The turning point: 1986–87
Milošević, Kučan, Vllasi-the new protagonists In retrospect, one can establish that as early as 1985 those elements which would later tear apart the Yugoslav state were already visible. The communist regime set itself against genuine democratization as well as against any earnest reforms of the economic system. The new administration of Branko Mikulić did not even want to hear anything more about the macro-economic adjustments with which the previous administration of Milka Planinc had occupied itself. One could readily argue that the level of debt now reached, of about $20 billion, had rendered fundamental reform impossible. Serbian policy vis-à-vis Kosovo was, moreover, pushing the country in a direction holding great danger both for the constitutional order and for the country’s non-Serbian peoples. While the democratization process in Serbia and Montenegro stagnated and nationalist extremism gathered strength, people in the western part of Yugoslavia, and especially in Slovenia, watched with growing concern. The army, finally, was not prepared, under any circumstances, to give up its privileged position.