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Team Berserkistan First Across Yugoslav Confrontation Line
Croatian Highway to Serbia Opens
For First Time in 5 Years

On the Zagreb-Belgrade Motorway Croatian-Yugoslavian Border, May 7 (Berserkistan) — History was made today when UN, Croatian, and Yugoslavian diplomats cut a blue ribbon at a remote border checkpoint along the Zagreb-Belgrade motorway. As part of a UN brokered deal, the main motor way from Zagreb to Belgrade was opened to civilian traffic for the first time in five years. UN honor guards, Croatian police and customs agents, a sizable diplomatic mission and hordes of press sweltered in the heat for several hours as various statements and protocols were carried out.

The first non-UN individual to cross into Yugoslavia proper was Berserkistan Editor and Chief Jim Bartlett. Bartlett and several other European journalists ventured over to the Yugoslav side of the border in search of pictures and a café bar when they inquired of Serbian border police if indeed the road was open to non-UN personnel.

After the European members of the team were told they would have to apply for visas at the Yugoslav consulate in Zagreb, they informed Bartlett that as a US citizen he could apply for a visa at the border. This was due to an agreement with the U.S. State Department allowing US citizens to apply for and receive visas on the spot. Bartlett accepted the offer and within minutes was granted his visa.

On the Zagreb-Belgrade Motorway While his European colleagues complained loudly to the Yugoslav police, Bartlett began his historic walk across the border. After receiving his entry stamp from police, he walked past the border gate and through the customs area to the other side. Once there he discovered that the customary café bar and duty free shops were not yet in place. With nothing around for miles except forest and nervous Serbian Policemen, Mr. Bartlett walked around the building to the outbound lane, informed the customs officer he had nothing to declare, shook hands all around and departed the Republic of Yugoslavia.

He then returned to the horde of various press agencies and waited for the diplomatic delegations who were an hour late for the opening. After the wait, the delegations, headed up by UNTAES administrator Jacques Klien, arrived and attempted to bring order to the press corps gathered there.

With no more luck controlling the press then they have the warring factions, the UN and Croatian delegations simply cut the ribbon after assembled journalists swarmed over the yellow tape marking the press area and made a dash for the border, leaving a platoon of Jordanian UN Peace Keepers in position to keep the pursuing press at bay. They returned just as quickly, apparently also discovering no cafes or duty free shops and departed in their respective motorcades.

Additional resources
May 7 · Croatia Re-Opens Motorway to Serbia


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