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"If I Fall the West Loses $10 Billion"
* Text of Zoran Djindjic's Interview with 'Der Spiegel'
* Comments by Jared Israel [19 July 2001]

For further comments see, "Wilmer's Complaint: Djindjic Warns Washington!" at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/wilmer.htm

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On the 15th of July, 2001, Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic gave the German magazine, "Der Spiegel,' a remarkable interview.

The following article deals with what Djindjic told 'Der Spiegel' - and the world.

It is divided into two parts. In Part One I post Mr. Djindjic's more revealing remarks plus comments and related excerpts from the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) statement, "We Accuse: Washington's Aid Promises Are A Traitorous Lie!" (1)

Part Two is an English translation of the whole interview.

- Jared Israel

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Part 1 - Djindjic Tells (Some Of) The Truth

========================================================

A. Claims about Promises of Aid

Before Slobodan Milosevic was kidnapped and flown (apparently by the RAF) to The Hague 'Tribunal,' Djindjic and Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica and others in authority in Belgrade said Yugoslavia would get huge amounts of foreign aid if it extradited Slobodan Milosevic. Now Djindjic says:

"By putting no conditions for the extradition we wanted to show our willingness to be integrated into the international community."

"No conditions" = no promises.

Before the kidnapping, the SPS charged:

"For the leaders of a country to tell the people in that country that they should extradite patriots in exchange for money from the forces which have bombed that country - is an outrage.

"But for leaders of a country to pretend that they are getting money from the bombers when they know perfectly well they are not - to tell the people that they should support the jailing of their patriots in exchange for money which these leaders know does not exist - this is the worst treason.

"The present authorities in Belgrade are guilty of treason."

"No conditions." In other words the claims that aid was actually promised were lies. The SPS accusation was correct.

B. Purpose Of The So-Called Donors Conference

On 29 June, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) convened a conference of the big banks that claim Yugoslavia owes them money. This creditors' meeting was falsely named a "Donors Conference.'

According to publicity hype coming out of the creditors conference Yugoslavia had been 'granted' $1.2 billion (U.S.). Actually, money was promised as 'credits' (loans) not gifts. Regarding these loans, Djindjic says:

"In August we should be getting the first installment, 300 million Euro. Suddenly we are being told, that 225 million Euro will be withheld for the repayment of old debts which in part were accumulated during Tito's time. Two third of that sum are fines and interests, accrued because Milosevic refused for ten years to pay back these credits. We shall get the remaining 75 million Euro in November at the earliest. Such are the principles in the west, we are being told. This means: A seriously ill person is to be given medicine after he is dead. Our critical months will be July, August and September."

In its May 29th statement, the SPS said:

"...One thing no Donors' Conference has ever, anywhere in the world done is give 1 billion dollars - or in fact any money - to a country which supposedly owes these banks money. If they do lend any money on paper they immediately take it away.

"That is, a little money may be lent with one hand, but it will be immediately taken away with the other hand, to 'repay the debt.'

"This has already happened with millions of dollars supposedly 'given' to Yugoslavia by the international community. As is reported in a text by Dr. Prof. Michel Chossudovsky:

"'The [IMF] Board approved a loan [of] US $151 million under the IMF's policy on emergency post-conflict assistance in support of a program to stabilize the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's economy and help rebuild administrative capacities. Of this amount, the [Belgrade] authorities will draw... US $130 million to repay the bridge loans they received [from Switzerland and Norway] to eliminate arrears with the IMF.'' (Quoted in 'Economic Terrorism,' by Dr. Prof. Michel Chossudovsky)

"In other words, the authorities in Belgrade borrowed money from Switzerland and Norway to pay money owed to the IMF. Then they borrowed money from the IMF - and that was used to pay Switzerland and Norway!

"This is a con game."

So. Djindjic and Kostunica are salesmen for a con game.

C. "If I Fall, You Lose $10 billion."

Djindjic says:

"We are trying here to reform the country and propagate a pro western course in spite of the NATO-bombardment...

"...I warn the west earnestly: If my government breaks down this would cost the international community 10 billion dollars."

What is Djindjic talking about? If the West were planning to grant aid to Yugoslavia, wouldn't the fall of Djindjic's pro-Western government mean the West would not have to give aid - thus saving money? Here's a clue. He says:

"100,000 [workers] will loose their jobs as a consequence of the transformation of the economy which was set as a precondition for credits by western donors."

Aside from the almost humorous fact that Djindjic persists in describing the bankers who met June 29th as 'donors' even though he admits they aren't going to 'donate' anything - aside from that, consider what Djindjic is saying: that in exchange for the phony donations, his government has agreed to "economic transformations" that will throw 100,000 people out of work.

Before the 'Donors Conference,' the SPS charges that the 'Donors Conferences' would:

"...plan how to sell Yugoslav property so they [the bankers] can get back the money they claim they are owed as quickly as possible.

