The Guardian June 7, 2000

Yugoslavia rebuilds NATO bombed key rail bridge

Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic, visited Novi Sad, the second 
city of Yugoslavia last week to declare open a new rail bridge between 
Belgrade and Novi Sad which had been destroyed by NATO bombing of 
Yugoslavia just a year ago. 

The bridge was restored in record time and enables the restoration of 
traffic on the shortest link between the north and south of Europe.

Speaking before a rally in Novi Sad of more than 150,000, Milosevic said 
the restoration of the bridge marked the greatest results achieved in the 
reconstruction and recovery of the country.

He recalled that this time last year NATO was waging war against Yugoslavia 
 "one of the most blatant examples of violence against a people in the 
second half of the 20th century and the only war in Europe after WW II. The 
war was waged by the biggest and strongest European countries, under the 
command of a non-European country, the United States, against a rather 
small European country, which had been exhausted by years of economic 
sanctions imposed by those countries." War was resorted to said Milosevic, 
"because the sanctions did not produce the amount of suffering necessary 
[for the Yugoslavian people] to lose the will to fight and to extinguish 
the love for freedom. 

This bridge, which we are opening today for the use of citizens, said 
Milosevic, symbolizes the impressive and daily results of reconstruction 
and rebuilding. So far no-one in the world has succeeded to build this kind 
of project, for which two years are needed, in 100 days.

It represents a sparkling construction and moral victory. If there is 
something that Europe should be proud of in the year 2000, it is the 
rebuilding of Serbia. But if there is something that Europe should be 
ashamed of in the year 1999  it is the devastation of Serbia. 

Cynical division

For Europe and those who are waiting to be admitted to it, said Milosevic, 
there is a cynical division into superior and inferior countries and 
peoples. That tendency to separate peoples into upper and lower class has 
already been seen. If Europe accepts it, it runs the risk of being placed 
as a whole in the zone of lower class peoples and countries, and also of 
lower class continents. There are no higher and lower races and peoples, 
but there are better and worse people in all races and in all peoples. 

The entire world saw that a year ago when, among other things, the bridges 
in Novi Sad disappeared. The whole world should know that it will be a 
target, just as Serbia was a target, if it does not put up a determined, 
united and justified resistance as was put up by Serbia against violence 
and humiliation. 

In congratulating the workers who had built the bridge so quickly, 
Milosevic said that "A country is best loved by those who defend, build and 
develop it."

Attacks on Russian peacekeepers

In other Yugoslav news it is reported that there are increasingly frequent 
attacks by Albanian extremists on Russian peacekeepers in Kosovo. These 
attacks seem to have the aim of forcing the expulsion of the Russian 
military contingent in Kosovo.

Russian Duma defense committee deputy chairman, Nikolai Bezborodov said, 
when paying a visit to Yugoslavia and Kosovo, that the implementation of UN 
Resolution 1244 "has reached a critical point when the Russian contingent 
in starting to be a nuisance for some." 

Small support for anti-government rally

Only 10,000 people showed up for a recent anti-government rally in Belgrade 
staged by opposition leaders. According to the New York Times it 
reflects disappointment with the opposition. 

Public opinion polls also indicate that support for the opposition is shaky 
and is not growing. A poll by the National Democratic Institute shows that 
more than 80 percent of those polled say opposition leaders spend to much 
time fighting among themselves.

Back to index page