Vučić on reshuffle, "foreign experts," economy

Aleksandar Vučić spoke for B92 about the reshuffle of the government and said that he was not surprised by the decision of PM Ivica Dačić to remove the URS.

Source: B92
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However, Dačić's first deputy and SNS party leader pointed out that it was also "not the subject of conspiracy."

He stressed that he did not previously know that Dačić would seek the dismissal of Mlađan Dinkić and the URS from the government and said that the government would have collapsed had the Progressives (SNS) rejected the "proposal" that came from Dačić's Socialists (SPS).

"Dinkić's offer, at least the part related to the SNS, was acceptable to us but not to the SPS, or (Rasim) Ljajić. This was where Dačić said there could be no more, and that was that," he stressed.

He pointed out that the reconstruction was finishing, that he would not require anything from Dačić, not even to relinquish one of his functions, and said that he was not afraid of political opponents, "but of what awaits us in the future."

When asked whether western countries influenced the decision not to go for early elections because of the Brussels agreement and Kosovo, Vučić said that "decisions on such matters are being taken only in Serbia."

"I laugh when they say 'unnamed (U.S.) State Department sources'." They do not decide on elections in Serbia. We respect the views of the State Department, Brussels, the Kremlin, but we make decisions in Serbia," said he.

The SNS leader added that "a list of ministers who are leaving has already been defined," and that work was now being done "on defining" the names of those who will come.

He specified that he hoped that "people from abroad" would take some advisory positions, but also indicated that a foreigner could become a minister.

Vučić denounced "the absurd attack on Dominique Strauss-Khan", with whom he says he spoke - "but only after the media reported that he was in the running for an advisory position."

He said that Strauss-Kahn was "a great expert," while that the charges against him, and his reputation, were "a job for some other countries."

When asked about the affairs at home, including those where Prime Minister Ivica Dačić was mentioned, Vučić said that the competent authorities would "shed light on everything."

"It will take as much time as needed even in the countries where the rule of law is developed. As I cannot speak badly of Dinkić, I cannot say that Dačić conducted the policy strategically poorly."

Vučić also said he was confident that the charges against the owner of Delta Holding Miroslav Mišković were strong enough, but added that "some great things" were also being "gathered."

As for the return of Stanko Subotić to Serbia, Vučić said that he now has the right to be in Belgrade, and rejected the argument that because of the "scandal" when he and Tomislav Nikolić met with Subotić at the Ritz in Paris, Subotić enjoyed a privileged status.

"He was taken off the wanted list for paying the bail, as well as Mišković was released from custody when the bail was paid," Vučić said.

Speaking about the economy, Vučić put the signing of the strategic partnership between Jat Airways and Etihad to the foreground.

He stated that the problem of Jat was solved quickly, and that beside a new brand and new ways of doing business it would become Air Serbia - "the best airline in this part of Europe."

He also announced that "ten aircraft" would be bought, new jobs created - but also that there would be layoffs of administrative staff.

In addition he announced investments from Mubadala, but also major investments this fall from the United States - and China, where both President Nikolić and Vučić will soon travel.

Asked about the statement made by Mlađan Dinkić a year ago that there was little money for wages and pensions, Vučić said that "the situation is not much easier," and that there was money "until mid-September to late September."

"The deficit is lower, exports are better, we will increase production, all that influences things to be better," he stressed.

However, Vučić would not say whether the budget deficit would be filled by the sale of Telekom, which he claims "already has twice the price compared to what the previous government had."

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