I’ve noticed around the city the past couple of weeks many political posters. This spring they will be holding parlimentary elections and next year there will be a presidential election. The campaign has begun!
The posters definitely have a negative tone to them, highlighting the faults of the other parties.
The poster above reads, “Their interest in our debt!” and the subtext is “they brought the Belgrade economy to the edge of destruction.” The poster shows city mayor Dragan Đilas speaking with the economic minister. In a “city-state” such as Belgrade, the mayor has almost the same amount of power as the president and it is a position that the major political parties go after.
The current president, Boris Tadić will be serving out his five-year term in 2013. I think this is the first time a president has done that in Serbia’s short time as an independent nation. I don’t know how he can win reelection with the economy the way it is in Serbia. Experts are predicting Barak Obama facing difficulties getting a second term with 9% unemployment and a slow recovery. Tadić should be in big trouble with 23% unemployment, foreign direct investment falling in half in the past two years and inflation close to 10%. They also have 1/3 of their budget going to pensions.
But with a situation as dire as it is, it will be awfully difficult for anyone to turn the economy around. I don’t see much difference between the political parties (much like the USA) with all of them in favor of a 1 billion Euro subway system, promising more jobs, and cutting down on corruption. Most also agree to support the agriculture sector of the economy, which is already a healthy 13% of the GDP.
The argument used to be should they try to join the EU or go it alone or have a special relationship to Russia. I don’t see the EU accepting Serbia in the near future with the economic problems of Greece, Italy, and Spain.
Serbia needs leadership that will make it easier for businesses, both foreign and domestic to start up. Serbia is one of the most difficult places in the world to do business because of the bureacracy from Communist times. The rule of law needs also to be established here with everyone paying taxes and punishment of crime and corruption. I feel they should be putting their energy to trying to unite the Balkans instead of going for the EU membership. The negative campaigns are not focusing on the real details of what needs to get done and who can do it. Politics are the same in most countries and the USA is not an exception.
The poster below is making fun of Serbian Progressive Party leader, Tomislav Nikolić. He used to be with the Radicals and the left side shows him wearing a t-shirt of Voja Šešelj, the former leader of the Radicals, now on trial at the Hague. “Who is the person who never lied to you, Nikolić or the real Toma?”
Serbia deserves good leadership and I hope whoever gains power in the next election, and focus on good government and the betterment of lives of its citizens.