Serbian economy – a nightmare of the popular Serbian Deputy PM

Serbian economy – a nightmare of the popular Serbian Deputy PM


Belgrade – By Milos Mitrovic

‘’The citizens of Serbia don’t want an early elections and it is important that we have some kind of the national consensus about this”, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday. However, Vucic announced ‘’the profound reshuffling of the Government”.

Vucic is the leader of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) which holds the majority in the Parliament. According to the polls, Vucic is the most popular politician in Serbia, and SNS is the most popular party. Nevertheless, in accordance with the coalition agreement that had been reached after the elections 2012, the leader of the Socialist party of Serbia (SPS) Ivica Dacic holds the PM position.

‘’I don’t think that people care how many MP`s or ministers would be controlled by a particular party. The most important issue is what we can do for the people”, Vucic stressed in the interview for the ‘’Blic” daily. Regarding the Government reshuffle, Vucic said that it would not encompass only ministers, but also the state secretaries, assistants and the other officials, as well as the public enterprises. The serious problems of the public enterprises could not have been covered up any more, and their directors would probably be dismissed, Vucic rendered.

Many corruption scandals in Serbia are related to public enterprises.  The public enterprises in Serbia came under tight control of the political parties since the multiparty system was introduced in 1990. Before that, they were in hands of the Association of Communists.

When it economy is concerned, Vucic said that the time to pay the outstanding debts from the past had come. He stressed that the sovereign debt had been growing for too long.  ‘’Our standard of living was allegedly good and stable, but Serbia (previous Government) had been borrowing loans for years. We had been maintaining the liquidity by selling Eurobonds several times per year”. At the same time, the production had been at the minimum, Deputy PM said.

When asked whether he demanded from the Minister of finances and economy Mladjan Dinkic to accept the reshuffling of Dinkic’s Ministry, Vucic said that ‘’it would be impossible because we have the coalition agreement’’.

On Friday, Dinkic said that the Government reshuffle was needed, but that he would not accept the discussion about the change in his Ministry by separating the departments of finances and economy. Dinkic is the leader of the United regions of Serbia (URS).

Neither Government reshuffle nor the calling of the early elections were at the table within the ruling coalition, Health minister Slavica Djukic Dejanovic (SPS) said earlier. ‘’All the activities of the Government were focused on the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and on the Serbian path towards European Union. Now we have to focus on the economy in the first place”’’.

‘’It is obvious that the dramatic developments regarding the economy and the budget are in front of us… It might decide the fate of this government rather than Kosovo issue”, political analyst Slobodan Antonic said for ‘’Danas’’ daily. However, as long as Vucic is that popular and has the support from Brussels and Washington, the Government would follow him, he added.

Vucic, who is on the top of the anticorruption department, took a major role in the arrest of Serbian tycoon Miroslav Miskovic. Although this arrest made him very popular, it would not be enough to preserve his popularity in the case that Serbian economy stacks, Antonic rendered. This is the main reason why exactly the economic failure represents Vucic’s main fear, or a nightmare, as he called it recently.