BALKAN MEDIA POLICY MONITOR

News and Analysis Digest


special Issue - number 3

August 25, 1995.


  • Quite a number of independent and other relevant journals discussed and analyzed during the summer period the possibilities and prospects of some form of integration, as well as roots of disintegration in the Balkans.

  • The same theme is explored in the most cited article on this subject, published in the Zagreb by-weekly "Arkzin" in its issue of June 16, written by one of its chief commentators, Boris Raseta.

  • A commentator for the Split weekly "feral Tribune", Marinko Culic, commented on the same subject in one of his regular contributions for the AIM, independent news pool, on as brought on July 3,1995.by Radio B92 e-mail service (recently discontinued).

  • Podgorica weekly "Monitor" brought in its issue of June 16, 1995, an interview with Boris Vukobrat, a Paris businessman whose conference caused such attention in the political and media circles in ex- Yugoslavia.

  • Poddgorica's "Monitor" in its issue of August 4, also carried an interview with one of the participants of the "Vukobrat conference", Zagreb economist Branko Horvat.

  • Zagreb by-weekly "Arkzin" talked also with another of the participants of the "Vukobrat conference", former head of the Yugoslav communist party, Stipe Suvar, the interview appearing in its July 14, 1995, issue.

  • Podgorica weekly "Monitor" in its issue of July 7, 1995. brought an analysis by its regular commentator Srdjan Darmanovic (also the leader of the oppositionary Socialdemocratic party of Montenegro) on the possibility of a "Balkan Benelux".

  • Belgrade weekly "Vreme" in its issue of June 19, 1995., used as a context to discuss this subject (author of the text Milan Milosevic) the research paper called "The Global contexts of the Yugoslav drama".

  • Discussing the subject, Split weekly "Feral Tribune", carried in its issue of July 24, 1995, an interview with the Croatian academic Ivo Slaus, president of the newly formed Croatian branch of the "Club of Rome".


  • Along with detailed reports of the current developments in the region, quite a number of independent and other relevant journals discussed and analyzed during the summer period the possibilities and prospects of some form of integration, as well as roots of disintegration in the Balkans. We present here some of the more interesting articles on the matter.

    Dragan Bisenic of the Belgrade daily "Nasa Borba" discusses in the paper's issue of July 6 the furor caused in the Croatian press concerning an alleged letter by professor of "Harvard University" to Balkan leaders.

    Bisenic cites a reference in the Zagreb press to a letter of "a mysterious" group of professors from the Harvard university, which have sent a letter to the political leaders in Belgrade, Zagreb and Sarajevo, in which, according to these reports, they advocate the formation of a "new Yugoslavia". The letter supposedly also includes an offer for the solution of the crisis and help in the operationalization in the introduction of this plan. At the same time, stressing that the Croatian leadership has already made two public statements that it is against any Balkan or Adriatic associations, the letter of the Harvard group is brought in connection with the plan previously presented by the Yugoslav businessman from Paris, Boris Vukobrat, and the conference he recently organized, as stressed in those reports, supported financially by the Council of Europe.

    As the promoter of the Harvard professors these reports cite former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, as well as Russia, stressing strong Croatian rejection of any ideas of this kind.

    The international community, says Bisenic, obviously, is itself conscious that it does not have the clear picture how to proceed in the Balkans. The search for a possible solution which would lead to the integration of the former region of a once unified state has, it seems begun first in the intellectual circles, which have estimated that the actions of the international community in the beginning of the crisis was wrong, and that the recognition of the new states risen from former SFRY came too early.

    A first signal in that direction was, as Bisenic thinks, the broad analysis of Flora Lewis in "Foreign Policy" magazine, stating that "the solution for Yugoslavia is Yugoslavia". The second signal was a series of articles in the American press. The third, according to the author are the proposals of Vukobrat himself, which insist also on some form of re-integration of the Yugoslav region. It is important to note, says the author, that Vukobrat has been recently invited to visit Washington.

