Tadić seeks agreement on "key principles"Source: B92
BELGRADE -- "I'm not looking for a second chance, I'm presenting a plan, and it is up to the citizens to say 'yes' or 'no," says Boris Tadić.
The former Serbian president and former leader of the Democrats (DS), now at the helm of the newly-formed New Democratic Party (NDS), told B92 TV on Monday he was ready to cooperate with everyone he can agree with on "key principles".
During the interview, Tadić added that he "could also be prime minister - but does not have to hold office."
"I want to design the development strategy for Serbia. I participated in the largest international fora which addressed key issues. We must do everything to help the country, because when the house is on fire, everyone has to put it out," said Tadić.
He added that the current government had poor results in the economy and that the country was burdened by poor economic parameters.
"There is high unemployment, over 30 percent of young people have the sword of poverty hanging over them, the debt is deepening. We had much better results in far worse global conditions. The world is now out of the crisis, and Serbia is sinking deeper into it," according to Tadić.
The former president also noted that he "does not see a better plan" to emerge from the crisis than the one he has. He blamed the prime minister, the president, and the ruling SNS party for the current situation.
"They brought only one investment, we'll see about these buses, how many parts will be produced in Serbia. If all we are doing is assembling the buses, then others will reap higher profits," Tadić stated.
He said that SNS leader Aleksandar Vučić "made a few bad moves."
"He brought (Saša) Radulović as minister, and before that (Mlađan) Dinkić. These are two completely opposite understandings of economic policy in one (government) term," noted Tadić.
He then said that Vučić and the SNS were "using" the popularity they achieved after arrests of tycoons and the progress made in the fight against corruption.
"I admit there is progress in the fight against corruption, but there is no progress within the economy. I can understand contracts that have not been completed and which are now being presented as something great from the point of view of the campaign," Tadić noted.
He added that his party "could also enter government with the SNS if agreement is there on central principles of policy."
"We can be part of the government, but also of the opposition. There is no agreement with the SNS, nor do Vučić and I have an agreement. We can enter government with the SNS if we can agree on principles, but we'll have no business there if they continue this thing with the media, the tabloidization Serbia, the clumsy bringing of investments," said Tadić.
He ruled out Ivica Dačić's SPS and Vojislav Koštunica's DSS as partners in a future government.
"The SPS has bad cadres and was ineffective, while the DSS takes the opposite policy from that for which I advocate," said Tadić.
Speaking about the period of his rule, the former president said that the biggest mistake he made was "in terms of the personnel policy."
"That was my biggest mistake. There were also some critical decisions that had 50 percent in favor and 50 percent against being adopted. Such a situation was the privatization of NIS, and the economic crisis, when I said it was a chance for Serbia," Tadić recalled.
When asked what exactly he meant when he said he "should have made dismissals earlier," he replied:
"All those I would have sacked are left behind in the DS. That's why I formed the NDS."
He believes that "the old and the new party can share successes and mistakes," but added he "assumes full responsibility for the economy and for the good and the bad things."
"The judiciary as well was my responsibility because I suggested those people for ministers. But that poorly reformed judiciary was better than this one now, because Milošević's judges are there," according to Tadić.
He also said that "the team that is to be credited with some major projects in Belgrade" remained with him.
"The famous bridge at Ada was built by the Directorate headed by NDS candidate for (Belgrade) mayor Boris Ranković. I also negotiated the Zemun-Borča bridge. (DS leader) Dragan Đilas and those around him had a few good projects, such as the reconstruction of the boulevard, Požeška (street) and underground containers," said Tadić.
When asked why his name was not listed as the first on the NDS election list - with Miki Rakić featured there instead - Tadić said he thought Rakić was "the man with whom he collaborated on the most dramatic issues in Serbia and who then performed his tasks perfectly."
Asked whether this was also the reason why Vučić was heard praising Rakić, Tadić said the question was "pointless."
In defense of his former party colleagues - whom Vučić on Sunday accused of "extremism" - the former president said:
"I disagree with that assessment, I think it's a really bad assessment."