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December 7, 1996
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 270



The Yugoslav national volleyball team has been all but successful in the last few years. Yugoslavia finished third at the challenge tournament in Japan, behind the favorites Italy and the Netherlands. News of victory came from distant Japan every day, but there was neither live coverage nor highlights of Yugoslavia's matches. The state television did show some of them during the public holidays, but the whole thing was somewhat stale and uneventful bearing in mind that the tournament had already finished when the games were finally screened.

The poverty-stricken television which makes a mere 60 million dinars per month from taxes alone probably had to choose between allocating resources for live coverage of a major sports event and broadcasting the visit of a Russian academician to our non-aligned friend India. Once again, sports had to give in to high-level international cultural cooperation.


"The new urban provocation for your ears" is the slogan marking the latest concept transformation of Politika radio. The slogan also says that as of "the first minute of December 1", Politika radio broadcasts the best music in town.

All the pompously announced changes boil down to the fact that only music can from now on be heard on Politika radio, while the recently promoted editor in chief of Politika television and radio Goran Kozic is in charge of all other matters. Signs that times are changing first appeared when regular BBC broadcasting service was taken off and later put back on temporarily, but the shape of things to come became clear when the only "open" political program featured the famous interview with president of the Serbian assembly, Dragan Tomic, in which called the opposition and its supporters fascists, instead of a regular debate between government and opposition representatives. Politika radio has thus joined a number of other radio stations which only play music to the ears of the masses and perhaps those who regard chartbusters as the solution to all the recent events and developments in Belgrade.

The Press

The headline on the front page of last Monday's issue of the daily Vecernje Novosti could have fooled only someone with no idea what country he was in. Big black letters promising higher pensions and wages enticed hardly anyone to pay two dinars for the good news. The good news is that a regime which has prompted some 200,000 people to protest against its policy every day is not only unshaken by what is going on, but has enough strength to devise new strategies for improving the living standard of its beloved citizens. How can anyone be dissatisfied with a regime which has not given up the struggle for the well-being of common citizens even at a time when most of these citizens seem prepared to go war against the regime ?

Those who did nevertheless buy the daily learned that not only will wages and pensions grow, but so will the stability of the dinar and our purchasing

power once the prices start falling. And they surely will, for their growth this year was "economically groundless", says Vecernje Novosti.

The Police

After fruitful participation in the celebration marking the anniversary of Valjevo radio, one of its employees, Ivica Surcovic, made a futile attempt to return home. Surcovic unfortunately came across a policeman, Marko Markovic, who was more than eager to enforce law and order. Surcovic was about to park his car in the garage outside his flat when the overzealous Marko decided he wanted some action. Although no traffic rules had been violated by the unfortunate Surcovic, he was almost beaten to death in front of his wife and neighbors and taken into custody where he was subjected to more torture. God knows how Surcovic managed to reach the first aid station, but even more intriguing is the fact that the policeman didn't report the intervention which could have brought him a raise in his income for the month. In fact, so demanding was his evening's work that he had to go on sick leave himself a few days later.

Marko's superiors said they would press charges against him, something one

would surely expect in every law-abiding state. But what kind of a law-abiding state would we be if we actually punished a man for being at his best at work?

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