    Source : Belgrade daily "Nasa Borba", July 7, 1995.


    The same theme is explored in the most cited article on this subject, published in the Zagreb by-weekly "Arkzin" in its issue of June 16, written by one of its chief commentators, Boris Raseta.

    It seems that all the factors in the Yugoslav crisis are in a hurry, says Raseta. He cites the reasons why the regional actors are in a hurry (at the moment of writing), but what is more important, he says, the Americans are in a great rush, more precisely, president Clinton, who is confronted by the elections of next year, which he will enter with great internal, but also external mortgages, and completely non-transparent policy. Clinton, a year before the election, has to solve the question of Bosnia or completely withdraw from it. In such a constellation, a peaceful solution is the card that will be used by the larger part of those who have decisive influence on the solution of the crisis in ex Yugoslavia.

    But, the solution for "lasting and just peace" is not found yet.. The only ones that, strategically, have to give up the military solution are the Serbs, which have gained with war all they could have - and who are - particularly in the last few months - only suffering defeats.

    But, the possible military solution "step by step" could last years - Boutros ghali says a decade. The strategic estimate of the West is that in this case there is no military solution.

    Raseta says that one can already see the contours of what Americans might push as the acceptable solution for all sides:

    The basic premise is the perpetuation of the existing political elites - Tudjman, Izetbegovic and Milosevic, who is from recent times becoming "the angel of peace". The novelty is - giving up on the full implementation of the realization of the Washington agreement on the Bosnian - Croat (con)federation and playing on the card of the yesterday's "butcher of the Balkans" - Milosevic. Immoral ? The ethics, here, of course, are not the first priority. Clinton is in a hurry with a Bosnian solution, and bosnia is threatening to become a key foreign policy theme in the forthcoming elections.

    Milosevic would be offered - as a reward for the recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina (and in perspective Croatia) - the lifting of sanctions and return to the international community (possibly even the right to the succession of the former state, something that might not be so probable), but something else too.

    It seems that the region East of the river Una is envisaged as some form of the Balkan Benelux: it would be formed by FRY, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia ! These three states would be connected by a customs union and a common market, and separated by soft borders.

    Each of these states would be sovereign, would keep the membership in the UN, the armies, foreign policy and other.

    The first premise for this idea would be the acceptance of the Croatian Serbs of the Z-4 plan, as a means of preventing possible Serb - Croat war and the elimination of Radovan Karadzic, who is an obstacle to everybody today.

    The Bosniak - Muslims, according to american estimates, will accept this plansince it would enable them, for the start, at least a formal unity of the state territory and a return to the pre -war borders, as well as the influence on Muslims in Sandjak, the status of which would be regulated by a special agreement. The territorial division would still be 49/51.

    The Serbs in Bosnia get soft borders towards Serbia - so Drina will not be the "border of the worlds" for them, as well as a chance to withdraw without a defeat from the catastrophe in which they were brought by this war. Serbia gets the same chance - and it would be, it seems used by the opposition too (Djindjic, the leader of the Democratic party is already prepared for the recognition of Bosnia). Milosevic remains in power, America and bosnia with this buy the supposition of radical division of responsibility between Milosevic and Karadzic, but - "if that is the price of peace..."

    Macedonia gets a chance to, reasonably in an elegant manner, free itself of the Greek blockade - eliminating at the same time the danger of territorial pretensions of all of its neighbors, while Greece receives - deux ex machina - the solution of the "Macedonian question". Croatian (Krajina) Serbs would get wide political autonomy and a chance for biological survival, which would come into question in a case of a military solution.

    Who would lose ? Who would pose most opposition to such a solution ?

    In first case, it is a matter of Karadzic's head. His removal is a precondition for the realization of this plan - Karadzic has shown to be resistant to his removal so far.. In second case - "Herzeg Bosnians" (Bosnian Croats) which could not envisage a case in which Yugoslavia would fall apart without them becoming part of Croatia.

