavia at the invitation of the socially-owned company Jugoimport-SDPR, is making a tour of arms factories.
 SERBIAN REFUGEE COMMISSIONER MEETS WITH DEPUTY HEAD OF U.S. MISSION
Serbian Refugee Commissioner Bratislava Morina met on Tuesday with Deputy Head of the U.S. mission in Belgrade Jack Zetkulica and officials of the U.S. Government Bureau for population, refugees and migration.
The talks dealt with the position of refugees sheltering in Yugoslavia and the resolution of refugee issues, focusing on the repatriation of refugees, a statement issued by the Serbian Refugee Commissioner's office said.
It was stressed that the Peace Implementation Council's decision to improve cooperation between the international community and local authorities would be vital for a massive repatriation of refugees, the statement said.
The need was stressed for opening an office in Serbia for the registration of property of Bosnia's refugees, the statement said.
Morina said the position of refugees sheltering in Yugoslavia was difficult, underlining that a consistent implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords and maintaining aid deliveries at the same level until a massive repatriation was brought about were the only fair approach to the resolution of refugee issues.
The U.S. delegation showed interest in humanitarian projects which the Serbian Refugee Commissioner had carried out in cooperation with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and a number of non-governmental organisations, the statement said.
The statement said the realisation of humanitarian projects and food deliveries remained a priority, saying the delegation had pledged to appeal to donors, primarily the World Food Programme, to secure the necessary assistance.
 SERBIAN PARLIAMENT SETS UP COMMITTEE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES
The Serbian Parliament on Tuesday formed a Committee for constitutional issues, with Parliament Speaker Dragan Tomic being appointed its Chairman, as provided for by the Parliament's standing orders.
Tomislav Nikolic, Serbian Radical Party (SRS) whip, was appointed the Committee's Deputy Chairman.
The Committee, made up of 25 members, is to review amendments to the Serbian and the Yugoslav Constitution as well as to statutes of Serbia's two autonomous provinces.
It is also to deal with proposals for initiating proceedings for recalling Serbian President and with basic issues concerning the Constitution's sphere of authority.
 FEDERAL COURT ABOLISHES 136 RULINGS PASSED BY THE MONTENEGRIN SUPREME COURT
The Federal Court on Tuesday passed 136 rulings, thus adopting the demand of the Federal State Prosecutor for the protection of legality and abolishing the Montenegrin Supreme Court's decisions regarding the preparation of election lists ahead of the presidential elections in that republic, Federal Court President Borivoje Vukicevic has told Tanjug.
Vukicevic said that at the session of the Federal Court it was determined that the Supreme Court of Montenegro's decisions in question failed to adhere to provisions of Article 6 of the Law on Yugoslav Citizenship according to which Yugoslav citizenship is proven by presenting a copy from the Register of births or the Register of Yugoslav citizens.
He said that the documents in question do not contain any other proof nor do they contain the register numbers.
 AFANASIEVSKY HOLDS TALKS IN ZAGREB AND EASTERN SLAVONIJA
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Nikolai Afanasievsky warned during his visit to Croatia that the resolving of the problem of the reintegration of the Serb population in Eastern Slavonija required that Zagreb fulfil its obligations completely and continue to cooperate with the international community.
A statement sent by the Russian embassy in Zagreb to the ITAR-TASS news agency on Monday said it had been agreed in Afanasievsky's talks with leaders of the U.N. mission, Serb leaders, and the local authorities in Eastern Slavonija that the mandate of the United Nations Transitional Administrations in the region was ending on a positive note, but that there remained numerous problems which the Croatian authorities had to settle at all levels of their authority.
The statement also underlined that during the talks with the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mate Granic gave an important place to issues of the further regulation of the situation in Bosnia and the normalization of relations with Yugoslavia.
In the part of the talks on Russian-Croatian bilateral relations, it was agreed that there was mutual interest and that there were real preconditions for active political dialogue at all levels and the establishment of cooperation in resolving the problems of regional and European security, said the statement by the Russian Embassy.
