It was a New Years' evening like any other. All around the country Yugoslav families came together to enjoy this day together. The most-watched channel was the primary federal broadcaster which was broadcasting the 'Top 500'. The people could vote for their favourite songs, which the TV station would form a list of and play until a quarter to midnight, December 31st. After that, as usual in the last years, The National Anthem of the SFRY was played. All over the country people stood up and song. Once the anthem ended, everyone sat down and saw the President of Serbia, Miroslav Vojvodić, sitting down at his desk under a portrait of Tito after he stood for the anthem and turned to the camera, or rather the autocue behind it.
"We have spilt an ocean of blood for the brotherhood and unity of our peoples and we shall not allow anyone to touch or destroy it from within."
-Marshal Josip Broz Tito, Leader of Yugoslavia from 1943 to 1980, President from 1953 to 1980
Prologue. December 31st, 2012
New Years' Radio and TV Adress of the Yugoslav Presidency by M. A. Vojvodić, President of the Socialist Republic of Serbia
"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Yugoslavs of all ages and from all walks of life. I greet you on the last moments of the year 2012. Before I adress you, I would like to express my deep gratitude towards all viewers and listeners in Serbia for trusting me in the office of president. It means a lot to me that the common man trusts me, a Sergeant of the People's Army and a welder from the docks to run the daily affairs of their republic. Similarly, I hope that for the next five years I can honour your trust.
The Federal Executive Council has shown my seven colleagues and I the economic data from last year, and they show that all sectors of the economy have become more profitable in the last year, while it is still apparent from employment and growth figures that the recession is biting hard, but much less so than it did in the last years. Yugoslavia's independent economic policy is in no small part to thank for this. And while our investments in the economy have proven to have worked very well, and our foreign debt continues to diminish, we must urge all who can to spend their money and invest it into the market too, because economic growth comes from the bottom and goes up, and not from presidential order. And with a population of nearly 28 million, Yugoslavia can play a large role in reviving the European and global economy.
But let us never forget the dangers our country faces. The Yugoslav People's Army has since the end of the Cold War and especially with the War on Terror gone through severe structural changes. No longer is it purely made to defend against foreign agressors but is more and more involved in peacekeeping operations, which is only natural for the 3rd largest army in Europe. Our contributions to peacekeeping around the world have been lauded by the United States and NATO. Let me assure you that the intensive cooperation with NATO will not be a path to membership. I hope that the men and women of the JNA have tuned in as well as I salute them for their noble effort. I myself have been deployed in Somalia in 1992, and I know the dangers you face every day to protect the peoples of the countries you are in as well as those of Yugoslavia and the world.
I speak of keeping peace between peoples, and to some of you, especially the youths, it may seem to be a 'far from my bed'-story. But let me urge all people, especially the youths, that our unity as a country was not easily won. To quote the Father of the Fatherland, Marshal Tito, We have spilt an ocean of blood for the brotherhood and unity of our peoples and we shall not allow anyone to touch or destroy it from within. I hope all of you take his words to heart and continue to strive for the unity of Yugoslavia, a nation of nations. Strength lies in the unity of our peoples.
And while I could talk on for days about the unity of our peoples, I will simply say that the greatest way to unite is to have a good time with your friends and family. The night is beautiful and clear, so I wish for you all to watch yourselves, have a great evening and a happy new year."
President Vojvodić then raised the glass of champagne and the screen turned to a clock counting down the last seconds of 2012 until the fireworks started going off. 2013, Socialist Yugoslavia's 70th year, just started.