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April 15, 2010

15. April 2010.

Belgrade – Milan Markovic, President of the Coordination Body for the Municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja and Minister for Public Administration and Local Self – Government, said at the yesterday’s forum „South Serbia - From Frozen Conflict to Sustainable Solutions – Possibilities for Long-Term Integration and Regional Development“that there were problems in South Serbia and that the Serbian government and the Coordination Body were fully aware of them. „We are very far from any conflicts in Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja. There are some problems in those municipalities and the Serbian government and the Coordination Body approach them very seriously“, Mr. Markovic said.  He said that unemployment and a difficult economic situation were the greatest problems there, as well as education and, partly, the usage of the official language. Minister Markovic pointed out that the solving of those problems would be far more successful following the establishment of the Albanian National Council. He also said that Bujanovac was a record holder in the amount of the funds received from the National Investment Project (NIP). Mr. Markovic stated that there were issues with including members of the Serbian community in South Serbia’s institutions and he voiced hope that that issue, too, would be resolved this year. Mary Bruce Warlick, the US Ambassador to Serbia, said that southern Serbia should be an integral part of Serbia, that it was a „very critical region“, as well as that further work on the strengthening of the local self-governments and their dialogue with the Republican authorities should be done. Vincent Degert, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, pointed out to a disparity between the central and southern Serbia, which occasionally created an atmosphere of uncertainty for South Serbia’s inhabitants.

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