Mafia grows rich while Serbs suffer poverty

BELGRADE – Three years after the fall of Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia is still in the grip of political turmoil. Although back in the fold of the international community, with basic democratic principles restored, poverty and corruption are prevalent and people look on a grim future. The inability of the political leadership to move ahead with the necessary reforms in the economy and society has allowed the organized crime rackets that flourished under the previous regime to run wild to the extent that they became identified with the new regime, culminating in the murder of the prime minister himself when he tried to restrict their activities. Ordinary people, who have difficulty paying their electricity bills, or buying milk for their children, see others who grew rich under the Milosevic regime increasing their ill-gotten gains, along with a new nomenklatura. The people have been turning away from the current government and tuning in to the nationalists, who are steadily gaining ground. Former President Vojislav Kostunica, a protagonist in the effort to bring down Milosevic, by far the most popular politician in Serbia today and the most powerful leader after the murder of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, spoke to Kathimerini on these issues, about Kosovo, his rivalry with Djindjic and the arrest and handover of Milosevic.