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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Itiniraire d’un apparatchik devenu criminel

by By J. A. D., independent correspondent.

Milosevic: Itinerary of an Apparatchick Turned Criminal (1)

Translated by Monika Navarro

Translated Saturday 22 April 2006, by Monika Navarro

Slobodan Milosevic was born in Pozarevac, east of Serbia, in 1941. This bureaucrat who started a career as an economist and banker emerged as the head of the Serbian League of Communists in 1986. His master stroke? He anticipated the fall of the Berlin Wall and the exhaustion of the Socialist regimes. Milosevic joined the Serbian nationalist ideology against which his party fervently struggled. This “conversion” to nationalism enabled him to transform the League of Communists into the Socialist Party of Serbia and to win the first multi-party elections in 1990.

As the incontestable leader of Serbia, Milosevic constantly played on both sides. He saw himself as the inheritor and defender of the unity of Yugoslavia, spoiled by the secessionists of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Macedonia, and at the same time he stimulated the Serbian nationalism that was the main enemy of the South Slovenian people. He managed to carry out the “socialist” card played by his wife Mira Markovic and allied himself with the nationalist extreme right of the Radical Serbian Party.

Milosevic’s regime was not a classic dictatorship, as opponents had a certain degree of freedom, although the essential instruments of power remained closely controlled by him. The wars - Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo - and the international sanctions were "the fuel" that enabled the regime to last ten years, by mobilizing the population around "the national objectives". The democratic insurrection of October 5th 2000 ended Milosevic’s regime, and he was arrested in April 1st 2001, being transferred to the Hague in April 28th of the same year.

[Translator’s note]

(1) Apparatchik is a Russian colloquial term for a full-time professional functionary of the Communist Party or the government.

published in l’Humanité 3 March 2006

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