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DAILY SURVEY 08.08.2018.
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SERBIA

DACIC: PRISTINA'S MAXIMALISTIC GOALS MAIN OBSTACLE TO SOLVING KOSOVO AND METOHIJA PROBLEM

BELGRADE, August 7 2018 (Beta) - On Aug. 7 Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said that the maximalistic goals of Pristina, which wanted Presevo and Bujanovac along with a recognition of its independence, were the main obstacle to solving the Kosovo and Metohija problem. "It is no secret that the main obstacle to achieving an agreement is Pristina's resolve to approach talks with maximalistic goals. They do not want a compromise but for us to recognize [their] independence, but also to get something more - what they call eastern Kosovo - Presevo and Bujanovac," Dacic told the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation. Asked what Serbia would do after the deadline for establishing the Community of Serb Municipalities expired once again, Dacic said that only a blind person could not see that a Greater Albania was being created. "The Albanians are avoiding creating the Community of Serb Municipalities, they think that is a lasting solution. This is laughable and we do not accept this. Not at one point during the dialogue did anyone mention that we will recognize [Kosovo's] independence and allow them to become a member of the U.N.," Dacic said adding that the struggle for recalling recognitions of Kosovo's independence would continue in the coming weeks.

VUCIC: BOTH SERBS AND ALBANIANS TO SAY WHETHER THEY NEED PEACE OR KILLING FOR TERRITORY

BELGRADE, August 7 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Aug. 7 that a solution to the problem of Kosovo and Metohija was needed as soon as possible and that Serbs and Albanians should speak their mind on whether they wanted peace or more fighting for territories. "My stance is completely clear and unambiguous, a solution to our problem is needed as soon as possible. Number one, because long-term peace is needed between Serbs and Albanians, a solution that would mean the creation of a form of security for our citizens," Vucic told a news conference in Belgrade. He added that when this peace was achieved along with lasting stability, Serbia could fully devote its time to the country's economic progress, without being tied down by factors that "are today and have for an entire century been pressing down our arms and feet and back and neck." "Will we continue to fight for territory and kill each other and who will have more children to restore our blood or will we stop this merry-go-round and look at things differently in the future," the Serbian president said. Vucic reiterated that a compromise with Pristina was still far away but that few people "want a compromise solution." "The citizens need not worry, there will be no secret decisions if we get nearer to a solution, which I doubt because it is enough to look at the statements that the Albanians have been making in the past several days," Vucic said adding that the "people will have the final say, if there is any semblance of a solution for Kosovo." Vucic said that the authorities would continue to negotiate and insist on solving problems like the attitude toward the Serbian Orthodox Church and the creation of protected zones, which numbered 44 according to earlier plans. "We will ask for a solution to the question of the personal property of Serbs, the Serbian Orthodox Church's property, the property owned by businesses registered in central Serbia outside of Kosovo and Serbia's state and socially-owned property in Kosovo, we have all of the precise and valid information, this will be one of the key themes for reaching any kind of solution," Vucic said.

VUCIC TO MONTENEGRIN OFFICIALS: THANK YOU FOR TAKING SUCH GOOD CARE OF SERBIA

BELGRADE, August 7 2018 (Beta) - In an Aug. 7 comment on the presence of a Montenegrin army officer at a ceremony in Croatia, celebrating an Operation Storm anniversary, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that he had tried to develop the best possible relationship between Serbia and Montenegro, promising to look after Serbia's interests. Speaking to the press in Belgrade, President Vucic recalled that Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic had said during a visit to Belgrade that Montenegro would protect Serbia's interests, and that it would consult with Serbia ahead of important dates, and over important issues. "Dear friends, thank you for taking such good care of Serbia, the Serbian people and our interests," Vucic said sarcastically. Vucic said that Croatian officials were welcome in Serbia, if they wanted to visit. "Whenever they want to come to Serbia, they are welcome; when they don't want to, be it an election period or not, they don't have to," Vucic said, when asked about Croatian media reports that his Croatian counterpart, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, wouldn't come to Serbia. He said his wish for an improving relationship with Croatia hadn't changed, but that he refused to beg them, or complain about their campaign against him.

GOVERNMENT YET TO PREPARE POSITION ON KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

BELGRADE, August 7 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Aug. 7 that the Serbian government didn't have an official position on Kosovo and Metohija, adding that it would have one as soon as a tangible proposal had been put on the table. The prime minister underlined that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic was doing everything to find a solution, arguing that "a frozen conflict" was not something one might want to leave to future generations. "I don't think a solution is near, but the president is trying to analyze the problem from every angle, in order to find something that could bring Serbia something it doesn't have, that is, to lose as little as possible, and get as much as we can," the prime minister said. She added that it didn't depend only on Vucic and on support from the Serbian government, but also on whether the people in Pristina were ready to openly discuss a compromise.

