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Yugoslav journalist pressured into resigning

By
NESHO DJURIC

BELGRADE, Yugosalvia -- The chief editor of a prestigious news magazine lost his job in a Communist Party crackdown on Yugoslavia's independent-minded journalists, the magazine announced.

The weekly Danas news magazine of Zagreb said its editor-in-chief, Joza Vlahovic, 53, resigned after months of pressure against journalists critical of government and Communist Party leaders as well as lower-ranking officials.

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About 80 percent of Yugoslav journalists are party members. In recent months officials have accused them of trying to become the party's 'political partners' and of painting political and economic problems in a gloomy light.

Yugoslavia, which helped create the non-aligned movement in 1961, has followed a largely independent path since the late President Josip Broz Tito removed it from the Soviet bloc in 1948.

In recent months, a number of editors in publishing houses, radio and television stations and newspapers have resigned, bowing to political pressure for not following party officials' orders.

In its session May 11, the workers' council of the Vjesnik Socialist Alliance organization accepted Vlahovic's resignation and named another veteran journalist, Zivko Milic, as Danas' acting chief editor.

Vjesnik publishing house puts out Danas as well as the Vjesnik newspaper. A new chief editor was to be appointed later.

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Chief among Vlahovic's critics has been Josip Vrhovec, 57, foreign minister from 1978-82 and slated to become president of the Croatian Communist Party next month.

Vrhovec, former Vjesnik correspondent in the United States, had urged the Zagreb party organization in February to 'clean up the situation' in the Danas editorial board.

Vrhovec had claimed that communists in the Vjesnik publishing house were not capable of coping with Danas.

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