Nenad Popovic’s speech at the Constituent Assembly of Serbian People’s Party

4th December 2014

by / 0 Comments / 46 View / 4th December 2014

“Distinguished guests, Your Excellencies, representatives of the diplomatic corps, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

The highest priest, founder of the Serbian church, school and state Saint Sava, said: “At all your paths ensure that your paths are right and your feet will not stumble.”

Guided by the strength and wisdom of those words, we make the first step in our political path today. It is a path of national revival. The path of a secure future for our children. The path a free, strong and independent Serbia.

This is the path Serbian People’s Party!

SPP is forming its Constituent Assembly today. We are united around the idea to change Serbia. To contribute to its political, economic and moral revival. We want a Serbia that is upright and proud. Therefore, our task is to restore dignity to the people, to return the self-respect to the nation. To awaken his pride and dormant hope. That is the only way Serbia can elevate its head and move forward.

SPP is forming its Constituent Assembly today. We are united around the idea to change Serbia. To contribute to its political, economic and moral revival. We want a Serbia that is upright and proud. Therefore, our task is to restore dignity to the people, to return the self-respect to the nation. To awaken his pride and dormant hope. That is the only way Serbia can elevate its head and move forward.

We will build our party in the same way in which we want to build Serbia. It has to be modern and traditional at the same time. Both, national and democratic, state-building and pragmatic. It mustn’t forget the past, but it should look to the future.

Healing the national economy is our main goal. Everyone should know: there is no fulfillment of our national and state goals with the lowest wage in the region.

We can have the best political program, but it’s useless if we don’t advance Serbian economy and employ our youth.

That is why I would like to talk about our entrepreneurs at the beginning. The bravest and most valuable individuals that our society has! Entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises you are the elite of Serbia! Those of you who are exporting, employing people, paying taxes! You are now heroes Serbia! Thanks to you pensioners receive pensions, doctors receive salaries, mothers receive child allowances. I can assure you – SPP will be your greatest ally in the fight for your interests.

We will invest all our energy to reduce the tax burden to realistic levels and to combat the gray economy. The entrepreneurs shouldn’t be treated as criminals but as the most respected members of our society.

Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the backbone of sustainable development. They create half of everything that Serbia exports to the world.

Even 80 percent of German and Austrian economy consists of entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises, and they are the ones who pulled their countries out of crisis.

Do not despair there is a solution for Serbia as well. We need to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit and enable each individual to start his own business. Just like you manage your household, rationally, with diligence and dedication, with trust in each other, that is how you will manage your small business.

Do not despair there is a solution for Serbia as well. We need to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit and enable each individual to start his own business. Just like you manage your household, rationally, with diligence and dedication, with trust in each other, that is how you will manage your small business.

This is the path towards advanced national economy.

Unemployment is the biggest problem in Serbia. Therefore we have no preferential task and no greater priority than to provide every citizen a job!

And where are jobs today? They are with entrepreneurs and small businesses and in agriculture.

We want a farmer to earn a living in his village, in his country, and not as a stranger in the town. Those are home-made jobs. Those are family businesses.

Let’s increase subsidies for agriculture, and no longer import cattle from Croatia, but feed our pigs and cows. Let’s have irrigation systems and modern food processing technologies.

It is necessary to build distribution centers for exports of our products.

This is the path towards recovery of our agriculture. This path should be led by farmers themselves and the state must be there to provide any necessary assistance and support.

If we talk about state-building, we need to know that there is no country in today’s world that achieves economic growth and at the same time loses national dignity. Statehood and economy are two sides of the same medal.
Only a country that is willing to firmly defend national and state interests may be able to successfully develop its economy. Likewise, only a strong and developed economy may be a guarantor of long-term protection of state and national interests of a country.

The conduct of our state-building policies will be based on the founding state-building principles whose one of the main founders is Vojislav Kostunica.

I am honored that I was in Kostunica’s team that introduced a new constitution, brought an energy agreement with the Russian Federation, adopted a Declaration on military neutrality of Serbia and established special ties with Republic of Srpska. In one word, I am proud of my cooperation with Kostunica.

I am honored that I was in Kostunica’s team that introduced a new constitution, brought an energy agreement with the Russian Federation, adopted a Declaration on military neutrality of Serbia and established special ties with Republic of Srpska. In one word, I am proud of my cooperation with Kostunica.

One of the main goals of our national policy will be firm national integration throughout entire territory, which represents unique ethical and cultural space of the Serbian people.

My message to our people in the region is that SPP will persistently and vigorously strive to protect the rights and interests of Serbs in Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia.

We will respect the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and UN resolution 1244 under which Kosovo and Metohija is an integral and inalienable part of Serbia. We will strive to improve the living conditions of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija.

Serbian people will remain in Kosovo only if they have jobs, schools, universities, hospitals, health care. They will remain in Kosovo only if we provide them a better economic future.

