Daily Survey

Belgrade, June 6, 2012



BELGRADE, June 5 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic stated at a meeting with Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Angola Candido Pereira Dos Santos Van Dunem that there are great potentials for cooperation between the two countries in different fields, from industry to education.Nikolic voiced satisfaction with the open cooperation between the two countries, based on equality and mutual respect, the president's press service released in a statement.Nikolic pointed out that Serbia cooperates with all countries, and even those which see the issue of Kosovo differently. "When it comes to the cooperation with The Republic of Angola, there is great potential in different areas, from industry to education," he said and voiced belief that all initiated projects with Angola will be realized successfully, especially after the forming of the new Serbian government.The minister of defense of Angola thanked Nikolic for a warm welcome and conveyed greetings from President of Angola Jose Eduardo dos Santos. He pointed out that after ten years of peace, Angola awaits a difficult task of boosting the living standard of its citizens, and added that several related development projects have been launched in which Serbia can greatly contribute for mutual benefit.The meeting was also attended by Defense Minister Sutanovac.


BELGRADE, June 5 (Tanjug) –Prime Minister Cvetkovic said at a meeting with Minister of National Defence of Angola Candido Pereira Van-Dunem that Serbia is very interested in promoting bilateral cooperation with Angola in all segments.Cvetkovic said that this especially relates to the economic plan, where there is significant potential for intensification and improvement of cooperation.The prime minister expressed his gratitude to Angola for its principled stance of non-recognition of the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo-Metohija, and voiced his expectation that it would continue the same policy. He emphasised the importance of the Agreement on defense cooperation signed earlier. The two officials estimated that the promotion of future cooperation, except in military and economic area, is possible in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture, mining and energy.


BELGRADE, June 5 (Tanjug) –The World Summit on Sustainable Development Rio +20 will be held from June 20 to 22 in Rio de Janeiro, and the Serbian state delegation will be headed by President Tomislav Nikolic, the State Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning Ivica Radovic said on Tuesday. Radovic said at a celebration marking World Environment Day that the delegation would also include Ministers of Foreign Affairs Vuk Jeremic and Environment Oliver Dulic. The conference in Brazil will focus on green economy and on other important topics in the field of environment, Radovic said. Chief Executive in the Ministry of Environment Miroslav Tadic said earlier that the preparations for participation in the upcoming World Summit Rio +20, commenced in April 2011 and that a document that will be the platform for Serbia's participation at the conference will soon be available to the public. The document includes five chapters, three of which constitute its basis - green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty reduction, institutional framework for sustainable development and a framework for sectoral policies.


BELGRADE, June 5 (Tanjug) –Serbia's new government will have to take urgent steps to cut the budget deficit and public debt.The Fiscal Council has given useful advice to that end, but it is up to the future government to implement those or other measures with the same goal, World Bank experts stated.World Bank economist for Serbia Lazar Sestovic told a news conference the sooner the fiscal adjustment was achieved and the budget deficit reduced the better off Serbia would be, because it would mean lower loan interest rates and more credibility in the eyes of investors.The budget deficit has grown significantly, he said presenting the World Bank report on Southeastern Europe. If measures for fiscal consolidation were adopted as soon as July, it would be good for the country, because the measures would affect the final months of 2012 and partly cancel out the negative events of early 2012, he noted."Each passing day costs us dearly, and the sooner the measures are implemented the better it will be," Sestovic underlined.Serbia's consumption cannot grow infinitely and the increase of the budget deficit and the debt needed to cover it has to be stopped, he stated, adding that the Fiscal Council had provided useful material in that sense.World Bank's leading economist for the Western Balkans Zeljko Bogetic remarked that Serbia needed a fiscal consolidation to aviod future problems with financing, and that it had to address the public debt issue.Bogetic underscored he supported the programme proposed by the Fiscal Council, adding that it was achievable, necessary and provided a good map for fiscal reforms. He hopes the programme will be implemented in the near future.



