What will be the similarities and differences of the government of Ivica Dacic, comparing to earlier ones from the past 20 years or so? At first sight, this government is smaller in numbers, and same in number of women like the government of Mirko Cvetkovic. According to the exposé of Ivica Dacic, some things will change. Mirjana Nikolic has more details.
For all those who were watching the presentation of the new prime minister on Thursday, it was a surprise that in the first few minutes he spoke of bad demographic situation in Serbia. Although, the decreasing birthrate is a direct consequence of the deteriorating social circumstances and low living standard, and one of the burning issues in the country. However, that problem has been present for decades, but has not been mentioned before as a priority in opening speeches of any prime minister. The exposé of Ivica Dacic may awaken hope among some young couples that they will get jobs and accommodation more easily, thus increasing the number of children. But how to realize that? The Prime Minister has called for patriotism, invited Serbian businessmen to invest in Serbia, promised business subsidies, called for regular paying of taxes. Dacic said that there would be no freezing of salaries and pensions, no divisions on gender, religious of ethnic grounds, and the priority is social justice.
Prime Minister’s presentation was extensive, and there were no segments that would not been signed by the grand majority of Serbian citizens. They did choose the continuation of the European reforms and not recognizing the independence of Kosmet, so the government will follow those guidelines. It remains to be seen how other pre-election promises will be fulfilled. Future director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Aleksandar Vulin once responded to criticism during the election campaign that the coalition around the Progressive Party had no program, and said it would fit in three words – “We won’t steal”! According to the announcements of the new ministers, such program should suffice.
Let us remind, the United Regions of Serbia had also based a large part of their campaign on the motto “stop employment in line with party membership”. Mladjan Dinkic has repeated several times that one could tolerate director of a company being a party member, but not the situation in which even the lowest clerks are demanded to be in some political organization. Just how much these promises will be upheld, we will see soon on the examples of public companies and announced disbanding of state agencies.
When it comes to the new government, it is interesting to note that there are experienced politicians, renowned people who had not dealt with politics before, and those who have been unknown to wider public. In the first category is the previous, successful parliament speaker Slavica Djukic Dejanovic, a medical doctor who will take over the challenging position of the minister of health. Minister of sport and youth will be a non-party person, famous chess player Alisa Maric. Delving with traffic and construction will be experienced ministers from several governments, Milutin Mrkonjic and Velimir Ilic; while the minister of culture will be Bratislav Petkovic, known as the owner of a car museum and theatrical director, not as a politician. Another interesting feature of the new government is that it will have two representatives from the Sandzak region – Rasim Ljajic and Sulejman Ugljanin, and also positive is the fact that the ministry of spatial planning now belongs to Milan Bacevic, who has a PhD in that field.
The public agrees that the selection of the personnel promises a better work of the government. Even the political opponents of Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and President Tomislav Nikolic allow that this government, as unexpected as it was, may make some good moves. Dacic has stressed several times that the work of the new government will be a test for all its ministers, and primarily his as the Prime Minister. It is in everybody’s interest that they work to the best of their possibilities, and customarily, the first review of the results is given after 100 days.