Belgrade, June 5, 2012
NIKOLIC: THE LAST WEEK OF SERBIA'S WASTING TIME
BELGRADE, June 4 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic said that he hoped the new Serbian government would be formed soon as the citizens would not be understanding of those in charge of doing the job but unable to carry it out."I hope this will be the last week of Serbia's wasting time," the Serbian president said after almost two hours of talks with Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Irinej in the Belgrade Patriarchate building. Nikolic said he hoped he would soon be in a position to give mandates to those who would come to him and tell him they were capable of forming the government.The Serbian president said he came to the Patriarch for advice in the difficult times."We are living in difficult times and a piece of advice does not hurt," especially if coming from wise people," Nikolic said, adding that he hoped that those deciding about the future government would go for advice to wise people.
KRKOBABIC WITH WARLICK: SERBIA SHOULD CONTINUE ON EUROPEAN PATH
BELGRADE, June 4 (Tanjug) –Deputy Prime Minister Jovan Krkobabic met with U.S. Ambassador Mary Warlick on Monday and the two agreed Serbia should continue on the European path while solving numerous social and economic issues with consistency.Krkobabic, who met with Warlick at her request, informed the ambassador about the efforts to form a parliamentary majority so Serbia would get a new government as soon as possible, his office stated.The two discussed post-election political processes in Serbia, as well as the overall political situation in the country.The statement says Krkobabic and Warlick also discussed social issues and future steps towards completing the regional programme for a lasting solution to the issue of refugees and displaced persons.
SERBIA – REGION
EC: GENOCIDE INDEED DID TAKE PLACE IN SREBRENICA
BRUSSELS, June 4 (Tanjug) –The European Union holds the position that the Srebrenica genocide did indeed take place and the issue will be on the agenda of the meeting between European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and the President of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic, Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, a spokesperson for Barroso, said Monday.The European Union has a clear position and resolutely rejects any attempts at rewriting history, Hansen told a press conference in her comment on a recent statement by Nikolic denying genocide in Srebrenica.She said that a genocide and a crime against humanity did occur in Serbrenica, as confirmed by relevant judgments of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice.We can reiterate that whenever necessary, said Hansen.The topic of regional reconciliation will certainly be addressed during the talks between Barroso and Nikolic, Hansen said. The meeting between the two officials is due to take place in Brussels on June 14.
INZKO: DENYING GENOCIDE IS UNACCEPTABLE
SARAJEVO, June 4 (Tanjug) –Valentin Inzko, high representative of the international community in Bosnia-Herzegovina, said that denying genocide was unacceptable and that facing war crimes was the first step toward better relations in the region.Denying that genocide took place in Srebrenica is unacceptable and unforgivable, said Inzko, commenting on Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic's recent statement for Montenegrin television that "there was no genocide in Srebrenica."Facing war crimes is the first step toward improving relations in the region, and denying or relativizing the crime of genocide is an insult to the victims' families and humanity as a whole, and only serves to needlessly raise tension, said the Austrian diplomat, according to Sarajevo media.The release issued by the Office of the High Representative says there is no doubt as to the facts about Srebrenica, and recalls that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice both ruled that genocide took place.Inzko said truth and justice had to be respected as they are the foundation for reconciliation inside Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as its relations with its neighbors, Bosnian media reported.
CRISIS AT NORTHERN KOSOVO
EULEX: FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT HAS TO BE RESTORED
PRISTINA, June 4 (Tanjug) –EULEX believes it is necessary to restore permanent and unconditional access to northern Kosovo in order for the mission to be able to carry out activities related to the rule of law, EULEX spokesperson Anne Blanksma told.Commenting on today's decision of the crisis headquarters of Kosovska Mitrovica that EULEX be denied passage in the northern part of the municipality until further notice, Blanksma said that EULEX' stance is unchanged and that permanent and unconditional access to northern Kosovo should be established.Serbia's State Secretary at the Ministry of Kosovo-Metohija Oliver Ivanovic stated that the fear and anxiety which the Serbs in northern Kosovska Mitrovica fell are understandable, but that the local assembly should know that the decision on cooperation with EULEX is not made by the municipality, but by the future government.
BELGRADE TO DECIDE ON COOPERATION WITH EULEX
BELGRADE, June 4 (Tanjug) –State Secretary at the Ministry of Kosovo-Metohija Oliver Ivanovic stated Monday that decisions on cooperation with EULEX will be made by the future government of Serbia, and that local authorities in northern Kosovo are not entitled to decide on such matters.Speaking about today's decision of the crisis headquarters of Kosovska Mitrovica that EULEX be denied passage in the municipality until further notice, Ivanovic cautioned that each next step taken by the municipal assembly would have to be balanced in order not to narrow the next government's room for maneuver."It is understandable that Serbs in northern Kosovska Mitrovica feel fear and anxiety, which the municipal assembly is trying to articulate, but what its representatives should know is that, regardless of latest developments, the decision on cooperation with EULEX is not made by the municipality, but by the future government," Ivanovic told Tanjug."Of course, EULEX should not act beyond the scope of its mandate, and it should be status neutral according to Resolution 1244. If not, EULEX will not have cooperation with the Serb population," he added.The announcement of opening an administrative office of the Kosovo government in the north is an unnecessary provocation which will cause great tensions in an already unstable environment, Ivanovic noted."I believe that the announcement is intended to cause a quick reaction of local Serbs, which will then divert attention away from major problems.Then everyone will talk about the consequences, that is the conflict, and not about what caused that conflict," Ivanovic said.He stated that, according to information he has, the municipal crisis headquarters was formed by the municipal assembly and that it includes all institutions in Kosovska Mitrovica which can make contribution in a situation which is qualified as quite tense and uncertain."EULEX was not exposed in recent developments, but the mission must face the fact that it had jeopardized its credibility with its previous conduct and that it is now harder for it to find an interlocutor among the Serb population. No international mission, especially not the one that should implement law and order, can count on success if it does not have close cooperation with local inhabitants," Ivanovic stressed.The crisis headquarters of the municipality of Kosovska Mitrovica decided on Monday that EULEX be denied passage in northern Kosovska Mitrovica until further notice."EULEX officials will be denied free movement in northern Kosovska Mitrovica until further notice. Any attempt to enter the area by force or clear the barricades will be seen as open aggression and the responsibility for potential consequences will be on those who initiate such actions," the headquarters stated.