"To whom will they sell Yugoslav industries to get their money? To themselves basically.

"How much will they sell it for? Pennies on the dollar.

"How much of the so-called Yugoslav debt will get paid in this way? Very little.

"What will happen to the industry that the 'Donors' scoop up in this fashion? Wherever such industries might compete with some industry from the 'Donor' countries, the factories will be closed down....

"This has happened in dozens of countries.

"Donors' Conferences helped plan the devastation of the economies of:

"* Ukraine - went from the breadbasket of Europe to being dependent on Western surplus "food"

"* Bulgaria - industry stripped and shut down

"* Russia - wages fell almost 90% overnight

"* Vietnam - after the "Donors' Conference" its industry was stripped to raise the money to pay off 'debts'. This was particularly vicious because those 'debts' had been accumulated by the puppet regime of South Vietnam. South Vietnam incurred the 'debts' when it bought weapons from the U.S. to fight Vietnamese patriots!

"That's what a Donors' Conference does."

So what's with this $10 billion dollars? It represents a conservative estimate of how much the West can extract in the process of buying up Yugoslav industry at super low prices, stripping it, closing it down, and turning Yugoslavia into a colony of supremely impoverished workers. Djindjic is warning the West: if you dump me, or let me fall, you will lose the chance to get this money.

What a monster this man is, and what monsters these bankers are, these exalted leaders of the New World Order.

Z. Djindjic makes a muted attack on Yugoslav President Kostunica in the interview:

"Zoran Djindjic: Socialists and radicals could certainly count on an increase of their votes if there were elections. Add to that Yugoslav President Kostunica with his skeptical attitude towards the west and constant warnings that the promised moneys will not arrive

"Der Spiegel: .... and who calls you a putschist for having extradited Milosevic and thus having brought shame over the country.

"Zoran Djindjic: Some more loyalty from his side would certainly do me good. There is a danger however that through such quasi- patriotic statements anti-West anger will be reawakened in the population."

As is discussed in 'Wilmer's Complaint: Djindjic Warns Washington,' the attempt by both the mass media and Vojislav Kostunica to clear Kostunica of responsibility in the kidnapping of former Yugoslav President Milosevic has put Mr. Djindjic in the position of potential fall-guy. That's what Djindjic is talking about. (2) & (3)

But Kostunica is not the creator of popular anger. This anger is the natural response of ordinary people who passionately hate the kidnapping of Milosevic, both because he has led the resistance to NATO and because this kidnapping makes NATO Yugoslavia's highest judicial authority. As those who remember their history will recall, it was precisely Serbia's refusal to allow Austria to take over Serbia's judicial processes that led Serbia to reject Austria's ultimatum before World War I.

It is not true, as Djindjic suggests, that his government does not face massive demonstrations until September. Such demonstrations are taking place already. The interviewer notes that already:

"Der Spiegel: The socialists are obviously regaining terrain. "

This is an understatement. If elections are held soon, the DOS forces will be thrown out of power, period.

E. One final point.

Djindjic (now) says he and Kostunica were not actually promised thirty pieces of silver in exchange for Milosevic. So why did they fight so hard to turn the former President over to The Hague? Says Djindjic, they did it "to show our willingness to be integrated into the international community." That is nonsense.

In the first place, the SPS government that Djindjic and Kostunica overthrew Oct. 5 didn't shun relations with Western countries. They just tried to conduct such relations on a basis of equality.

In the second place, the 'international community' that Djindjic and Kostunica have been trying to please - President Bush, Secretaries of State Albright and Powell, U.S. Ambassador Montgomery, Cook from England, Fischer and Schroeder from Germany, the big international bankers, and so on - this very small, Imperial part of the worldwide 'international community' has no intention of 'integrating' Yugoslavia on a just basis. Rather, this 'community' sees Yugoslavia as a) a source of quick profits and b) a critical strategic obstacle to its growing onslaught on the countries of the former Soviet Union because c) Yugoslavia is the home of some very annoying because very independent people - the Serbs. In the view of said community, Yugoslavia must be impoverished; its Army must be drastically weakened; Army and government must be dominated by quislings; and eventually it must be occupied by the same terrorist forces that NATO has brought to power in Kosovo and unleashed against Macedonia and southern Serbia. (4)

In this way, Washington's 'international community' hopes to crush the Serbian people as a political force. If that happened, NATO would be much closer to fully consolidating its control over the Balkans, the southern flank of its always-escalating attack on the states of the former Soviet Union.

These plans, like all such Imperial plans, underestimate ordinary people's capacity for resisting injustice, all over the Balkans.

======================

"Down to Zero"

======================

The Djindjic interview mixes truth and lies, sometimes in the same sentence. For example, our gentleman says:

"Why should I run the risk of my family being killed by a car bomb if everything here is being scaled down to zero anyhow?"

