Friday, September 23, 2005

Myth: The Federal Government of Yugoslavia was Serb-Dominated

FACT: To justify their illegal secession from Yugoslavia, Croatian and Slovenian separatists claimed that Yugoslavia was “Serb-dominated”, and their propaganda portrayed themselves as small nations escaping the oppressive grip of a dominant nation, the Serbs. The reality was that the Federal Government of Yugoslavia was always multi-ethnic and multi-national, and, if anything, Serbs were under-represented in the Yugoslav leadership. This was true at the time of the break-up, and throughout the existence of the second Yugoslavia. The Prime Minister of Yugoslavia at the time of its destruction, from January 1989 to his resignation on 20th December 1991, was Ante Markovic, a Croat who had formerly led Croatia. His two Deputy Prime Ministers were Zivko Pregl, a Slovene, and Aleksander Mitrovic, a Serb. His Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Federal Customs and Finance - Bodimar Loncar, Zvonko Poscic and Branko Zekan - were all Croats (a Serb was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs), while his Minister of Justice was a Macedonian, Vlado Kambovski. A Serb, Peter Gracanin, was Minister of Internal Affairs, while the head of the Federal Internal Security Service, and Gracanin’s under-secretary, was a Croat, Zdravko Mustac. The Federal Defence Minister was a Yugoslav from Croatia, Kadijevic, and his two deputies were a Slovene, Stane Brovet, and a Croat, Josip Greguric. The Federal Minister for Trade and Industry, Nazmi Mustafa, was an Albanian.

The Federal Government of Yugoslavia was clearly therefore not “Serb-dominated” - out of the key federal positions listed, six were held by Croats, three by Serbs, two by Slovenes, one by a Yugoslav, one by a Macedonian and one by an Albanian. One might even say that it was actually the Serbs that had grounds to complain about the distribution of posts in the Federal Government - the 1980s had seen three Croat Federal Prime Ministers in succession, while each time Serbs had had to make do with having one of the two Deputy Prime Ministers and some ministerial posts, even though the Serbs were the largest nation of Yugoslavia, with 36.2% of the population, and the Croats just second largest, with 19.7% of the population.


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