Serbian minister says CoE won’t solve local problems

NEWS 25.10.2018 08:50
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Source: Tanjug / Zoran Žestić

Serbian State Administration and Local Government Minister Branko Ruzic said the Council of Europe (CoE) won’t solve the problems facing three opposition-led local authorities.

Ruzic told Belgrade daily Danas that the heads of the Sabac, Paracin and Cajetina municipalities were wrong to file complaints with the CoE. “I think they are very much mistaken, this is egocentric local politics mongering and that is not the way to solve things. Our door is open to them,” the minister said, adding that they are wrong to think they can establish cooperation with the government in that way.  

The local government in Paracin filed a complaint with the CoE Congress of Local and Regional Authorities saying that it was under pressure from the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and requesting a fact-finding mission to investigate the state of democracy at local level in Serbia. That initiative won the support of the local authorities in Sabac and Cajetina and another 400 local council members from 80 municipalities across the country.  

Ruzic, who is deputy leader of ruling coalition member the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), said that he understands that it’s hard to survive in a political environment dominated by a political power like the SNS.