Carl Guderian on 26 Sep 2000 11:41:02 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Winning the peace

Let's assume Milosevic really leaves quietly, and doesn't install a stooge.
Will the Kostunica government have the energy to fend off the Enrons and
Bechtels who bankrupted Africa? Even the IMF and World Bank, thanks a
little to demonstrators, are realizing that costly but prestigious
development projects just add to debt. Maybe the big development profiteers
are hoping to find a few more suckers.

No doubt ANEM will move quickly to get rid of Milosevic's abusive telecom
and internet licensing policies, maybe even try to legalize pirate radio,
and create a confederation of independent media outlets. That could mean
allowing the various hate radio broadcasters on the air, but at least you'd
know what they were up to.

Is it possible to do something similar on the energy front? I know winter
is coming, but if there's any way to avoid getting tied down and ripped off
by one of Enron's patented "solutions," maybe Serbians should agitate for
it. (This would be a golden opportunity for Viridians to help another
country off the dirty fossil teat and save Serbia money in the long run).

Otpor, maybe under a different name, has plenty of work ahead of it. They
may have won the war, but they still have to win the peace. Have a beer,
get a good night's sleep, and then back to work.

Hey, is anybody going to light a victory bonfire in Mirko's nightclub? When
it's closed of course. Better yet, hijack a water cannon truck and hose
down the walls. As you can see, I despise dictators but despise their brats
even more.

Well, that's enough Monday (Tuesday) morning quarterbacking for today...

Forget Sting & Bono, how about Ninja Tune?

>Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2000 03:07:54 +0200
>From: Aleksandar Gubas <eurindie@sezampro.yu>
>>- Everybody will love Serbia, and the Serbs will be everybody's pets
>>like the Croats are now.
>The Croats have begun paying 25% more expensive electricity bills a few
>days ago.
>About three months ago, the US ambassador in Zagreb appeared at the 20.00
>tv news to angrily warn the Croats that they have to respect agreements: in
>this case, it was a disastrous contract that the Enron multinational group
>had pushed  on them to buy electricity at 30% above market price, plus a
>very fishy agreement to build a giant power station. True, it was Tudjman
>who sponsored the agreement, two years before, since he had been promised
>that he would be received by Clinton in return for the favour.
>The present government did some attempt to renegotiate that disastrous
>deal. The fighting behind the scene must have been fierce, since something
>of it even made it to the media.
>Yet, what is actually written in that contract never came to public opinion
>in its entirety. But Croats know by their electricity bills by now.
>And Mesic and Racan did go to Washington. Lots of "business meetings".
>Everybody was overjoyed.
>The way Enron does business around the world is well documented by Human
>Rights Watch, Corporate Watch and similar organizations. The way they send
>US ambassadors and political delegations to weak countries, just out of a
>war (apart from Croatia, they did it in Kuwait), or with "developing"
>economies (see what they did in India, what they are trying to do in China,
>Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines). They pave the ways for "deals" where
>these poor countries will buy electricity from Enron at disastrous prices.
>Let them build enormous power stations which are not fit either for the
>economic system or the environment of the country - always at disastrous
>Now that Serbia is finally a democratic country, it will enjoy the benefits
>of globalization too.
>Apart from Enron, they will probably be visited by Bechtel, which is
>building a part of the Zagreb-Rijeka motorway in Croatia (they will be sure
>happy to help rebuiild the Serbian bridges too). Another fantastic case of
>"foreign investment" that the country is so hungry of, and that politicians
>and media trumpet about all the time.
>We will bring money if you give us the deal, that's the idea. Sure, they
>bring credits - the idea that credits are not gifts but loans to be repaid,
>with interest, is somewhat still unfamiliar to the former paradise of Tito
>and Markovic (where you got money to build a house and years later returned
>a packet of cigarettes...). Anyway, Bechtel just brought a loan for a third
>of the sum needed.
>Under condition that the Croatian counterpart bought from them 120 $ worth
>of building equipment.
>That's not the end. The rat race is now open among Croatian building
>companies (many of them are on the brink of economic collapse due to
>internal stagnation), to get the subcontracting deals from Bechtel. Lowest
>price gest deal, how will the locals pay their workers, guarantee their
>working safety conditions and similar trifles, pay attention to
>environmental consequences... boh! It's their problem.
>Couldn't Croatia let its own companies work, without paying interest to
>foreign banks and buying absurd quantities of foreign equipment?
>Welcome to the modern age.
>>So, what to tell at the end?
>>Milosevic is gone, and life is beautiful. The brave Western world will
>>the Serbs
>Yeah, that's what I meant....
>(sorry the tirade wasn't about artists, but I guess they pay electricity
>bills too...)
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