RASMUSSEN: KFOR ACTED IN SELF-DEFENSE
BRUSSELS, June 4 (Tanjug) –NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated that KFOR acted in self-defense during last Friday's incidents in Kosovo, and did not exclude the possibility of future attempts to remove roadblocks in the north of the province.Our troops acted in self-defense, Rasmussen told a press conference in Brussels, and added that he commends the conduct of KFOR soldiers.Two members of German KFOR and three Serb civilians were injured on June 1, during a KFOR's action of dismantling the roadblocks near Dudin Krs, which was erected by Serbs from northern Kosovo in order to prevent establishment of the customs at administrative crossings between Kosovo and central Serbia.Asked whether there will be any new removal operations, Rasmussen said that KFOR will continue to implement the mandate of the United Nations and establish a safe environment and the full freedom of movement.He added that he regrets the casualties and violence, and called on everyone to resolve problems peacefully.When asked whether NATO's policy will change after Tomislav Nikolic's election, bearing in mind Nikolic's earlier statements that "NATO is a criminal organization," the secretary general said that he does not rely on media reports about what someone said when creating a policy.We are monitoring the situation carefully, he said, and voiced hope that positive dialogue with Serbia will continue.I want to see all the countries of the Western Balkans included in the Euro-Atlantic integration and improvement of relations with Serbia, Rasmussen pointed out.
SERBIA – ECONOMY
FISCAL COUNCIL CAUTIONS ABOUT ECONOMIC SITUATION
BELGRADE, June 4 (Tanjug) –Serbia's Fiscal Council Chairman Pavle Petrovic cautioned that public spending had to be cut at all levels to secure about EUR 1 billion in savings in 2012 and 2013 so that 2014 could see economic recovery and growth.Petrovic said Monday that savings should be made in public expenditure, by freezing salaries and pensions and reducing subsidies, as well as implementing structural reforms."The scope of the problem is such that it calls for serious measures," Petrovic told Belgrade-based TV B92, adding that no representative of parliamentary parties has yet called him for talks on the matter.Petrovic said the Serbian public was still not aware of the dire situation the domestic economy was in.Answering the question whether Serbia could or should take an additional EUR 2.5 billion loan to address the accumulated problems, Petrovic said that the public debt was on an upward trajectory, and if no agreement was reached on the continuation of arrangements with the International Monetary Fund, Serbia would not be able to borrow an additional EUR 2.5 billion, or would have to do that in conditions far less favorable than before.Asked if it was better to insist on saving measures or to take out new loans to invest in the economy and stimulate consumption, Petrovic said that if spending got stimulated, the budget deficit would probably reach RSD 250 billion by the end of the year instead of the planned RSD 150 billion, and it would be of no effect whatsoever on the economy."Stimulating consumption would not lead to economic growth in 2012 and 2013," Petrovic said.Commenting on analysts' expectations that prices of basic foodstuffs in Serbia will rise by 10 percent very soon, because of the domestic currency weakening, Petrovic said that prices would not go up so easily as the demand is stagnant.
ACKERMANN: DISCIPLINED BUDGET, INVESTMENT SPENDING
WASHINGTON, June 5 (Tanjug) –Director General of Germany's Deutsche Bank Josef Ackermann has said that the most important thing for Serbia is to have a disciplined approach to the budget, as that will provide a healthy economic growth, which is the basis for reducing unemployment and boosting production.Commenting on the talks about whether Serbia should turn to investment spending or to pursuing further saving measures as a means of dealing with the crisis, Ackermann told Tanjug's correspondent in Washington that the two approaches were not necessarily opposed to each other.Budget discipline is required for healthy economic growth, as well as spending is needed to reduce unemployment, but spending should be based on a sound and healthy fiscal situation, said the CEO of Deutsche Bank.He called for a disciplined and conservative approach to budget-related policies, pointing out that it was necessary to keep public debt below 60 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).When you have a disciplined budget and a public debt in set limits, then economic growth can gain momentum, without all those obstacles brought about by an uncertain economic environment, said Ackermann.The Deutsche Bank CEO, who will soon assume the post of the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Zurich Insurance Group, Switzerland's biggest insurer, says that it is necessary to do everything to ensure the survival of the euro as its disappearance would lead to serious political and economic consequences.A fragmented Europe has no future at the global level, as major decisions would then be in the hands of India, China and other big countries, said Ackermann.