by Vladimir Gujanicic
From the time Aleksandar Vucic became prime minister of Serbia, neoliberal reforms in economy start to take radical shape, most radical in the region. The production from abroad opening in Serbia, because Serbia gives the lowest salary in the region, and the highest profit to one who opens production. This policy was proclaimed after Vucic took power and continues with this after he becomes president. Many people often don’t understand the process and watching only on political figures as the main problem, which is completely wrong.
Vucic had passed a long road from hard line nationalist to neoliberal, now standing on positions of peoples who he called traitors in ninety. So what happens? After massive privatization of the economy, new economy model can’t handle with a big army, defense system become much smaller, from Yugoslav army with 118 000 men, today Serbian army become like four to five times smaller. Destroyed and sold technique. In economy road Serbian foreign debt become several times bigger. With only this two factors which became reality in the last 18 years, maneuvering space for Serbian politic become very small. So the Vucic like his party are fulfilling the same acting role as their previous political opponents, but with that difference, that their time for important decisions is running out. The game of cat and mouse continues.
What nobody expected Vucic put the lesbian prime minister on that position, hardly imaginable for one ”nationalist”. But the game of cat and mouse continues to play. Vucic only “masking” his main politic and covers himself with pro-western neoliberal “reforms” and LGBT liberty which for sure will expand if this politic continue. Serbia is not yet on the menu of US, but it is closely watched. The US wants Kosovo problem to be solved before changing the balance of power. Sure Vucic or somebody other could continue to do all US wants except recognition Kosovo independence and wait when US power, which is in falling, pass and then reclaim Kosovo territory.
But this will likely happen because the US is pressing that recognition of Kosovo became reality. Sure, we can see this from president Vucic statement, Serbian people may be tested again like any time in history “obey or fight”. Today world is not ideological extremized like in the 30s and 40s years of twenty century, but still Empire have tools, from rebellion in non ethnic homogeneous parts of Serbia(south Serbia), Raska(Sandzak), as economic pressure tools to use it against non obeying government, which will after this measure again be in position to chose “fight or obey”.
The moment of decision becoming closer as Kosovo partition or recognition is more often used on state TV. In this statement, Vucic showing big pessimism and tone like he wants to capitulate. In the rare moments, he told that “we can not lose everything” but as we see Western powers want full recognition of Kosovo. Today his statement was also pathetic in the terms of splitting Kosovo. His statements are touching population opinion on old dilemma, if you don’t take what they offer now you will lose more than you have. Surely he does not want confrontation, and if this question would be put on the table according to his statements he would rather withdraw. This moment has not yet come, but according to more and more often statements it is no far.
Temp of conversation between Belgrade and Pristina is dictated by US and EU, the aim is that nothing of resolution 1244 stay on paper and that legalization of present status become reality, so if a balance of power is switched on worlds table, Serbia after that can not reclaim Kosovo. The similar thing we have in many parts of the world. The one thing is for sure, a political position is strong as much as the army is strong. Behind the pretty language of peace and coregistration is always the threat of force.
Alexander Vucic clearly wants to continue with “his” neoliberal reforms opening more factories for cheap labor and to stay as long as he can from the aim of Washingon.
US have now a far bigger problem as Iran, North Korea, Syria(Middle East), confrontation with Russia and EU problems. In the light of that reality one could possibly have some hope that somebody will not whisper Trump to ear “emperor, do not forget Athenians”.
NOTE: This article first appeared at Balkans Post.