BETA: Daily News - February 1, 2005
BETA: Daily News
February 1, 2005
Doris Pack Says Serbia Addressing Vojvodina Incidents
BELGRADE, Jan. 31 (BETA) - Serbian authorities are
taking ethnically-motivated incidents in the province
of Vojvodina seriously and are determined to prevent
them from recurring, said MEP Doris Pack, head of a
European Parliament delegation looking into the status
of ethnic minorities in Vojvodina.
Following meetings with minority leaders and local
officials in Vojvodina, as well as with senior Serbian
government officials over the past three days, Pack
told a news conference that her delegation has not
reached a final verdict, stressing that in most cases
young people were to blame for the incidents.
Because of this the delegation emphasized education as
a key measure in preventing ethnically-motivated
Pack, who also chairs a European Parliament delegation
in charge of ties with South East Europe, added that
high unemployment and the generally bleak economic
situation could be among the causes of such incidents.
She added that, after talking to the victims of ethnic
violence and officials from the Ministry for the
Interior, it emerged that law enforcement officers
were not reacting swiftly or effectively enough.
MEP Pack went on to say that most of the incidents
could also be tied to last March's anti-Serb violence
in Kosovo and electoral campaigning in Serbia, when
several parties made use of the incidents for
The European Parliament delegation also included
Johannes Svoboda, Gyla Hegyi, Zsolt Bescei, and Jelko
Kacin, and held talks on Jan. 31 with Serbian
President Boris Tadic, Premier Vojislav Kostunica,
Interior MInister Dragan Jocic, and Education Minister
In the previous two days, the delegation toured the
municipalities of Subotica and Temerin, meeting with
local and provincial officials and minority community
Democratic Party Seeks Dismissal of Two Ministers,
Government Says It Will Not Happen
BELGRADE, Jan. 31 (BETA) - The Democratic Party caucus
will soon move on an initiative in the Serbian
legislature for the dismissal of the Serbian justice
and interior ministers, Zoran Stojkovic and Dragan
Jocic, party official Dragan Sutanovac announced on
He told Radio B92 that the Democratic Party had called
for Stojkovic's dismissal because he had overstepped
his authority, when announcing the arrests of former
government officials, and because he had done
everything to undermine the reputation of the Special
Sutanovac believes that Jocic, on the other hand,
should be dismissed because of a statement by Police
General Miroslav Milosevic, who said that the case
against the suspects in the assassination of Zoran
Djindjic was "weak."
Sutanovac said the Democratic Party expects to have
the support "of a large number of deputies" in the
motion for the dismissal of Stojkovic and Jocic.
Representatives of the ruling coalition dismissed the
possibility for this motion to pass in the
The whip of the Democratic Party of Serbia in the
legislature, Milos Aligrudic, said the ministers will
not be dismissed and that the Democratic Party will
not have the majority's support for the motion.
Speaking at a news conference, Aligrudic dismissed all
accusations against Jocic and Stojkovic.
The Serbian minister for capital investment and leader
of the New Serbia, Velimir Ilic, said in the Serbian
legislature building that Jocic and Stojkovic have the
house's majority support.
"If the Democratic Party wants elections to be held,
it should help with passing the constitution.
Elections will be held after that, and then they will
be able to show what they are worth," Ilic said.
The G17 Plus whip, Miloljub Albijanic, accused the
Democratic Party of attempting to undermine the
government's stability through "political marketing."
Albijanic said he was also not satisfied with the work
and efficiency of the judiciary or the police, but
that "responsibility in important matters of state
should be shared, and one should not keep on
orchestrating all kinds of attacks."
The opposition Socialist Party of Serbia, which is
currently supporting the government, will not support
the motion for the dismissal of Stojkovic and Jocic,
party official Zarko Obradovic said.
He said that this announcement was "absolutely
political in nature" because the Democratic Party
"cannot reconcile themselves to the fact that they are
not in the government."
The whip of the Serbian Radical Party, Tomislav
Nikolic, said the Democrats' announcement was "a form
of blackmail and a bid to enter the government."
Nikolic told BETA that the Democratic Party should
first make up their mind on whether to topple the
government or not. He compared the motion for the
dismissal of the two ministers to "making threats with
an empty gun."
