New Prime Minister Ante Markovic, a liberal reformer, has urged Yugoslavs to pull together to haul the country out of economic crisis.
Markovic, a Croatian and political rival of Yugoslav Communist Party boss Stipe Suvar, was named by the State Presidency Thursday.He replaces Branko Mikulic, who quit Dec. 30 after a showdown with parliament over his policies.
"I have no chance, nobody has a chance, unless we all work together," Markovic said, commenting on Yugoslavia's economic problems which include a $22-billion debt and 251 percent inflation.
Markovic, 64, an industrial manager and engineer, was opening a new factory in a tariff-free trade zone at the Adriatic port of Split when the appointment was announced.
He has served as president and prime minister of Croatia, and as a member of the ruling Yugoslav Communist Party's policy-making Central Committee.
He has also worked on economic reform committees, favoring far-reaching de-regulation of the socialist economy. He believes in liberal foreign investment and closer economic ties with the West, especially with the European Community.
Markovic was chosen over rival candidate, Borisav Jovic, 60, a Communist Party functionary from the biggest republic Serbia.
Western and Yugoslav analysts view the appointment as evidence that a broad political compromise might have been struck between the two largest republics, Croatia and Serbia.
The compromise could mean Jovic and other Serbs will get cabinet posts in the Markovic government.
Jovic is a staunch supporter of hardline Serbian Communist Party leader Slobodan Milosevic who has been trying to boost Serbia's power within the federation of six republics and two provinces.
Milosevic told a provincial party meeting Thursday that everyone who caused the economic crisis and opposed reforms should now be swept out of office "from the factory to the federation."