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Milosevic addresses 4th SPS Congress
February 18, 2000

Slobodan Milosevic
Slobodan Milosevic
Belgrade, February 17th (Tanjug) - President of the Serbian Socialist Party (SPS) Slobodan Milosevic's closing speech at the 4th SPS Congress (integral version):

"Dear Delegates,

"Distinguished Guests,

"This year marks the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Socialist Party of Serbia.

"Its establishment coincides with the beginning of a decade in which the countries of Eastern Europe, a part of the countries of Central Europe and Euro-Asian region, where the Soviet Union was until recently, generally entered a major crisis. That crisis has been manifested as a civilizational degradation of these societies and the break-up of all multi-national states (Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia), and the emergence of several hotbeds of crisis in two of these three countries (Russia and Yugoslavia).

"Throughout that decade that has been marked by the ongoing crisis, the Socialist Party of Serbia from its very inception until today, did all it could to preserve Serbia as a State. First of all, at the very beginning of the 90's, within the former Yugoslavia, and then in the process of its break-up, it sought to preserve it as a State community which (together with Montenegro) was the initiator of the continuance of a third, smaller but nevertheless feasible Yugoslavia.

"Those efforts of the Socialist Party of Serbia have produced results. Serbia has avoided a fratricidal war that raged in other territories of the former Yugoslavia (in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina). It managed to preserve the unity of its territory and succeeded in having Yugoslavia survive as a state, albeit in a smaller territory. In that territory, it is not only the Yugoslav state that has been preserved but the Yugoslav idea as well, which first started to bring together the South Slav peoples a century ago, which was realized in the first half of the 20th century and that, despite the dramatic conflicts among the peoples that comprise the former Yugoslavia, perhaps not even today is at odds with the historical reasons for which it was established at the time, and thanks to which it existed for the whole century.

"The Socialist Party of Serbia rightfully considers that it is thanks to its efforts that in these years of fighting for the survival of Serbia, despite all outside pressures and all internal obstructions against it, it managed to maintain its economic and social stability at a higher level than all other countries of the region which avoided the break-up of the state, major demographic disturbances, war and sanctions. Finally, the Socialist Party of Serbia considers that it is mostly thanks to its efforts that Serbia has extended huge material and moral assistance to Serbs who were caught up in the civil war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina with the peoples with whom they lived together until then. Not seeking to dwell on the genesis of these wars, which were fuelled from the outside and from the inside, the Socialist Party of Serbia has rightfully, as the ruling party in Serbia for most part in the past decade, directly and through the institutions of the state in the Republic of Serbia, assisted the Serb people in the war and later in peace once it was established. In the war, to make it easier and shorter, in peace to make it more serene and more dignified. For their part, both the Socialist Party of Serbia and Serbia itself, in that period did their utmost. Whether those to whom the Socialist Party of Serbia and Serbia gave all that managed to take advantage of it or appreciate it in particular, is not the topic of this Congress, but it will be the topic of a new Serb history and ethics, on whose principles that history will be interpreted.

"If the Socialist Party of Serbia and Serbia did all they could for the Serbs outside Serbia in war and peace-time in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, for the Serbs, who at the very beginning of the winds of war and throughout sought refuge in Serbia, the Socialist Party of Serbia and Serbia did more than they could.

"That will be an outstanding topic for history and ethics. The Serbs who arrive in Serbia in the first half of the 90's from the territories engulfed by the war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina were the only refugees in the world that have been treated as equal citizens in the country in which they found refuge - the citizens that have often been, as we all known full well, more equal than the citizens of Serbia. They have embarked upon a new life in Serbia with all advantages - employment, education and resolving housing needs. They even took part in the social and political life of Serbia. Every young person from those parts who found refuge in Serbia could enter University, convinced that with the sincere support of the society, teachers and fellow students he will be able to complete his studies successfully. The doors of schools in Serbia were open fully to refugee children. All those who came to Serbia were able to get jobs and social protection enabling them to avoid living as common refugees. Very often, the Serbs who came to Serbia from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina were given jobs that able-bodied and qualified citizens of Serbia could be envious of, but without any evil intentions. In addition, throughout Serbia for the whole decade now, a great number of comfortable and modern apartments have been built for refugees whereby for most part they are considered legitimate residents of this country. That is the reason why only a small number of them leave Serbia although a few years have elapsed since the end of the war in the territories, which they left, and despite the fact that in the territory of the former Bosnia and Herzegovina, a Serb state has been established.

"I am listing these facts and presenting these assessments because no time, including the present, will be spared subsequent falsifications which serve someone's interests and daily events.

"We have no intention of renouncing any false move, but it should be noted that we have no intention either of renouncing impressive good results that this Party achieved for the Serb state, for all citizens living in it and the Serb people on the whole.

"These positive results include, therefore, not only freedom and independence but an impressive upward development trend achieved in the most precarious conditions, from the beginning of 1994. Later on, the lifting of the greatest part of the sanctions and reduction of obligations towards the Serbs outside Serbia after end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, have eased the burden that Serbia carried until then, so that in 1997 building and creative activities were in the ascendant in general, while economic and cultural ties were restored with all, even with the proponents of the sanctions and all other pressures.

"Such a perspective of Serbia's recovery, and thereby of the new Yugoslavia, did not fit into the picture of the fate assigned to this part of the world. That picture envisaged a disintegrated society, degraded State, puppet governments, disoriented people accepting the fact that the world is ruled by a single government, readiness to serve that Government and even be happy by doing so. Such reincarnation of feudal inferiority, humbleness and backwardness could not pass in Serbia, not only because Serbia has a historical habit of not being subservient but because in terms of development and emancipation, it seems to have departed most, compared to all other European States, from the feudal medieval way of thinking.

"The bill for such creative and emancipated response was delivered already a year later. Urgently the repression of more than a million innocent Albanians by Serbs chauvinists and terrorists was concocted. The genocide against Albanians was invented as a pretext for genocide against the only disobedient European people, a rarely emancipated European people at that.

"The Socialist Party of Serbia and the authorities in Serbia, comprising the Socialist party of Serbia along with other parties of different political but of the same patriotic orientation, did all they could so that relations between Serbs and Albanians and all others in Kosovo be set up in line with our experience - meaning, in a tolerant way - so that they live as they did for centuries in the past - meaning, together and without subjugation from any part.

"For no fault of our own, we have accepted to prove that we are not guilty. We have accepted, for no reason, an outside mediation to go to the side which has provoked the conflicts, to treat the representatives of that side as well-meaning representatives of the international community, although we as all others in the world, knew perfectly well, that these are the representatives of an independent political will who usurped international rules of the game, harboring ill-intentions towards all who are not obediently lying at their feet, and are especially ill-intentioned toward stubborn and disobedient Serbs. Had we, as many negotiations, from Belgrade to Rambouillet in 1998 and 1999 respectively, accepted the proposals of the so called international community regarding the relations between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo, it would have been the same as though in the end of the 30's and the beginning of the 40's the Jews in Germany had accepted to have carried out genocide against the Germans in Germany.

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