New Serbia Leaders Announce Arrests for Corruption

Serbia’s ruling Progressives say that the new government’s results in fighting corruption would become visible “very soon”.Serbian Progressive Party is preparing corruption-related arrests for September, Balkan Insight has learned from the party.The tackling corruption was one of the main goals in their election programme and campaign.

Aleksandar Vucic, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister, said that the government’s job was not to talk about forthcoming arrests even though this was what the people would like, but to make the institutions do their job.“The key issue for us is who took the people’s money and how to get it back.

“State institutions will take all necessary measures in this regard and in the shortest possible time frame the people will see that it is possible for the state to fight corruption and crime more strongly and clearly,” Vucic told Serbian public broadcaster RTS.

He noted that these institutions had to keep in mind that no one is beyond reach, regardless or political, party or any other affiliation.

“I am convinced that working like this and strengthening institutions is a collateral for the future. Because once we establish a system, it will not depend on any individual, rather it will function the way it does today in Denmark, Norway or any other well-run country with a far lower rate of crime and corruption,” said the deputy prime minister, who is in charge of defense, security and combating crime and corruption.

According to him, the government will prove that it is possible for the state to conduct a fiercer camapign against corruption and crime.

He added that institutions must bear in mind that there are no untouchables regardless of whom they belong to politically.

The authorities will also re-examine a number of disputed privatizations as requested by the European Commission.

Twelve years after democratic changes started in Serbia, a successful fight against corruption remains one of the key conditions for the country’s EU progress.

Sociology professor Vesna Pesic, an opposition leader in the 1990s, wrote in a recent report that while Serbia has passed many laws and established new institutions to fight corruption in the post-Milosevic period, the results have been disappointing.

This is because the laws are improperly implemented, institutions are weak and enforcement mechanisms are almost non-existent, she explained in her report, State Capture and Widespread Corruption.

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