Afanasievsky began his Balkan tour on Monday with a visit to Eastern Slavonija. He also held talks in Zagreb, and will proceed to Bosnia.
According to previous announcements, Afanasievsky plans to end his tour with a visit to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and talks with Yugoslav leaders on the situation in the region and the promotion of bilateral cooperation, following the recent visit of Yugoslav Prime Minister Radoje Kontic to Moscow.
 FEDERAL VICE PRIME MINISTER RECEIVED GREEK OFFICIAL
Federal Vice Prime Minister Zoran Lilic received on Tuesday a delegation of the Greek Defence Ministry which is in the FR of Yugoslavia on a several- day visit and is headed by the General Director of the Armaments Department, Ioannis Zbokos, the Federal Information Secretariat has said.
The aim of the visit is to gather information about the potentials of the Yugoslav military industry and to find possibilities for cooperation between the two countries in this sphere. The talks were attended by Major General Jovan Cekovic who is the Director of the Jugoimport SDPR company.
Both sides expressed a wish for the two countries' military-economic cooperation, especially in the sphere of the military industry, to be elevated to the level of the overall relations between Greece and Yugoslavia.
Lilic said that he views Greece and its peoples as historically genuine friends and expressed gratitude for their support given at a time which was very hard for Yugoslavia and Serbia. Underlining that joint economic interests can only strengthen the traditional friendship between the two peoples, Lilic stressed the possibilities for Yugoslav-Greek cooperation through joint research, production and investments.
Both sides set out that the first step in this direction is the preparation of the Memorandum on Understanding which is to be signed by the two countries' defence ministers, the statement said.
 PEOPLE'S REQUESTS TO MONTENEGRIN AUTHORITIES
The Organizing Committee of the large-scale rally in front of the Montenegrin Parliament in Podgorica, comprising 50 top officials of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) headed by Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic and of the National Party (NS) headed by Bozidar Bojovic as well as renown public figures, addressed on Monday a list of requests to the Montenegrin authorities.
If the requests are not met by 7 p.m. on Monday, the rally will continue indefinitely, the Committee said. The requests are as follows:
First - the Montenegrin Parliament should nullify as soon as possible the resolution rejecting the decisions of federal bodies, reverse the decision of the Credentials and Immunity Commission to revoke the credentials to the National Party deputies in the Montenegrin Parliament, and put an end to all activities aimed at amending the Montenegrin Constitution and organizing a referendum on Montenegro's status, as activities of such importance can not be carried out amidst a state crisis and political instability.
Second - the Parliament should shorten its term and early parliamentary elections should be held by April 15 in line with Electoral Legislation to be passed in the meantime in order to prevent a repetition of election rigging such as was registered in the recent presidential election.
Third - the new (transitional) Government should not comprise the present ministers of internal affairs, justice, finance and health and secretaries of information and legislation, due to their role in the rigging of the presidential election.
Fourth - the presidential election should be nullified and repeated along with the early parliamentary elections.
Fifth - pressures should cease on local administration bodies and plans for imposing provisional measures and dissolving municipal assemblies, especially the Podgorica assembly, should be cancelled. Political and police harassment of people for their political convictions, such as revanchism, threats and firing from jobs, should cease as they constitute violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms.
Sixth - the media terror should cease and state media should do their job of providing true and timely information to the Montenegrin public in a professional and unbiased manner.
These requests constitute the basic condition for stabilizing the political situation and their fulfilment will put an end to the civil protests.
The requests are addressed to Parliament Speaker Svetozar Marovic, Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, head of the so-called reform coalition Milica Pejanovic-Djurisic and leader of the Montenegrin Liberal Alliance Slavko Perovic.
The Organizing Committee has set up a negotiating team comprising DPS Vice- Presidents Zoran Zizic and Predrag Bulatovic and NS Vice-President Ranko Kadic, to contact representatives of state authorities and parliamentary parties, pave the way for fulfilling the requests and keep the rally participants informed of the progress and results of negotiations.
 KALINIC IS ELECTED PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA ASSEMBLY
Dragan Kalinic of the Serb Democratic Party (SDS) was elected President of the Republika Srpska National Assembly on Monday.
