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DAILY SURVEY 03.10.2018.
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SERBIA

DACIC: THOSE TRYING TO DESTROY REPUBLIKA SRPSKA MUST BE AWARE THAT SERBIA WILL NOT SIT IDLY BY

BANJALUKA, October 2 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Oct. 2 that Serbia, as a guarantor of the Dayton accords, was not meddling in Bosnia and Herzegovina's elections. "Serbia is not interfering with who might vote for whom, but what we do interfere in is the survival of Republika Srpska and the rights of the Serbian people in this region," Dacic said at the opening of a new section of the January 9th highway, linking Drugovici and Prnjavor. The minister said that "Serbia will not stand idly by if anyone tries to destroy Republika Srpska." "The Serbian people has never been a factor of instability. It will continue to be a factor of stability, but you'd better not interfere with the freedom of the Serbian people," Dacic said. The Serbian foreign minister said that "it's quite inconvenient" for him to come to Srpska as the Serbian foreign minister, "as these are the interior affairs of the Serbian people."

DACIC MEETS WITH CEB GOVERNOR

BELGRADE, Ocotber 2 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic met on Oct. 2 with the governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, on a working visit to Belgrade, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported. The minister and the CEB official welcomed the progress made in implementing the Regional Housing Program, which both said was an example of good practice in handling the problems related to relocation, the ministry went on to say. Dacic and Wenzel also underscored the importance of the bank's role in different projects carried out across Serbia, the most important being the projects supporting the revitalization of Serbia's health sector.

VUCIC: I ENCOUNTERED UNDERSTANDING AND AN HONEST AND FRIENDLY STANCE ON PUTIN'S PART

MOSCOW, October 2 2018 (Beta) - On Oct. 2 Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that he had encountered understanding and a genuine and friendly stance on the part of Russian President Vladimir Putin toward the Serbian people and Serbia. Vucic said that after the meeting Putin told him that they would meet in Belgrade and he expected to know the exact date of the visit in two to three weeks. He declined to reveal the details of the talks, saying that it would not be fair to speak about them to the public. "Russia is Serbia's important partner in all political matters," Vucic said briefly. According to him, politics was the dominant theme of the talks, as well as military and economic cooperation and cooperation in the area of tourism. He said that he had reiterated his stance on membership in NATO to Putin. "We have decent relations with all alliances, but Serbia does not have any aspirations or desire to become a part of NATO, it wants to preserve its independence, which is why we are equipping our army to be able to tackle dangerous situations," Vucic said.

BRNABIC: THREE MAJOR OBSTACLES TO NORMALIZATION WITH PRISTINA

BELGRADE, October 2 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Oct. 2 that there were three major obstacles in the dialogue with "Kosovo", including "constant" provocation by the authorities in Pristina, their refusal to fulfill the obligations arising from the Brussels Agreement and plans to eliminate the border with Albania. Brnabic said that she shared her arguments during her meetings with participants of the World Economic Forum in Geneva. "We want to talk about the future and young people, to be serious, not to pursue a policy of 'long guns.' I hope the world will realize that Serbia is a reliable partner, and that no one can count on Pristina," the prime minister said after a visit to the Dragisa Misovic Clinical Center in Belgrade. She added that during her visit to Geneva she had told her Albanian counterpart, Edi Rama, that the story of eliminating the border between "Kosovo" and Albania was "completely absurd." "That would be the same as if we started talking about eliminating the border with Republika Srpska - it's the same story," Brnabic said.

BRNABIC: THIS IS THE YEAR IN WHICH WE'LL RECOGNIZE KOSOVO FOR WHAT IT IS - AN AUTONOMOUS PROVINCE

GENEVA, October 2 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said during an Oct. 2 visit to Geneva that regional peace and stability, as well as cooperation with all partners, were in the best interest of Serbia. "Our primary interest lies in the future, in creating a region in which young people would want to stay. We wish to stop the brain drain and capitalize on the fourth industrial revolution," Brnabic said to reporters in Geneva, where she attended the World Bank's Strategic Dialogue in Geneva. The prime minister touched on "Kosovo", too. "This is the year in which we'll recognize Kosovo for what it is - Serbia's autonomous province," Brnabic said. She also said that digitalization offered "a unique opportunity not only for Serbia, but for the region as well," because "the winners of the fourth industrial revolution might actually be those who have never won before." Brnabic said that Serbia reported a budget surplus for three years in a row, that it was one of the leading states in terms of foreign direct investment it had received, and that it had halved unemployment rates, but that it needed stability to "present all the benefits of fiscal consolidation." "However strong politically and socially we might be, any perception of instability will affect us," the prime minister said.

