Yugoslavia: Modernizing by Fire

In Belgrade, a furniture company was saved from bankruptcy when fire destroyed its antiquated— but well insured— plant. In the town of Pirot, a money-losing rubber factory, also insured, went up in flames. In Bosnia, a meat-packing plant mysteriously burned down.

Throughout Yugoslavia, factories are bursting into flames at a rate described by Zagreb's weekly Vijesnik u Srijedu as "a fire and a half a day." Asked Bel grade radio last week: "Are we going to see our entire industry disappear in billows of smoke?"

By remarkable coincidence, most of the fires break out in establishments that are in deep financial...

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