Kalinic was also President of the previous Assembly.
Nikola Poplasen of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) and Jovan Mitrovic of the Serb National Alliance (SNS) were elected Assembly Vice Presidents.
The post of Assembly Secretary-General went to Momir Malic of the Socialist Party and that of his deputy to Staka Gojkovic of the Serb Democratic Party (SDS).
A motion was raised at the Assembly session for the RS Constitution to be revised so as to have three Vice Presidents of the legislature, so that the third post could be taken, in keeping with the election results, by a representative of the Coalition for Single Bosnia-Herzegovina, headed by the Muslim Democratic Action Party (SDA).
 PROTEST RALLY ORGANIZING COMMITTEE SENDS A LETTER TO THE YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT AND GOVERNMENT
The Organizing Committee of the protest rally in the Montenegro capital of Podgorica sent on Monday, on behalf of the Montenegro people, a letter to the Yugoslav President and the Yugoslav Government.
The letter said, among other things, that the participants in the rally "are manifesting their commitment to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Montenegro, as an equal member-republic of our common state, to democratic development in the interest of all citizens, and to the principle that power can be a product only of a freely expressed will of citizens."
The rally participants said that they were sending the letter being "deeply aware and truly concerned for the fate of the Republic of Montenegro and the FRY, which are threatened by separatism and divisions, which negate the historical ties between and common interests of Montenegro and Serbia and above all the inviolable will of citizens of Montenegro to live in the federal state."
"The resolution on the non-recognition of decisions of federal bodies passed by the Assembly of the Republic of Montenegro is a legal and political act which flagrantly violates the FRY Constitution and the federal constitutional order," the letter said.
"Such a separatist act is clearly an introduction to more concrete steps in the separatist policy of current authorities in Montenegro and all with a view to undermining the federal state and separating Montenegro from it against the actual will of its citizens," the participants in the rally said in the letter.
The letter listed the demands presented by the Organizing Committee to Montenegro authorities.
 KALINIC SATISFIED WITH OUTCOME OF R.S. PARLIAMENT'S 2ND CONSTITUENT SESSION
Republika Srpska Parliament Speaker Dragan Kalinic said at the close of the R.S. Parliament's second constituent session in Bijeljina on Monday that he was satisfied that a difficult and painstaking job, which had begun on December 27, had been completed.
Kalinic said certain Parliament bodies were yet to be elected, saying the parties had already agreed upon the issue.
He said he hoped the deputies would demonstrate full maturity also in setting up a new R.S. Government.
R.S. member in Bosnia's three-man Presidency Momcilo Krajisnik said he was satisfied with the way in which the forming of Parliament had continued.
Krajisnik said he believed that, despite initial clashes of views and certain mistrust, the session could be described as successful, saying it would be easier now to complete other activities with which Parliament was faced.
He said he hoped the issue of the R.S. Prime Minister designate would be clarified by January 17 when Parliament was scheduled to meet again.
R.S. President Biljana Plavsic said the session was a bit more successful than the previous one. She said she hoped that the next session would be even more successful because Parliament should then approve Prime Minister designate Mladen Ivanic, his programme and a new Cabinet.
 PREMIER DESIGNATE IVANIC MEETS WITH PARTY DEPUTIES
Republika Srpska Prime Minister designate Mladen Ivanic said late Monday after meeting with members of the Serb Democratic Party (SDS) and Serbian Radical Party (SRS) clubs that he urged a national unity Government in order to prevent the division of the Republika Srpska and its political and economic end. Ivanic said the Government would have two parts. One part would be political and would include 11 ministries, he said adding that the SDS would get four ministries within it, the SRS, the Serb National Alliance (SNS) and the R.S. Socialist Party (SP RS) two each, while the Party of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) would get one ministry.
The other part would comprise experts, he said.
He also said a new R.S. Government was to have three Vice-Premiers. The SDS is to appoint one Vice-Premier and, according to Ivanic, this should be Aleksa Buha. The SRS should also appoint a Vice-Premier and this should be its leader Nikola Poplasen, he said.
