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Is Kostunica setting the stage for a phony fuel-shortage melodrama?
by Jared Israel (10-21-2000)

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Note: The following table is based on reports from employees at two Belgrade supermarkets. Prices in these stores have risen every day since the coup d’etat.

Product Before coup d’etat Current price
1 liter milk Was 9 dinars Now 14 dinars
1 kilo "meat" Was 180 dinars Now 289 dinars
1 kilo (?) bread Was 5 dinars Now 9 dinars
1 liter cooking oil Was 15.5 dinars Now 55 dinars
1 kilo sugar Was 8.5 dinars Now 50 dinars
1 kilo cheese Was 215 dinars Now 276 dinars
1 kilo High Quality sausage Was 280 dinars Now 397 dinars
1 kilo children's crackers Was 56 dinars Now 72 dinars
1 kilo Wheat flour Was 11.75 dinars Now is 16 dinars
1 kilo margarine Was 15.60 dinars Now is 20.30 dinars
3 kilos detergent for clothes Was 180 dinars Now is 220 dinars
1 kilo chicken Was 105 dinars Now is 137 dinars
1 kilo lower quality sausage Was 80 dinars Now 126 dinars

The Cool Electric Blackmail Scenario

As prices of necessities rise, the common people are worried about electricity, which is used to heat most Yugoslav homes in winter. Before the coup, prices were kept low by the legal government. Currently there have been warnings about power shortages "due to the fact that the Milosevic government kept prices artificially low." Some Belgrade residents we talked to wonder, "What is an artificially low price?" and fear that these warnings are being issued to set the stage for the following scenario:

1) The electrical utility has "unavoidable" brownouts during autumn. This scares ordinary people. What will happen when the weather turns really cold?

2) The coup government expresses grave concern and urges the West to send aid. (This really means: lend us money.)

3) Western lenders demand unpopular economic and political concessions before they will lend money, such as that Yugoslavia hand over fictitious war criminals like Milosevic and Karadzic thus fully accepting the legitimacy of the War Crimes kangaroo court and creating a precedent for turning over any rebellious leader whom NATO decides to put on its secret list of war criminals. (A war criminal is someone who resists NATO, just as a victorious democrat is someone who wrecks parliament and gives NATO what it wants.)

4) The coup government accepts these terms with public displays of regret, perhaps even criticizing Western interference, thus combining an appearance of national resistance with the reality of national betrayal. The main blame is put squarely on Milosevic, that is the legal government, which manages to do more harm the weaker it gets, and which created the whole mess by keeping the cost of electricity artificially low and thus breaking the law of the free market.

In other words, they sold electricity at a price that people could afford.

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Max Sinclair discovered the following Reuters dispatch which suggests the above-described scenario is all too possible:

"BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia needs $100 million to secure electricity imports this winter to avoid the total collapse of the national grid, Serbia's state-run power company Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) said Tuesday. Riddled with debt, hit by a drought that has curtailed hydroelectric operations and hamstrung by an official curb on price hikes, the EPS heads into winter in dire straights. The state-owned company, which supplies power to Serbia's 10 million-strong population, estimates that it will have to import three billion kilowatt hours of electricity over the next six months, of which 300 million kilowatt hours by the end of October. Even then power shortages and black outs look inevitable. "We have never faced a winter season with such an uncertainty, without knowing how to secure the three billion kilowatts we need to meet increased requirements and without any idea on future gas deliveries," EPS's public relations department director Momicilo Cebalovic told Reuters. "We are on the verge of introducing power cuts today. They will be inevitable this winter," he said. The EU also lifted an embargo on oil imports imposed last year in retaliation for Belgrade's crackdown on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. But someone still has to pay for the imports. Industry analysts blame the low prices that President Slobodan Milosevic -- ousted in a popular uprising in recent weeks -- traditionally ordered the EPS to charge its customers low prices -- for the firm's disastrous finances. 16:20 10-17-00 Copyright 2000 Reuters Limited."

Reuters article posted for fair use only.

Related reading...

1) A month ago a group of people who have been active exposing media misreporting on Yugoslavia published a statement documenting the U.S. government's creation of a Fifth Column apparatus in Yugoslavia. There is compelling evidence that the U.S. government is in the process of creating the same sort of apparatus in many other countries. For this reason, it is of great importance that people around the world understand the techniques employed by the U.S. government to subvert Yugoslavia. See "U.S. Arrogance and Yugoslav Elections" at http://emperors-clothes.com/engl.htm

2) Both the 'N.Y. Times' and the 'Washington Post' have published articles which to some extent confirm the charges concerning U.S. funding and control made in "U.S. Arrogance and Yugoslav Elections' (see above.) One such 'N.Y. Times' article is analyzed by Jared Israel in 'Kostunica says some backers "unconsciously work for American imperial goals' at http://emperors-clothes.com/news/erlang.htm

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