By Miloš Mitrović – Belgrade
The decision of the Serbian government to normalize its relations with the government in Priština, which was formalized by the Brussels agreement on April 18th, was assuredly positive. Although Belgrade was motivated in the first place by the European Union promise that it would kick off the accession negotiations with Serbia in return, Brussels agreement also gave a modest step towards the reconciliation process between Serbs and Kosovo Albanians.
Ironically, the credit for both the Serbian progress towards the EU and the impulse to improvement of the regional cooperation go to two officials, which have been symbolizing the anti-European politics until a just few years ago – to the Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and his First Deputy Aleksandar Vučić.
During the 1990s Ivica Dačić had been a spokesman of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), lead at the time by the former Serbian and FR Yugoslavia president Slobodan Milošević, who died at the detention of the Hague Tribunal (International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia) in 2006. There is no need to waste the words regarding Milošević: his politics was one of the major causes of the disintegration of the Yugoslavia. Under his authoritarian regime Serbia was internationally isolated and economically broken. In 1999 Milosevic lost both, the war against the NATO and it`s Autonomous Province Kosovo and Metohija.
After Milošević was overthrown in 2000, Dačić had decided to initiate the changes in SPS. In 2006 he became the party leader.
On Friday, June 28th, the European Union is to signal the “green light” for the accession negotiations with Serbia. The June 28 is a Serbian religious holiday – Vidovdan.
Vidovdan has great symbolic importance for the Serbian people. On June 28, 1389 Serbian army was defeated by the Ottoman conquerors in the Battle of Kosovo. In the opinion of the majority of the Serbian people, this date marked both the downfall of the Serbian medieval state and the loss of Kosovo, “Serbian Holly Land”.
On June 28, 1914 young Serbian revolutionary Gavrilo Princip assassinated the Austro-Hungarian crown prince Franz Ferdinand, the move that triggered the World War I.
On Vidovdan, 1989 Slobodan Milošević had organized the mass nationalistic rally in Kosovo, which is regarded by many as the start of the dissolution of the Yugoslavia.
Milošević was deported to the Hague Tribunal to stand trial for the war crimes including genocide, and crimes against humanity during the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo on June 28, 2006.
Milošević has been Dačić`s spiritual leader for more than 10 years.
On Saturday, Dačić wrote an article for Belgrade “Danas” daily ahead the upcoming Vidovdan. He revealed that he had found inspiration in the poems of Rudyard Kipling and Constantine Cavafy.
“Few days ago, while travelling, I was reading Rudyard Kipling again; not just because the title of his poem could perfectly fit with the title of the book about the recent Serbian history. The reason is that Kipling simply wrote perfect short stories and beautiful poems. Kipling himself represents the virtue. And the virtues are the issue I am interested in. The great writer devoted the poem “If” to his son. I was travelling from United States to Vienna. I am aware that my children will not inherit the poems from me. But on June 28th, if we persist, after all tacit losses, maybe we will bestow to our children, to ourselves, to Serbia – the Europe”.
Dačić stressed that Serbia should realize both that “the Europe represents the path, not the aim” and that “there is no contest in which one can win it (the Europe)”. “After all, we already won the main prize. We have found ourselves in this tiny grain of the universe, in the remote nook of this grain; we have to do something in this place now. Cavafy said that if you squander your life in your own town, you will waste it everywhere”.
Until September 2008, Aleksandar Vučić was close associate of Vojislav Šešelj, leader of Serbian Radical Party (SRS). From 1998 to 2000 Vučić was Serbian minister for information. During his term, draconian Information Law was enacted. “Vucic law” introduced high fines for the journalists who spoke against the government.
In 2008, Vučić and the incumbent Serbian president Tomislav Nikolić resigned from SRS. They left their former idol Šešelj to conduct his own war against the Hague Tribunal that had accused him for the crimes during the conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia. Vučić and Nikolić subsequently founded pro-European Serbian Progressive Party (SNS).
Vučić is the most popular politician in Serbia. He often quotes German sociologist and philosopher Max Weber. “I am deeply convinced that the doctrine by Max Weber which states that the knowledge, education, religion, moral and science determine the economic basis of the society… was truth. All of us should strive to create the conditions for young, talented and successful people to stay in Serbia”, Vučić said at one occasion.
Max Weber’s books such as “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” and “Politics as a Vocation” are now Vučić`s favourite ones. While being SRS official, Vučić was obliged to read the books by Vojislav Šešelj: ‘’The ideology of Serbian Nationalism’’, ‘’The Roman Catholic Criminal Project of the Artificial Croatian Nation’’, “Vatikan, the main nest of Satan” etc.
During his lengthy days at Hague Tribunal detention, Šešelj had written several books about Vučić. One among them is titled as ‘’Aleksandar Vučić, Serbian Baron Munchausen’’.