The Croatian daily Vecernji List recently published two articles praising Serbia for its ability to procure vaccines and for the state of its economy.
“Serbia has benefited greatly from the fact that as a small country in the general vaccine war and that it has been able to act independently and thus meet its needs, while Europe, despite the huge funds invested in vaccine development, has failed to use its negotiating position and the strength of its market, the most profitable in the world,” the newspaper writes.
In the article subtitled “Non-aligned Serbia becomes a leader in GDP growth and vaccination” and titled “Vucic like Tito”, Vecernji List writes that Belgrade used its formally neutral position and the fact that it has good relations with Europe and America, but also with Russia and China, to its benefit.
Serbia’s success, writes the newspaper, can be explained by the fact that Belgrade has signed contracts for more than 11 million doses of vaccines, of which the Chinese pharmaceutical company, Sinofarm, has already sent one million doses, while the Sputnik V vaccine, which could soon be produced in Serbia, came from Russia.
So far, Serbia has approved the use of three vaccines – BioNTec / Pfizer, Sputnik V and Sinofarm – and has made excellent use of the fact that, as a small country in the general war for the vaccine, it can act independently and thus meet its needs.
Serbia’s good relations with the East and the West, which facilitated flexibility in this case that proved to be crucial, Vecernji List writes.
This assessment, the daily adds, has been confirmed directly by PM Ana Brnabić, who recently gave several noteworthy interviews for European media, not missing the opportunity to promote Serbia through the attempt, as they say, to “smooth” the damaged image of the country in Europe due to the autocratic tendencies of President Aleksandar Vučić.
Vecernji adds that Serbia still ranks second in Europe in the number of vaccinated people per million inhabitants, just behind Great Britain.
The newspaper also points out that, so far, only a little more than 10.5 million people have been vaccinated in the EU, and the EU has more than 450 million, while in Serbia, which has the population of about 7 million, that number has exceeded half a million.
On the economic success of Serbia, Vecernji List writes that the situation is much more complicated than the vaccination and that although “the Serbian economy did relatively well during the pandemic year and is now registering solid growth, the problem of corruption, clientelism and a huge deficit in terms of enforcing the rule of law still persists”.
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