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DAILY SURVEY 02.11.2018.
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SERBIA

VUCIC: I AM NOT AN ENEMY OF ALBANIANS, BUT OF 'ANYONE WHO WOULD PERSECUTE SERB PEOPLE'

BELGRADE, 1 November 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stated on Nov. 1 that he was not an enemy of the Albanians, "but an enemy of anyone who would persecute the Serbs and kill innocent people just because they belonged to the Serb nation." Vucic said this in an interview to TV Prva, in a comment on the Oct. 31 statement of Kadri Veseli, who stated that Kosovo had one enemy, and that was Serbia, and only one president who is against Kosovo's independence - Vucic. The Serbian president said he understood Veseli's statement, as "probably the most powerful man in Kosovo" because "they would prefer to have as an opponent someone with whom they would come to terms with more easily... In that sense, I am honored," Vucic said. He stated that, from now on, he would have to take more care about the safety of the people who accompany him abroad, but added that "this is a lesser problem of all the problems."

VUCIC MEETS WITH BOZKIR

BELGRADE, 1 November 2018 (Beta) - On Nov. 1, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met with members of a delegation and the president of the Turkish parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, Volkan Bozkir, with whom he talked about bilateral relations, the situation in the region and economic cooperation, the president's office said in a statement. During the discussion Vucic said that Serbia regarded Turkey as a true friend and that cooperation was at a high level in all areas. "We see Turkey as an important partner in preserving regional peace and stability," Vucic said. He congratulated the members of the delegation on Turkish Republic Day and congratulated them on opening the new airport in Istanbul two days ago, which he attended. Bozkir said that the visit was the first visit by a delegation from the Turkish Parliament's Committee on Foreign Relations and thanked Vucic for his support for Turkish investors and hailed the Serbian president's efforts to develop infrastructure, especially a project on rebuilding the Novi Pazar - Tutin road and constructing a highway to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

BRNABIC TALKS ABOUT IMPORTANCE OF E-GOVERNANCE AT OXFORD

BELGRADE, 1 November 2018 (Beta) - On Nov. 1 in Oxford, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said that the Serbian government viewed electronic administration as the basis for the digital transformation of all of society, where civil servants would be entirely in the service of the citizens, a statement from the Serbian government said. Brnabic was the main speaker at a conference called Challenges of Government Conference 2018 at the Blavatnik School of Governance at Oxford University in Great Britain, where she spoke of the importance that the technological revolution had for the future of the government and what the benefits of e-governance were to citizens. "E-governance is the best way to offer quality and fast services to citizens and businesses. At the same time, it is the most efficient way to fight corruption and the gray economy, which is why e-governance is useful in a number of ways - it clearly puts citizens and their needs, first," Brnabic said. The Serbian prime minister also held a lecture at the Oxford Union later in the day, as the biggest debate society in Oxford University, known for organizing debates and speeches since 1823. The topic of her lecture will be The Future of Serbia in Europe.

STEFANOVIC, DUTCH AMBASSADOR ON SERBIA'S PROGRESS PERTAINING TO CHAPTER 24

BELGRADE, 1 November 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic met in Belgrade on Nov.1 with Dutch Ambassador Henk van den Dool, to discuss Serbia's activities regarding negotiating chapter 24 on justice, freedom and safety. The interior minister said that Henk van den Dool had confirmed that Serbia had made good progress. Stefanovic said that in July, Serbia had handed the European Commission its fourth report on realizing activities within an action plan for chapter 24 and that over half of these activities had already been performed. He said that the Interior Ministry was currently revising the Action Plan for chapter 24 for the purpose of meeting the provisional criteria that is received after chapter 24 opens so that it bridges the period until the criteria for closing the chapter is received. Stefanovic and Dool agreed that the cooperation of Serbian and Dutch police was good and that it could be further improved by training personnel and exchanging experiences.

RELATIONS BETWEEN FRANCE, SERBIA TRADITIONALLY FRIENDLY

BELGRADE, 1 November 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Defense Aleksandar Vulin met in Belgrade on Nov. 1 with French Secretary of State for Defense Genevieve Darrieussecq, who is visiting Belgrade as part of the celebration of the centennial of the end of WWI. In a statement released by the Ministry of Defense, Vulin said that it was precisely the alliance between Serbia and France in WWI that had had such a strong impact on relations between the two countries, which are celebrating 139 years of diplomatic relations this year. The excellent relations, Minister Vulin said, that were established by the presidents of Serbia and France, Aleksandar Vucic and Emanuel Macron are stable today and traditionally friendly, while they will be further improved during meetings of the two presidents in Paris and Belgrade. Vulin reiterated during the meeting that Serbia regarded the transformation of the Kosovo security forces into an army as unacceptable, as any decision on the creation of paramilitary formations in Kosovo and Metohija was a violation of Resolution 1244, which had made KFOR the only responsible bearer and guarantor of safety and stability in the southern Serbian province. He said that Serbia remained militarily neutral and committed to its position, which it did not intend to change in the future. State Secretary Darrieussecq said that France had great trust in the Serbian army, and that it understood the state's concern over the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, adding that everything need to be conducted through the Brussels Agreement.

