Thursday, November 28, 2013

Most important thing is for Kosovo poll to be peaceful

11/28/2013 9:41:00 AM

 BELGRADE - The most important thing is for the local elections in Kosovo to go through in peace, Serbia's Prime Minister Ivica Dacic has said ahead of the second round of the elections, set for December 1, stressing that any other outcome would be at the expense of the Kosovo Serbs and Serbia, which would have to pay for the consequences of irresponsible behaviour.

  "It would be good if those who agree with the views of the Serbian government won the elections, so we would have no problems in communication and planning a joint policy," he told Radio and Television of Serbia on Wednesday. The first thing after the vote will be to implement the agreements concerning the police and judiciary, followed by creating a statute for an association of Serb municipalities and setting down all the details related to its operation, he noted. Serbia lost nothing in the Brussels agreement with Pristina, and the Kosovo Serbs gained the option of creating the association of Serb municipalities, he stated. "Only those who run a realistic political agenda will succeed, and not those who start fights they cannot win," the prime minister remarked, adding that "an individual can afford such opportunism, but nations must not expose themselves to such danger."

 The agreement between Belgrade and Pristina signed in Brussels on April 19 and facilitated by the EU states that the association of Serb municipalities will have jursdiction in education, healthcare, spatial planning and economic development. Dacic: 2014 budget proposal is realistic Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic has said that the 2014 budget proposal is the first realistic budget after many years because of its restrictive measures and its recognizing the fact that economic policy cannot be based only on savings. “This is the first budget to consider revenues and expenditures realistically,” Dacic said appearing on a Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) talk show late on Wednesday. 

 "The Serbian government has begun the necessary reforms and wants to cut on unnecessary expenditures, but the life in Serbia cannot stop,” he said after a warning came from the Fiscal Council that Serbia will need additional savings in 2014. The prime minister said that “Serbia has lost 400,000 jobs over the past five or six years and the unemployment rate increased to 24 percent.” Responding to criticism by political opponents that he is shifting Serbia’s foreign policy towards Russia and China, Dacic said that “such criticism is a reflection of the poltroon spirit,” adding that Serbia should not be treated differently from other European countries standing in line in hope of cooperation with Beijing and Moscow. 

 “I did not say that we will not join the EU, but rather that I would be happy if the West also offered us such projects,” said Dacic. He added that it makes no sense to blame the government that has taken Serbia the furthest in the European integration process for foreign policy shakiness. Dacic said that China wants to be present in this part of the world and invest USD 10 billion in various projects, and it plans the investments to grow to USD 100 billion by 2015. “If Germany can cooperate with China and Russia, why should not we also be able to cooperate with those countries,” Dacic said. 

 He said that a long line of those who want to cooperate with China and Russia has formed and Serbia has an advantage over other countries as it is already implementing three major projects in cooperation with China. In connection with his statement that the West has made Serbia closer to Russia, which has sparked numerous reactions in the West, Dacic said that he is the prime minister of Serbia, rather than the prime minister of Russia, the president of the European Commission, or an employee of the U.S. administration or Chinese governor. “I am focusing on our interests. It is in our interest to become a member of the EU and to have the best possible relations with Washington, Moscow and Beijing,” Prime Minister Dacic said. Photo Tanjug/Z. Zestic

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