Deputy PM sends New Year message

BELGRADE -- First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić on Tuesday wished a happy New Year to all citizens of Serbia, and commented on "most important goals in 2014."

(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

He said he hoped that 2014 would bring "more freedom, understanding and mutual respect, and less disputes and bad temper."

“I want all of us to work even harder in the next year and to build up the only country that we have - our beautiful Serbia, not to lose hope no matter how difficult it may get from time to time and no matter the magnitude of the challenges ahead, but rather to build, create and make progress with even more vigor,” Vučić said in the greeting.

He wished that "all citizens cherish friendships, respect one another, be healthy and spend the holidays with their families in harmony and well-being."

“All the best and happy New Year,” Vučić said.

In a statement for the Montenegrin newspaper Dan, Vučić singled out economic progress as the most important goal in the coming year, but noted that more effort was needed to achieve results there.

"A decent and normal Serbia is something we fight for. Such a Serbia is no longer very far away," he added.

Vučić said EU's decision to grant Serbia a date for the start of membership talks was "victory and success of all those citizens who understood political messages well, and understood where Serbia's place was."

Speaking about the Kosovo talks, which resulted in the Brussels agreement, he said they were "often difficult":

"But, it is our job and obligation to act seriously towards all problems. I expect that in 2014, and especially in 2015, after difficult reforms, there will be better life for all citizens of Serbia. It will take a lot of sweat and work to say that we have made something," the daily quoted him as saying.

On Monday, Vučić said that he was "still unable to tell whether early parliamentary elections will be held next year," and that he will discuss the matter with his party, the SNS, but also with Prime Minister Ivica Dačić.

"I am not a man who wants to be prime minister for the sake of his own vanity. I think that the Serbian president is doing an excellent job, and I have no strategic objections to the way the prime minister is doing his job," Vučić said in a New Year's interview for the tabloid Kurir.

Vučić, however, said that the atmosphere is a negative one, permeated by constant objections and questioning of legitimacy.

"If that goes on, there will be no other choice but to say - let us go to elections and see where everyone's legitimacy is at. But I will definitely discuss this with the prime minister," Vučić noted.