Daily Survey

Belgrade, June 28, 2012

SERBIA

NIKOLIC: DACIC CONVINCED ME OF HAVING A PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY

BELGRADE, June 28 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic stated that leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia Ivica Dacic had sought the mandate to form the new Serbian government and that the parliamentary majority would consist of the coalition SPS-PUPS-JS, SNS and URS.Nikolic told a press conference after meeting with Dacic that the SPS-PUPS-JS coalition convinced him of having a parliamentary majority."The majority will also comprise the Serbian Progressive Party and the United Regions of Serbia, and probably some other representatives of minorities in the Serbian parliament who are waiting for the coalition to provide a sufficient majority," Nikolic concluded.The new government should be small and efficient and make decisions through agreement, he stated."Today is St Vitus Day, one of the biggest holidays in Serbia and today Serbia gets changes," Nikolic remarked, adding that the people said they wanted changes in the elections on May 6, that they wanted to work and to have a life worthy of human beings.The new government will not have it easy, because it will face many problems, starting with Kosovo, which is an issue addressed so far by avoiding responsibility, Nikolic pointed out."We wish to take responsibility," he said, adding that Serbia had friends in the west, east, north and south, and that all its neighbours were equally important.The president stressed that Serbia's course towards the EU was still stable, and that he had told EU officials that any government Serbia formed would continue the country's EU integration.The new government faces a battle against corruption and crime, development of the economy and infrastructure, reviews of privatizations, reform of the judiciary and media and, as one of the most important things, the task of returning the Serbian intellectuals who have left the country, said Nikolic."We must return our intellectuals, motivate them to work and earn money," he noted, adding that good projects were needed for investors to come to Serbia.Nikolic quoted former U.S. president John Kennedy, who said that one should not ask what the country can do for them, but what they can do for their country. The time has come for everyone to do their job and make Serbia a better place, Nikolic added.The president said he hoped the Serbian citizens would be pleased with the news on St Vitus Day.

DACIC STANDS READY TO ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY

BELGRADE, June 28 (Tanjug) –Leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) Ivica Dacic said that the coalition comprised of the SPS-Party of United Pensioners of Serbia (PUPS)- United Serbia (JS) had informed Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic that an agreement in principle had been reached on the formation of a new Serbian government."Our talks with the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and United Regions of Serbia (URS) yielded an agreement, which backs me as the person to receive the mandate for forming a new government," Dacic said.The talks will continue, tomorrow with the SNS, and in the coming days with other parties which will be informed about the main points of the government's programme, and prospects for joining the parliamentary majority, he stressed.Our coalition was presented with the question as to whether it wants to assume responsibility for heading the Serbian government and I am ready to take it on, Dacic said.Many parties agree on the main goals: that Serbia should be strong, defend its national interests, stay on the EU path, provide social equality and a better standard of living for its citizens, and fight against crime and corruption, Dacic noted."Taking that into account, we accepted to take on the responsibility of appointing me as the person who will head the government if I manage to secure a majority in the parliament," Dacic said.The SPS leader added that if appointed, he would do his job in a responsible way and in the best interest of the people."We will never deliver any decision which would be detrimental to the Serbian citizens. This day is a great maturity test for me as the leader of the SPS and SPS-led coalition and the person who has been granted the mandate to form a new government," Dacic concluded.

JEREMIC MEETS WITH ASHTON

BRUSSELS, June 28 (Tanjug) –Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic met with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and discussed Serbian presidency of the UN General Assembly and the situation in Serbia. The main topic was the future cooperation between the office of the president of the General Assembly and the EU, which is an important partner of the UN, Jeremic told reporters after the meeting. Jeremic, who will assume the presidency of the UN General Assembly in September, said that today's meeting was the first in a series of consultations with the most important political actors before taking office. This will be an opportunity for Serbia to be represented in a very visible place, Jeremic said. Jeremic and Ashton also discussed the situation in Serbia. I conveyed to Mrs Ashton Serbia's concern over tensions in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as the expectation that EULEX and KFOR will exert every effort to preserve peace and stability in this delicate political moment in which the country is now, Jeremic said. Jeremic recalled that Serbia had bad experiences in Kosovo at the time of forming previous governments, which ethnic Albanian extremists used to cause unrest, such as on March 17, 2004. There was serious physical violence then, in which many lives were lost, and 35 churches and monasteries were burned, Jeremic noted. He and Ashton also exchanged views on raising the technical dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina to the political level. We have always been open to political dialogue, but it was interrupted when Pristina proclaimed independence, said Jeremic, adding that he and Ashton also discussed the formation of the future Serbian government, but, as he said, "not much". The government is not formed in Brussels but in Belgrade, so we just exchanged information, Jeremic said.

NIKOLIC SAYS HE WILL BE ENTREPRENEURS' PARTNER

BELGRADE, June 28 (Tanjug) –President Nikolic said at a traditional meeting of the Serbian Business Club "Privrednik" that he will be a partner to Serbian businessmen.Nikolic called on entrepreneurs to stay in Serbia and pointed out that the institution of the President of Serbia will develop partnership relations with the economy.Business Club Privrednik President Branislav Grujic said that the Serbian economy is in constant and progressive crisis, and added that, after the election campaign, which "consumed a lot of time, money and energy," businesspeople are not willing to wait any more.Post-election Serbia now expects even more than promised during the campaign, because the situation is even worse than last summer or last fall. Entrepreneurs are not willing to wait anymore, but they are willing to act, Grujic said.He stressed that businesspeople expect "less restrictions and more incentives, guarantees and effective management" from the government.Greater liquidity, competitiveness and economic stability are much needed, as well as shortening of all deadlines, from payments to permits, fighting corruption, legal protection and bank support, said Grujic, who advocated the continuance of EU integration and acceptance of European values in doing business."Serbia has a chance, if it acts faster and connects better with those who are enterprising and honest," he underlined.The reception at the Business Club Privrednik is held every year in June, and the tradition of gathering Serbian businesspeople dates from the late 19th century.The invitees include Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, Deputy Prime Minister Verica Kalanovic, NBS Governor Dejan Soskic, URS leader Mladjan Dinkic, DS Vice-President Jelena Trivan, U.S. and German Ambassadors, Mary Warlick and Wolfram Maas respectively, and representatives of local and foreign companies, state institutions, science, culture, sport and the media.