The other parliamentary parties should also appoint a Vice-Premier, he said adding that he was in favour of Zivko Radisic of the R.S. Socialist Party.
SDS and SRS deputies opposed Ivanic's concept of the new Cabinet.
Ivanic is scheduled to meet with SNS, SP RS and SNSD officials as well as with representatives from Bosnia's other entity, the Moslem-Croat Federation.
 HIGH REPRESENTATIVE HAILS CONSTITUTION OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA PARLIAMENT
High Representative of the international community Carlos Westendorp hailed on Monday the constitution of the Republika Srpska Parliament.
This is a first step towards normalizing the situation in Republika Srpska as the Parliament comprises representatives of different political options, he said.
Westendorp expects the issue of the Serb Radio and Television to be resolved after a new Republika Srpska Government is constituted.
 MONTENEGRIN PRESIDENT RECEIVED U.S. ENVOY
Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic on Monday received U.S. President's Special Envoy for the implementation of the Dayton Accords Robert Gelbard.
The talks focused on the current political situation in Montenegro, Bulatovic's office said in a statement.
Expressing interest in the resolution of the crisis through peaceful and democratic means, Gelbard voiced the U.S. Administration's interest in and readiness to help stabilise the overall situation and ensure Montenegro's economic and democratic development.
He said that the international community would not support any attempt at Montenegro's secession.
Bulatovic voiced deep concern over the overall political situation in Montenegro and stressed his commitment to its democratic resolution. He said that the basic condition for all this was a dialogue between all relevant political powers and subjects aimed at creating necessary conditions and democratic climate for holding the elections.
Bulatovic said that the citizens' peaceful protest in Podgorica did not threaten peace and security but was a legal means for expressing citizens' democratic will.
He also described as untruthful claims that his political party planned to use force to achieve its political goals.
 TERRORIST ATTACK IN KOSMET
Forester Sejdi Muja, an ethnic Albanian, was killed in the village of Gradica in the Glogovac municipality in Serbia's southern Province of Kosovo and Metohija at 8 a.m. local time on Monday.
Radio Pristina quoted witnesses as saying that Muja was killed by three masked persons, most likely members of the terrorist organization Liberation Army of Kosovo, who used automatic rifles.
An investigation into the murder has been opened.
It is suspected that Sejdi Muja was killed by terrorists for being loyal to the state of Serbia.
At 0:15 hours local time on Monday, unidentified attackers fired several bursts from automatic weapons at an apartment building in Stimalj, where policemen and their families live. Nobody was injured, although thirty bullets or so were fired and considerable damage caused.
An extensive search for the perpetrators is under way.
It is suspected that the attack was staged by ethnic-Albanian terrorists who have been active in the area in the past several months.
 YUGOSLAV FOREIGN MINISTER RECEIVED U.S. SENATOR
Yugoslav Foreign Minister Zivadin Jovanovic on Monday received renowned Republican Senator and head of a number of working bodies of the U.S. Congress Alen Specter, who is on a brief working visit to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
The Yugoslav Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the two sides had exchanged views on the Yugoslav - U.S. relations and further comprehensive implementation of the Dayton/Paris Peace Accords.
 ITALIAN AND GREEK FOREIGN MINSTERS CONGRATULATE NEW YUGOSLAV FOREIGN MINISTER
The new Yugoslav Foreign Minister Zivadin Jovanovic has received messages of congratulations on his appointment from his Italian and Greek counterparts Lamberto Dini and Theodoros Pangalos.
Dini expressed hope in his message that bilateral relations would continue developing in the spirit of firm friendship and cooperation in all fields of common interest, and underlined that Italy would continue advocating Yugoslavia's reintegration in all international institutions.
Pangalos expressed his wish to continue reinforcing the friendly ties and cooperation between the two countries in the interest of their peoples, and to pursue endeavours for a better future of Europe and the entire world.
 YUGOSLAV PRIME MINISTER KONTIC RECEIVED NEW U.K. AMBASSADOR
Yugoslav Prime Minister Radoje Kontic received on Monday the new U.K. Ambassador in Belgrade Joseph Brian Donnelly, a Government statement said.