    This is where the rest of the plan comes into operation, since Herzegovina Croats would be offered a model solution similar or identical to that offered to the Croatian Serbs, meaning some form of Z-4. A similar type of autonomy would be applied to Kosovo, which would eliminate this neuralgic point.

    This plan as presented, says Raseta, includes a number of unknown variables. Will the Bosniaks accept ? Will Milosevic be able to remove Karadzic ? What will happen in Krajina ? What will become of Herzeg - Bosnia ? What will be the reaction of Croatia, which would regain its territorial integrity, but would remain economically, geo-politically and militarily squeezed between the "Balkan Benelux" and Slovenia, which does not want to hear anything of any kind of union with "southerners".

    Raseta thinks that the realization of the existence of such a plan was a reason behind a panicky session of "the Council for National defence and security of Croatia", which discussed the dangers of the renewal of Yugoslavia ? Even though this plan seems to be the arithmetic median of the interests of the all sides involved, will it still be the motive enough for all ?

    Source: Zagreb fortnightly "Arkzin", June 16, 1995.


    A commentator for the Split weekly "feral Tribune", Marinko Culic, commented on the same subject in one of his regular contributions for the AIM, independent news pool, on as brought on July 3,1995.by Radio B92 e-mail service (recently discontinued).

    Culic says that in a short period of time, the Croatian ruling top twice publicly stated its strong opposition to the reconstruction of Yugoslavia, so strongly that the traces of nervousness are so visible,as they were imprinted in fresh cement. It was obvious that the Croatian leadership took out its heaviest ideological artillery with its attack on the "Vukobrat conference", considering even "empty sessions of Yugo-nostalgics" a threat to Croatian independence.

    Everything ended up as denunciation of the participants of the conference (Branko Horvat, Stipe Suvar...), and it was left to the readers of attacking commentaries in the official press to imagine what these people could have done at such a dangerous gathering, about which the highest security body of Croatia had to make a statement.

    Besides the two statements of the Council for defense and national security, Tudjman himself went public on the matter, lastly during his recent tour of Australia, where he said that "on the fringes" of international security there are ideas cropping up about the reconstruction of "some South Slavic, Balkan or Adriatic confederation", but that nothing can return Croatia anymore into the "Yugoslav or Balkan hell".

    What kind of "fringe" is in question, and who is dangerously walking in this manner on it, Tudjman did not say, but the new bone to the curious was thrown by the general secretary of the ruling HDZ party, Zlatko Canjuga.He attacked the "Harvard letter", about which, says Culic, there is no detailed information, so it is hard to say whether it is a project ordered by the White House or a student seminar project. Canjuga tied in the article of Flora Lewis, but did not go into any details, thinking, obviously that he did not need to do so - a respected journalist, a famous university... isn't that enough to alarm the public, even though a calming remark that none of this has any chance follows.

    If Croatia is greatly threatened with a danger which it actually isn't, this suggests, thinks Culic, that HDZ is moving into a pre-election maneuvering, which is to paint Croatian surroundings as unreliable and dangerous, and to present itself as the only party which can resist this and in that manner save Croatia.

    Confirmation that the "Yugoslav threat" was unleashed out of these notions is shown by the fact that the campaign against stronger opposition has started at the same time, first of all the Liberals(HSLS) of Drazen Budisa, who is not only blamed for "bloodless Croatianism", but also for direct engagement on the side of those who are paving the road to the same "hell". For this, HDZ used the recent meeting between Budisa and the leader of Bosnian social democrats, Nijaz Durakovic, who is accused as being a propagator of the idea of "unitarian" Bosnia, which is "the same thing as some form of a Yugoslav association".

    This is, thinks Culic, an interesting statement, which actually discloses the intentions of the HDZ towards Bosnia. Since, if unitarian Bosnia is a road towards reconstruction of Yugoslavia, then the ruling Croatian party actually admits that against its reconstruction one can fight only by dismembering of Bosnia.

