Daily Survey

Belgrade, August 09, 2012

SERBIA

MRKIC: CYPRUS WILL SUPPORT SERBIA ON EU PATH

NICOSIA, August 09 (Tanjug) –Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkic said that Cyprus will wholeheartedly support Serbia's European integration, but that the important thing for Serbia is to continue internal reforms.Summing up his visit to Cyprus, Mrkic told that he had friendly and fruitful talks with his hosts.This was Mrkic's first visit abroad since taking office.Cyprus is presiding over the EU and as a true friend of Serbia will wholeheartedly support it as it continues on its path toward the EU, Mrkic said. Mrkic met in Nicosia with Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, who said her country's wish and goal was for Serbia to get a date for starting accession talks with the EU before the end of the Cypriot presidency, which lasts until the end of the year.Mrkic also met with Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias on Tuesday.This was an opportunity to convey greetings from Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and arrange their meeting during the UN General Assembly session in New York next month, he said.He said bilateral visits would be arranged later.Mrkic also stressed Cyprus's full support to Serbia's territorial integrity and sovereignty.Of course, Serbia responds in kind when it comes to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Cyprus, Mrkic concluded.

NIKOLIC & DODIK: SERBIA-RS COOPERATION IMPORTANT NATIONAL TASK

BELGRADE, August 09 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic and Republika Srpska (RS) President Milorad Dodik stated on Wednesday that there is a constant need for improvement of cooperation between Belgrade and Banja Luka on grounds of agreements on special and parallel ties.During the meeting in Belgrade, the two presidents agreed that maintaining close and friendly ties between Serbia and RS in all areas of life is a guarantee of stability, a basis for the future and first-rate national task, the president's press service released.During the meeting, the two top officials discussed mutual cooperation between presidents and the activation of the Council for implementation of the agreement on special and parallel relations between Serbia and RS.Nikolic said that he would invest maximum efforts so that the friendly ties between Serbia and RS could continue improving, and added that peace and stability in the region constitute the absolute priority.The Serbian president announced adoption of a national strategy for Kosovo-Metohija and explained that Serbia has not put forth a tangible plan so far and that it merely responded to requests coming from the other side.When it comes to RS, Nikolic underscored the necessity of remaining committed to the Dayton Treaty.On the other hand, Dodik underscored that RS would continue to promote respect for the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 on Kosovo-Metohija.Dodik informed the Serbian president about a series of strategic projects realised in RS, especially in the energy sector, infrastructure, telecommunications and development of agriculture and tourism.

DODIK: BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA ILLUSION OF COUNTRY

BELGRADE, August 09 (Tanjug) –Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik said that creating a Bosnia-Herzegovina foreign policy while disregarding the principle that all foreign policy decisions must be made through a consensus was just another proof of that country's dysfunctionality."Bosnia-Herzegovina is in a state of permanent crisis, which proves its inability to survive. It exists only because the international community maintains an illusion of it functioning, otherwise it would not exist," Dodik told reporters in Belgrade after meeting with Serbia's President Tomislav Nikolic.Commenting on the vote by the Bosnia-Herzegovina representative in the UN regarding the resolution on Syria, which was not coordinated with Banja Luka officials, Dodik pointed out that Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija had violated the Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the inter-party agreement made when the Council of Ministers was formed.Dodik said he would use his party's parliamentary group in the Bosnia-Herzegovina parliament to request that Lagumdzija be discharged, stressing that no one could decide on behalf of Republika Srpska except its legitimately elected officials.When asked by a reporter what the answer for the latest political crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina was, Dodik said the answer was making itself obvious.

AMBASSADORS IN GUCA

GUCA, August 09 (Tanjug) –Ambassador of the U.S. Mary Warlick, Denmark Mette Kjuel Nielsen, Mexico Mercedes Ruiz Zapata and Australia Helena Studdert visited Guca and said they were pleased to have been invited to the 52nd brass band festival there.

KOSOVO

STEFANOVIC: SERBIA IS NOT CHANGING VIEW ON OBLIGATIONS

BELGRAD, August 09 (Tanjug) –Parliament Speaker Nebojsa Stefanovic said during a meeting with UK Deputy Ambassador to Serbia David McFarlane on Thursday there would be no changes in Serbia's view regarding the obligations assumed over the course of the talks between Belgrade and Pristina, the speaker's cabinet has released.The release says McFarlane was particularly interested in Stefanovic's statement that he would, as parliament speaker, insist on complete openness and consensus regarding Kosovo.Stefanovic noted that Serbia's position in the talks with Pristina was based on UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and that it would continue to be so, but he added that the parliment had played a small role recently concerning many issues, including that one."In the future, there will be insistence on receiving all the information about the talks and agreements, as well as about the level, goals and schedule of the talks," says the release.The two also discussed groups of British-Serbian friendship, and McFarlane stressed that they had existed in both parliaments, as well as the importance of their roles in the cooperation between the two countries' top legislative institutions, and he suggested that such cooperation be improved once such a group was formed in the new Serbian parliament to include expert contacts and exchange of their experience.Mcfarlane congratulated Stefanovic on being appointed parliament speaker, adding he hoped the cooperation between the two parliaments, the Serbian and the British, but also the cooperation of the UK embassy with the Serbian parliament would continue and improve.The special role of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy was stressed concerning further activities in conveying experience to Serbian parliament members, especially when it comes to the parliament controlling the work of the government.Stefanovic underscored he would insist on further opening the parliament towards the public, which especially refers to the work the committee, which will also have a more significant role in controlling the executive power, the release says.

