Daily Survey

Belgrade, May 07, 2012

SERBIA

REP. ELECTORAL COMMISSION: SECOND ROUND OF PRESID. ELECTIONS 20.05.

BELGRADE, May 07 (Tanjug) - Serbia will get a new president on May 20, in the second round of presidential elections, since none of the candidates won the majority of votes in the first round.According to the law on electing the president, the voting must be repeated within 15 days from the day of holding the first polling.The two candidates who won the most votes - Boris Tadic, the candidate of the Democratic Party, and Tomislav Nikolic, the candidate of the Serbian Progressive Party - will take part in the second round.The candidate who won the highest number of votes in the first round will appear as the first on ballot papers.The one with most votes in the second round will be elected President of the Republic of Serbia, and if the candidates win the same number of votes, the next round will be organized within 15 days.The mandate of the future president starts from the day of taking the oath before the parliament.The Republic Electoral Commission stated late Sunday that based on a sample of 25.98 percent of polling stations, Tadic won 24.81 percent, while Tomislav Nikolic won 24.71 percent of the vote in the first round of Serbia's presidential elections.

KACIN WELCOMES SUCCESS OF PRO-EUROPEAN PARTIES

BRUSSELS , May 07 (Tanjug) - Rapporteur of the European Parliament (EP) Jelko Kacin welcomed the success of pro-European parties in the Serbian parliamentary elections held on May 6, reads the release published by his deputy Sasa Butorac.I think that it is of immense importance that extremist parties lacked support, as well as that polling stations saw no major irregularities, Kacin said.I expect that political parties which secured seats in the parliament should open talks on the formation of the new government which would have a clear reform plan with the European agenda.Reaching an agreement on a new coalition prior to the presidential run-off would be a good signal and sign that the new government would be operational. Serbia's EU integration is in the final phase. Irrespective of the composition of the new government and its prime minister, it is vital to continue the dialogue with Pristina and implement the reached agreements, Kacin said.At the same time, the authorities should work on strengthening the rule of law, and Serbia's economic recovery.Therefore, I hope that the new government will set down to work as soon as possible, and that the new parliament will be constituted in the shortest possible time frame, so that the cooperation with the Eu institutions could continue without hindrances. I expect that the frontrunners Tadic and Nikolic will lead a fair campaign in the run-up to the second round scheduled for May 20, Kacin said.

DEGERT HAPPY WITH PRO-EU PARTIES' ELECTION RESULTS

BELGRADE, May 07 (Tanjug) - Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Vincent Degert said on Sunday he was pleased the pro-European parties had scored good results at the elections in Serbia.It is too early for final comments on the elections, but it can already be said that the pro-European parties have achieved significant results, he stated at a reception just after the elections, organized by Tanjug and the CorD magazine.It can be presumed that the work on Serbia's EU integration done in recent years can be continued, Degert told. Commenting on whether Serbia could get the start date for the accession talks by the end of the year after such election results, Degert pointed out that the European Commission had recommended it, but that Serbia had to work out a couple of issues first.The relations Belgrade and Pristina need to be improved, he added.There has already been work on it, and some progress, so the work should continue in that direction, he noted.Serbia also needs to address economic issues and restructuring, Degert continued.The rule of law, meaning the judiciary and corruption, should also be addressed.The people should expect progress in all fields from the new government, which will hopefully be formed quickly, he stated.

SERBIAN CULTURE & TOURISM PRESENTED IN WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON, May 07 (Tanjug) - The Serbian Embassy in Washington organized Saturday a presentation of Serbian culture, tourism potential and gastronomy, as part of the Passport Day event.Passport Day is a day when many embassies in Washington open their doors to the public and offer them a chance to get to know the culture of the country. The Serbian Embassy and the Tourism Organization of Serbia prepared a program of Serbian traditional dances and young musician Marko Djordjevic performed with his ethno jazz band. American and Serb guests were offered a taste of culinary specialties - cevapcici, prsuta, ajvar and kajmak, and representatives of the Embassy talked about Serbia's tourism offer.

