Daily Survey

Belgrade, June 22, 2012

SERBIA

NIKOLIC HAS SEVERAL BILATERAL MEETINGS IN RIO

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 21 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic had a series of bilateral meetings with heads of state and government on the sidelines of the UN Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Nikolic conferred with high-ranking officials of Hungary, Turkey and Morocco, and had informal talks with the foreign ministers of Brazil and Bulgaria, while he had met with the Norwegian prime minister and Chilean president earlier, the president's press office said in a release."All meetings took place in a friendly atmosphere and mutual respect, and getting a date for accession talks with the EU was stressed as one of Serbia's key foreign policy goals," says the release. The officials Nikolic met with said they expected Serbia to form a government as soon as possible and wished the country success in its economic recovery.

NIKOLIC & MEDVEDEV ON SERBIA-RUSSIA ECONOMIC TIES

BELGRADE, RIO DE JANEIRO, June 21 (Tanjug) –President Nikolic met in Rio with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.The meeting focused on furthering economic relations between Serbia and Russia, Tanjug learned from the president's office. Nikolic has a series of bilateral meetings with heads of state and government lined up on the sidelines of the UN Summit, and earlier today he conferred with high-ranking officials of Hungary, Turkey and Morocco, and had informal talks with the foreign ministers of Brazil and Bulgaria."All meetings took place in a friendly atmosphere and respect, and getting a date for accession talks with the EU was stressed as one of Serbia's key foreign policy goals," says the release.

SERBIA AND "GREEN ECONOMY" AT SUMMIT IN RIO

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 21 (Tanjug) –In the scope of the UN summit in Rio de Janeiro, Serbia has organized a special meeting dedicated to green economy and sustainable development in the Adriatic and Ionian regions, which was opened by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and co-chaired by Serbian and Slovenian Ministers of Environment, Oliver Dulic and Franc Bogovic respectively.Addressing the participants, Nikolic said that Serbia and the region were committed to improving the national and regional contribution to the broad global agenda of sustainable development.We firmly believe that regional cooperation can make our voice stronger on the international scene and our actions more reliable and coherent, for the benefit of each of our countries, Nikolic said.Pointing to Serbia's commitment to follow the advanced European and global policy whose part is "green" and sustainable development, Nikolic underlined that help and support from regional and international actors was more than welcome.According to Serbian Minister of Environment Oliver Dulic, the Adriatic and Ionian regions can significantly improve cooperation between the countries involved, since the strategic ties provide opportunities for joint projects aimed at achieving sustainable economic and environmental development.In the light of the main topic of Rio+20 Conference and together with international organizations, we can create a framework for transition to green and sustainable growth which encourages development, creates jobs, provides economic growth and reduces poverty, Dulic said.Apart from Serbia, the Adriatic and Ionian regions includes Italy, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Albania and Greece, and the meeting in Rio is the result of Serbia's chairmanship of the AII - which is now to be taken over by Slovenia.Dulic laid out a study on green economy and sustainable development, which, as previously explained, outlines the potentials and opportunities for opening 50,000 new jobs in the "green economy" over the next few years.The study was drafted by about 400 representatives of state institutions, the scientific and NGO sectors and UN bodies, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Program (UNEP)."The UN system and international financial institutions should provide coherent and predictable financial resources for the implementation of activities in the field of sustainable development and green economy. This includes the implementation of multilateral agreements in the field of environment (protection) and sustainable development," said Dulic.Representatives of 191 countries, including 86 heads of states and governments, were brought together in Rio de Janeiro in order to reach historic "green planet" agreements that would pull billions of people out of poverty.The Serbian delegation is led by Nikolic, who will address the participants on Friday, the closing day of the conference, and the event is also attended by Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic.

ISRAEL AND SERBIA SIGN DEFENSE COOPERATION PLAN

BELGRADE, June 22 (Tanjug) –The document stipulates cooperation between military police units and units for search and rescue.The planned cooperation between the two Ministries of Defense and the two armies involves various forms of joint training, exchange of military education institutions' experts and mutual high-level visits, the Serbian Defense Ministry released on its website.The document was signed by Defense Ministry representative, Colonel Milan Konjikovac, and by Jacob Laor of the Israeli ministry, during a three-day visit by the Israeli delegation to their colleagues in Belgrade, which ended yesterday.The Israeli delegation held talks with State Secretary at Defense Tanja Miscevic, military police representatives and officials of the Yugoimport-SDPR public enterprise.

