SR

Boris Vukobrat: Everything has failed after the cleavage of SFRY

The most important thing in the region is the relations between Serbia and Croatia and it is quite certain that because of the imperatives imposed by the EU, we must cooperate. In recent weeks, there has been a setback because no one in Croatia expected Tomislav Nikolić to be elected president, but that will come off, said Boris Vukobrat, founder and president of the Peace and Crises Management Foundation, in an interview for ‘’Blic’’.

Do ordinary citizens seem to understand each other better than politicians?

- Serbs are welcome in Croatia, as Croats are in Serbia. Todorić and ‘’Agrokor’’ would not invest half a billion dollars in Serbia if there were no substantial reasons for cooperation.

What is the biggest problem today after the breakup of the SFRY?

- It is absurd that you wanted to have national sovereignty, and you became a colony of world capital. Croatia has an inflow of foreign exchange from tourism. However, hotel complexes are in the hands of foreign capital and profit does not go to Croatian citizens. Goods to be spent for tourism come from all over the world. Croatia pays $2 billion to import agricultural products, and it has about one million hectares of uncultivated land. The energy system in both Serbia and Croatia is mostly owned by foreign companies. This means that they have left the two main activities, financial and energetic, to others.

What about banks?

- The banking sector is also handed over to foreigners. We have delegated our savings to those to whom we are not a priority. Our national money is used for investments of small and medium enterprises and even large-scale projects in other countries.

How can the Kosovo problem be addressed?

- None of us is able to say it, but it is certainly a bad way to have a referendum because it is just a transfer of responsibility to the citizens.

How do you see Serbia increasingly turning to Russia?

- I hail, but I claim that it is not wise to ‘’put all eggs in the same hole’’. You cannot completely turn to Russia because we are not Russia's priority, though we think so. On the other hand, we have nothing to offer, because Russia is competitively difficult. Even if we had production, its market is so big that we wouldn't have enough quantity. First and foremost, we should turn to what we have and what we neglect: to the agricultural production. Until yesterday, Serbia was able to feed us all and we constantly had export surpluses. Look at us today.

Where is the escape?

- Without further ado, we are doomed to the EU and that’s the solution. I do not know when we will become part of it. Not very soon. Especially BiH, Serbia, Macedonia.

What have we lost by splitting the SFRY?

- What have we not? First of all, what we were all bragging about - national sovereignty. None of the newly established states has it. Through our breakup, we have delegated our sovereignty to the neighbors and we have let them into our own house to bring order. That is the first and biggest mistake.

Is patriotism the only reason why our people living abroad would invest in Serbia?

- When I invest, I do it not only out of patriotism, but with the belief that the worst things come to an end.