IMPORTANT ROLE IN GLOBAL SECURITY SYSTEM

SOFIA, June 28 (Tanjug) –Serbia has a constructive role in the global security system, and dedicates special attention to regional cooperation, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces Major General Milan Bjelica stated in Sofia. At the meeting of deputy chiefs of staff of the Southeastern Europe Defense Ministerial Process (SEDM) member states, Bjelica said that the constructive role in the security system is fulfilled through cooperation and participation in international organizations and institutions. Bjelica presented his colleagues with the engagement of the Serbian Armed Forces in the UN and EU multinational operations and international exercises.He pointed out that Serbia was among the first countries to implement the UN SC Resolution 1325 on the role of women in the security system, and to support the projects and initiatives for gender equality in the defense system.The topic of the meeting include the revision of the SEDM Strategic Review based on the analysis of results achieved within the initiative's projects, and the steps to be made for further improvement of cooperation, the website of the Serbian Armed Forces reads.SEDM was launched in Tirana in March 1996 upon the proposal of the U.S., and is aimed at improving the Southeastern Europe cooperation in the area of defense.The main goal of the cooperation is to improve the level of understanding and political and military cooperation in Southeastern Europe in order to strengthen stability and security. SEDM members are the U.S., Greece, Italy, Turkey, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Albania, Ukraine, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, while Georgia and Moldova are observers.The decision to accept Serbia as a member of SEDM was made at the ministerial meeting in Sofia in October 2009.

KOSOVO & METOHIJA

STATE CEREMONY ANNIVERSARY BATTLE OF KOSOVO LED BY STATE SECRETARY

BELGRADE, June 28 (Tanjug) –Serbia marks St. Vitus' Day, in memory of Prince Lazar Hrebeljanovic and the other Serbs killed in the 1389 Battle of Kosovo against the Ottoman Empire.The commemoration for the 623rd anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo will be held in Krusevac, while a state ceremony at the Monument to Kosovo Heroes will be led by Negovan Stankovic, a state secretary with the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.Serbian Patriarch Irinej will serve a liturgy at the Gracanica monastery in Kosovo, followed by a service for the Kosovo heroes at Gazimestan, Tanjug was told by the Diocese of Ras-Prizren.A service for all Serb victims in Kosovo will be held at St. Mark's Church in Belgrade, followed by a laying of wreaths at the memorial plaque in Tasmajdan park.For the first time, St Vitus' Day will be marked in Poland, thanks to the Parish of Saint John the Theologian in Bialystok, the Serbian Orthodox Church announced on its website.In addition to a service at the Church of Saint John the Theologian, lectures on the 500-year long ties between Poland and Serbia will be held at Suprasl Orthodox Monastery.St Vitus' Day is a state holiday in Serbia, observed in the memory of the Battle of Kosovo.

KONUZIN: PRISTINA VIOLATES INTERNATIONAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS

GRACANICA, June 28 (Tanjug) –Russian Ambassador to Belgrade Alexander Konuzin said on Thursday that by banning certain Serbian government officials from entering Kosovo, Pristina violated international and basic human rights, as well as tradition.The recent ban on Serbian Minister for Kosovo-Metohija Goran Bogdanovic's visit to Kosovo-Metohija does not strengthen the authority of the Kosovo institutions, Konuzin said.As regards the Kosovo issue, I take the same stand as the Serbs, Konuzin said When you Serbs decide how you will resolve the Kosovo issue, you can be sure that we will back you, the Russian ambassador said following the Vidovdan liturgy in the Gracanica monastery.

20 SERBS WOUNDED IN MERDARE, ONE CRITICAL

KURSUMLIJA, June 28 (Tanjug) –Live ammunition was used in a clash between a group of Serbs and the Kosovo police at the Merdare administrative checkpoint early Thursday, and one person with life-threatening injuries was taken by ambulance from Prokupllje to Nis, Ljiljana Arsenijevic, the director of the Kursumlija healthcare center, told Tanjug.She said the facility's emergency service treated 20 people with bullet wounds inflicted at Merdare. Ten people were treated at the scene, while another ten with more serious injuries were treated at the healthcare center. Five of them were later taken by ambulance to the surgical floor of the Dr Aleksa Savic Hospital in Prokuplje.Kosovo's Interior Minister Bajram Redzepi did not want to comment on the incident, saying he was at the parliament. However, he told Radio Free Europe that several Kosovo police officers had been injured in the incidents near Merdare.The policemen were injured when a group of Serbs, who were trying to cross over into Kosovo, threw rocks at them, he said. We pushed back a group known as Delije, who are known nationalists. Several police officers were hurt, mostly from being hit by rocks, said Redzepi. He added that shots from firearms were heard from the direction of Serbia. The Serbian police told that the incidents occurred when a group of Serbs, who had crossed the administrative line in Rudnica and Jarinje, was stopped by the Kosovo police in Vucitrn, demanding they return through Merdare to central Serbia.