Germany Says It Funded Kostunica...so did Norway..and..?

Borba100 at SPAMaol.com Borba100 at SPAMaol.com
Sun Oct 8 02:06:20 MDT 2000


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Did any major power NOT fund the Kostunica campaign?

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"For Germans it was 'an obligation based on history.' to back the push for
democracy [said Fischer.]...

''Der Spiegel also reported that Fischer, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright and some G-8 foreign ministers brought the Yugoslav opposition
together in Berlin on December 17.

'''We read the riot act to the opposition then and told them to get their act
together,'' it quoted one participant as saying.'' [From article below]

[Note: If you are familiar with Germany's history in the Balkans Fischer's
remark is chilling. Our thanks to Professor of Linguistics Peter Maher for
sending in this story.]

BERLIN, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Germany said on Saturday it had supported the
Yugoslav opposition with millions of marks in financial aid.

Norway also said it had helped fund the Yugoslav opposition's election
campaign, which led to victory by opposition candidate Vojislav Kostunica and
soon afterwards to the overthrow of strongman President Slobodan Milosevic.

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said in a magazine interview that
Germany had been duty bound to provide financial support to Slobodan
Milosevic's opponents.

``It could have all ended up being far bloodier,'' Fischer told Der Spiegel.
For Germans it was ``an obligation based on history'' to back the push for
democracy, he added.

Der Spiegel said around $30 million, mostly from the United States, was
channelled through an office in Budapest.

Another 45 million marks ($20 million) from Germany and other Western states
went to cities that were under opposition control. Der Spiegel said the
Foreign Ministry sent around 17 million marks through 16 German towns, which
also contributed.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry confirmed the figures. ``It was not
disguised but rather it was entirely normal financial aid from the budget,''
she said.

She said four million marks in media support went to Yugoslavia. She declined
to identify which media outlets channelled the money, but Der Spiegel said
state broadcasters ZDF and Bayerischer Rundfunk were used. No one from either
broadcaster was available for comment.

Der Spiegel also reported that Fischer, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright and some G-8 foreign ministers brought the Yugoslav opposition
together in Berlin on December 17.

``We read the riot act to the opposition then and told them to get their act
together,'' it quoted one participant as saying.

Most of the opposition, long divided by infighting and personality clashes,
united behind Kostunica in last month's presidential election that ultimately
ended Milosevic's rule.

Germany urged the European Union on Friday to offer immediate assistance to
the new government in Belgrade. Economics Minister Werner Mueller promised in
an interview with Bild am Sonntag newspaper to be published on Sunday that
Yugoslavia would receive ``immediate aid'' from the EU.

NORWAY ALSO SAYS HELPED OPPOSITION

In Oslo, Foreign Ministry spokesman Victor Roenneberg told Reuters the
government had given ``several million crowns'' in financial aid to
Yugoslavia and provided supplies ranging from computer and communications
equipment for the opposition's vote count to oil to opposition-controlled
villages.

Norway also funded opposition-run newspapers, radio stations and Internet
media, he said.

``It is highly unusual to fund one party against another, but because we had
assisted the opposition throughout the election, we were quite convinced that
the opposition had a clear majority from the beginning,'' Roenneberg said.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorbjoern Jagland arrived in Belgrade early on
Saturday and met with Kostunica, who was to be sworn in at a ceremony later
in the day.

``Norwegian diplomacy manages to do things even though it works quietly,''
Jagland told national news agency NTB.

Norway has also said it will concentrate more of its foreign aid on
Yugoslavia.

(c) Reuters 2000. Reposted for fair use only.

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