The Lie: The 'car bomb' stuff is simply a slur: the Socialists have never resorted to terror. Quite the contrary, they have been fastidiously committed to the rule of law. How else explain that when the Socialists led the government they did not use their position to arrest Djindjic and Kostunica for receiving "suitcases of cash" from the U.S. prior to the Sept. 23, 2000 Presidential election.

Rather, the shoe is on the other foot. It was Djindjic and Kostunica who came to power through classic Fascist tactics. It was their people who burned Parliament and destroyed the very ballots which they claimed showed Kostunica had more than 50% of the votes in the Presidential elections. It was their thugs who beat-up pro-Socialist managers in newspapers, TV and radio stations. It was their forces who violently evicted their opponents from reporting and editorial positions in all the news media. It was Kostunica who went on TV after watching the parliament burn and said, "This is a great victory for democracy."

It is widely known in Yugoslavia that Djindjic is well connected with organized crime, so perhaps the 'car bomb' stuff comes from personal experience. But as far as his political opponents go, what he should fear from them is a) that they will regain power and b) that he and Kostunica will be arrested for a long list of felonies, starting with the crimes of the coup d'etat October 5th and certainly including the sending of Milosevic and others to The Hague 'Tribunal."

The Truth:

Apart from the melodramatic car bomb claptrap, the above-quoted sentence does include a bit of truth, namely the phrase:

"...if everything here is being scaled down to zero"

"Scaled down to zero."

That is precisely what the U.S., Britain and Germany have in mind for Yugoslavia. But even as he admits this truth, Djindjic lies, for he suggests this is something new, related to his 'discovery' about the so-called Donors Conference.

In fact, before and after the Sept. 23 election, Prof. Michel Chossudovsky and I and of course many other people pointed out that the very program - the program, the consciously worked out plans - of the Djindjic/Kostunica DOS coalition called for the impoverishment of ordinary Yugoslav people.

This was explained in the well-known article, 'The International Monetary Fund and the Yugoslav Elections,' by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky and me. That article was reprinted in the Swedish daily, 'Aftonbladet,' after which a Balkans 'expert' named Magnusson wrote a long refutation of our views. Answering Magnusson, Chossudovsky and I quoted from the G-17 economists, the DOS 'thinkers' who presently control the Yugoslav central bank. The G-17 people made clear that their approach would amount to economic 'shock therapy' (their phrase) and that it would be so 'radical (their word) that it had to be instituted quickly to prevent effective political opposition.

"The first task of the new government will be to lay down the foundations for lasting stability...[which] implies the launching of a radical programme of structural adjustment and, most importantly, sustained political support to stabilization and economic reforms.

"Immediately after taking the office, the new government shall abolish all types of subsidies. This measure must be implemented without regrets or hesitation, since it will be difficult if not impossible to apply later, in view of the fact that in the meantime strong lobbies may appear and do their best to block such measures... This initial step in economic liberalization must be undertaken as a 'shock therapy' as its radical nature does not leave space for gradualism of any kind." ('[G-17] Program of Radical Economic Reform' ('Everything We Wrote Comes from Official Sources' by Michel Chossudovsky and Jared Israel at http://emperors-clothes.com/debates/data.htm )

So of course, Djindjic and Kostunica and the rest of the DOS boys knew all along that their program would be devastating; they just neglected to inform ordinary people. And now Djindjic would like everyone to believe the lie that his economic nightmare is a) the fault of Milosevic 'loyalists' who want him to fail and b) the result of betrayal (i.e., change in policy) by the West. As if he and Kostunica and the boys from G-17 didn't spend the last 10 months destroying all the economic mechanisms installed by the previous government to protect working people and Yugoslav industry; as if the DOS government had not spent 10 months cooperating with Western financial interests to hand Yugoslavia over, on a platter, with apple in mouth.

Djindjic is just discovering that Washington and its junior partners want to rape Yugoslavia? Did he think these Imperial governments poured tens and hundreds of millions of dollars into his/Kostunica's Presidential election campaign because 'it is saintly to give?'

By turning Milosevic over to The Hague tribunal, Djindjic and Kostunica infuriated the Serbs and other loyal Yugoslavs. Djindjic fears that Washington plans to sacrifice him to assuage this popular anger and therefore he has granted the following rather incriminating interview as a warning to the West to "Protect me or you will lose lots of money and I will tell a lot of secrets."

(The notion that Djindjic's interview is an attempt at blackmail is discussed further in the article, 'Wilmer's Complaint: Djindjic Warns Washington' at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/wilmer.htm )

Here's the Djindjic interview.

