Serbian PM presents reforms in marathon address to parliament

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic on Tuesday announced the stepping up of economic reforms and the downsizing of the public sector in a five-and-a-half hour address to the parliament, which the Opposition likened to speeches from the Soviet era during which deputies were not allowed to go to the toilet.

Vucic, leader of the centre-right and former ultranationalist who came to power in 2014, presented in the parliament the platform of his new government which he presented on Monday, almost four months after his victory in an early election.

Both exports and investments will be increased so that the economy can grow by 13% by the end of our four-year term, said Vucic.

He repeated that his goal was to complete talks on accession to the EU by 2019.

The country's debt will drop to 60% of GDP by 2020, he said.

"When all these figures are taken into account, it is clear that we can talk about a golden age for Serbia," he said.

He dedicated other parts of his speech to less important topics such as the beauty of Serbian tourist spots, which prompted opposition MPs to compare his speech to endless speeches by communist leaders in the Soviet era.

"Has Fidel Castro's record been beaten?" asked opposition MP Sasa Radulovic in an allusion to the Cuban leader known for speeches lasting for several hours.

When ultranationalist leader Vojislav Seselj asked for a break to go to the toilet, Vucic replied: "I don't have to leave the hall, but for you, Mr Seselj, we can provide diapers."

Last update: Wed, 10/08/2016 - 08:52

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