EU hails triumph of Balkan Democracy

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at
Fri Nov 24 11:53:37 MST 2000

>I'm very much astonished to read such thing from you, comrade Xxxx.
Owen may be  wrong or not on the question of stateownership in
Croatia/Serbia, but at least  he is no defeatist running after one or
another bourgeois regime because he  can't think about real power of the
workers. This is the difference with many
leftists raised on the milk of the Stalin school of falsification and
agent-theories. Sorry to detect that you have been somehow tainted by
this too.

>Well, I think we shoiuld asll stop thisd kind of personal "arguments",
but don't forget that this time around it was not me who started them.

>A. Holberg

Very true, Wosni! We are all comrades here despite our differences over
the rule of Milosovic.

So, let's pay attention to the realities of  Yugoslavia instead of
naming each other "pro-imperialist traitors" . Frankly,  I don't think
that my defense of Milosovic makes me  a Stalinist or a pro-imperialist
traitor, if I already *denounced* the counter-revolution that took place
in Yugoslavia. As Marxists, we must have a commitment to the unity of
socialist nations instead of siding with imperialist powers encouraging
ethnic divisions in the name of introducing democracy. And the reason I
believe so is documented below.

As the article below indicates, it seems "progressive" Croatians have
already started negotiations with EU.


BBC News

Friday, 24 November, 2000, 16:17 GMT

EU hails triumph of Balkan democracy

Croatian demonstrators protested against Mr Kostunica Leaders of the
European Union and six Balkan countries have ended an unprecedented
meeting in the Croatian capital, Zagreb, with an agreement to promote
reforms and reconcilation.

The concluding statement declared that democracy and reconciliation in
the Balkans were an essential part of closer links with the rest of

It welcomed democratic change in Croatia and Yugoslavia, but called for
respect for international obligations - including co-operation with the
international war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The declaration also noted that the EU had  promised about $4bn in aid
over the next six years to support reforms in the Balkans.

Macedonia leads

"Democracy and regional reconciliation and co-operation on the one hand,
and the rapprochement of each of these countries with the European Union
on the other, form a whole," it said.

The declaration said the summit had taken place "at a time when
democracy is about to carry the day throughout this region".

"This movement is developing in the interests of all the countries in
the region and offers them new prospects," the declaration continued.

The declaration was signed by the leaders of Albania,
Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia,
and Yugoslavia.

On the margins of the summit, Macedonia formally signed an association
agreement with the European Union, making it the first Balkan country to
become a potential candidate for EU membership.

The accord recognised the progress made by Macedonia in achieving
political and economic reform.

The EU is due to begin talks with Croatia too on an association

War crimes tribunal  UK Prime Minister Tony Blair warned that Europe
faced a continuing threat from narrow-minded nationalism.

Speaking at the summit, he said nationalism, in the name of misguided
patriotism, would take countries backwards.

Mr Blair's spokesman added that the focus should be on the fact that
countries like Britain, France and Germany were able to "sit down
together and offer the hand of friendship to people in the Balkans".

Earlier, the current EU chairman, President Chirac of France, told the
Balkan leaders that their future lay in the family of Europe.

But he said it was in everyone's interest that those who had committed
crimes were judged and punished.

The Croatian President, Stipe Mesic, said it would be impossible to
discuss normalisation of relations with Serbia unless Belgrade
co-operated fully with the tribunal.

In evidence of the continuing tensions among Balkan states, about 300
right-wing Croatian demonstrators protested outside the conference at
the participation of the new Yugoslav President, Vojislav Kostunica.

The BBC Diplomatic Correspondent Barnaby Mason says the summit was
originally intended to highlight the new Western-oriented government of
Croatia as a beacon for the region, and at the same time to put pressure
on Belgrade to mend its ways.


But the fall of President Slobodan Milosevic in September changed all

Now it is Mr Kostunica who is the centre of attention.

So the Croatians were pointedly drawing attention to their co-operation
with the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague, and asking when
the Serbs are going to match it.

Our correspondent says the European powers do not want to give the
impression that Mr Kostunica is getting an easy ride, but they think the
priority is to help him consolidate his power in Belgrade.

That means not pushing too hard for the handing over of Mr Milosevic
until after the Serbian elections next month.

                                                       Search BBC News


Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222

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