--Jared Israel

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Part 2: Zoran Djindjic's Interview With 'Der Spiegel'

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The following text from Der Speigel was

Translated most kindly by Jost Lang

***

Serb premier Zoran Djindjic says he feels betrayed by the west. In the interview he complains about grotesque maneuvers blocking the payment of international reconstruction aid and warns of new crises in the Balkans.

Der Spiegel: You took the risk of extraditing Milosevic to The Hague - Tribunal. Did it pay off?

*Zoran Djindjic: "I warn the west"

-------------------

Djindjic: By putting no conditions for the extradition we wanted to show our willingness to be integrated into the international community. But I must confess that I'm shocked by the farce of "western help" which should have amounted to 1,2 billion dollars.

-------------------

Der Spiegel: ........ what do you mean by "farce?" This is quite an amount of money.

-------------------

Zoran Djindjic: It would have been better if the donors-conference had not taken place and instead we had been given 50 million DM in cash. We are trying here to reform the country and propagate a pro western course in spite of the NATO-bombardment - and in Brussels there are ten bureaucrats who act according to the principle: If the light goes out, apply the brakes. [Translators note: I don't know such a proverb in German. But then, I'm Swiss.]

-------------------

Der Spiegel: Can you explain this in detail?

-------------------

Zoran Djindjic: In August we should be getting the first installment, 300 million Euro. Suddenly we are being told, that 225 million Euro will be withheld for the repayment of old debts which in part were accumulated during Tito's time. Two third of that sum are fines and interests, accrued because Milosevic refused for ten years to pay back these credits. We shall get the remaining 75 million Euro in November at the earliest. Such are the principles in the west, we are being told. This means: A seriously ill person is to be given medicine after he is dead. Our critical months will be July, August and September.

-------------------

Der Spiegel: Do you fear a collapse of the government

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Zoran Djindjic: If we do not immediately get a financial injection we will have demonstrations in September at the latest together with social unrest, since we could not fulfill our promises. 330,000 families live on an income of 40 DM a month; 600,000 refugees are a great burden for our budget and 100,000 will loose their jobs as a consequence of the transformation of the economy which was set as a precondition for credits by western donors.

There is no investment, there is no work, no construction. On the other side Milosevic's socialists are still in important positions in the economy and want the country to sink into chaos

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Der Spiegel: The socialists are obviously regaining terrain. Can they again become a danger for the government coalition of the DOS-democrats?

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Zoran Djindjic: Socialists and radicals could certainly count on an increase of their votes if there were elections. Add to that Yugoslav President Kostunica with his skeptical attitude towards the west and constant warnings that the promised moneys will not arrive

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Der Spiegel: .... and who calls you a putschist for having extradited Milosevic and thus having brought shame over the country.

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Zoran Djindjic: Some more loyalty from his side would certainly do me good. There is a danger however that through such quasi- patriotic statements anti-West anger will be reawakened in the population. In which case, I would not exclude the possibility that the first part of the aid package might be paid to a new government under Seslj, the Radical leader. I wanted to establish priorities with the economy and at the same time to lessen other problems. And I warn the west earnestly: If my government breaks down this would cost the international community 10 billion dollars.

-------------------

Der Spiegel: Will there be a new war?

-------------------

Zoran Djindjic: There will be crises in the Vojvodina, in Montenegro, in Kosovo, in the Sanjac and in Southern Serbia. The cooperation with The Hague Tribunal will not exist anymore and as always hundreds of thousands of refugees will start to migrate. But for such crises there would be money in the budgets of the western governments. Nobody will ask himself: Could one have avoided the crisis? Everyone will join in singing the tune that the Balkans are not calming down. What we need is sincere help and not empty statements of sympathy.

When I was in the opposition the EU had promised us 3 billion DM for the overthrow of Milosevic. Where is this money?

-------------------

Der Spiegel: You offered to resign if the extradition of Milosevic to the Tribunal failed. Will you throw down everything if the western finance ministers do not give in?

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Zoran Djindjic: I cannot constantly speak to our population about western aid if we do not see any signs of it here. Thus I'm loosing my credibility and cannot stabilize the country. Why should I run the risk of my family being killed by a car bomb if everything here is being scaled down to zero anyhow?

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Der Spiegel: Will you extradite General Mladic to The Hague Tribunal if he should once again stay in his Belgrade apartment?

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Zoran Djindjic: Should all the problems of this region be settled on my back? I hope I will not encounter him.

***

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Further Reading:

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1) "We Accuse: Washington's Aid Promises Are A Traitorous Lie!" http://emperors-clothes.com/docs/fools.htm

2) 'Wilmer's Complaint: Djindjic Warns Washington,' by Jared Israel at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/wilmer.htm

3) 'The Treason of Vojislav Kostunica,' at http://emperors-clothes.com/analysis/treas.htm

4) Regarding the intense pride of independence of the Serbs, see 'The Theft of the Serbs' Only Treasure,' by Petar Makara at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/makara/disgust.htm

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