Monday, February 22, 2016

"Blind eye being turned to growing nationalism in region"

(Tanjug, file)
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic says there is the growing problem of "nationalisms" in the Balkans - and that "a blind eye" is turned to this problem.


"The fact is that it can be felt everywhere in the region, and only a politically blind person could pretend not to see it," Vucic said in London, where he is on Monday attending an investment summit of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Vucic said that the region, facing also the migrant crisis, is in for a difficult year both in economic and political terms.

He said that all regional countries aspire to EU membership and take serious steps to move closer to it, but added that the EU had lost "the magical power" it once had.

"We want to become a part of the EU and are committed to it, but it's no longer a big dream as it was in the past. We still have a lot to do, especially in the judiciary, the fight against crime and corruption and for this we need the support of the EBRD and the EU," said the prime minister.

Vucic added that the Nis-Pristina road should be built as soon as possible - "because if trucks wait two or three days on the administrative line with Kosovo and on the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia due to bad roads, there will be problems."

"We do not expect merely that someone gives us money, but to help us in reforms, in education, with political support.... Only by creating a single market and customs will we be able to achieve significant result," Vucic told the EBRD investment event dedicated to the Balkans, according to Beta agency.

"Best possible relations"

"We want the best possible relations with Balkan nations - despite the doubts about the future of the region we come from, I am confident that it is good that we are meeting and talking and that we cooperate and respect each other," Aleksandar Vucic said in London on Monday, Tanjug reported.

The migrant crisis has convinced us that we have to cooperate even more and try to overcome problems together, he added.

The migrant crisis has resulted in growing nationalist tensions in the Balkans and everyone is turning a blind eye to this, he said.

However, we are moving on, with the intent of being part of the EU, he said, noting that the EU has lost some of its magic power in the Balkans.

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