Even though Prime Minister designate Aleksandar Vučić didn’t entirely read all 450 pages of his exposé as he had announced earlier, the reading of abbreviated version of 68 pages lasted much longer in comparison with the program’s presentation of the previous governments from transition period. Vučić himself has beaten his own record from 2014, when it took him 3 hours to present the key points of his government’s programme.
At the beginning of his addressing the prime minister pointed out that the choice of the new government wasn’t based upon selfish interests, but upon the sense of responsibility and he remembered that it is also up to the citizens to give their best in order to improve the situation in the country.
“Serbia is not the same country it was 2 years ago, when the country was going through a period of recession characterized by high public debt”, stressed Vučić. Then he expressed his intention to continue to increase salaries in the public sector: “policemen, military personnel, employees in the health and educational sectors can confide that their salaries will be raised, and not insignificantly. And all of this is possible thanks to a rise in salaries in the private sector”.
According to the prime minister, from 2014 to 2016, 124 000 new job position were created and the opening of more than one factory regularly takes place each month, while on a financial level the national currency is stabilized and inflation is kept at low levels. The economic, regional and political stability represents premise for new investments, both international and domestic, and it contributes to build an international image of our country as a reliable partner.
Prime Minister designate Aleksandar Vučić expressed his belief that, after being strongly supported in the elections, the greatest part of citizens approves his policy that consists in reforms and changes.
‘The new government will work for peace and stability in the region’
Vučić said that the new government will work for maintaining peace and stability in the region and that it will be the biggest obstacle to all those who would like to destabilize Serbia: “certain countries in the region, like Croatia, are bringing up some difficult issues from the past jeopardizing, in that way, regional stability.
In addition, Vučić reaffirmed the intention of Serbia to prosecute all those who committed crimes, pointing out that “the only thing we ask for is that all criminals be punished regardless of their nationality”.
Dialogue and partnership with everyone
Through dialogue Serbia will continue with its policy of collaboration and strengthening the relations with neighboring countries in order to ensure long-term peace and stability.
The development of the defense system will be a condition for protection of the interests of the Republic of Serbia that will help her to respond to all challenges, risks and threats to national security. Regarding the cooperation in the field, Serbia will continue to cooperate with the EU, Russia, China, the United States, as well as with all other friendly countries.
Prime minister designate Vučić said that the Serbian military forces will continue to secure administrative border and to control the security zone in Kosovo.
‘The growth of the investments depends on how dynamic the accession process to the EU will be’
Until now Serbia has recorded the growth of GDP thanks to the intensification of export and increased level of investments, but “the growth of investments in the future will directly depend on how dynamic the accession process to the EU will be”, said Prime Minister designate Vučić confirming that Serbia will continue to open negotiation chapters and that the process will be completed by 2020.
“I expect that Serbia will close all negotiation chapters by the end of the mandate of this government, but this doesn’t depend only on us”.
The accession to the EU is stated as one of the strategic goals of the government, while so far all requirements related to economy set by IMF, the World Bank and the European Commission have been fulfilled, according to Vučić.
The prime minister indicated that in 2015 arrived € 2.11 billion worth of investments in Serbia, of which 72,4% from the EU countries. The major partners of Serbia in commercial trade were Italy, Germany, Romania and Croatia. The largest trade surplus was recorded with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia, while the greatest trade deficit was recorded with China because of the import of mobile phones and laptops, as well as with Russia because of the import of oil and gas.
‘Kosovo and Metohija still a problem, the Serbian-Albanian relations important to the whole region’
The Kosovo issue remains the key challenge in the program of this government that, even though it doesn’t intend to recognize Kosovo’s independence, will do its best to continue the dialogue with Pristina which is in the best interest of the whole region.
“The Serbian people in Kosovo should be supported institutionally with the formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities which has been inhibited by Pristina for a long time. The protection of the Serbian people’s properties, as well as of the companies and of the Orthodox churches in Kosovo will be one of the government’s priorities”, said Vučić.
‘Negotiations with 48 new investors for the hiring of 32 400 people’
Vučić said that the investors have confidence in the government and that he was personally present at the opening of 38 new factories and plants thanks to which thousands of job positions were created. 36 contracts were concluded with the investors, from 2014 to 2016, for a total value of 542 million euros and with an obligation to hire 18 523 workers.
“At this moment the Serbian Development Agency is conducting negotiations with 48 potential investors who intend to invest one billion and 62,1 million euros and hire 32 400 people. We are talking about some of the best-known companies in the world like Bosch, Draxlrmaier, Kromberg & Schubert, Mahle and the greatest part of German companies has intention to make further investments in Serbia and they plan or to expand the existing capacities or to build new factories”, told Vučić.
As it was indicated in the program, the new government will push through the reform and modernization of the National Employment Service and Serbia will be able to reach the lowest unemployment rate in the region.
Better organization of the Public Administration and the end of the privatization process.
The employees in the Public Administration will have to take on a greater responsibility if requested and the government should focus on a better organization of work and personnel structure. Vučić indicated that in the last 3-5 years the number of employees in the Public Administration is reduced by 13% and added that from now on the work in the organs of state will be more responsible.
The privatization process will reach its final stages, and he also added that in the last two years 41 companies were sold, while 264 have started the bankruptcy process “one of the important strategic companies is Telekom, whose future is in the cooperation with a strategic partner. In addition, the government plans to find a private partner also for the Nikola Tesla Airport”, told Vučić.
Fight against corruption
Fight against corruption and organized crime remains to be one of the government’s priorities and will be led through the development of institutions.
Talking about the results achieved so far, Vučić said that the percentage of crimes decreased by 8,6% in the last two years.
After the presentation of the government’s program to the deputies of the National Assembly, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) announced that they will not give their support to the new government.
The leader of the Liberal Democratic Party said that his party will not support the new government, because it doesn’t see “a clear policy and the necessary force to solve problems”.
Milan Lapčević, deputy of DSS, noted that the government’s program is more a report on the work done in the past four years than it is a program dedicated to the future period.
The head of the parliamentary group Dveri, Boško Obradović, said that from the long Vučić’s program one could arrive at a conclusion that there are two versions of Serbia “one in the head of Aleksandar Vučić, that is far from reality, and the other one, in which we all live”.
This post is also available in: Italiano