    Budisa , who noticed this contradiction, returned the hot potato with a counter statement saying that by insistence on the confederal connections between Bosnia and Croatia, they have enabled such connections between Bosnia and Serbia, of which the end effect is not what Belgrade and Zagreb are hoping - but the actual reconstruction of Yugoslavia.

    That Budisa might be right, thinks Culic, is confirmed by Flora Lewis, who does not advocate the reconstruction of Yugoslavia out of nostalgia, but sees this as a realistic outcome of a complicated crossword puzzle of interests in this region. But the correctness of Budisa's statement does not pose a threat to HDZ. It comes from another side.

    For that, Culic cites the "Arkzin" article (above).This might explain the sudden engagement of the Croatian forces in the Bosnian war due to the astonishment of the Herzegovinians that they would, not only be left in Bosnia, but also returned to Yugoslavia.

    Source: AIM news pool, through "OdrazB" e-mail service, July 3,1995.;


    Podgorica weekly "Monitor" brought in its issue of June 16, 1995, an interview with Boris Vukobrat , a Paris businessman whose conference caused such attention in the political and media circles in ex- Yugoslavia.

    Vukobrat said that three years after he formed the "Foundation for peace and conflict resolution", the power holders in former Yugoslavia are not paying much attention to it. One of the reasons, he said, is that what the foundation stands for is in complete contradiction with what they did and stand for. These were the people who had the control of the media in their hands, and our misfortune started through a media war. Hatred through the media was disseminated from the power centers: Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana... The effects of all this are the divisions, confrontation and war. Contrary to this, our Foundation is for association, not only in our region but wider.

    When I say association, I do not necessarily mean in an organizational-state sense, said Vukobrat. Our foundation started from the principle that communication and unity are a necessity. That is an inevitability we cannot change with any ideology, nationalism, closure in statelets. But, we live in the times of bad people and they will attempt all that is possible to remove you from the media, that you do not "infect" others with common sense.

    Discussing the disintegration of Yugoslavia and seeing economic bankruptcy as the key reason behind it, Vukobrat says that in other countries of Easter Europe the representatives of the regime that was crushed have stepped down through parliamentary means. In ex - Yugoslavia, the people did not vote for Tudjman, Izetbegovic or Milosevic, but against the previous regime.

    The people that have for a long time represented and explained the ruling ideology have suddenly seen that this is not "saleable" anymore and have become nationalists. They are using nationalism in confronting "those previously in power" and "those previously in power" are one and the same ! The people cannot see this, since those holding the power are attempting to fully control the media.

    Source: Podgorica weekly "Monitor", June 16, 1995.


    Poddgorica's "Monitor" in its issue of August 4, also carried an interview wit one of the participants of the "Vukobrat conference", Zagreb economist Branko Horvat.

    Horvat, himself does not think that the economic system brought about the breakdown of Yugoslavia. On the contrary, he says, the economic imperatives have signalized the necessity of stronger integration of the Yugoslav region. The Yugoslav example shows that in these region the economy is not important, but the politics. The people seem to be willing to be hungry only to be able to see their flag.

    The reasons for the Yugoslav breakdown lies in the undemocratic system, thinks Horvat. Due to the undemocratic system some people were overlooked some were favoured... Plain citizen, who cannot fully grasp the whole situation, who is not fully educated, projected the complete situation on a national plane, that he is not able to fully realize his rights since another nation is oppressing him. Since the economic policy and some other elements were conducted from Belgrade, everybody came to the conclusion that this is due to the fact that Belgrade is exploiting him. The whole thing was aggravated by the appearance of Slobodan Milosevic, probably the worst leader to appear in all 75 years of the existence of the South slavic union.

