29. May 2017

From Mossad to Blair's spin doctor: Vucic hands out books

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic on Monday for the last time chaired a meeting of the Serbian government in the current mandate. The session started at 10:00 hours CET at the government HQ. The ministers are expected to make statements later during the day. At the start of the meeting today Vucic presented each member of his cabinet with a book. On Sunday, Vucic said that he would address the public for the last time in his role as prime minister "in two days' time" - before he officially take over as the country's president. According to Vucic, the name of the PM-designate will be known "on June 11, 12, or 13." It remains unknown at this time whether the cabinet will be reshuffled, and whether Serbia will hold early parliamentary elections - as has been speculated. The books The books Vucic handed out to his ministers today came from his own library, and each carries "a message," he explained. The criteria that guided him was "strange," Vucic continued, and asserted that it was "difficult to conclude why each of the ministers received the book they did." "Some like it, some don't. I wrote (inscriptions) suggesting what changes they might make. I wished everyone lots of luck and success," he said. Minister without portfolio in charge of EU integration Jadranka Joksimovic received Henry Kissinger's "On China," while Milan Krkobabic got the book "Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service." Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic, who is in charge of population policy, received "one of the works of Ivo Andric." Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic is now in possession of "Winners: And How They Succeed" - authored by former Tony Blair spin doctor Alastair Campbell, while Energy Minister Aleksandar Antic received a book about Red Star Sport Society's successes - "Under the Glow of the Star - 70 Years of Joy." Defense Minister Zoran Djordjevic was given a book on political marketing written by Jacques Segel, who headed Francois Mitterrand' presidential campaign in 1981. Labor, Veteran and Social Affairs Minister Aleksandar Vulin received "a book on NATO." Vucic gave a book on Serb rulers to First Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, and one on Finance Minister and Prime Minister of the Yugoslav Kingdom Milan Stojadinovic to Minister of State Administration and Local-Self Government Ana Brnabic. "You'd never guess why each of them got the book they got. When Ivica gets one about all Serb rulers, and Ana about Milan Stojadinovic, Zorana (Mihajlovic) about 'days and years that changed everything', and Nebojsa about winners, and how one becomes and remains one - I know why I gave each to everyone," Vucic said. "For example," he continued, "Jadranka got China instead of Europe." This particular choice was also made "for another reason," Vucic said: "She's very energetic and fierce in expressing her positions, she needs to obtain and implement a little bit more peace and a different philosophical approach from there (the book). I made the biggest joke at Vulin's expense. I hope he's not angry." @b92

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