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PRESS REVIEW FROM SLOVENIA, JUNE 2, 1992

Ljubljana, 2 June - DELO: "SLOBO, SADDAM" - The Belgrade students who in the huge student demonstrations of March last year chanted "Slobo, Saddam" were then still unaware that the international community would indeed just over a year later cast Slobodan Milošević and his regime into the same basket as the regime of Saddam Hussein, thereby offering something substantial for the Serbian opposition and Belgrade students to chew on, writes Veso Stojanov. Now that measures have been taken, it is important how they will influence the Belgrade authorities and the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). UN sanctions cannot stop the war and killing in BiH, and the clashes will escalate, since an immediate cease to the hostilities would demonstrate just how disturbingly Serbia is wound up in the Bosnian-Herzegovinian war, and it is also doubtful whether in fact Serbia has any control over the armed Serbian groups in BiH. From Slobodan Milošević's first comments, that they would fight most determinedly against the sanctions, it is evident that the structure of Belgrade's authority is unclear. The writer emphasises that, above all, the fate of the "Balkan Saddam" and his clique is unclear, although this same clique has been the chief instigator of the crisis over the territory of former Yugoslavia. Stojanov maintains that the measures imposed by the international community could lead to changes in two directions in Serbia. The international isolation of the third Yugoslavia will further exacerbate the economic situation, which will bring in its wake social and political protests by the people against the present powers. In this case, Milošević's political path would end precisely where it began several years ago - on the streets. The second and more plausible scenario of the development of events in Serbia is a homogenization of Serbs. In any case, Milošević will attempt with all his might to cling to power, and he will with the help of his media attempt to unite Serbs, thus more easily to "weather this unjust misfortune, which has been visited upon us". Milošević does, otherwise, have a great deal of experience in motivating Serbs to defend themselves against foreign enemies - first it was the Albanians, then the Slovenes and Croats, a little later the Muslims, too, and now it will be the whole world, adds the writer.

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© STA, 1992