Books on Serbia & Montenegro
% of GDP
Update No: 088 - (27/08/04)
Democrat and Radical lead mayoral race
Public opinion researcher Srdjan Bogosavljevic said on August 16th that
Belgrade's mayoral election could echo Serbia's presidential poll, with
candidates from the Democratic and Radical parties fighting it out in the second
Bogosavljevic, who heads research firm Strategic Marketing, said that Democratic
Party candidate Nenad Bogdanovic and the Radical Party's Aleksandar Vucic are
the early favourites for the September 19th election.
Marten Board International analyst Dejan Vuk Stankovic pointed out that the
election will be of critical significance for Vojislav Kostunica's Democratic
Party of Serbia, after its disastrous results in the Serbian presidential
election when its candidate trailed behind the leading contenders. Stankovic
added that he expected a strong campaign from Bogoljub Karic's Power of Serbia
Movement, observing that the party's real power will be apparent after the
Vuksanovic party quits Kostunica caucus
MPs from the National Democratic Party have split from the Democratic Party of
Serbia caucus in the Serbian Parliament.
National Democratic Party spokesman Miroslav Jankovic, announcing the move on
August 17th, said that his party had split from Kostunica's party in the
parliament "for practical reasons." The party will contest local
elections in September independently, said Jankovic, and will be better placed
to promote party interests if it is independent in the parliament.
Party leader Slobodan Vuksanovic told media that "in principle" the
split had no connection with the fact that Kostunica's party had not supported
his candidature for the Belgrade mayoral election.
The National Democratic Party will continue to support the government in the
Kostunica's government is caught between protesting workers who want subsidies
and pay raises and international lending institutions that want restraint and
spending reform. It is likely to remain unpopular, as would any incumbent
administration in Serbia right now.
Serbian hardliner urges war crimes fugitives not to surrender
Things are not helped for Kostunica because he is being outbid in his
nationalism on the radical right. A prominent ally of former president Slobodan
Milosevic urged war crimes suspects on August 15th to resist appeals to
surrender to the United Nations tribunal.
Alleging that the UN court is biased against Serbs, Aleksandar Vucic, the
secretary general of the Serbian Radical Party, called on Serb fugitives to
remain in hiding rather than face the "unfair and inhuman treatment"
received by the party's leader, Vojislav Seselj, who surrendered to The Hague,
Netherlands-based war crimes tribunal in February 2003.
Vucic's comments came a day after U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told
reporters during a visit to neighbouring Bosnia that he "won't be
happy" until Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic stands
"before the bar of justice in The Hague." Former Bosnian Serb military
commander general Ratko Mladic is also among 14 of 22 fugitives still sought by
the UN court.
Seselj, a Milosevic ally, has pleaded not guilty to charges that paramilitary
troops under his control murdered and tortured non-Serbs during the Balkan wars
of the 1990s. Judges in The Hague have denied Seselj's motion to be set free
until the start of his trial.
Vucic repeated earlier claims that Belgrade had reneged on a pledge to support
those who surrender on their own. "The authorities did not back Seselj
because they are too afraid of his political strength and influence," Vucic
The Radicals are Serbia's strongest party, with 82 of 250 seats in the Serbian
A top Belgrade official handling relations with The Hague tribunal has offered
his own appeal, asking suspects to come forward for the greater good of Serbia.
Minorities and Human Rights Minister Rasim Ljajic told private BK Television
that authorities were "most seriously" trying to determine whether
Mladic is in Serbia
Kosovo telecom authority grants telephone service operation licence to PTK
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority [ART] issued the operation licence
to the Post Telecommunication of Kosovo [PTK] for providing land, mobile and
Internet services, after it agreed to pay 10 million euros to the budget,
KosovaLive web site reported.
In the signing ceremony, the head of the ART, Anton Berisha, said that this is a
step forward for Kosovo's development and, as he put it, "a good
"It took three months of talks and a lot of efforts to reach the final
agreement for licensing of the PTK," said Berisha.
The agreement will be in effect as of 2nd August. "And thus would pave the
way to the PTK to be structured into a modern company, and make serious
investments in the telecommunication infrastructure in raising of quality of
services and protection of consumers, which also includes determining the fees
according to the European standards," Berisha said.
Gavin Jeffrey, the PTK's managing director, said: "This is a big day for
the PTK, after many months of discussions and negotiations with the ART, today
we are going to sign a licence for landline and mobile phone, which for the
first time will put us in the legal framework within the provisional institute
of self-government of Kosovo."
According to Jeffrey, ART will be in charge only for numerator of Vala 900, but
not for its budget. "We have paid 10 million euros for the licensing. We
will continue to fulfil our obligations to the budget of Kosovo. To date, the
PTK has paid the government 77 million euros in tax duties. The PTK has always
contributed to the budget of Kosovo and in future we will continue to pay all of
our taxes and obligations. The PTK is not a drain in the public budget, it is a
contributor to it," said Jeffrey.
The PTK is the only official provider of fixed and mobile telephony, which due
to the disagreements between the logical and international officials has not
obtained the formal licence till now.
Companies mull Serbian motorways
Italian and French companies have voiced interest in building the Belgrade-South
Adriatic and the Belgrade-Uzicka Pozega motorways, the Serbian Government's
online news service quotes Serbian Minister of Capital Investment, Velimir Ilic,
as saying following visits to Italy and France recently. Italian ministers and
representatives of the Italian national road company have welcomed a project for
the construction of the Belgrade-South Adriatic motorway, part of Corridor 10,
Ilic told a press conference. According to initial estimates, building works for
the Belgrade-Uzicka Pozega motorway would take up to three years and would call
for an investment of some €800m, the minister said. The Ministry of Capital
Investment is due to submit proposals to the Government, Ilic pinpointed, adding
that tenders will be launched once the government approves the projects, New
Europe has reported.
Our analysts and
editorial staff have many years experience in analysing and reporting
events in these nations. This knowledge is available in the form of
geopolitical and/or economic country reports on any individual or grouping
of countries. Such reports may be bespoke to the specification of clients
or by access to one of our existing specialised reports.
For further information email: