<HTML> <HEAD> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"> <Base target="index"> <style> <!-- A:link {text-decoration: underline; color: #BB0000} A:visited {text-decoration: underline; color: #BB0000} A:active {text-decoration:underline; color: #FF0000} A:hover {text-decoration: underline; color: #FF0000} --> </style> </HEAD> <BODY leftmargin=0 topmargin=0> <a name="vrh"> <div align="left"><font face="Arial"><font size = 2> <img src="../dugmici/linija.jpg" alt="POBUNJENI UM - web magazin"><br> <br><br></div> <table width=100%> <td width=7></td> <td> <font face=Arial size=5 color="#000000"><b> NOTHING NEW IN THE BALKANS</B><br> <font size=2> author: Goran M.<br> date: 25/11/03<br> <br> <br> <div align=justify> <b>Nothing New - Situation still Very Explosive!</b> <P> Nothing new in the heart of the Balkans. A sharp radicalisation within Serbian society continues and was put in the spotlight once again last week by failed presidential elections - third in a row. The working people of Serbia simply stayed at home, ignoring the government calls to go out and elect a president. Only around 38% of registered voters bothered to show up at the polls, and those who did show up voted against the pro-western ruling coalition - the DOS - and it's candidate. The election results clearly showed just how deep the crisis in the country is and how unpopular and weak the pro-western ruling caste is in reality. Most analysts predicted the failure of the election itself, however what nobody expected was such a humiliation that people of Serbia served to the DOS and it's "reformist course". The DOS sponsored candidate, who led all the pre-election polls - the media hyped Dragoljub Micunovic - got disapointing 35% of the votes, finishing second behind the underdog Tomislav Nikolic - a candidate of the right wing Serbian Radical Party - who received 46 % of the votes. Vojislav Kostunica and his Democratic Party of Serbia boycted the elections. The restoration of capitalism under the disguise of "reforms" became a dogma in the political discourse in the last three years - a sacred "way forward" that no one was suppoosed to question, therefore you can imagine what a surprise it was for these "analysts" when the population turned it's back on the pro-western candidate. A trend of radicalisation, that was noticed at the last <a href="rainy-eng.htm#vrh" target="toc">presidential elections</a>, grew fast and caught all bourgeois "analysts" by surprise. Micunovic was able to win only in Belgrade while Nikolic got majority in all other areas of the country. These presidential elections now come on top of two previous unsecsessfull rounds, a murder of the Serbian Prime Minister <a href="dj-e.htm#vrh" target="toc">Zoran Djindjic</a>, the disbanding of the parliament just few days before the voting day as the government lost it's support, numerous scandals and affairs within the government aparatus and a wave of strikes throughout the country as the as the unsatisfaction with the "reforms" mounts up - all of this in just one year! Seems the leaders of the DOS failed in their promises to make Serbia a "boring place to live in", as they promised few years ago. <P> <BR> <b>Return of Nationalism?</b> <P> What did the western media make out of all this ? Well, the predominant sentiment in their reports is fear. Fear that the Serbian working class seems to be turning back to nationalism somehow after topling Milosevic just three years ago. After all, it is well known by now that you can not trust these Balkan people, as they will enthusiasticaly run back to fraternal slaughter as soon as they don't feel the rigorous hand of EU and Washington on their shoulders. Seems the appeal of blood and nation is so strong that the Serbian working class simply can't resist it. Domestic liberal politicians are singing the same tune. Serbia-Montenegro Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic said Monday that the result could be seen as a sign that Serbia might be sliding back toward the nationalism that led to a series of Balkan wars in the 1990s. Is there any basis for all this crying out loud about the "return of Fascism" to Serbia after the "Le Pen scenario" happened twice in a row? <P> We mentioned many times before that if no clear working class alternative arises in Serbia in the near future, nationalism and bloodshed might be on the agenda again as the policies of the re-introduction of capitalism reach the dead end. However, it still has not come to that point. Nationalism has been on the steady downfall for years now and objective circumstances are much different then they were in the early nineties. <P> Serbian Radical Party managed to climb up on the Serbian political scene in the early nineties thanks to a wave of chauvinist hysteria that emerged after the final breakdown of the Yugoslav workers movement in the late eighties. It was one of the numerous far right parties with fascist elements (it had it's own paramilitary) which was used by Slobodan Milosevic for the dirty work on the frontlines in his fight with other republic bureaucracies over territories. Throughout the years it was able to survive and entrench itself on the rightwing by adapting their rhetorics to the changed circumstances. Departure of their founder and traditional leader - Vojislav Seselj - to the Hague Tribunal on charges for war crimes, enbled them to reform their politics at an even faster pace. A disaray of the Milosevic's Socialist Party and the total vaccum on the left wing gave them space to present themselves as the sole opponents to the pro-western course taken by the DOS. The party which is not scared to say things others are even though they might go against the current dogma. It is highly indicative that these ultranationalists took majority of the votes with the least nationalistic oriented campaign in their history. Traditional