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NEIGHBOURS’ DEAL

13. July 2012.

The new local authorities in Bujanovac, which consist of the Democratic Party, the Stojanca Arsic Civic Group and the coalition around the Democratic Party, were established without the influence and pressure from the outside. The President of the municipality of Bujanovac and the Leader of the Democratic Party, Nagip Arifi, said that the deal made was the “agreement between neighbors, Albanians and Serbs”. "It is better to sit down and negotiate with your neighbor than to have a mediator come and exert pressure on you "said Arifi, who believes that "it is the only way for the citizens of Bujanovac to realize that we can work and live together." The international community can only help us, as well as the Serbian government and all donors "said Mr. Arifi. He pointed out that MP Riza Halimi, too, supported the establishment of multiethnic government in Bujanovac. According to Mr. Arifi, this coalition is still open to other political parties that have their representatives in the municipality of Bujanovac. "The common goal of the political parties that entered into this coalition is to give full support to the economic development of the municipality of Bujanovac. Normally, there are problems, both political and security ones, but we will certainly contribute to a calm and stable situation in Bujanovac "Mr. Arifi said.  

He sees economic growth and a cleaner Bujanovac as priorities of the local self-government.  "The Serbian government should pay more attention to Bujanovac ", said Mr. Arifi, who also expects" the attention of donors, especially of the USAID and HELP programs”.  “We need real assistance, so that our economy could become competitive, not at the European level, but at least at the regional level ", Mr. Arifi said.

When asked about the relations between Serbs and Albanians in Bujanovac, Mr. Arifi said that the population never had any problems among them. There were never any problems between Serbs and Albanians in Bujanovac, even during the conflict and war in the former Yugoslavia. "There are no problems among the residents, but those that have economic problems can be easily manipulated.”

Deputy President of the Municipality of Bujanovac Stojanca Arsic said that it was a "good” thing that a multi-ethnic coalition was formed in Bujanovac in a timely fashion and without outside interference. “We formed a coalition and reached the coalition agreement, constituted the local self-government and elected all of its bodies in less than a month", said Mr. Arsic.