A lengthy and candid talk on the bilateral cooperation and international relations reflected the interest and readiness of the two sides to step up the renewal and promotion of cooperation in the political and economic domains.
Prime Minister Kontic pointed to a positive trend recorded in the bilateral relations in the post-sanctions period but said that the attained level of cooperation was still not satisfactory.
Kontic urged that high-level political dialogue be established between the two countries as soon as possible and that the British Foreign Secretary would visit Belgrade soon, but also in his capacity of President of the E.U. Council of Ministers.
Kontic stressed that Yugoslavia was highly interested in establishing relations with the E.U. as soon as possible, and he informed Ambassador Donnelly about the measures taken by the Yugoslav Government to that end.
Ambassador Donnelly agreed with the presented assessments and communicated his Government's interest in having its Foreign Secretary visit Yugoslavia in the spring.
The Government statement said that the visit was significant not only in terms of bilateral relations but also because of a re-examination of the E.U. autonomous measures towards Yugoslavia since, as Ambassador Donnelly said, Britain wanted to participate in Yugoslavia's economic recovery.
 INFLATION IN 1997 LOWER THAN EXPECTED
The rate of inflation in 1997 is 9.3%, Director of the Federal Statistics Bureau Milovan Zivkovic has told Tanjug.
Retail prices had gone up only 1% in December, said Zivkovic, which resulted in the final figures to be lower than expected. The rate of inflation for 1997 was forecast at 9.6%.
The annual inflation rate, when comparing December 1997 with the same month of 1996, was 9% in Serbia and 16.2% in Montenegro. The growth of prices in 1997, compared with the previous year, was 18.5%, said Zivkovic.
Asked what effect, if any, devaluation of the national currency might have, Zivkovic said it would not be positive, mostly in regard with the increase in exports.
According to economic theory, and practice, 3% of devaluation as a rule equals 1% of inflation. So, if the dinar were devaluated about 50%, then the price hike at the beginning of the year would be more than 18%, said Zivkovic.
Prices in Yugoslavia are generally equal to world prices, said Zivkovic. However, nothing could convince directors who have business deals with foreign partners not to raise prices at least by that 1%. So the negative effect would outweigh any positive result, said Zivkovic.
He said devaluation stimulated exports. But, with the outer wall of sanctions remaining, the loss of trade preferences by the European Union, and the normalization of relations with financial institutions still pending, devaluation alone could not compensate for all this, he said.
It was imperative to continue with reforms, he said, above all privatization, which will attract foreign capital, step up ratings and relax the outer wall, said Zivkovic in conclusion.
 YUGOSLAVIA RECORDS MEDIA BOOM IN PAST THREE YEARS
Yugoslavia recorded a media boom in the past three years, as hardly any other country, Yugoslav Information Minister Goran Matic said on local BK TV late on Saturday.
Minister Matic specified that Yugoslavia had about 2,700 media, including 24 dailies, of which three in Albanian and two in Hungarian languages, 700 radio and TV stations, mostly private, and six news agency, of which only Tanjug was a state-owned one.
"The freedom of the press is guaranteed under the Constitution and other laws, censorship is prohibited," Matic said and specified that the information activities were open to private business, to every private citizen.
Minister Matic said the abrupt increase in the number of media had led to an inundation of information, and many people had no business dealing in information activities.
"We have a situation in which journalism suffers, and the next step, after the quantitative leap, is again to insist on the basic media postulates, professionalism, objectivity, truth, and ethics," Matic told BK TV.
"It is our view that Yugoslavia must have not only a single economic space but also a single information space so that citizens would directly be informed, and not through some kind of middlemen, about matters of concern to the federal state and all its citizens," Minister Matic stressed.
He urged that Yugoslav TV be founded in the course of 1998 and said it would be "open to everyone, just as the Federal Government is."
Minister Matic announced that the Information Bill would be submitted to the Yugoslav Parliament in the first quarter of the year.
 BIOGRAPHY OF NEW YUGOSLAV FOREIGN MINISTER
Zivadin Jovanovic, new Yugoslav Foreign Minister, was born on November 11, 1938 in Oparic, municipality of Rekovac.