WASHINGTON, June 5 (Tanjug) – Spokesperson of the U.S. Department of State Mark Toner said that the statements denying genocide in Srebrenica are counterproductive to promoting stability and reconciliation in the region."Genocide in Srebrenica is not a subjective determination - it is a defined criminal act which the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has confirmed in final and binding verdicts in multiple cases," reads a statement by the Department of State.Toner said that the International Court of Justice also has concluded that genocide occurred in Srebrenica, and that this cannot be denied. "President Nikolic has an opportunity to set a constructive tone within the region, but such unfounded statements about Srebrenica and other war crimes are counterproductive to promoting stability and reconciliation in the region," the statement adds.Toner also called on all parties to take responsible actions in support of cooperation and reconciliation. In an interview with Radio Television of Montenegro, broadcast on May 31, Nikolic said that it is difficult to prove before a court that an event qualifies as genocide. "There was no genocide in Srebrenica. A great crime happened in Srebrenica that was committed by some members of the Serb people, who should be found, tried and punished," said Nikolic.


BELGRADE, June 6 (Tanjug) – I hope that the statement by President Nikolic denying genocide in Srebrenica was just a gaffe, Danish Ambassador in Belgrade Mette Kjuel Nielsen has stated.In the election night, Nikolic said that he will endeavor to approach Serbia to the EU, and then reiterated the pledge when taking the oath of office in the Serbian parliament. We welcome these words, and hope that they will be turned into actions, she said for Belgrade daily Danas.The ambassador said that Denmark, which is the current EU chair, has a clear stand on Srebrenica, and that it rejects any attempts at rewriting history.The massacre in Srebrenica was genocide, and this was confirmed by both the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice. This is a black mark on European history, which must not be forgotten or repeated, Nielsen said.


ZAGREB, June 5 (Tanjug) –Croatia's interest as a country is to build good relations with all countries, including Serbia, and I hope that the positions of newly elected Serbian President Nikolic will change, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic stated. We have made significant progress in relations in the past two to three years, and it would be a shame if those relations stopped developing due to tackless and wrong statements and political concepts, Josipovic said, commenting Nikolic's recent statement on Vukovar. "Of course, Croatia reacted to those statements, and I hope Nikolic's positions will change," he told the Media Servis during his visit to Vukovar, eastern Croatia. The Croatian media reported, in an interview for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Nikolic said that Vukovar was a Serbian city and that Croats had no reason to go back there, which was later fiercely denied by Nikolic's cabinet, but had previously provoked strong reactions of Croatian officials and public.


BELGRADE, June 6 (Tanjug) - Reconciliation with the past and regional cooperation are of crucial importance for the European integration process of the Western Balkans, it was stated by participants of the debate dubbed 'Regional Cooperation and European Integration' in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Milica Delevic, director of the Serbian government's office for the European integrations, underlined that the EU expects to see a region which cooperates and irreversibly moves towards the EU."Regional cooperation is also important for all of us in the region in order to overcome the problems of the past and use the chance for the future," Delevic said.Noting that the entire region has come a long way since the nineties, which were marked by wars and conflicts, she said that there are still a number of open issues, which should be resolved in a constructive manner.Head of the EU delegation to Serbia Vincent Degert agreed that regional cooperation is the core of the EU integration process.It is impossible to create a common future if not able to face the past together, Degert said in his opening address.He noted that in approaching the EU, the countries of the east and central Europe signed the European agreement, which in case of the western Balkan countries was called the Stabilization and Association Agreement.The term 'stabilization' was included in the context with the regional countries referring to the issue of reconciliation with the past, he said, adding that this implies justice for war victims and trials before the Hague Tribunal and domestic courts.Reconciliation also implies creation of an atmosphere suitable for common life and work, return of refugees, and bilateral issues such as demarcation of borders and formation of bilateral commissions addressing these issues, the EU ambassador said.When it comes to Serbia, the issue of Kosovo is still a problematic and critical topic. At times, you may hear someone saying: 'We do not want to address this issue, we want to freeze it and look it only from the legal point of view'. This is not the approach that Serbia and 27 EU member states have adopted, Degert underlined.Dusko Lopandic, assistant foreign minister, stated that Serbia is fully engaged in the regional cooperation process, and promotion of relations with the neighboring countries and the situation in the region which, according to him, is much better than it used to be a few years ago.The expert debate in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was organized by the European Movement in Serbia and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.


ZAGREB, June 6 (Tanjug) – The position of Serbs in Croatia, as well as all other minorities, is good, but not so perfect that it could not be improved, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic said Tuesday in Vukovar.Josipovic said the position of Serbs was still burdened by the aftermath of the war, but that he hoped all adopted legislation would be fully implemented, starting with the law on the rights of national minorities.The topics included representation of Serbs at the level of assistant ministers in the Croatian government, education in their mother tongue, participation of Serbs in local government, and tenant purchase that is proceeding too slowly, a problem which is troubling all citizens.