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18. March 2013.

Nis – The Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said two days ago in Nis that the economic reconstruction and development of the southern part of the country were of priority strategic interest for the Serbian government, since the continuing impoverishment and depopulation of that part of the country might have disastrous consequences for Serbia. Mr. Dacic said at the meeting of the government’s representatives with the local officials and businessmen that South Serbia could only develop through large strategic projects, which would stimulate the progress of the entire region.

“If there is no change in its conduct, Serbia won’t only talk about the problems in Kosovo and the municipalities of Bujanovac, Presevo and Medvedja, but also its territory will become  increasingly less populated and that will be disastrous for Serbia ", said Mr. Dacic. According to him, there is no strong Serbia if its southern part is underdeveloped. 

“While we're talking here about the unity of Serbia and patriotism, other parts of Serbia have provinces, regions and their offices in Brussels. They also use the money from the European funds, so that the rich get richer and the poor poorer”, Mr. Dacic said, underscoring that all five districts of southern Serbia, regardless of the political affiliation of their mayors, had to express their common interests and proposals and implement them with the assistance of the government.

At a meeting held at Nis National Theatre, where several hundred participants were brought together, Mr. Dacic said that the local authorities and businessmen had to use, in the best possible way, the fact that the Serbian government was committed to the strategic development of the southern part of the country.

Citing the devastating statistics on the demographics and economy of South Serbia, the Prime Minister concluded that we could no longer afford to have the most strategically important part of the country at the bottom of the social and economic development. Upon the meeting and the exchange of information, Mr. Dacic pointed out that his aim was to have all the governmental institutions involved in the drafting of a strategy for South Serbia, so that the negative trends could be discontinued.    

The meeting was attended by Ministers Verica Kalanovic, Goran Knezevic and Zarko Obradovic, as well as by the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economy Dragijana Radonjic Petrovic and the President of the Coordination Body for South Serbia, Zoran Stankovic.

Source:  Tanjug