AGREEMENT ON SAVA WATERWAY MAINTENANCE SIGNED

BELGRADE, May 04 (Tanjug) - Representatives of the governments of Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) signed on Friday the Agreement on navigation on inland waters and their technical maintenance, which primarily covers a part of the Sava River from Brcko to Belgrade and its total value adds up to EUR 5,5 million.Serbian Minister for Infrastructure and Energy Milutin Mrkonjic pointed out at the signing ceremony that the agreement covers the joint section of the Sava waterway.Having in mind the fact that the Sava River connects two countries and with a view to more economical consumption of energy and environmental protection, reconstruction and enhancement of sailing along the river is of key importance for industrial development and calls for improvement of relations with BiH, Mrkonjic stated.The minister recalled that the Strategy for the development of road, waterway, aerial and inter-waterway traffic in Serbia envisages gradual development of inland waterways on Serbia's waterway network, which also includes the Sava River.BiH Minister for Communications and Transport Damir Hadzic stated that in addition to the waterway and technical maintenance, the agreement also covers investments in tangible projects which would be preceded by new inter-state agreements.Hadzic noted that the agreement covers demining, environmental protection and the main project aimed at opening of the waterway on the Sava River.This is an important investment project from the standpoint of rehabilitation as well and modernization of waterways which is being carried out both with Serbia and Croatia on the section from Sisak to Brcko, Hadzic said and added that the Sava River is ideal for more economical transport which would be acceptable from the environmental point of view as well.

SERBIA – ECONOMY

GOVT EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR STEEL MILL UNTIL JUNE 11

BELGRADE, May 04 (Tanjug) - The Serbian government stated Friday that the deadline for the submitting of binding bids for the selection of a strategic partner for the Smederevo steel mill has been extended until June 11.The government made this decision based on the request of the participants in the tender.The applications have so far been submitted by United Pilsen S.A. from Luxembourg, Donetsksteel Group from Ukraine and Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company from Russia, the Serbian government's Media Relations Office stated.The Serbian government decided on April 12 to issue a public call for a strategic partner for the Smederevo steel mill, and the Ministry of Finance invited on April 18 a tender stating May 4 as a deadline for the submitting of binding bids.Interested buyers need to submit a EUR 1 million guarantee along with their bids.The steel mill has been in public ownership since the end of January 2012, after it has been purchased for one U.S. dollar from the U.S. Steel that pulled out from Serbia due to incurred losses.US Steel bought the bankrupt Smederevo steel mill in 2003.The steel mill employs about 5,500 workers, had a 5 per cent share in the total production in Serbia and about 14 per cent share in export.

STABILITY OF DINAR TO DEPEND ON FUTURE GOVERNMENT

BELGRADE, May 07 (Tanjug) - Goverenor of the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) Dejan Soskic said late Friday that the stability of the dinar would depend on the speed at which the future government would be formed and the continuation of reforms in the country, including a new arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).Since the beginning of the year, the dinar has depreciated by more than seven percent against the euro.On Monday, the dinar will strengthening a little and the euro will cost six paras less, at RSD 111.83.Soskic said that the pressures causing the weakening of the dinar against the euro had been present for some time.These pressures were caused, primarily, by the lack of positive review under the arrangements with the IMF, then by the withdrawal of a number of important foreign investors, and now by a kind of risk that arises from the current phase of the country's political cycle, Soskic told Radio Television of Serbia (RTS).The future of the domestic currency will depend on the steps taken by the future government, said Soskic. "It is very important for the government be formed as soon as possible, so that the reform process could be continued and intensified, particularly the reform of the public budget and the entire public sector," said the NBS governor.It is also very important to effect a positive review under the arrangement with the IMF, Soskic added.

TELEKOM SHARES WILL BE ATTRACTIVE TO INVESTORS

BELGRADE, May 07 (Tanjug) - The trade regarding Telekom Srbija shares will not differ from those of Naftna Industrija Srbije (NIS) and Airport Nikola Tesla (ANT) and higher demand is expected in the early days once the trade starts, as the supply will not be clear yet since the shares' distribution to 4.8 million people, head of WISE brokers Ana Tripovic has said.According to experts, the start of the trade in Telekom Srbija shares at the Belgrade Stock Exchange could be expected, probably, in two to three weeks, after the company submits an official request to list the shares on the market.Practice has indicated that the first days of trade in NIS and ANT shares were marked by increased demand, so it affected the price, meaning that it was unstable and fluctuating significantly and only stabilized later on.Tripovic described the Telekom shares as good and added there was interest from Serbian and foreign investors. There is no chance of a European or regional investment fund buying a package of shares on the market and influencing business decisions, she noted.The Central Securities Depository and Clearing House transferred the Telekom shares on Friday, based on a decision from the government.The market value of Telekom's capital stands at EUR 2.27 billion. Every citizen will get 31 shares. Their starting price is EUR 2.27 per share.Telekom employees and former employees will get 6.94 percent of Telekom's free shares, while the people will get 15 percent of the total of 1 billion shares.