The last round table discussion between the representatives of Serbia’s authorities and the opposition ended in fiasco after some opposition leaders left the meeting and the main opposition group Alliance for Serbia (SzS) said it would not take part any more.
The Executive Director of the Open Society Foundation Milan Antonijevic told Radio Free Europe (RFE) on Tuesday that Goran Vesic, Deputy Belgrade Mayor and an official of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), had violated the Chatham House rules by re-telling media what an opposition leader allegedly said during the talks.
Vesic quoted Zoran Zivkovic as saying that “no journalist does their job correctly and that the editors should get instruction on how to behave.”
Zivkovic’ opposition Nova Stranka denied Vesic’s allegation and said that what he told after the meeting was “a lie.”
Antonijevic, one of the organisers of the discussions held for the third time at the Political Science Faculty in Belgrade also denied Vesic’s words, adding he violated the rules stipulating that no details from the meetings held behind closed doors should be revealed.
The third meeting was focused on media, but Vesic said the opposition misunderstood the topic.
Antonijevic said that there were no insults during the meeting and that no one offended journalists either.
“On one hand Vesic spoke about the content of the meeting and on the other named a person who told something that that person did not say,” Antonijevic told RFE, adding it was uncertain if the next meeting would be held after SzS said it would not take part.
Reacting to Antonijevic’s statement, Vesic said he apologised “if I violated the rule, but I would do that again.” He reiterated that Zivkovic said that, adding he believed it should be known.