Capitalism loves misery

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Nov 17 07:51:09 MST 2000

NY Times, November 17, 2000

In Yugoslav Misery, Investors Knock


Just over a month has passed since Yugoslavia's emerging democrats sent
President Slobodan Milosevic packing and Western countries began lifting
sanctions. Already, foreign investors are sifting through the physical and
economic wreckage for investments and markets in Yugoslavia, a country they
say should be the engine of Balkan recovery.

Trade delegations from Greece, Austria and the Czech Republic have visited.
American and European companies are considering investing or reviving
dormant links, and some that weathered the storm have expansion plans.

"My client list has doubled since the changes," said Benoit Junod, a former
Swiss diplomat in Belgrade whose Geneva-based consulting firm, A&S, is
scouting Serbia on behalf of foreign clients, particularly construction

In 1989, Yugoslavia was the wealthiest and most open country in the
Communist world. Ten years of ethnic hatred, economic mismanagement and war
have left its economy devastated and its infrastructure in tatters. But
where many citizens see misery, investors see opportunity.

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Louis Proyect
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