Moral Atheist (I)



Mira Markovic


I have no other explanation to my reaction to the interview that Zeljko Mitrovic, the owner of TV Pink had given to some Zagreb based newspapers several months ago, except that my reaction is caused by the fact that he CROSSED THE BOUNDARY OF GOOD TASTE. Others had also, due to fear or pure interest, or only due to their personal nothingness, distanced themselves from JUL, minimizing their role in the party, thanks to which they radically changed their material and status circumstances. But nobody, not that I am aware of, had said anything negative about JUL.

Zeljko Mitrovic had, in the course of these seven years, given ugly statements on JUL. I myself had read one of them in the plane, getting back from The Hague, six years ago. I haven’t given any significance to what I have read. It was gross, immoral and false, and I thought – this is his honor at stake.

Two months ago, I’ve been informed from my friends in Belgrade about this interview he gave to Zagreb paper and all of them thought that I should react to that. Recently, I have got excerpt from that interview published in our newspapers. This is what I have to say about it.

First of all – Zeljko Mitrovic claims that he was “JUL’s member”, that what he did in JUL, he did “on a professional, not political basis” and that this “politics has served as an umbrella to him”.

The first statement is partly right, the second is false and the third is true.

Here’s why I say this. Immediately after JUL was established, my comrade M.T. has brought to my office the owner of Pink, introducing him as a man whose television has nothing to do with Arkan and Milorad Vucelic. It is only his. I was very much surprised why he had been telling me that as that was irrelevant to me. I have hardly heard of that television. And I couldn’t care less who is its owner. As for Zeljko Mitrovic’s distancing himself from those two persons in my presence, was quite rude. My husband had refused to extradite Zeljko Raznatovic Arkan to the Hague jail when Madeleine Albright had requested it. On the other hand, Milorad Vucelic was high official of SPS (Socialist Party of Serbia) more or less since its inception and for a while general manager of the state television. But I have elegantly ignored this distancing. I have asked several conventional questions and the visitors had left.

Immediately after that, I have been informed that Zeljko Mitrovic had become JUL member and that he expresses great interest for the work within the party. And he was given the opportunity to do so. To be honest, he was at party’s service for all as main initiator of his own activities. We have already had our own marketing department, nice and unusual. Zeljko has joined this marketing business right away, showing great enthusiasm. He had overwhelmed us with the marketing and OTHER ideas. He came to the party headquarters very often. He had established close party contacts, and afterwards personal ones with the lots of people from JUL’s management. “JUL is COOL”, this very nice and popular slogan was his idea and he thought of it at the beginning of his presence in JUL and aired it often on his television. He used to show us his media ideas on the monitor in JUL for hours, as well as at his home, he liked that we watch his proposals together, to select them and make decisions… Soon, he visited party headquarters every single day.

In 1996, he was on the SPS-JUL-New Democracy election list for the federal members of parliament and as our candidate he used to be MP in the Federal Assembly for four years. In the pre-election campaign, he took part as the MP candidate, that is to say, as an active member of the party. His marketing activities were part of it, but if it was the only field of his activity, this would not be enough for the MP candidacy. He used to work in our marketing department as the author, member of JUL, would have written for JUL, the singer sang, but nobody would have task to write or sing, but to be politically active, in the first place. That was the rule that he also had to obey. After all, at a time, marketing was done by others, as well, the people that were not JUL members, but were professionally engaged and paid for their services.

During the protests of coalition “Together” back in 1996, he had on his own initiative launched, with another JUL party member, the newspaper FLASH, where he wanted to “unmask“ protest’s leaders, main people from the opposition. Several issues were printed and the newspaper has extinguished itself with the end of protests.

For the first JUL Congress in 1998, with his Pink crew, he of his own accord, had done everything relating to marketing of the Congress – scene design of the meeting, and the rest, and he financed it although nobody had asked him to do so. When it comes to his work, what we could see, or at least me, his work was genuinely sincere, nice and full of sacrifice. He was the candidate for the member of the Managing Board. At the end of Congress, the names of the selected Board members had appeared on the monitor, and Mitrovic’s name was not among them, as someone had discreetly informed me, adding that he rushed out of there, completely desperate. This was just an oversight. He was very active in the party, MP, it was logical that he becomes not only the candidate but the member of Managing Board. I have immediately called him and talked to a really desperate man. He had started to enumerate excitedly all that he had done for JUL, showing his love for JUL, and I agreed with him and asked him to come to my house. I have informed him that this was a mistake and that we will immediately straighten it out. And we did. Prior to going home, we have contacted media and informed them that they should add his name on the list of the members of the managing board. We have reached the residency at about the same time. He came with his wife. It goes without saying that I wouldn’t talk about visual and verbal details of his desperation. I have consoled him in the salon where we sat and where my husband had joined us later. I have explained to him what happened. We have talked for a while, making jokes about this oversight and Zeljko’s reaction to it, and then I called other friends, and we all went to dinner in a small restaurant at Ada. Zeljko was comforted. Tomorrow’s papers included his name on the list of the members of the board. A month later, when we established JUL’s bodies, we have appointed Zeljko head of our marketing center. Director of this center, along with the presidents of the committees of JUL for different departments was ranked as the members of the Directorate, so they were present in that capacity on the Directorate’s sessions. We haven’t told him in advance about our plans. He read about it in the papers and saw that he become JUL’s high official. He called me immediately upon reading this, in exaltation, thanking me million times. But one sentence rings in my head: “Thank you so much! You’ll see, you won’t regret it. It will be the best center for marketing in the country”. And it was true. He got spacious office in the reconstructed JUL Directorate’s building, he equipped it fully, with many monitors and other devices that seemed impressive. He brought several people from Pink to work there. He used to run endlessly all day long from Pink to JUL. I still think that he was genuinely happy that he was given the opportunity to do that.

November 24, 2007.

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