June 14, 2023 From Media

Picula: The protests in Serbia will not overthrow Vučić's regime

Croatian MP Tonino Picula, in N1 Studio, commented for N1 Studio live on Prime Minister Andrej Plenković's visit to Serbia and the general situation in that country

"It is indicative of the quality of Croatian-Serbian relations that this is the first visit of the Prime Minister to Serbia since he held that position. You will agree, a bit strange when it comes to neighboring countries, but there are plenty of reasons for such a thing. We should not only go deeper into the past but also look at how relations have developed in the last few years, that is, they have not developed", said Picula.

He adds that every opportunity to talk should be used. "Discussion is the basic instrument in diplomacy, and I believe that Prime Minister Plenković's departure to Serbia should be welcomed."

"When we talk about the achievements and results of the visit, we should maintain skepticism. We have seen how the previous meetings of the highest officials of the two countries ended. There was no progress in relations. We will see if this visit will leave a deep mark on bilateral relations", said Picula, who believes that the two communities will benefit the most, both the Serbians in Croatia and the Croatians in Serbia.

Plenković is going to Serbia at a time when Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić is experiencing the greatest crisis of power, and relations with the EU are also strained. "The circumstances of Plenković's visit to Serbia are intriguing and interesting. Due to a series of facts, this visit goes beyond the bilateral character. It is certain that the meeting should be experienced in some kind of context of relations between Serbia and the EU. I cannot escape the impression that this visit has a wider significance. How much this will affect the relaxation of the relations between Belgrade and Zagreb and Belgrade and Brussels is difficult for me to estimate at this moment, but what Vučić does in Serbia will be more influential for Serbia's negotiating position. At this moment he is probably in the most difficult and complicated position since assumed absolute power in Serbia and it seems to me that every move he makes should be taken with a grain of salt. It seems to me that he has been successfully changing his political skin for years, but he retains his political temper," commented Picula.

Picula also referred to the general situation in Serbia. "The protests show the culmination and growth of dissatisfaction of a good part of the citizens, not only with the government's reaction to the mass murders but also with the overall assessment of Aleksandar Vučić's rule over the past 10 years. However, as many times before, these protests did not turn into a significant movement that could directly threaten the position of Aleksandar Vučić. He destroyed the political opposition and the final articulation of dissatisfaction is missing, which would shake the regime even more," said Picula.

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