Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on Saturday that Serbia wanted good relations with Croatia and to compete with it in economic progress, not in conflicts, insults and ugly words.
Speaking at a joint news conference with European Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn, Vucic said the poor relations in the region, including those between Serbia and Croatia, were one of the topics of their talks.
Vucic said "Serbia is dramatically reducing its deficit in relation to Croatia," that it "has stable public finances and the biggest surplus in the region... That's the positive competition we want, not in insults and ugly words, to catch up with them economically in the next 20 to 30 years."
"I expect Croatia to have a different government and that we will have better relations," he said. Asked if he expected the EU "to exert pressure on Zagreb" and call on it to act in line with European standards, Vucic said he did not. "Croatia is a member of the EU, Serbia is not. We are grateful to have almost equal treatment. It's up to us to fight, to try and do something through work. It's nonsense to expect anything to fall into our lap."