BRNABIC: CROATIAN OFFICIALS WANT TO TWIST THE TRUTH

BELGRADE, August 7 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Aug. 7 that she couldn't understand what the Croatian officials reacting to President Vucic's speech in Backa Palanka, hosting a ceremony commemorating the victims of the Croatian Storm operation, were trying to do, except to "twist the truth." "Honestly, I don't understand what's going on in Croatia, and what the Croatian leaders are doing. I listened to Vucic's speech very carefully, and I didn't see anything problematic in his words. It seems to me that the Croatian leaders are trying to twist the truth, proving that black is white and that white is black," Brnabic said to reporters in Trsic. She insisted that she hadn't heard a single fascist statement from Vucic, although she had heard them in Glina, where Storm was celebrated. Prime Minister Brnabic said that her grandfather was a Croat, not a Serb from Croatia, and that she was elected as Serbian Prime Minister nevertheless. As she put it, it showed that Serbia was open enough, making it possible for someone whose grandfather was a Croat to become its head of government.

SERBIA, SOUTH KOREA PLAN CREATION OF SMART CITIES

BELGRADE, August 7 2018 (Beta) - Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Branko Ruzic thanked on Aug. 7 a South Korean government delegation for helping Serbia's digitalization efforts, as it had supported the opening of an IT and access center of the National Agency for IT, where 7,000 people had been trained. "Through projects with the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government alone the government of South Korea has invested nearly EUR1 million in supporting the development of e-governance," Ruzic was quoted as saying by his ministry. He said that the next cooperation project between Korea and Serbia was the creation of so-called smart cities, which was worth EUR200,000. "Given that by 2050 the number of urban dwellers will have doubled, we need to start thinking about ways to, as an administration, work faster, which is impossible without introducing new technologies," Ruzic said.

PUPOVAC: I CAN UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE FIND VUCIC'S STATEMENT STRONGLY WORDED

ZAGREB, August 7 2018 (Beta) - A parliamentary representative for the Serbian ethnic minority in Croatia, Milorad Pupovac, said on Aug. 7 that he could understand his fellow citizens who believed that Serbian President Vucic's comparison between Croatia and Nazi Germany was much too strong, recognizing a heavy burden they shouldn't be shouldering over the historic suffering of Serbs during and after the 1995 Storm military and police operation. "Individuals were responsible for that, either as direct perpetrators, or commanders, or masterminds, but neither courts nor the public have condemned them. Likewise, there are persons responsible for the suffering of Croats during the war," Pupovac said in a press release issued after Vucic's comments at a ceremony in Backa Palanka on the Remembrance Day for the Serbs killed and exiled during the operation Storm. Pupovac, who attended the ceremony, said that he was opposed to collectivization of guilt "be it Croatian or Serbian," because "it's not only unjust, but plants a seed of evil as well." The Croatian Serb MP added, however, that he hoped his Croatian fellow citizens would also understand that it was impossible to tolerate the shameful, horrible salute "For Homeland, Ready" during the ceremony celebrating Operation Storm in Glina (the place of a historic massacre of Serbs in the local church, in 1941), ignoring the fact that over 200,000 Serbs had been exiled from Croatia.

CONSTRUCTION OF 276 APARTMENTS FOR REFUGEES FROM BOSNIA, CROATIA BEGINS IN VETERNIK

BELGRADE, August 7 2018 (Beta) - The construction of 276 apartments for refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, who are registered in the territory of Novi Sad, began in Veternik on Aug. 7, the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration has announced. The total value of the works is EUR6.4 million, while the funds were secured largely from a donation fund managed by the Regional Housing Program, in which the main donor is the EU. The ceremony was attended by Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, Commissioner for Refugees and Migration Vladimir Cucic, Novi Sad Mayor Milos Vucevic, Mateja Norcic Stamcar from the EU Delegation to Serbia, head of the UNHCR Office Hans F. Schodder, OSCE Mission representative James Stockstill and others. The construction of the apartment began as part of a fifth Regional Housing Program in Serbia subproject worth EUR46.7 million in total. In addition to awarding construction materials and buying village homes, the subproject will secure an additional 1,267 apartments for refugee families in Serbia.

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