In an interview with Novi Magazin Dinkic says that he is not against the idea of presidential elections being held on May 6th.
"I supported the option to call all the elections at the same time and in one day, to cut costs and time, to have all institutions formed, stop the campaigns and start working. But, calling the elections with a notice of only 30 days is cowardly, because one candidate has an advantage. For 30 days now, Tadic has been running election race and promoting Democratic Party. it is undemocratic and unfair", states the leader of the URS.
Regions have begun their campaign before the elections and their trump card is: ‘No more political discrimination in employment”, although majority considers Dinkic responsible for partocracy.
Why do URS talk so much about partocracy?
Instead of democracy we had fought for, we got partocracy with adverse selection - jobs are obtained through party connections, people join parties to get a job and not because of the ideas and programs. It's not only the case with managers, but also cleaners, municipal police officers, nurses... Most people who are not members of some parties do not have equal chances.
Why did you participate in sharing the plunder?
In each department I led, I respected professionalism and expertise, including the central bank where people were hired through public job tenders, the Ministry of Finance and the last government. But, I share responsibility because I haven’t demanded earlier to stop the partisan division in public companies. Late last year we proposed a law on professionalism in the management of public enterprises in which no one in the Assembly was interested, and most resistance came from the Socialists who have built their party on this kind of division.
How is that problem going to be solved in the new session, regardless of whether it will consist of the same coalition or the new one that has yet to take its part?
One of our conditions for joining the new government will be to adopt the law on professionalization of management in public enterprises on the first session of new parliament, which will be applied on the republic and local level. We suggest the abolition of managing boards in public companies, that managers get chosen on the public tenders and that the state has only a supervisory role. The selection should be done by the personnel management service, but its presidents should not be chosen by the government, but the assembly. The appointment of directors should be the responsibility of minister who should resign along with the director who didn’t achieve the results set in real terms.
There are public companies that are in the difficult situation in all countries, such as railways, but we recorded loses even in our State Lottery in 2004, and more losses were accumulated in Galenika which naturally should have been profitable.
How many people have been employed by their political parties in public companies?
There are no secrets. The ratio of the number of mandates between DS, us and SPS is 3:1:1. This is how directors were placed in public companies. In some cases, we did not allocate these positions to people from the party, but this is an exception. For example, the directors of Ski Resorts of Serbia, either the previous one Skoric, or the latest one Ljevnaic, have never been in the party, and this is one of the most successful companies.
But this company is seen as the property of your party.
It is not true. If any of these two men had built roads, Serbia wouldn't have had any problems with roads now. But they are exceptions, so is the Director of Commercial Bank Ivica Smolic. We realized that it’s not enough that only one party says, "We will not do it!", there has to be a consensus in society, and the time for that is now. Our proposal is supported by LDP and Cedomir Jovanovic, as well as Dragan Djilas, but none of the electoral list heads have signed it yet. It doesn’t matter if it’s my proposal or a public call of a daily newspaper. A consensus on this issue has to be achieved before the elections.
In Serbia, the person who performs a certain function also attains the power that comes with it. Who is that strong prime minister and whom do you see in that place, except yourself and Djilas?
A strong Prime Minister is a man who is capable of making a decision, organize a team and be effective in the implementation of government’s decisions. The government cannot be run outside of its premises. For example – as per our suggestion, the government adopted the guillotine of regulations, but half of them were not implemented because the Prime Minister was unable to confront the local directors of tax administrations. It's absurd, but it’s the fact.
You don’t have any doubts about reaching the census. Which departments are you interested in?
The situation in Serbia is much worse than four years ago and leading the new government will be more difficult, there will be no room for improvisation. Para-fiscal levies for forests, environment and emergency situations have accumulated... We did not have any of those when I was the Minister of Finance and now every minister got the permission to run taxes and fees in his own way. Our idea is to legally prohibit anyone other than the Minister of Finance to prescribe taxes. Fees should be abolished and they should be financed by the budget revenue from VAT, instead of having 258 para-fiscal levies.
You are being criticized that you have only now remembered to change the system that you introduced yourself.
The system I introduced was implemented in almost all European countries. Circumstances have changed with the outbreak of the global economic crisis and in 2010. European Commission recommended to its members to facilitate the payment of VAT to small and medium enterprises by means of a new system. The Association of Employers of Serbia asked for the same thing, but the Ministry of Finance refused it on the grounds that it would break up public finances. I think they made a mistake and did not follow others. The system should be adapted to circumstances.
Before we go back to sectors, tell us what will happen if the SNS accepts your terms?
I am still not sure that Democrats and Progressives will not make a grand coalition. In this case we are opposition. Otherwise, there’s no doubt for us - we will not go into coalition with the SNS and SRS.
How about DSS?
It is not realistic because of their autistic foreign policy.
What about sectors?
Ivana Dulic has worked very well and we want to re-qualify to lead agriculture. The budget for agriculture should be doubled and in short time we can make the effect of exports, because the demand for food is inelastic. We export three times less per acre than the Croats and 35 times less than the Dutch, we need to stimulate the construction of silos, cold storages, invest in better equipment and build an independent system of laboratories for quality that will help people to achieve a higher standard.
We will also request that the subsidies in the agriculture become defined by law to at least five years, agricultural policy cannot be changed from day to day. That’s why I understand the protests of farmers in Vojvodina – a new policy of subsidies cannot be established in only ten days, it has to be announced to people at least one year in advance.
What else do you want? Which sectors?
The arrival of companies such as Fiat and Benetton which have secured market. And we want to connect our small and medium enterprises with multinational companies. Then, to reduce the budget deficit, which is possible to achieve in four years with a reliable Minister of Finance.
Do you still think that Prime Minister should be selected from the largest party in the coalition?
(Read more in the printed edition)