Prime minister satisfied with new EC report
Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić said on Wednesday the European Commission report on Serbia's progress is "better than all the other reports in the region."Source: Tanjug
Vučić spoke after his meeting with visiting Austrian Foreing Minster Sebastian Kurz to add that "U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden also has very pronounced respect for Serbia, its leadership and what they do."
"When I talk to Sebastian Kurz I cannot hide a smile. The fact I'm tired is because I'm tired from two days of careful reading of the report - it took me 12 hours to read it and then I carefully worked on the report for 12 hours more, so even if I have dark circles under my eyes I got them from the report," Vučić told a joint news conference, according to Tanjug.
Speaking about his recent phone conversation with Biden, Vučić said that "his words were much kinder and nicer and spoke more good about Serbia than what was delivered to the media in a statement," adding that "Serbia is very grateful to the United States for its support to reforms in Serbia."
Asked "whether Austria has given more aid after the floods than Russia," Vučić said that Serbia respects each country and that the Russians were quick to send rescue teams, but that Austria gave more aid to repair the damage.
He reiterated that the UAE, Austria, Norway, and Japan were top donors.
Vučić also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Serbia on October 16 - as the 70th anniversary of the WW2 liberation of Belgrade will be taking place - and that the country "is not ashamed to talk about this, but on the contrary, is proud of its anti-fascist struggle."
Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz congratulated Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić on Wednesday over the report of the European Commission (EC) on Serbia's progress which, as he said, has a positive score primarily in the implementation of reforms in the economy sector.
Following the talks with Vučić, Kurz expressed satisfaction over such a positive score in the report on Serbia's progress, and congratulated Vučić on the five months' hard work in the area of reforms, primarily in the economy sector, because this is positive for the increase of investors' trust.
Kurz said that the new EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn of Austria asked him to convey his congratulations to the Serbian prime minister and said that he is looking forward to cooperation with Serbia in the integration process.
The Austrian prime minister said that the main reason of the visit of the Austrian delegation lies in the repair of the consequences of May floods which hit Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Austria was fortunately able to respond efficiently and provide assistance in many areas, Kurz said and added that the government provided assistance, as well as NGOs and individuals who nurture deep sympathies toward Serbia.
Kurz said that he wants to express gratitude to Vučić for the attitude toward the funds granted for the repair of the floods, the documents and lists of the donation destinations and the mode of their usage.
This is very important because this is not a given in other countries, he said.
Noting that he arrived in Belgrade together with the president of the Raiffeisen Bank which operates in Serbia through the UNIQA insurance, Kurz said that this is the first company which released after the floods that Serbia needs to be granted assistance.
He noted that the editor-in-chief of Austria's daily paper Kurier, a paper that promptly organized the campaign and gathered donations of individuals after the floods, also arrived in Belgrade together with him, as well as representatives of Caritas and the Red Cross, the two biggest Austrian NGOs which are making sure that the assistance is directed to those who need it most.
Kurz also said the forthcoming visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Belgrade will not harm relations between Serbia and the EU.
"Serbia’s position is clear. Clearly, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and the Serbian citizens are on the road to the EU and this is what counts," Kurz said.