VULIN: THE BIG POWERS SHOULD NOT FORGET THAT THE SERBIAN ARMY NEVER CHOSE THE WRONG SIDE

BELGRADE, 1 November 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Defense Aleksandar Vulin said on Nov. 1 that the global powers that wanted to change the world, should not forget the "undeniable truth that the Serbian army never chose the wrong side" and not to underestimate Serbs and Serbia. Vulin said this in the Belgrade Assembly at the opening of an exhibition called, Our History, Your Memories of the centennial of the Salonika Front Break-through in which the Serbian and French army participated. French State Secretary Genevieve Darrieussecq said that one of the liberators of Belgrade in 1918, French Marshall Louis Franchet d'Esperey was promoted at the same time to marshall and the equivalent, vojvoda, in the Serbian army. Belgrade Mayor Zoran Radojicic recalled that Serbia and France were on the right side in WWI and were comrades when it was the most difficult. The exhibition on the memories of the liberated cities in Serbia during the Salonica Front Break-through represented five family stories of participants in WWI and has already been shown in five cities in Serbia. The opening of the exhibition was attended by French Ambassador to Serbia Frederic Mondoloni and Corfu Mayor Kostas Nikolouzos. Before that, Darrieussecq and Radojcic attended a ceremony at the French military cemetary on the anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade, while wreaths were laid at the memorial ossuary of the liberators of Belgrade by Serbian presidential envoy Nikola Selakovic and Belgrade Assembly Speaker Nikola Nikodijevic.

MEETING OF GENERAL MOJSILOVIC WITH KFOR COMMANDER

BELGRADE, 1 November 2018 (Beta) - The chief of general staff of the Army of Serbia, Gen. Milan Mojsilovic, met with the commander of KFOR, Salvatore Cuoci, in Belgrade on Nov. 1, and discussed the current security situation in Kosovo and Metohija and the realization of joint activities of the Army of Serbia and KFOR, it was stated by the Ministry of Defense. The first official meeting of the two generals since General Mojsilovic was assigned to the post of chief of general staff of the Army of Serbia was held in the Topcider barracks in Belgrade. According to the statement, while declaring concern over the recent events, Mojsilovic pointed out that unilateral and non-transparent acts made the situation in the field more complex and that honoring all the agreements that are in effect and of the obligations stemming from them, was fundamentally important for the security situation in Kosovo and Metohija. He stressed that the preservation of security in the zones on both sides of the administrative line was a matter of common interest for KFOR and the Army of Serbia, and that KFOR, as an international factor, was the most responsible for the safety of all citizens of the province, especially of the non-Albanian population. This was a high-level meeting within the Joint Commission for the implementation of the Military Technical Agreement, consisting of a commission of the KFOR command and a commission of representatives of Serbia's security forces. Meetings of the Joint Commission have been held regularly at various levels since 1999, to implement the Military Technical Agreement from Kumanovo, signed on June 9 of that year.

ECONOMY

EU HELPING SERBIA TO SET UP NEW NAVIGATIONAL SIGNS ON DANUBE RIVER

BELGRADE, 1 November 2018 (Beta) - Serbia will be the first country in Europe to introduce the latest floating signals or buoys that will be visible in the daytime, nighttime, fog and thick snow, Minister of Construction, Transportation and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic announced on Nov. 1. "Introducing the most modern navigational signals in water traffic, will enable safe sailing in all conditions, which raises competitiveness as we were are a transit state and are integrating with the European Transportation Network," she said. Presenting the EUR2.5 million project called, The Integration of Systems for Monitoring Sailing on the Danube," the minister stressed that the total value of all projects in the area of transportation by waterway in Serbia was EUR204 million and that old buoys would be moved to the Sava River. The goal is for the Danube to be linked to road and railway Corridor 10 and for Serbia to be connected by waterway with neighboring states, thereby increase the volume of Danube river transportation, which relative to 2014 grew from seven to 12 million tons, and should reach 15 million tons by 2021. Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic said that the project consisted "of the integration of sailing monitoring systems for the Danube" and was a good example of what the use of the European route was to Serbia. EU Delegation chief Sem Fabrizi said that the project covered the entire section of the Danube in Serbia and that it was important for a number of reasons. "The EU has so far invested over EUR25 million in Danube projects towards making the river safer, cleaner and easier to navigate. Investments have been made in the creation of a river information system, which today's project is part of. This project will definitely contribute to the economic growth of the country, given that it will enable faster and easier navigation in all weather conditions," Fabrizi said.

EBRD PROJECTS SERBIA'S ECONOMIC GROWTH AT 4.2 PERCENT

BELGRADE, 1 November 2018 (Beta) - Serbia's economic growth will be 4.2 percent this year, with incentives for a further increase in spending and investments, but will slow down to 3.5 percent in 2019, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced on Nov. 1. In the latest report about the economic prospects of the regions in which it is engaged, the EBRD estimated that risks to the projected growth of Serbia's economy were balanced and mostly in connection with the implementation of reforms envisaged in the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the further growth rate in the euro zone. After moderate growth of almost two percent in the previous year, Serbia's economy grew by 4.9 percent in the first half of this year, compared with the same period in 2017, thanks to strong domestic demand but primarily to more investments. Private spending also continued to recover, while imports continued to exceed exports, the EBRD reported. It was stated further that fiscal performance remained strong and that the budget remained with a surplus in the first half of the year, while the public debt continued to decline, to about 60 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of June. In the part of the report about Serbia, the EBRD stated that the agreement on cooperation within the non-financial Policy Coordination Instrument (PCI) was signed with the IMF in July, for a period of 30 months. It focuses on fiscal, structural and institutional reforms, and policies of the monetary and financial sector - the fields that are crucial for sustaining the current high growth rates.

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