With the overthrow and resignation of Slobodan Milosevic a few days earlier and the installation of Vojislav Kostunica as the legitimate President, members of the EU were meeting on this day to discuss lifting sanctions on Serbia, including oil embargoes to Yugoslavia and flights to Western Europe by the Yugoslavia Airline. However, there was caution about lifting all the financial sanctions, saying they needed time to see if it wouldn’t benefited companies that bankrolled the Milosevic regime – and for that same reason, they were reluctant to lift the imposition for visas of Yugoslav citizens traveling to the EU. They said they didn’t want to see Milosevic’s backers coming to Europe as tourists or refugees. However, officials said it was vital that Yugoslavia feel it’s a part of Europe, now that the Milosevic regime was over.
Meanwhile, in Belgium there was controversy sparked by the presence of the Far Right party, Vlaams Blok in recent local election victories in the Dutch speaking region of Flanders. The Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said the agreement to isolate the Vlaams Blok would prevent it from holding power. The Party, which wants independence for Flanders and an end to all immigration took 33% of the vote in Antwerp, Belgium’s biggest city.
The future of China’s economic reforms was expected to head the agenda of the annual Communist Party plenum. Other subjects to be tackled were the selection of a new Communist Party leader, since current leader Jiang Zemin was set to retire in two years time.
Time flies, as it did for this October 9, 2000 as reported by The BBC World Service and their World Briefing.
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