DACIC & ZARIF: INADEQUATE RESPONSE OF PRISTINA TO ATTACKS

BELGRADE, August 09 (Tanjug) –Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Ivica Dacic and UNMIK Chief Farid Zarif agreed Wednesday that the provisional institutions in Pristina did not respond adequately to the frequent attacks on the Serbian population and Serbian shrines in the province.During the meeting in Belgrade, Dacic and Zarif said that refraining from unilateral moves is a condition for peace and sustainable stability, as well as that all resolutions to problems in the province must be in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and verified by the UN Security Council.The prime minister stressed that only a just solution can guarantee lasting stability in the province, voicing his concern over the fact that the investigation into illegal trafficking in human organs in Kosovo-Metohija has not advanced enough and that there is a lot of resistance in the province to all attempts at shedding light on these crimes.Dacic and Zarif agreed that peace and stability in Kosovo-Metohija must be secured and that dialogue is irreplaceable in resolving all unresolved issues in the southern province.The Serbian government acknowledges all agreements reached during the technical dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and believes that the various interpretations of solutions should be overcome.

SERBIA – ECONOMY

LJAJIC: UNSUCCESSFUL COMMERCIAL ATTACHES TO BE WITHDRAWN

BELGRADE, August 09 (Tanjug) –Rasim Ljajic, deputy prime minister and minister of domestic and foreign trade, announced he will require from commercial attaches to report on their work as soon as possible.Whether they will go on with their duties depends on the results they have achieved, Ljajic told the daily Press.Based on the reports, we will decide whether we will relieve them of their post and appoint someone else. It may even happen that the office of commercial attache will cease to exist altogether in some countries, should they prove as unsuccessful, said Ljajic, who is in charge of the attaches.Ljajic said that the success of the envoys would be determined in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and Economy, headed by Mladjan Dinkic.At the present, Serbia has 27 commercial attaches worldwide. They were appointed to the post in October 2010, and their main task is to attract as many local investors as possible.

DINKIC: EUR 2 BILLION WORTH OF FUNDS FOR SERBIA

BELGRADE, August 09 (Tanjug) –Minister of Finance and Economy Mladjan Dinkic stated that the talks on granting around EUR 2 billion worth of funds to Serbia are underway, and announced that a delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should visit Serbia soon to discuss a new arrangement.We are on the path to closing a contract on solvent funds that would ensure regular payment of salaries and pensions, Dinkic said but he did not wish to specify the details except that the funds come from foreign sources.For the less part, the funds would be covered by issuing securities, Dinkic said and announced that the plan for issuing Eurobonds in 2012 remains in force.There will be no cuts in salaries and pensions which would be adjusted to the situation in the economy, and there would be no dismissals in public services while the crisis lasts, Dinkic reiterated and added that more details about this would be known after the talks with trade union representatives.During a briefing for economics reporters, Dinkic said that he called on the IMF to visit Serbia and added that in the earlier talks with the IMF, it became clear that the previously frozen precautionary arrangement no longer has any effect for the country, which is why a completely new arrangement would be closed with the IMF.Replying to the reporter's questions as to the Tuesday decision of the U.S. credit rating agency Standard and Poor's to lower Serbia's long-term credit rating by one percent, from BB to BB- with a negative forecast, Dinkic said that the improvement of the country's rating would depend on the fulfilment of the plan for budget deficit reduction and the success in the recovery of the economy and exit from recession.He said that the National Bank of Serbia should implement the same policy as the Finance Ministry, 'nothing more and nothing less,' with a view to preserving macroeconomic stability.

DINKIC: SERBIA IS IN RECESSION

BELGRADE, August 09 (Tanjug) –Minister of Finance and Economy Mladjan Dinkic stated Wednesday that Serbia is in recession as the data showed that the GDP drop in the first quarter amounted to 1.3 percent, and 0.6 percent in the second.Dinkic said these are preliminary data, but added that the precise figures can only be worse.The economic situation is additionally aggravated by the draught, Dinkic said, and announced measures such as a cut in procurement of fertilizers, seeds and fuel.Speaking about the budget, Dinkic said that the deficit of the consolidated account amounts over seven percent of the GDP, while the deficit of the Republic of Serbia surpasses five percent of the GDP, and noted that the planned deficit was 4.25 percent.Dinkic noted that when he took over ministerial duties in the government of Mirko Cvetkovic, the budget surplus stood at EUR 1.1 billion, and today deficit amounts to EUR 2.2 billion. Today, the budget deficit amounts to RSD 225 billion, and together with obligations, which have not been registered in the budget, such as RSD 8 billion for Fiat and about one billion for expropriation of land at Corridor 11, the deficit amounts to RSD 235 billion, Dinkic said.Serbia's public debt amounted around 30 percent of the GDP five years ago, and today it is about 55 percent of the GDP, according to the NBS data, and 53.5 percent according to the data of the Ministry of Finance, Dinkic stated.Dinkic said that Serbia should allocate around EUR 3.4 billion this year, and about EUR 3.6 next year, stressing that these figures have to be reduced in spite of huge needs.