Dragan Djilas: ‘In terms of economy, Serbia is a devastated country’

Dragan Djilas: ‘In terms of economy, Serbia is a devastated country’

Each member of the opposition Alliance for Serbia group has been offered to join the ruling Progressive Party (SNS) of Serbia, led by president Aleksandar Vucic and thus become part of the government, said Dragan Djilas, the head of the Alliance and former mayor of Belgrade.

“And all of them have refused (the offer) because they know that Vucic and his team represent the evil, that they are the worst”, he underlined in an interview.

“Serbia is a devastated country in terms of economy”, Djilas told Vreme weekly, adding that workers in some parts of Serbia have monthly salaries ranging from 55 to 115 euros.

“We are not witnessing stagnation. Rather, we have been in a free-fall mode over the past six years. We are still not like Erdogan’s Turkey, but I guess that Vucic would like Serbia to become like it as soon as possible”, he said, alluding to the state Serbian democracy is in.

When asked to comment the different ideologies within his Alliance – from leftists and trade union leaders to rightists close to the Serbian Orthodox Church and Russia – Djilas said that such divisions are “false”. “I really believe that all of us who live in Serbia love our country… that we are all patriots”, he stressed.

At the same time, the government led by Vucic stigmatises all those who do not support the SNS, “marking” them as “traitors, fascists, thieves, tycoons”, Djilas said.

According to Djilas, the results of the elections in Serbia since 2012 are mostly influenced by the “government’s total control over the media and the pressure on people including buying votes”.

“We should first re-establish the country in which having a different opinion is considered normal; after we do that, we can talk about any ideological differences”.

Considering the Kosovo issue, Djilas said that only Vucic has interest in the immediate resolution of the dispute. “In 2012 he (Vucic) had accepted everything what Boris Tadic refused to accept”, he added referring to the former Serbian president. Unlike Tadic, Vucic has been more co-operative in order to be embraced by the West, argued the Serbian politician.

Djilas suggested that Vucic might be ready to accept the resolution which would be “humiliating for the Serbian people”. “And such a solution would lead us towards new armed conflicts in the next decades”, Djilas concluded…. / IBNA