Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, in a full-encompassing interview with O2 announced that parliamentary elections would be held in late April or early May.
“This constitutes one of the exclusive rights of the President of the Republic and I was thinking of announcing it for March 15 or 22; but Prime Minister Ana Brnabic asked me to delay it as long as possible”, Vucic said. Therefore, he mentioned that the possible dates were April 26 or May 3, 2020.
Commenting on the elections in Croatia, he noted that he would be congratulating whoever ends up winning the elections, and he would try to work for the best possible relations between the two countries, and if not, to maintain peace and stability.
Vucic stated that he watched the elections in Croatia and, unlike others, his projection on the results was more accurate, adding that he experienced the final clash of the candidates differently.
Asked what would be better for Serbia between a victory of Milanovic and Kitarovic, the Serbian President explained that if he chose one over the other it would feel as if he was impartial.
Relations with Montenegro are complex, Aleksandar Vucic continued, noting that Serbia is not happy with the law on freedom of religion proposed by the Montenegrin government, but “we are not the ones to decide”.
Serbia has lost its right to decide on Montenegro for a long time, and “because of the toughness of our government at the time, there was no agreement and Montenegro initiated a referendum on independence, which it ended up winning, Vucic continued.
“Our position is difficult, because what we say can be regarded as interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state”, the Serbian President noted, adding that he had raised the issue before President Milo Đukanović
Commenting on the “mini-Schengen” initiative, he noted that not all centers in Europe are happy with the initiative.
“They do not like that the Balkans are doing their job themselves; they feel uncomfortable when they cannot decide for us”, the Serbian President argued, “but they cannot directly oppose that, as the initiative is based on the four freedoms, that is, the values that constitute the basis of the European vision, and comprise the free movement of persons, capital, services and goods.
President Aleksandar Vucic did not rule out the possibility of the “mini-Schengen” initiative failing due to “external pressure”.
However, he remained confident that all countries in the region would be joining the initiative, as the benefits to the citizens are beyond doubt, with over 2 billion euros being saved from free movement.
Continuing, Vucic stressed that Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama favors the possibility of economic co-operation, unlike some others in the region, referring to Kosovo which opposed the “mini-Schengen” initiative. For the first time there were differences between Tirana and Pristina, while he added that the courage the Albanian Prime Minister showed for the initiative was unprecedented.
To a question regarding the continuation of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, he replied that he did not know, as he did not know if and when a government would be formed or whether duties would be abolished.
In his view, the fact that the government in Pristina has not yet been formed is not a reason for postponement, but it is rather of a case of political competition, as many wish for new elections in order to strengthen their powers in a way they believe is right.
“This is the situation; it is neither responsible nor serious; but what can we do?” He wondered.
Asked if a compromise could be reached by the end of next year, Vucic said he was not ruling out anything, but instead he remained optimistic.
The Serbian President then focused on the country’s upgrading to the international chessboard, referring to visits by Putin and Xi and other leaders who travelled to Serbia for the first time in Serbian history.
Finally, Aleksandar Vucic referred to the country’s economic growth that will reach 4%, while the average salary in January will be around 510-515 euros. As for the accusations against his associates and the corruption issues his government is facing, he noted that changes must to be made, adding that there are people who have lost his trust and the trust of Serbian citizens. /ibna