He went to highschool in Jagodina. After graduating at the Faculty of Law, Belgrade University, in 1961, he performed a number of social and political functions.
He was officer in charge of legal matters in New Belgrade Municipal Assembly from 1961 to 1964. He then joined the Foreign Ministry, where from 1964 to 1966 he was an Attache, and from 1966 to 1970 Vice-Consul in the General Consulate of Yugoslavia in Toronto, Canada.
From 1970 to 1974 he was an advisor in the Presidency of Serbia and from 1974 to 1978 Counsellor in the Yugoslav Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.
Zivadin Jovanovic was from 1978 to 1984 Secretary of the Serbian Foreign Relations Council, and the next four years Under-Secretary in the Presidency of the SFRY.
In 1988, Zivadin Jovanovic was appointed Ambassador of the SFRY (FRY) in Angola.
In 1994, he was appointed Yugoslav Assistant Foreign Minister.
In 1997, Jovanovic was elected Vice-President of the Socialist Party of Serbia and since September last year he is a deputy in the Serbian Parliament.
Jovanovic has published a number of papers from the field of Constitutional Law, international relations and the Yugoslav foreign policy.
He was conferred a number of Yugoslav and foreign decorations.
He speaks English, French, Russian and Portuguese. He is married, two children.
 CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR SAYS NO MONEY WILL BE MINTED
Yugoslav Central Bank Governor Dusan Vlatkovic said on Radio Pristina on Saturday that no money had been or would be minted.
"Some disruptions in the "dinar's" stable exchange rate occurred late last year, which we will eliminate early this year through measures taken by the Federal Government, the governments of both republics and the National Bank of Yugoslavia," Vlatkovic said.
He expressed conviction that 1998 would be a successful year but noted that the economy and banks could encounter some difficulties due to a restrictive monetary policy.
The Central Bank Governor said that if an influx of around 1 billion 450 million dollars was secured through the selling of state and social property and credits from international institutions, Yugoslavia would sustain the level of production and the social product.
"We believe we will succeed and in that way secure also stable prices and exchange rate and increase consumer spending by 10% compared with last year, " Vlatkovic said.
 REPUBLIKA SRPSKA ASSEMBLY WILL RESUME SESSION ON MONDAY
The constituent session of the Republika Srpska National Assembly will resume in Bijeljina on Monday.
The session opened in Bjeljina on December 27 but was adjourned after the deputies failed to elect their President, two Vice*Presidents and Secretary- General.
The parliamentary parties have reached agreement on the election of the Assembly's bodies, but are still discussing who the Assembly officials are to be.
In the first half of the session on December 27, the Serbian Democratic Party and the Serbian Radical Party failed to back President Biljana Plavsic's choice of Mladen Ivanic as Premier-designate.
 YUGOSLAV INFORMATION SECRETARY ON TERRORISM IN KOSOVO
Yugoslav Information Secretary Goran Matic said on Saturday in an interview to Radio Pristina (Serbia's southern Province of Kosovo-Metohija - Kosmet) that the stories of lack of democracy in Kosmet spread by ethnic Albanian separatists and endorsed by their world patrons such as Klaus Kinkel were aimed at achieving "anarcho-democracy in the media".
The separatists want to undermine all forms of social organization based on contemporary democratic principles and destabilize and disintegrate all state institutions in Kosmet, Matic said.
Matic described the activities of the Albanian-language media as the fruit of propaganda warfare. Some of the Albanian-language papers in Kosmet have nothing to do with democracy but advocate terrorism and serious violations of human rights and freedoms, he said.
Asked whether such media can be placed under control without antagonizing the international community, Matic said there was no classic media control, only a monitoring of the press.
Ethnic Albanians, like all other citizens of Yugoslavia, have the right to publish their press and express their views and opinions, with the exception of calls for undermining constitutional order or for violence, Matic said.
Others in this country resort to such means too, but the time will come soon for tackling this problem and clearly defining the limits of democracy, of anarchy and of terrorism, Matic said.
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