BREFORT: SERBIAN ECONOMY WITH HIGH CHOLESTEROL

MOKRA GORA, June 22 (Tanjug) –World Bank's Country Manager for Serbia Loup Brefort stated Friday that the situation in the Serbian economy can be compared to high cholesterol levels in the human body, with the country's external debt exceeding 45 percent of GDP and threatening to go up by another 10 percent.If the budget deficit increased from 4.25 percent of GDP to six or even seven percent, as the Fiscal Council cautioned, this would mean additional EUR 3.2 billion, which is the value of construction of Corridor 10, Brefort said.One of the solutions could be to establish Serbia's development bank, but the country should be careful not to abuse it, Brefort noted.In his opening speech at the 3rd Summer Vivaldi Forum at Mokra Gora (western Serbia), Brefort said that there are around 400,000 people employed in the public sector who have 27 percent higher salaries than those in the private sector.He also pointed out that more should be done will less funds, which means that economic productivity should be increased, social welfare pursued more efficiently, "the regulatory guillotine" continued in order to improve business environment, and more stringent criteria for public expenditure applied.As for the new government, Brefort said that freezing of salaries in the public sector will be a tough decision, but that it should also be observed that 400,000 people in the private sector did not face difficulties just due to salaries, but also because their lost their jobs.In 2010 and 2011, budget expenditures for subsidies and state guarantees amounted to around EUR 730 million, and with state liabilities towards public companies the expenditures totaled around EUR 3.7 billion in late 2011, which is unsustainable, Brefort underlined.He said that the World Bank is ready to support Serbia with loans of around USD 540 million in the next two to three years.Through panel discussions, analyses and debates, the representatives of the state, economy and international organizations will offer practical proposals, solutions and answers to the questions as to what should be the top priorities of the economic policy.The forum has been organized by Belgrade-based Economics Institute and Mokra Gora School of Management.

KOSOVO & METOHIJA

SLOVAKIA: LAJCAK DID NOT PRESENT ANY NEW CONDITIONS

BELGRADE, June 22 (Tanjug) –Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak did not present any new conditions for Serbia's EU accession during his visit to Belgrade in May, the Belgrade daily Danas learned from the Slovakian Foreign Ministry.At the meeting with Serbian senior officials, Lajcak conveyed the same messages that were delivered to the media, the statement reads.The EU has defined the conditions Serbia should meet in order to start EU accession talks in a clear and public manner and they can be found in the European Council's conclusions, the Ministry released, adding that the newspaper article in which additional conditions for Serbia are mentioned is misleading, the daily reports.EP Rapporteur for Serbia Jelko Kacin also told Danas that the list of conditions has not been expanded. A lot of confusion has been created in the Serbian public, since some party officials believe they will gain political points by making certain conditions up and imposing them on the public and the media and then claiming that they will not cross the red lines. All conditions have long been known and public. The list of conditions for Serbia has not been expanded, Kacin said, commenting on allegations by Ivica Dacic and writings of certain Belgrade media that the EU has "new conditions" for the country.Kacin added that secret requests Lajcak had allegedly conveyed during the visit simply do not exist.

TOMATOES AT COOPER

PRISTINA, June 21 (Tanjug) –Supporters of the Self-Determination movement threw tomatoes at EU mediator Robert Cooper in Pristina on Thursday.The incident took place when Cooper was leaving the Kosovo government's building after a meeting with Kosovo Prime Minister Hasim Taci and chief of Pristina's negotiating team Edita Tahiri.

TACI CONDEMNS INCIDENT

PRISTINA, June 21 (Tanjug) –Kosovo's Prime Minister Hasim Taci has condemned an incident which occurred in Pristina on Thursday when members of the Self-Determination movement threw tomatoes at EU mediator Robert Cooper.The prime minister's office said Self-Determination's action hurt Kosovo's image.Taci and Cooper discussed the implementation of the agreements reached in the technical dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, adds the release.Cooper said that the agreement should be implemented as soon as possible, so the process could move forward.

KFOR TROOPS CLOSE TO ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, June 21 (Tanjug) –Hungarian troops that are part of KFOR were stationed close to the Kosovo government administrative office in northern Kosovska Mitrovica.Several vehicles, including an armoured personnel carrier, were placed at the so called eastern bridge, some 50 m from the office.Kosovo President Atifeta Jahjaga called on KFOR on Wednesday to raise its vigilance during the office's opening, which is located in the multiethnic part of the city called Bosnjacka Mahala.The work on the office's construction is almost complete, and the Kosovo police has placed two of its vehicles outside the office.