PM: No coup - but intent to undermine government

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has told state broadcaster RTS that he does not think "a coup" that the media speculated about took place.

Source: B92, RTS, Tanjug
(Image made from RTS video)
(Image made from RTS video)

But he added he sees "a permanent intent to undermine the government."

"Journalist Dragan J. Vucicevic ten days ago presented some things that are not quite true, a coup is when there is a change of government from the inside. In this case, I do not think there was a coup, there is neither the strength nor the will for it. I do not feel endangered. There is a permanent intent here to undermine the government of Serbia, but that is not a coup," said Vucic.

"A day before my 'arrest warrant' was published on the front page of this newspaper. Nobody reacted. I understand that the prime minister is the most attacked person in the state and bothers somebody. The media group all along claimed that they did not mention Vucic. And it said, 'Vucic'. They are abusing a man like that (Kornica) to accuse the prime minister of being a criminal. Someone was in a lot of hurry about such an attack," said the prime minister, who took a polygraph test on Sunday after being accused of taking part in blackmailing and extortion against tabloid Kurir's director Aleksandar Kornic.

"This is the hardest possible accusation for the specific crime. I've never seen that man (Kornica). I asked further to take a polygraph (test), against which there is a terrible campaign. Then why do all liars fear the lie detector," said Vucic.

Asked "whether some Western countries were involved in the recent events" he said he "did not want to talk about things for which he had no proof," and added:

"I cannot speak about embassies. Strange things were happening, from a western European country, when I was visiting migrants, a press conference was under way, I was informed that something happened, a man was going round to the Kobras (army unit), to people from the party, inquiring everywhere about my security , which units they came from. Finally, they called him and it turned he was the main intelligence officer, that is, the first secretary of a western embassy. Why this was important to them - I do not know, but that was my personal disappointment, however, I will not spoil relations with that country. This happened after the incident in Srebrenica (in July)."

Vucic also said that U.S. Ambassador Michael Kirby is his "good acquaintance" and "a friend of Serbia," while he had "a good professional relationship" with EU representative in Serbia Michael Davenport, and that this was "all he can say."

He added that he was "hurt" that Brussels, i.e., the EU was "also behind some media pressures", recalling the affair related to the public enterprise Kolubara and the Tamnava West mine.

According to Vucic, there are people in Serbia who are not ready for changes and who want to return Serbia "to the slurry of tycoon madness" but that foreign countries too have some interests of their own, "because Serbia is the only stable (country) in the surroundings."

The prime minister said that Belgrade Mayor Sinisa Mali will remain in office because he has good results, and was "falsely accused of owning 24 apartments in Bulgaria."

Vucic stressed that chapters 32 and 35 in Serbia's EU accession talks will be opened on December 14, that chapter 32 will be closed "very quickly," while chapter 35 is "somewhat more demanding." He expects "further pressures on the Kosovo issue."

He declined to comment on a statement made by a British parliamentarian who said Serbia "will have to recognize Kosovo's independence in the end."

"You do not think I will comment on a statement of an MP," he said, adding, "there will certainly be pressures."

According to him, after chapters 32 and 35, chapters 23 and 24 will be opened soon.

Speaking about the economy Vucic said that the budget deficit for November was "only 535 million, almost non-existent."


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