YUGOSLAVIA: PROBLEMS IN SLOVENIA

Created: 7/10/1980

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Yugorlavia: Problens in Slovenia

A icajor personnel shakeup may be under way in the republic of Slovenia that could have serious, negative repercussions on the delicate post-Tito succession The problem came to lightlovenian party Central Committee session onune when it wasthat Dr. Anton Vratusa was being reaioved as head o: tha Slovenian Government, mmmmsj

The Slovenes, throughout theorld War II period, haveeading role in the nation's They include Yugoslavia's leadingand bankers and. more than any other nationality, they have made the complex national political system work, with grumbling in the other republics over the collective system and evidence that the Serbs may be attempting to dominate the new leadership, Yugoslavia can ill afford to have Slovenia weakened by political factionalism.

In addressing the plenum. ZTanc Popit, head of the Slovene party,iting criticism of theeconomic performance and hinted that otners in the government, business circles, and the Slovenian Chamber of Economy may also be dismissed. While the republic's economic problems include apparent enterprise mismanagement, and the failure of local officials to make progress in implementing an economic stabilization program, the real problem appears to be the republ. government's failure to follow party directives.

Slovenian frustration over the state of the economy also appears to be contributing to the republic'sthat limits be placed on Slovenia's financial aid to Yugoslavia's underdeveloped regions. The Slovenes have long maintained that they mustreater portion of their earnings in order to modernize their industrial plant. If they do not make these investments, they argue, their exports will become less competitive, the republic will risk economic stagnation, and the

nation's hud currency earnings will decrease. Despite the current Slovenian demands, the republic does not appear to have abandoned its commitmentnified national market and recognizes and supports the need for an economic stabilization

Slovenia's objection to aiding underdeveloped areas haa long-range, broader implications for tbe federal government's right to impose economic policy on ascale. In effect, the Slovenes not only want to decrease the amount of the development fund and to limit disbursements to one region (rather than the current four recipients) but also want the right to negotiate the amount and terms on tneir own, free from federal dictate. This questioning of federal authority comesime when Tito's heirs are trying toolitically unpopular buteconomically essential national stabilization program. WmWm

Popit's emphasis on shortcomings in theof economic policy may explain why Janez Zemljaric, whose background is in security work, was chosen toVratusa. The republic party apparently feels itan willing to knock heads in order to get things done, and Zemljarican with demonstratedskills who is not afraid to use his muscle. He. however, is not in the same intellectual league as Vratusa. who has been consideredpparentavorable reputation throughout Yugoslavia.

Croatian official

lescrTbing Vratusa as onehe most capable andofficials in Yugoslavia. This official said, however, that Vratusa neglected practical fence-mending at the local level and only concentrated on "the big picture." In the only commentary thus far on histhe Zagreb weekly Vjesnik claimed that although the move was unprecedented, it was not motivated bydifferences but because "different situations require different people." ^ am.

On the surface, the new collective leadership in Yugoslavia continues to demonstrate confidence andto make the post-Tito machinery work. It had been expected that the post-Tito collectivewould face its first significant test in October, when the important post of party presidium president is

up for rotation- Any infighting in Sloveniaegree of political uncertainty which could be harmful to the post-Tito leadership. Moreover, the Slovenes' currentraised questions over federaldevelopignificant challenge to collegial unity and federal_authority before the summer out. ffl

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