The roots of the present protests in Bosnia-Hercegovina go right back to the break-up of Yugoslavia. Civil and religious war, two decades of privatisation, plunder and peripheral gangster capitalism, as well as the constant humiliation by the structures of the imperialist protectorate OHR (Office of the High Representative) have pressed Bosnians – and other Yugoslav peoples – so hard that for a long period it seemed that a good and prosperous life was just the stuff of history and family tales from “Tito's time”.

[We strongly recommend this article, as it highlights the return of class solidarity across the ethnic divide in the former Yugoslavia.]

At the recent Srebrenica massacre commemoration in the Potočari Memorial Centre, the victims’ families turned against the politicians present, and Bosnian crowds directed loud whistles and curses at the same politicians.

Zastava is no more. After twenty years of agonizing transition from a centrally planned “self-management” economy to capitalism, the factory, which once stood as the symbol of post World War Two prosperity and development in the former Yugoslavia, is about to be erased from the state registry of companies, giving way to an Italian multinational FIAT.

A new grouping has been formed within the JOSD (Unified Organisation for Socialism and Democracy) in East Sarajevo, “based on the principles of Marxism and liberty” and which “rejects and renounces bourgeois and obsolete nationalist ideologies”. After the fratricidal civil war that tore apart the former Yugoslavia, promoted by local nationalist bourgeois cliques, we now see the beginnings of a reawakening of the most radical youth whose points of reference are the struggles of the past that united the peoples of this region and Marxism. We publish it for the interests of our readers and welcome this development.

The collapse of the former Yugoslavia, and with it the old planned economy was a painful process for the workers. What happened at the famous Zastava car factory in Kragujevac during the past two decades of transition is a prime example. How was it privatized and sold off to FIAT? What is seldom heard in the Serbian media and why? Searching for answers to these questions, a member of the “Crvena Kritika” editorial board interviewed Zoran Mihajlović, the secretary of the Independent Union of Serbia at FAS (FIAT Automobiles Serbia).

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