Moral Atheist (II)



Mira Markovic


From the very beginning of his presence in JUL, he went to many places all over Serbia where I used to give speeches, uninvited and very interested. He called me to visit Pink, to address his employees, claiming that the whole crew would become members of JUL. I have visited Pink as I didn’t want to disappoint him, honestly speaking, and gave a short speech. I have considered his agitation for joining JUL rude, as I talked in front of people that hadn’t known me in person, but were brought there on the request of their employer. Surely, I hadn’t expected that all of them join our party. It would be unrealistic, and even if it happens, it would be insincere, and generally pointless. This proposal was one of Zeljko’s fervors to which he was inclined.

When on March 23, 1999, we had established JUL war headquarters that was active for 77 days, Zeljko immediately became member of this body. We had met and discussed things every day. On those meetings, we had made a decision about defending Belgrade bridges. JUL city board was in charge for the implementation, headed by Slobodan Cerovic, its president, and naturally, Zeljko engaged people from Pink in this campaign. They have been on Branko Bridge every evening, members of JUL City board, almost entire management of JUL, Zeljko and his team from Pink, and of course, many citizens. Zeljko was an inspired anti-NATO agitator, proud of his patriotic and JUL’s activity. At the end of December of that same year, he furnished on his own initiative JUL’s Press center, so he asked me to bring my husband to see it. So, we came together. Center was impeccable. I am not sure who of the two of them said: “Just as the Press center in Pentagon”. We have been delighted, especially me.

He used to follow the activities of the municipalities where JUL won locally, and made self-intentionally great film about the successes that those communities had achieved during four-year of JUL’s reign.

Prior to the 2000 elections, he was again among the candidates for the federal assembly on our list. He had participated in the campaign with his usual enthusiasm. He was engaged in the marketing activities for the whole party, of course. He was especially proud of his slogan “It is the people who will decide, not NATO”. The whole Serbia was plastered with the billboards carrying this slogan, in summer and early September 2000. I am not aware of the fact that he was engaged in the marketing of some other political party. If so, this would be very unnatural, awkward, as Zeljko was one of the most inspired DOS critics and of their candidate for president, Vojislav Kostunica. If he did engage himself in the marketing for someone else, besides JUL, then it would have been someone from DOS. It is very hard for me to believe in this as Zeljko Mitrovic was one of the most active JUL members, truly devoted to its policies, close to many managing board members, he was completely in JUL’s story since he entered into JUL till the elections that was held on September 24, 2000.

So, the first statement that he was only “JUL member” is partly true. He was JUL member, but not he was not only its member, but also its high official, member of parliamentary club for four years and member of its main board, and afterwards the director of its Marketing Centre, along with being the member of JUL war headquarters. I have personally appointed him to be head of party organization of JUL in Prijepolje.

The second statement that he worked on JUL’s marketing “professionally and not politically”, it is false. He used to do marketing for JUL as a party activist, the best and the hardest as he could. When we needed the assistance of the professionals, we hired them, as we did prior and after Zeljko. Our nicest billboards, and the most popular ones, those with flowers – “LOVELY, LOVELIEST – LEFT”, “JUL IN JULY”, “THE HEART IS ALSO ON THE LEFT SIDE”, “JUL IN NOVEMBER” (billboard for the elections 1996) was not done by him. Non-party professional work for JUL was paid. Zeljko had insisted to do that as a party activist and member of the board, in the same time being an expert and a man of fortune, so he wanted to help the party, working on its marketing and financing what he can in that particular field of work.

So, both of these statements are false and dishonest.

The statement that he “used politics as an umbrella” is, unfortunately, true. However, he didn’t strike me back then as a man driven solely by his personal interests, although he did realize them all along his, as he says, non-political engagement in JUL. From a small, barely known, television, that he owned on the day when he rushed into my premises to pledge that he had nothing to do with Arkan and Vucelic, until September 2000, Pink had become very popular TV station. In this period, he has built big, nice and modern villa for himself on Dedinje, and a big TV premises, also on Dedinje. In this period, he became entirely different man, in a material, status and professional sense. It goes without saying that he did it due to his personal capacities, but also backed with the support of JUL, that is to say, its influential friends from JUL, on various high positions on the state level, and on the Republic level, that involved the activities he used to deal with, meeting all his requirements. Not only those from JUL that were high-positioned, but also thanks to those that assumed certain positions because of JUL.

I have no trading gene in me, I have never calculated gains and losses, I was not born in the horoscope sign of Libra to weigh endlessly this and that, but I was born in an unhappy and often clumsy Cancer sign, but nonetheless, I am certain that Zeljko got from JUL more than he gave. He got EVERYTHING that JUL could offer, and it was a lot. He knew that and took advantage.

And when JUL lost on the elections, he didn’t lose his assets, on the contrary. He increased them. How did he do that? By finding another politics to serve to him “as an umbrella”. Under one, July’s politics as “an umbrella”, he made significant television station, he became famous and rich, built up his villa, his TV castle, became MP, met many influential people in power, from the chief of state via ministers to significant directors and presidents of local communities, etc. Under present politics as “an umbrella”, he became even richer and more famous, but in order to place himself under that “umbrella”, he had to minimize his role in JUL, and to defame JUL. Those lies and libels were needed so that he could place himself under the “umbrella” that enabled him to buy off ships, trucks and airplanes, and to keep bragging that he has a billion dollar in front of the people of seven and a half million population (without Kosovo), out of which over one million of them were unemployed. Whoever from the present regime, close to him, and which he calls democratic (he, the flustered enemy of DOS and Vojislav Kostunica from 2000), reads Zeljko Mitrovic’s statement that the politics served him back then only as “an umbrella”, should not be surprised at all. It goes not only for the past, but that is the case now. With the help of the then policy, he became rich, with the help of the present one, he became swaggering rich. We, former ones, hadn’t known that we were used as “an umbrella”. Those present ones have no reason to doubt that they serve as “an umbrella”. Had we known that we were “his umbrella”, he wouldn’t be under it for a single day. The present ones know that they are just “an umbrella”, and they keep him under it. I don’t know why. But they do, some of them, at least.

Until I read this interview, I would never thought, not even after gross statements about JUL, that Zeljko used our party as an umbrella. Quite opposite. I would defend him in front of others, should someone said so. But, then again, he said that himself. I guess he knew better than me what were his genuine motives.

December 8, 2007

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