Draskovic and Pack: Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue
BELGRADE, Jan. 31 (BETA) - Head of the European
Parliament delegation for relations with South East
Europe Doris Pack and Serbia-Montenegro Foreign
Minister Vuk Draskovic said on Jan. 31 that a dialogue
should begin between Belgrade and Pristina, as soon as
After her meeting with Draskovic, Doris Pack told the
press that she did not know whether the status of
Kosovo would be resolved this year but she said that
it was important to implement standards in Kosovo. It
is now most important, said Pack, that Belgrade begins
negotiations with Pristina.
Draskovic said that a dialogue between the Kosovo
Serbs and ethnic Albanians, or Belgrade and Pristina
should start by discussing concrete issues, such as
the return of Serbs exiled from the province after the
war in Kosovo in 1999, the reconstruction of destroyed
churches, the decentralization of the province and
Draskovic said that he had acquainted Doris Pack with
his 3E plan, envisaging "a European concept of
Serbia-Montenegro and Kosovo and the Western Balkans."
According to this plan, said Draskovic, Kosovo would
be under some kind of U.N. and EU protectorate and it
would enjoy a status that is more than autonomy and
less than independence.
Doris Pack said that the 3E plan was "completely
acceptable" for the European Union because the EU had
at one point proposed such a concept.
She stated that retired army Gen. Vladimir Lazarevic's
decision to receive the Hague indictment and go to The
Hague was "a good step" but added that other Hague
indictees should also surrender to the tribunal.
Draskovic said he hoped Serbia-Montenegro would soon
fulfill its obligations towards the Hague tribunal "to
the extent necessary for Brussels to understand" that
Serbia-Montenegro was ready to remove "the Hague
He expressed the conviction that if these obligations
are fulfilled, Serbia-Montenegro will get a positive
Feasibility Study in March and soon be admitted to the
NATO Partnership for Peace program and NATO itself.
HARTMANN SAYS DEL PONTE EXPECTS ACTIVE COOPERATION
DEL PONTE SLATED FOR HIGH-LEVEL TALKS IN BOSNIA,
MONTENEGRO ON FEB. 1-2.
END OF MARCH IS DEADLINE FOR BELGRADE'S FULL
COOPERATION WITH HAGUE TRIBUNAL, SAYS REHN.
PAVKOVIC IS NOT ON THE RUN AND IS NOT HIDING FROM THE
TRIBUNAL, SAYS LAWYER.
INDEPENDENT GROUP FOR KOSOVO PRESENTS ITS PLAN FOR
KOSOVO'S FINAL STATUS.
ASSOCIATION WITH EU IS GOVERNMENT PRIORITY, SAYS
SPECIAL COURT SPOKESWOMAN SAYS COURT WILL NOT BOW TO
UGLJANIN AND LJAJIC ON MONTENEGRO'S INDEPENDENCE.
KARIC DENIES CLAIMS ABOUT BUYING DEPUTIES.
DRASKOVIC IN BRUSSELS WITH EU THREESOME ON FEB. 1.
SERBIAN GOVERNMENT TO DISCUSS ASSOCIATION WITH EU ON
ENVIRONMENTALISTS PRESS CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST
MINISTRY DENIES CLAIMS OF ENVIRONMENTALISTS.
WITHOUT TOBACCO SMOKE MARKED IN BELGRADE.
GEN. STRUGAR GETS EIGHT YEARS IN JAIL FOR SHELLING
SESELJ ACCUSES DJINDJIC, DRASKOVIC OF SENDING
VOLUNTEERS TO FIGHT IN BOSNIA.
BUSEK CALLS ON WESTERN BALKAN COUNTRIES TO COOPERATE
FULLY WITH ICTY.
NO INDICTMENT AGAINST DJUKANOVIC SAYS
SERBIA-MONTENEGRO AMBASSADOR IN ROME.
LUKOVAC TO LEAVE POST OF AMBASSADOR TO ITALY.
MINISTER EXPECTS POSITIVE EU FEASIBILITY STUDY.
POWER UTILITY WARNS OF GROWING CONSUMPTION.
BANKING AGENCY PUTS NISKA BANKA UP FOR SALE.
PARLIAMENT SPEAKER, IMF MISSION DISCUSS RESTRUCTURING
VECERNJE NOVOSTI: LAZAREVIC TO LEAVE FOR HAGUE ON FEB.
BLIC: SPECIAL PROSECUTOR COMMENTS ON HIS UPCOMING
REMOVAL FROM OFFICE.
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