Presidential candidate Popovic: No commissaries from Moscow and Brussels
The presidential candidate of the center-right Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), Aleksandar Popovic, said in an interview for Insajder that he is offering euro-skeptic politics to Serbian voters who, according to him, do not want to live according to the dictates of Brussels.
“I do not want to have the commissaries from either Moscow or Brussels,” Popovic told Insajder, explaining that the only difference is in their approach. While Brussels pressures Serbia, Moscow does not.
He explained that Serbia should be an independent state cooperating with everybody, but keeping its sovereignty intact.
“Serbia is building a highway from Nis to Brac (Albania) because the EU and the German Canceller, Angela Merkel, are asking us to build it. There is the Serbian national plan for the development of roads, and this highway is not included in the plan. In spite of that, we are still building it,” said Popovic, who is also an MP in the Serbian Assembly.
Popovic said Serbia should keep its dignity and stop getting orders from the ambassadors. He recalled that in 2007, during the government of Vojislav Kostunica who was also a member of DSS, the hospitality to the German ambassador Andreas Cobel was denied due to the ambassador’s inappropriate statements.
“I do not want the Minister of Justice to come to the Assembly and say that we need to change our laws because of Brussels. The Laws in Serbia are adopted by the dictate of the EU. We have already been damaged by the EU and, furthermore, they do not want us in this organization,” claims Popovic.
He also said that the Brussels talks between Belgrade and Pristina under the supervision of the EU are unconstitutional. Popovic argued that Serbia lost everything and gained nothing with the Brussels talks on normalizing relations with Pristina.
“I will not change my political views in order to get the presidential position. I will not vote for the EU or NATO just to gain some power,” he said.
According to Popovic, the national and the democratic issues cannot be separated.
Before becoming a politician, Popovic was a professional sprinter competing at numerous sport events, including the World Junior Championship and the Mediterranean Games. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry, and he is a professor at the Faculty of Chemistry in Belgrade.
“When the EU forbids Bulgaria to build the Southern Stream gas pipeline, is it a democratic or a national problem? There is no difference between the two, one is not possible without the other,” claims Popovic.
“The issue of Kosovo must be returned to the United Nations. It will not be simple, it will be a subject of long negotiations, but it is attainable.”
No support for the ruling coalition’s candidate
Popovic said that there is an “atmosphere” of boycotting the presidential elections, but the opposition has never seriously discussed it.
“There were no serious talks on boycotting the elections. If there were, the DSS would give an opinion on this matter. However, we are not the strongest opposition party, not even the second strongest, so we could not initiate that talk,” said Popovic.
“The Serbian political scene became a gutter thanks to the ruling coalition. There is no chance that the DSS or I would support the PM Aleksandar Vucic in the second round of the elections.”
Popovic also said that he cannot support any candidate in the second round who advocates for Serbia’s accession to the EU and NATO.
“We want to change the policy and the government. In 2012, we changed the government but the politics remained the same. That is why we are in a bad situation today, far worse than the situation in Greece,” Popovic concluded.
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