    In the long run, Horvat says, there must be elements of integration. EU shows that, particularly in Europe, no state can remain isolated. So, the Balkan states must unify somehow. Since they cannot be absorbed by the EU, even Croatia and Slovenia, these state will turn to themselves and form an alternative union.

    A simple fact has to occur for the re-integration to be possible, thinks Horvat - that is to remove Tudjman and Milosevic, meaning essentially democratization of Serbia and Croatia as a precondition. The second one is that international organizations start supporting democratic ally minded people in those countries. The EU has to agree which and what kind of democratic forces they will support in both countries and with which they will not even contact. Making various negotiators circulate between Tudjman and Milosevic only brings them legitimacy they do not deserve.

    Source: Podgorica weekly "Monitor", August 4, 1995;


    Zagreb by-weekly "Arkzin" talked also with another of the participants of the "Vukobrat conference", former head of the Yugoslav communist party, Stipe Suvar, the interview appearing in its July 14, 1995, issue.

    Asked why so much furor was raised about this conference in former Yugoslavia, Suvar said that this was due to the fact that it fits into the context of plans in the West to find some form of a solution for the states now existing in the region of former Yugoslavia; that they should - first of all in the economic sense - establish connections, and that then, in that context, a political solution is found for the Balkans and Southeastern Europe. The goal is to establish a lasting peace there, so that peripheral capitalism is developed, that West could invest part of its money and secure a part of the market, although not such a large one. This is a problem with half of the continent, and if you include Russia, even more.Secondly, regional integrations are cropping up all over - in America, Asia, Pacific... The leaders of the mid-European countries have met recently in Hungary, but without Croatian president Tudjman. Either he does not want to go there, or nobody s to keen to call him. Croatia is leading a very stupid policy if it thinks that it will reach greener pastures only if it calls itself only a partner of great America and most populated China, and runs under the German skirt.

    The prevailing thought at the Paris conference, says Suvar was that the state of Southeastern Europe - but also the whole Eastern Europe cannot reach Europe in the wider sense individually, without good cooperation between themselves and formation of regional markets, which will then fit well in the European market. Particularly, the countries of former Yugoslavia cannot pull themselves out of this situation without some form of a "Marshall Plan", but it is a question whether anybody wants to offer such a plan. In any case, it could not be negated that it is a question of an unified geopolitical region.

    Discussing current political situation, Suvar said that Tudjman will "solve" the Croatian national question in such a manner that you will not be able to find a Croat East of Drina and Danube rivers even with a candle. The same will be east of river Neretva (in Bosnia), and the same might be true East of river Una. In spite of state and legal provisions, the Croats in Bosnia will be an unimportant minority in relation to Muslims, even Serbs.

    So, looking from a historical standpoint, Croatian nation is loosing those territories which it inherited through centuries. Dubrovnik will slowly rot isolated in the surroundings populated by different ethnic groups. There will be no Croats in Vojvodina, and at one point they were quite represented in the Banat region. Croatia has the right to the so called AVNOJ borders, but only under the conditions that the Serbs who broke no laws can return to their homes, same as the Croats, under the same criteria.

    Milosevic will solve the Serbian question in the same manner as Tudjman will the Croat: the Serbs might completely disappear in Croatia, and no matter what the territory distribution will be in Bosnia and Herzegovina, they will be herded in mountain reservations. Vojvodina will be predominantly Serb, while in Kosovo, even if there is an extensive colonization, the basic ratio of ethnic masses of Albanians and Serbs will not change. Serbia might even, at some point, allow secession of a part of Kosovo to relieve itself of the main part of the Albanians there. As is seen, nobody has solved the national question of its nation, while all of us have encountered national tragedies. We remain living in the houses from which we purged each other. So, we will have to find modus vivendi, or move from these regions.

    In the long run, Suvar thinks that there will not be a quick normalization of conditions in the region. Secondly, no reconstruction of Yugoslavia is foreseen in a confederal sense. But, economic cooperation will grow, and there must be a free flow of information, some form of cultural exchange, even soft borders. This also depends how great will be the involvement of Europe.

