Serbia’s New Leaders Agree on Cabinet of 15

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, June 29, 2012
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Leaders of the Progressives and the Socialists have agreed that new government will have 15 ministries and said its final composition and agenda would be made clear within a fortnight.Ivica Dacic, Serbia’s Socialist Prime Minister elect and Aleksandar Vucic, leader of the Serbian Progressive Party, have agreed that the future coalition government will have 15 ministries.

They announced that its final composition, programme and goals will be clarified within the next two weeks.After their meeting at Progressive Party headquarters, Dacic and Vucic told reporters that they had discussed budget spending and revenues rather than personnel choices.

This reflects the fact that Serbia faces declining living standards, an unemployment rate that has risen to 24 per cent while monthly salaries average only 350 euro.

Vucic said the government faced a serious job ahead, adding that work would start on Monday on drafting its plan and programme, while talks on its structure would start in the next five days.

Dacic and Vucic agreed that Serbia will continue on its European path, try to open accession talks with the EU as soon as possible, and will accept and implement European standards.

Serbia obtained EU candidate status in March 2012 under the last Democrat-led government and has been hoping to open accession talks soon.

The two men agreed that Serbia should be a factor of stability in the region, and that it needed to tackle corruption and crime and respect principles of social justice.

Despite repeated questions, Vucic did not explain whether he would be in the future government.

Balkan Insight recently heard from a source in the Progressives that Vucic may become deputy Prime Minister in charge of EU integration.

The first official talks on the new government come a day after Serbia’s new President, Tomislav Nikolic, on Thursday gave Dacic, once the right hand of the former strongman Slobodan Milosevic, a mandate to form a government.

Besides the Progressives and Socialists, the new government will include the United Regions of Serbia, whose leader, Mladjan Dinkic, has been in every Serbian government since 2000.

In the general elections on May 6, the Progressives won 73 of the 250 seats in parliament, the Socialists 44 and United Regions of Serbia 11.

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