points of their platform like the "reuniting of the serbian lands" were carefuly put to the side, making space for the criticism of the privatisation, unemployment, high school fees etc. The speech given by their candidate Tomislav Nikolic on final campaign rally in the centre of Belgrade just one day before the election was a clear indicator of this and definite disapointment for some of the hardline old time supporters in the crowd. Nikolic had to repeat twice to the puzzled crowd who weren't sure they heard right when he stated that : "Muslims are not our enemies", pointing that the real enemy is the DOS. In a bold tone he went on to say that : "If you can afford to buy enough food each month, if you are able to send your kids to university, please do not vote for me!". He went on mocking the new Prime Minister and his trip to China and Russia in an attempt to reprogram debts and get new contracts - "What happened with your orientation towards the west gentelmen?" he asked, while the crowd went into tears laughing. Nikolic insisted that a slavish obedience to west is wrong, making full gain of the anti-imperialist sentiment that exists among the Serbian working class. Crowd also cheered as Nikolic announced that if he wins they can be assured he would not send a single soldier to Afghanistan nor to Iraq. This gives you a clear picture of the focuses of Radical Party campaign. <P> <BR> <b>The Vaccum</b> <P> Of course the center of his campaign was the plunder of serbian economy by the process of privatisation. Radical party now took full advantage of the fact that no other political current dared to criticise openly the course taken by the DOS economists - the Chicago Monetarist school disciples who have been carying "shock therapy" which devastated the living standards for the whole layer of workers in the past three years. Serbian economy is on the edge of an abyss after only three years of reforms. Industrial production is falling steadily, foreign exchange deficit is close to 4 bilion $ and the unemployment is on the rise as new workers from the privatised factories are constantly adding up weight to the already flagrant number of 950 000 unemployed. The DOS candidate, besides the expensive campaign and media coverage did not stand a chance against this grim reality with his played out phrases about the future prosperity and the European Union. The impetus these forces got after the murder of Djindic has worn out as predicted and now they are in big trouble. The middle class is tiny, demoralised and confused by the failure of the "reforms". Micunovic barely got majority even in Belgrade. <P> So, what these elections clearly showed, once again, is not the return of nationalism on the scene but a profound disatisfaction with the political course taken by the DOS. Moreover it shows how empty the Serbian political scene realy is. The is no force on the left which could pose an alternative. In this case the serbian Radical Party jumped into the vaccum and grabed the votes of the dissatisfied workers. The vote for Nikolic was not a vote for a return to serbian nationalism, it was a vote against the DOS. <P> Objectively, despite this surprise result, Serbian Radical Party is not yet a force that could win majority in the parliament. Workers will probably turn primarily towards Vojislav Kostunica and his Democratic Party of Serbia in the next elections. As marxists we point out that even the victory of the Radical party at the presidential or parliamental elections would not realy change anything drasticaly. The Serbian working class is steping up on the scene again after it overthrew Milosevic in Ocober 2000, with a sense of power that it can change things. It knows clearly what it does not want-and that is the much hated DOS, however, it is still very confused and unexperienced and will probably try to use Kostunica and the Serbian Radical party as a sort of an alternative at the next parliamental elections. But, no matter how radical their rhetorics might be, under these conditions and divide of forces on the global scale, the Serbian Radical Party would carry Serbia in more or less the same direction as the DOS did so far. Maybe at a slower pace, maybe with more government control over the whole process, maybe wraped up in more patriotic colors, maybe with different capitalist clients, but essentialy it would be the same road. The Radical Party is not opposed to the privatisation as a course, it is just unsatisfied with the way it is being performed, prices being offered and the clients that are picked. The Serbian Radical Party and its thugs who carry the blood of our brothers and sisters on their hands are not a party the youth and the working class should stand behind in Serbia. We must organize ourselves independently and fill the vaccum with a genuine left wing party which represents the real interests of the workers and youth of Serbia and all other countries in the region. Now that the workers are on the move, it is only a matter of time before they realise this from their own experience. Then the western bourgeois media will finaly have a real serious threat to base their fears upon. <P><BR> <div align=center> <font face="Arial" size=1 color="#000000">[ <a href="elect-e03.htm#vrh" target="toc">na po etak</a> | <a href="../toc.htm#vrh" target="toc">sadr~aj</a> | o autoru | <a href="mailto:proleter@email.com">kontakt</a> ]<br> <hr width=95%> <font face="Arial" size=1 color="#000000"><b>POBUNJENI UM web magazin</B> <font color="#BB0000">(<a href="http://www.come.to/crveni">www.come.to/crveni</a>)<font color="#000000">, kontakt: <a href="mailto:proleter@email.com">proleter@email.com</a><br> <font face="Arial" size=1 color="#777777">Svako koriaenje, kopiranje i distribuiranje materijala je dozvoljeno, izuzev u komercijalne svrhe. 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