    Source: Zagreb fortnightly "Arkzin", July, 14, 1995;


    Podgorica weekly "Monitor" in its issue of July 7, 1995. brought an analysis by its regular commentator Srdjan Darmanovic (also the leader of the oppositionary Socialdemocratic party of Montenegro) on the possibility of a "Balkan Benelux".

    Citing all the current debates on the subject ("Harvard letter" and other) Darmanovic says that it is hard to discern what this idea of "Balkan Benelux" actually comprises of. But one thing is sure - it is not a question of reconstructing the former state, since it is clear to everybody that after all that has happened something like that is impossible, optimists would say for a long time, pessimists never. It is, in his opinion, actually a search or a formula of cooperation of states in the region of former Yugoslavia, since all of the peace efforts so far based on divisions and separation have failed.

    Using the basis of such a "Balkan Benelux" outlined in the "Arkzin" article (above), Darmanovic says that it is hard to discuss whether this projects existence is true, but that it is possible to discuss its reality.

    There exists the reality of today, established by the dominant nationalistic movements, their armies and paramilitary units. From their point of view, Yugoslavia was an artificial construction which could not last and which can only be replaced by national states, formed, if necessary by roughest force possible. That is why, as far as they are concerned, division and separation of territories the only thing that is possible and realistic. Due that these forces are dominant in the Balkans at the moment it would be realistic to expect that there will be at least one important regional factor that will reject decisively such a "Benelux" project.

    On the basis of the idea that the dominant nationalistic movements and their leaders have been able to impose so far, that the territory has to be divided by pure and clear ethnic and religious criteria, and which was accepted by the "international community" (meaning great powers), since it did not want to take any risks, all the attempts so far to establish peace have failed. It has been shown that there is no "justifiable" division, and even less the one that everybody will be satisfied with. In that situation there is only arms and the continuation of the war with no end in sight.

    And such a war with no end in sight cannot be sustained even by most extreme nationalists. So, their reality of divisions and separation is transformed into a real (factual) state, rotting and destruction.

    From all this comes the conclusion that a new approach is necessary to this conflict and its solution. Actually, it is an old approach, earmarked in the "Carrington plan", but now in changed circumstances and changed form.

    But, asks Darmanovic, is all this realistic ? It is possible that it isn't, or not enough, but surely not less realistic than what has been offered , for years and with tragic consequences,by the ruling nationalistic logic, he concludes.

    Source: Podgorica weekly "Monitor", July 7, 1995;


    Belgrade weekly "Vreme" in its issue of June 19, 1995., used as a context to discuss this subject (author of the text Milan Milosevic) the research paper called "The Global contexts of the Yugoslav drama", prepared by Director of the Belgrade Institute for European Studies" Djuro Kovacevic, that was to be presented at the international conference this Institute organized in Belgrade between June 16 - 18, under the title "Europe and Disintegration of Yugoslavia".

    Kovacevic states in his paper that both, Serbs and Croats systematically came to the conclusion that Yugoslavia was a big mistake and blunder, being only possible as a creation against their interests. On the international scene, the disintegration of Soviet might was fatal for the Yugoslav regime, even though it was in many elements different from the Soviet model, since it has lost an important international support point.

    In her analysis, Zagorka Golubovic from the Philosophy College of the Belgrade university says that the Yugoslav national Communist parties were caught by the 1989-90 events in Eastern Europe preoccupied by the problem of power, inside their national circle as well as in conflict with the federal state. She thinks that they were unprepared for a radical transformation and have attempted to keep all main characteristics of the communist regime unchanged.

    Miroslav Hadzic, a publicist from Belgrade, in his paper analyzed the situation in the former JNA. He thinks that the greater part of the JNA in one period was inclined towards a radical solution to the state crisis, but that the Army leadership itself did not have a new vision what to do with Yugoslavia and the power if it acquires it through a putsch, nor was it able to formulate a reachable and acceptable goal with which it would be able to explain such a move.