We will particularly emphasize the importance of Serbian Orthodox Church as the oldest institution of Serbian people. Throughout the centuries, since the time of Nemanjic dynasty, it has crucially influenced the preservation of the identity and unity of the Serbian people during its turbulent history.

When we talk about the EU – we are Eurosceptics. Our message is: Europe – yes, the EU – no! Europe and its history, its contribution to world civilization, its formulas of order, organization, efficiency, economy and judiciary, deserve deepest respect. And we respect that.

Serbia is old European country that has its own history, its tradition, cultural and scientific achievements, and it has given tremendous sacrifices to the foundations of modern Europe. That is why we say yes to Europe. However, we are not ashamed to say that we are against the entry of Serbia into the EU. From our point of view it is not neither in economic nor in political interests of Serbia. Therefore, we say no to the EU.

We openly say: Serbia must not run away from a national debate about the EU. It mustn’t stick its head in to the sand. We want to have a rational dialogue about the EU. We shell build position about this important issue on the basis of economic arguments, not on the basis of political extremism and ideological beliefs.

We openly say: Serbia must not run away from a national debate about the EU. It mustn’t stick its head in to the sand. We want to have a rational dialogue about the EU. We shell build position about this important issue on the basis of economic arguments, not on the basis of political extremism and ideological beliefs.

We will advocate for the dialogue about the EU which should include most eminent individuals in Serbian society: the most experienced statesmen, the wisest scholars and professors, most respected economists.

However, the final judgment on this issue should be given by Serbian people. People should be asked in a referendum, whether they want to go towards full membership in the EU or not.

We want the best possible co-operation and excellent relations with all countries, with Russia, the US, China. We will conduct honest and open policy towards them. That is why no isolation is possible with us. Our people say: One enemy is too much, while hundred friends are not enough.

It should be stated clearly here: Serbia has never had a closest friend than Russia, in its history, nor did it have an ally with whom its ties throughout history were longer-lasting, more meaningful and widespread. We can rightfully state today, that there are no two nations closer to each other in Europe, nor two nations whose relations are more filled with brotherly love, sacrifice and respect, than Russia and Serbia.

Russia is the greatest guardian of Serbian national interests when it comes to Kosovo and Metohija and the Republic of Srpska. Russia is where we have protection of our vital economic interests.

Just like Russia conducts friendly policy towards Serbia, we must conduct honest and frank policy towards Moscow.

The policy that will clearly and unambiguously demonstrate our support for the national interests of Russia, to the same extent in which we expect the support of Russia when it comes to protection of the national interests of Serbia.

Just like Kosovo and Metohija for Russia have always been and will be an integral part of Serbia, we also must say that for Serbia, Crimea has always been and will be an integral part of Russia.

Serbia is and should remain militarily neutral state. Our position should be based on the Declaration of military neutrality adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. We have always been peace-keepers, supporters of peaceful policy and good relations among the countries. That is why we should not be members of any military alliance.

Serbia is and should remain militarily neutral state. Our position should be based on the Declaration of military neutrality adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. We have always been peace-keepers, supporters of peaceful policy and good relations among the countries. That is why we should not be members of any military alliance.

If you are asked: what is the policy of the SPP?

You should say: Our policy will be responsible, reasonable and feasible. It will be the policy for mothers, children, retirees, entrepreneurs. A policy that will provide members of all nationalities living in Serbia, with security and opportunities to express their potential and diversity – to Hungarians, Bosnians, Romanians, Roma, Slovaks, Gorans, Vlachs, Buljevacs, Bulgarians …

A policy that will focus on the renewal of institutions and restoration of people’s trust in the country.

We are keen, just like in the past, to be good neighbors to everyone. We are keen to build relations with other nations on the basis of mutual respect – with Europe and Russia with the United States and China – to open the doors of our house, like good hosts, to everyone.

We will advocate for Serbia that is the safest place for our children to grow up in, for Serbia where young and educated people will have jobs. For Serbia in which the asphalted roads will lead to every remote village, Serbia in which the poorest will get the right and opportunity to live up to the level of a citizen of the 21st century.

Our pensioners should feel proud, not humiliated. Their pensions must raise, not decrease.

Our people say: The greatest happiness in the cradle. We will take special care of mothers in Serbia so that our children are safe and taken care of.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me repeat once again, at the end, our main goal is recovery of the national economy.

And I shell repeat: We cannot achieve our national and state goals if we have the lowest wage in the region.

We want citizens of Serbia to have higher salaries than their neighbors in the region, families to have larger budgets, young people to be proud not only of their origin, but to live and work proudly in their country.

We believe in such Serbia.

We believe in such a future.

We are prepared to be decisive and united and invest all of our knowledge, all the experience, all the potentials and the opportunities that we have, in order to ensure a better future for our children.

We are the people’s party! And all that is good comes from the people!

The people have the knowledge! The people have the wisdom and experience! The people have the force of creativity and work! The people have the strength for change!

Let’s start those changes together!

Long live the Serbian People’s Party!

Long live Serbia!