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Books on Serbia


Key Economic Data
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $
GNI per capita
 US $ 106
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Update No: 123 - (31/08/07)

Serbian Government Marks 100 Days
The Serbian government on August 23rd marked its first hundred days in power marked with relative stability. The government was formed on May 15th, less than an hour before the expiration of the deadline stipulated by the constitution. The formation of the Vojislav Kostunica's Cabinet followed months of wrangling over its composition following a January 21st vote. 

The centre-right government is comprised of the Democratic Party loyal to Serbia's President Boris, Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia, the G17 Plus and News Serbia. 

In his inaugural speech Kostunica set five key goals for the Cabinet including preservation of Kosovo, a breakaway ethnic Albanian-dominated province inside Serbia, economic development and recovery and struggle against organized crime, corruption red tape and nepotism. 

Mixed reception for the government
Belgrade's political analysts have responded by saying that the cabinet has had mixed results. Nebojsa Spaic of the Belgrade-based Spaic & Farmer consultancy said that "the government was not overly enthusiastic about its work." He added: "They have however managed to secure relative financial and social stability and to delay the Kosovo solution." 

Belgrade commentator Djordje Vukadinovic told media on August 23rd that the situation has been "surprisingly idyllic". He added: "The people in the government … now seem to refrain from conflicts, even when such conflicts would be justified," he said 

Analysts also said that major government's achievements were the resumption of pre-membership talks with the European Union, improved cooperation with the Netherlands-based UN war crimes tribunal and the success in delaying a resolution of the Kosovo status issue.

The pre-entry talks with the EU were cancelled last spring over Belgrade's failure to apprehend war crimes suspect former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic but were resumed after Serbia delivered two top suspects to the Hague Tribunal this June. 

The Kosovo negotiations in turn are currently deadlocked after Serbia's ally Russia has threatened to block any Western-backed proposal for the future status of the breakaway province which does not have Belgrade's support.

Despite these successes, some analysts would like to see greater efforts in key areas. Milenko Radic of the Belgrade-based Fund for the Development of Democracy, said the government needs to boost reforms of judiciary, particularly the work of the Constitutional Court. 
Expert Nemanja Nenadic also called on the government to step up its fight against organized crime. Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica recently praised an investigation into tobacco smuggling rings in Serbia which ended in several arrests. However, Nenadic sayid that these "efforts need to be more energetic and yield clearer results." 

On August 29th, the government announced a report on its first hundred days in power, followed by a news conference the next day. 

Belgrade Gets Invitation for Kosovo Talks
Serbia's foreign ministry received on August 23rd an official in vitation to attend the next talks on Kosovo's future status in Vienna, to be held in on August 30th, the country's media have reported.

The invitation came only hours after Slobodan Samardzic, Serbia's minister in charge of Kosovo, told reporters he was puzzled by the lack of official invitation, adding this was ''unusual, given that the day was approaching''. Meanwhile, in a statement posted on its official Web site, Serbian government said it has "not yet formed a negotiations team, because it is still unknown what will be the subject, form and manner of talks".

The Vienna meeting scheduled for August 30 will be held under the auspices of the so-called Contact Group, an advisory body comprised of US, Russia and key Western powers.

The group took over talks over Kosovo's future after Russia, a veto wielding member of the Security Council blocked a Western-backed resolution that envisioned Kosovo's internationally monitored independence. 

Serbian government has announced that the two sides will not engage in direct talks but will meet international diplomats in separate rooms. This is hardly an arrangement likely to be conducive of a solution. 

So far, there has been no common ground between Kosovo Albanians, who are demanding full independence for Kosovo, and Serbia, which is offering them only broad autonomy. 

Kosovo, officially a part of Serbia, has been under international administration since 1999, when a NATO air war drove out Serb forces.

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