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Yugoslavia: Independent Radio Station Back On Air

Belgrade, 2 August 1999 (RFE/RL) - Serbia's leading independent radio station is back on the air more than four months after it was taken over by the government of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic on the day NATO began its air campaign against Yugoslavia. Radio B2-92 -- the new name for Radio B-92 -- resumed its broadcasts this morning with coverage of two stories not mentioned by Serbia's official media: a speech by Serb opposition leader Dragoslav Avramovic and a visit to Moscow by Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic, a critic of Milosevic.

B2-92 reported Djukanovic's statement that Montenegro might leave the Yugoslav republic if it does not win political and economic reforms. It also gave live coverage to today's protest of the government's agricultural policies by farmers in the northern province of Vojvodina, who are using some 100 tractors to block a main road to Belgrade.

B2-92 is broadcasting from studios and on a wavelength given to it by Radio-Studio-B, a station controlled by Vuk Draskovic, leader of the opposition Serb Renewal Party.

Also today, Serb farmers blocked two main roads from Belgrade to the northern Vojvodina region to press demands for changes in farm policy and the resignation of the agriculture minister.

In an action organized by the opposition group Vojvodina Coalition, farmers blocked the roads leading to Romania and to Vojvodina's provincial capital of Novi Sad.

Farmers want higher prices for wheat and government subsidies for wheat producers. They also want more import of petrol, animal foodstuffs and agricultural machine parts.

Vojvodina, a province with two million people, is the agricultural heart of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Several opposition groups have called for economic and administrative autonomy for Vojvodina, accusing Belgrade of "exploiting" the province's riches.