DW on election in Serbia: Brussels or Moscow – Vucic must decide

Source: N1

The old president is the new president, and now the question is whether he wants to lead the country in the EU since the war in Ukraine brings Belgrade a lucrative offer from Brussels, Deutsche Welle wrote on Monday.

Aleksandar Vucic, the giant with a babyface, won the elections, DW says. „They describe him as an autocrat or a director of „hybrid democracy“ and thus try to delegitimise him. „But the recipe for the success of this powerful man who has been walking from position to position for ten years lies in economics,“ Volker Wagener, editor at DW, wrote.

„The younger generation often sits on packed suitcases, if they haven’t already been in Vienna or Frankfurt for a long time. Those who stay rarely have anything against Vucic. Serbia’s GDP per capita has grown by forty percent in the past five years, unemployment has fallen, Government debt has remained within limits, and foreign exchange reserves are plentiful,“ he said.

Wagener added that „it works because it is felt in the fridge and the bank account. Vucic, the cursed stabilocrat who oppresses the media, distributes jobs according to the party membership and controls the police, secret service and judiciary, never won the elections with a nationalist pathos, on the contrary.“

“Vucic’s politics is free of ideology,” he said, adding that “his (Serbian Progressive Party) SNS is a catch-all. He turned the opposition into dwarves and marginalised extreme nationalists – at least until these elections when some of them are celebrating their return to parliament. The SNS program is called Vucic; the only ideology is power. ”

However, DW warned that “now, he must decide: Brussels or Moscow? Belgrade’s proximity to Moscow, often described as ‘pathological love’, is undergoing a challenging test during the war in Ukraine.

“Vucic, like (life-time Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz) Tito, is juggling between East and West. Gas arrives at a friendly price from the Russians, best friends, but Belgrade has been receiving alimony from Brussels for 15 years – three billion euros so far. EU accession has been negotiated for eight years, seductively slow,” DW said.

It added Brussels has repeated demands to the countries of the Western Balkans “for years, and now it has opened its doors to the EU.”

“Suddenly, it is no longer about the rule of law, free media and the fight against corruption. Now, the Balkan countries – especially Serbia – need to be protected from (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s appetites. But first, Belgrade has to decide,” DW editor said.

He added that “Russia’s attack on Ukraine opened a discount offer to Belgrade from Brussels.” It is a historic chance. Serbia should be European. That would be good for the whole region.”

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