1. Ari, give it up, Nenad has completely out argued you, in public no less! Although I don't entirely agree with Nenad, he at least is heading in the right direction, whereas you are greatly in need of both a moral and geographic compass. Good job, Nenad.
    (The Count of Kosova, 30 October 2014 19:54)

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  2. No, Ari, I am not stumping for the likes of Juncker, Barroso or anyone else. Politicians are usually scum - it's the system that matters. And while I certainly recognize that the EU, US and other Western governments are highly imperfect and desperately in need of reform, I honestly see them as more highly evolved than those governments in Russia, China, Cuba, Iran, Syria and so on. In Serbia, SNS has virtual control of government and media, and that is a recipe for disaster, especially when the country was brought to its knees by war, sanctions, corruption, mafia and brain drain - all precisely at the time when it was just beginning to transition from a bankrupt totalitarian system to a fledgling Western-style democracy. Due to variety of factors since the ouster of Milosevic 14 years ago - the slow death of the criminal underworld that thrived under Milosevic, Western focus on al-Quaeda, the criminal invasion of Iraq, mismanagement of the war in Afghanistan, two economic recessions in the naughties (one the worst in 70 years), negligence on the part of the West over the issue of Kosovo, political deadlock in Washington as a result of right-wing Republican ideology - Serbia hasn't recovered much at all since the dark days of the 90s. That means that there is ZERO infrastructure in place for growth and recovery. Vucic will enrich himself and his cronies just like Milosevic did - just like Putin does. Ever wonder about the corpulence of Vucic and Dacic?
    (Nenad, 29 October 2014 18:00)

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  3. (Nenad, 29 October 2014 16:26)

    I just don't see how subjugating Serbia to EU directives and demands are going to answer any of your genuine concerns. What exactly is it about those unelected, unqualified and virtually unknown foreign bureaucrats in Brussels that gives them the moral and professional legitimacy to govern every country in Europe?

    What exactly do you see in Jean-Claude Juncker and Jose Barroso that makes you feel comfortable with handing over Serbia's sovereignty to their hands? You talk about Germany's living standards, you talk about Putin's net-worth, you talk about the safety of drinking water.... but unfortunately none of those things have anything at all to do with Serbia's hypothetical (but thank God not possible) entry into the EU.

    Do I think Vucic is the answer? No. Someone who flips his entire political ideology 180 degrees just to be accepted by EU masters is not a leader for me. But ultimately, the change and any chance for future growth WILL come from a Serbian government. Germany is not going to hold Serbia's hand into prosperity, are you nuts? This is the same Germany that is militarily occupying Serbia for the 3rd time in 100 years.
    (Ari Gold, 29 October 2014 16:39)

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  4. Ari,

    If you think corruption would be tackled by a dictator like Vucic who has complete control of government then you are delusional. And you offer up regulation of cinnamon content and balloon-blowing age as examples of EU totalitarianism? You seem to equate regulation with totalitarianism, and perhaps you should think twice. For example, do you honestly trust corporations who only care about their bottom line to ensure that that they don't pollute the water we drink and the air that we breathe? And what about the collapse of the financial sector that put the EU economy in the hole in the first place? That was all about deregulation. It's obvious that you believe in the capitalist fantasy that low taxes, small government and free markets are the solution to all our problems, but all that those things breed are plutocracy, the erosion of democracy and environmental destruction. Now we're getting into the real problem with the EU and other Western states, and that is that too LITTLE regulation exists. The best solution is a balance of capitalism and socialism. Countries consistently ranked as having the highest quality of life feature elements of both: Denmark, Holland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, etc.
    (Nenad, 29 October 2014 16:26)

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  5. (Nenad, 29 October 2014 14:00)

    Nenad, the alternative is being an independent self-governing nation state that does not wilfully surrender its sovereignty to a decaying EU that is going to completely implode before Serbia is ever invited to join.

    Serbia should lower taxes for all investors, cut out unnecessary regulation and red-tape (joining the EU, we would be bound to so many nonsensical regulations), cutting corruption etc.

    You speak of totalitarian, but did you know that the unelected EU commission dictates how many grams of cinnamon can be on a single pastry and at what age a minor can blow up a balloon without the presence of an adult?

    Sorry, but Germany's living standards and Putins net worth are absolutely and positively irrelevant to Serbia's prospects in the EU. Joining the EU wont turn Serbia into Germany as it hasn't for Romania, Bulgaria or Hungary.

    But a true free-market approach to economics and manufacturing products for export is a step in the right direction. But the EU doesn't want any of that for Serbia. They only seek to subjugate and dictate. Until Serbia understands that the EU is working actively to harm the country, there will never be any prosperity.
    (Ari Gold, 29 October 2014 15:05)

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  6. Comm.parrisson,

    I had a similar view. When things are so bad, there's only one way to go: up. I was a bit thrown off by Montenegro's 26% at first, but things have never been good there so the level of optimism is probably always in the tank.


    You love to talk about how awful the EU would be for Serbia but how about giving us a detailed argument in favor of some alternative? Tell us how, for example, Serbia could successfully compete against EU markets in foreign and domestic trade. Tell us how the totalitarian regime currently in power would be good for Serbia when nothing would force them to adopt reforms which, at least to some degree, ensure fairness and transparency in the economy, government and judiciary? Anti-Western Serbs like you are always so quick to put down the EU and its partners but have you seriously compared the quality of life between someone living in, say, Berlin versus someone living in Moscow? Have you ever wondered why Putin's net worth is estimated at $70 billion? Do you think Merkel is worth anything like that? And if Russia would be such a wonderful place to live, how come I see so many Russian immigrants here in the US - none of whom appear to be in any rush to return home?
    (Nenad, 29 October 2014 14:00)

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  7. It's plain simple: With a disastrous economy, chances for improvements are much higher than in more developed countries. Ever wondered why China could reach annual growth rates of 10% over some decades while western countries can not (and China still being years behind western countries, regarding BIP per capita, for example)?

    So, let's hope the economic situation and living standards for Serbs will improve, so they will reach Croatia in some years, or Slovenia in some decades.
    (Comm. Parrisson, 29 October 2014 10:32)

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  8. I'm also stunned that the only EU member, Croatia, is at 11% (it seems like the Serbian and Croatian numbers should be reversed). I guess joining the EU has not given Croatian citizens any confidence.
    (Aleks, 28 October 2014 16:24)

    Why should Croats be optimistic? They gave up their sovereignty to join the EU. Today, the EU has more authority in Croatia than the Croatian government, the European Court takes greater precedence over the Croatian supreme court, they are not in charge of any independent policy... of course they aren't going to be optimistic.

    Mind you, Serbia is the same. Except Serbia isn't a memberstate but a colony. Still, it has the ability to remove the EU shackles more than Croatia does now as Croatia is in way too deep. The question is will the Serbian government and the people at large finally realize that the path towards the EU is path towards isolation and poverty.

    Until that happens, Serbs have absolutely no reason to be optimistic.
    (Ari Gold, 28 October 2014 18:29)

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  9. Wow, I'm amazed by this. Every time I go back to visit Serbia it seems like everybody complains about how bad everything is economically and that there is no hope. Seriously, I never heard one person talk about how things are on the up and up. I'm wondering how they got 40%?

    I'm also stunned that the only EU member, Croatia, is at 11% (it seems like the Serbian and Croatian numbers should be reversed). I guess joining the EU has not given Croatian citizens any confidence.
    (Aleks, 28 October 2014 16:24)

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