    If the speculations of a secret visit to Moscow by then defense minister, general Kadijevic in 1991., as to get support for such a move, it only is a clear sign about a bade estimate and unacceptance of new realities in the international society.

    Lidija Basta - Posavec from the "Institute for Federalism", Frieburg, Switzerland, states that the last Yugoslav federation actually "was not a constituted state construction, but a vegetating association which kept on permanently constituting itself". That is why it was able to remain intact only until the party leadership was centralized and homogenous enough to neutralize systemic blockade in "veto federalism of sovereign colectivities".

    Fruitless and continuous squabbles about the change of the Federal election law and procedure was actually a tactic to disable holding of the federal elections. Those who tended to negate Yugoslavia have rightly concluded that it can legitimately disintegrate only if the federal structure is not given a chance for its own procedural legitimacy on the basis of first multi-party elections.

    Miroslav Pecujlic from the Law college of Belgrade university and Radmila Nakarada of the "Institute of European Studies" state that forceful destruction of Yugoslavia could have been prevented if the outside powers used their wide possibilities of applying pressure on all actors, forcing them to find, a peaceful, compromise formula of state transformation; instead they supported "the irrational, forceful concept of self - determination (forceful secession), which inevitably lead to war".

    Source: Belgrade weekly "Vreme", June 19, 1995;


    Discussing the subject, Split weekly "Feral Tribune", carried in its issue of July 24, 1995, an interview with the Croatian academic Ivo Slaus, president of the newly formed Croatian branch of the "Club of Rome".

    Slaus says that there are two approaches: one is to reconstruct Yugoslavia in a number of variants - without Slovenia, and without it and Croatia, and the second one is civilizational drawing of borders which would be done between the East and West. My answer is, he says, no matter how these two approaches seem different, they are in their essence the same. In one, we would remain in a deadly embrace with Milosevic, in the other, we get a dangerous border which would permanently turn us into some form of Wild West, to which nobody would like to tie the future of their children. Look at the history of Krajina and you will see that living on the border is not happiness but a nightmare.

    So this is not in the interest of Croatia, and it is not the interest of Europe, which would like to see in us a connecting factor with the South and Southeast. Besides that, division of Bosnia would probably be the beginning of a quick and nightmarish change of borders in a wider region. As this would not happen, the world is freeing itself of the obsessive vision of borders as hard separators and is turning towards soft borders, which separate less and join more. Simply put, borders should not be changed.

    If one says that Bosnia is Yugoslavia on a small scale and that in itself is its death sentence he is simplifying, since Europe is ex-Yugoslavia on a larger scale, but, nobody can say that the vision of united Europe is destined to fail.

    Two attempts at the Yugoslav state were simplification and bastardization of the idea. But, if today it is clear that the Yugoslav experiment should not be repeated, it is also clear that sovereignty today is not as it was yesterday, since nobody is sovereign to do within his borders whatever he pleases, including US.

    Recently published research conducted in 1990., says Slaus, shows that there were zones of high tolerance in former Yugoslavia - the highest was among the three national groups in Bosnia, then among the Serbs and Croats in Croatia, and then Serbs, Hungarians and Croats in Vojvodina. These people did not go at each others throats themselves, but their evil groups of their co nationals that pushed them into conflict. That is why the formation of the Hague tribunal is maybe the most valuable thing the World did for this region. If the Tribunal starts actually to operate, there is hope that this bloody story would be finally brought to its conclusion, and this would spell the end of the policies which were based on naked and perverted interests without morals.

    It would be enough to look at the newspapers and it would be seen that it is ludicrous to state: my nation did not participate in this. There are criminals among all national groups. The key is that not only direct executors should be considered as criminals, but also those that still speak that each national group should live in its own state.

    Source: Split weekly "Feral Tribune", July 24, 1995.


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