CEB TO SUPPORT TIRSOVA 2 CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL WITH EUR54 MILLION LOAN

BELGRADE, October 2 2018 (Beta) - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) is investing EUR54 million in the construction of the University Children's Hospital Tirsova 2 - EUR30 million for the works and EUR24 million for medical equipment, the Office of the Serbian Prime Minister reported on Oct. 2. At an Oct. 2 meeting between Prime Minister Brnabic and CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel, the reconstruction and equipping of some 20 general hospitals were arranged. Wenzel said he expected the hospital reconstruction project would be approved soon, and that Serbia would be the first state in the region in which the bank would apply "a very flexible financing model, without complex procedures." Brnabic thanked Wenzel for cooperation and the projects his bank had approved, adding that for her government, and for her personally, the reconstruction and modernization of schools and cultural institutions were extremely important. The two also discussed financial backing of the construction of a new concert hall in Belgrade, for which an acoustics design was under way.

SERBIA'S INTERIOR MINISTER VISITS MONTENEGRO

BELGRADE, October 2 2018 (Beta) - The Serbian interior minister, Nebojsa Stefanovic, traveled to the Montenegrin coastal town of Tivat on Oct. 2 to meet with his Montenegrin counterpart, Mevludin Nuhodzic, and is scheduled to celebrate the Days of the Montenegrin Interior Affairs Sector later in the evening, in Podgorica. The Serbian Ministry of Interior reported that one of the conclusions made at the two ministers' meeting, also attended by the director of the Montenegrin police, Veselin Veljovic, and the Tivat mayor, Sinisa Kusovac, was that it was necessary to develop cooperation in protecting the borders, especially during holiday seasons, when the flow of goods and passengers traditionally grew. The Serbian and Montenegrin officials underlined the role of joint border patrols, which in the past 12 months alone performed 129 actions along the national borders.

HOUSING SOLUTIONS FOR 135 REFUGEE FAMILIES IN SERBIA

BELGRADE, October2 2018 (Beta) - Housing solutions for 135 refugee families in Serbia, refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia who came to Serbia during the wars in the 1990s, have been secured so far. Serbian Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic signed on Oct. 2 two amendments on the matter to agreements reached within the Regional Housing Program. With the aforementioned 135 families the total number of families that have benefited from housing programs is 1,847. An additional EUR2,465,515 has been secured for this purpose, bringing the total value of grants in the fifth subproject of the Regional Program to EUR38,814,421. The second amendment pertains to underwriting the drafting of building plans for approximately 350 apartments.

VENZEL, RADOJICIC VISIT REFUGEE FAMILY IN NEW APARTMENT IN OVCA

BELGRADE, October 2 2018 (Beta) - Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) Rolf Wenzel and Belgrade Mayor Zoran Radojcic on Oct. 2 visited the Bunjevac refugee family, which moved into a new apartment in Belgrade's Ovca suburb in March this year. The Bunjevac family are refugees from Sarajevo, while 235 more families also moved into new apartments in Ovca. The apartments were built as part of the Regional Housing Program which the CEB is participating in. Serbia is the biggest user of this Program, while these satisfied people, who have a roof over their head after 20 years, are proof that we are doing a very important job, Wenzel was quoted as saying by the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, which is conducting the program for building housing for refugees. Radojicic said that there was nothing more important than having a roof over one's head. "I am happy that this family has resolved its housing issue and am thankful to all who participated in it, especially the Council of Europe Development Bank," the mayor said. Deputy Commissioner for Refugees and Migration Svetlana Velimirovic said that the agency filed a request on Oct. 2 for approving funds for the construction of an additional 250 apartments for refugees in Ovca. "In addition, the construction of a kindergarten for children and additional content is planned, which will greatly help to liven up this settlement," Svetlana Velimirovic said. So far, over 2,200 families have resolved their housing issues as part of the Regional Housing Program in Serbia. The purpose of the Regional Housing Program is to secure lasting housing solutions for around 26,898 of the most endangered refugee families in the region, numbering 75,000 persons of whom 16,000 in Serbia as the biggest user of the Program. A total of EUR110 million in grants has been secured in Serbia through eight subprojects and amendments.

SWEDISH EMBASSY PROMOTES HEALTHY FOOD ON MT. ZLATIBOR

BELGRADE, October 2 2018 (Beta) - The Swedish Embassy has organized, in association with the Swedish Institute, the Cajetina municipality and the Regional Development Agency, a two-day event called Tomorrow's Food on Mt. Zlatibor, with the aim of gathering and connecting individuals, organizations and groups devoted to the concept of green food. Food is an important subject for cooperation between Serbia and Sweden. It means a lot - primarily business and trade cooperation. All of the raspberries sold in Sweden come from exactly this area of Serbia. We have a business potential which needs to be developed further. This subject is important because producing healthy food requires a clean living environment and Sweden and the European Union want it to be clean in Serbia as in other countries, Swedish Ambassador Jan Lundin said. The event gathered representatives from the Zlatibor area, i.e. producers from Arilje, Bajina Basta, Kosjeric, Nova Varos, Priboj, Prijepolje, Sjenica, Uzice and Cajetina, who met with the ambassador and his associates and discussed opportunities for cooperation.

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