Balkans: June 30, 2000

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: Radio Free Europe ran an interesting analysis that speculates the long-awaited "break-up" of Serbia's ruling coalition may finally be occurring. While it may be premature to reach that conclusion, the political disagreement is public and significant. Here's the situation: Serbian Deputy Prime Minister (and Serb Radical Party leader) Vojislav Seselj announced on 29 June that the Radicals would not support the Milosevic government's new anti-terror laws. (The laws are little more than a veil for cracking down on anti-Milosevic opponents.) The public disagreement caused Milosevic backers to cancel (at least temporarily) a vote on the "laws." One of the chief targets of the "anti-terror" legislation is the student-led Serbian "Otpor" (Resistance) movement. StrategyPage has covered Otpor in the past. The student leaders know how to attract TV cameras. The organization isn't much in ideological terms - at best quasi-capitalist, certainly pro-democracy. What holds it together is opposition to Milosevic. Milosevic supporters , however, describe Otpor as a terrorist and fascist movement. RFE pointed out that the proposed anti-terror laws are drawn so that Milosevic can assert that anyone who opposes him is a terrorist.

 

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