Vucic: Whenever someone said something was impossible, we, progressives, proved it possible
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Everyone who is here with us is our friend, and I believe we managed to demonstrate that we are capable of gathering people from all over the world, who do not need to support us, but who want, can and will listen to us.
So, please welcome with a big applause our friends from all over the world, all ambassadors that are here, and without my friend Kusturica being angry, both Denis Keefe and Mr. Chepurin, and to demonstrate that this is the path we will build and create in the future as well.
I want, dear friends, to thank everybody who came here.
But I particularly want to thank people from Republika Srpska, who are with us today, both President Milorad Dodik and President of the PDP and member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mladen Ivanić, as well as Vice-president of the Serbian Democratic Party Ognjen Tadić.
Mile, don’t get angry, I am very glad and pleased to see you together, even if its here in Belgrade.
Ognjen, do not be angry because of that.
Mladen, do not be angry because of that.
We love Republika Srpska so much that we feel really good when all of you are together and united.
I want to thank you, honorable Mr. President, President of the Republic of Serbia, the first president and founder of our Serbian Progressive Party ,in a few words, for giving Serbia a chance to come out of a decades long crisis -for having courage to do what no one of us dared.
For having enough respect for our people, and always enough love, and always a big heart for your Serbian Progressive Party.
And when you speak about being angry and affected by some things, I know how much they affect you and hurt you, therefore I try never to take part in that.
And when we think differently, I try not to say anything. I believe that you are always right and that you see things better and further.
But there is one thing I promise you, like I said many times.
You will always be able to count on me, and on both our human, political and any other kind of support, because we believe you do your job well.
And you judge us and criticize us, sometimes for wrong words we say and for wrong attitude.
It is your right and duty.
And, in future, we will try to stay quiet more often, but to jointly look towards the future of our Serbia.
My dear progressives, for seventh year in a row I want to say that we are the biggest and the strongest political party, but first of all, the most responsible party in Serbia.
We do not carry that responsibility alone.
We share it with our coalition partners.
And I want to thank all of them for their full support and help, and for working wholeheartedly to the benefit of our Serbia.
Dear citizens, I want to say that we are the first party, and you should be proud of that, that actually dared to make changes.
To change ourselves, our country.
And the first party having success in doing so.
A party that keeps its word!
A party that keeps promises!
A party that falls down and rises!
A party that is not here to tell lies, but to deliver on what it promised.
That job is not an easy one, and our nation is not one of those easily being satisfied with someone’s work. What we encountered was a deserted, demolished house, finance in a mess, almost all privatizations were predatory ones. People were only waiting for changes in order to have better life, not wanting to understand that we need to change ourselves first, to work harder and learn more in order to live better.
Today, at least one part of Serbia understands that. The other one will always blame us and not themselves, not rarely justifying their failures by our, or even more often, my faults. Unlike many parties so far, we are countering paramount problems that were left to us as a legacy. Corruption rate was so high that tycoons and other criminals connected with politicians were literally running Serbia and sucking out every last drop of our people’s hard work from all previous generations.
And when we say that we will end corruption, crime and such tycoons-we do it. They no longer rule Serbia. There they are, famous for whining; they have a text or two written against the Government. Personally they are in minus, but Serbia is in a big plus!
And when we say that we will carry out difficult and painful reforms-we do it. Today we have organized and clean accounts in finance, we do save, we do not throw money away, but we have enough for everything. We also have for increase of salaries and pensions that will follow, for all those who were first affected by measures we had to introduce in order to save Serbia from bankruptcy and ruin. We will have enough for teachers, doctors and pensioners to whom I am immensely grateful -for their patience and love they shown for Serbia.
We observe production growth, thanks to those and such unrecognized and obnoxious reforms. Already in this year our economic growth will be higher than expected, and I claim that, before anyone can even imagine, it will be 3% beyond that growth annually and Serbia will be a stable and successful country.
That’s your achievement.
Thank you for that!
When we were establishing Serbian Progressive Party, I was guided by two thoughts:
The first one is almost a motto of ours, and it belongs to great Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who said: “Our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men”.
It is and it must be the essence of every honest political organization -to be there for others, and not for itself; not to take care of its own, but of the state interests. To serve your country!
And we have been doing that so far, and I promise this is how we will continue in the future. Everything for Serbia and all for Serbia!
The other thought, at the time, was maybe even more important. It took courage to believe in us, and many times we were unfairly defeated; it took courage to believe in Serbia, also defeated, humiliated and with almost no perspective.
That faith is something I learned from a man who had learned from his victories, and even more, from his defeats-a man who had come back several times, fallen down and rose, in order to prove that he could be the best.
He said: “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
Mohammed Ali, the greatest boxing champion of all times said that, and left these beautiful words as a legacy to us.
We listened to him. And whenever someone said something was impossible, we, progressives, proved it possible.
And whenever someone said something could not be done-we demonstrated it could be! It was difficult but not impossible. Anyway, if that was the case, some others would have done it long ago. They did not want to, they did not know how, they couldn’t.
“Impossible” and “cannot” do not exist in program and plans of the Serbian Progressive Party!
They no longer exist in Serbia, precisely thanks to you, my dear friends. Today Serbia can, Serbia dares and more than anyone, Serbia proves that it is possible to fight corruption and crime; that it is possible to organize public finance; that it is possible to have economic growth; that is possible to earn whole world’s trust; that it is possible to build again, bring investors, open factories. It is possible to protect and defend our state and national interests. Just don’t forget, and I know you don’t like to hear it, a prerequisite to all that is economically strong Serbia. And we will know how and be able to keep our people and our interests in Kosovo and Metohija. We will establish the Community of Serbian Municipalities that will unify our people in Kosovo and Metohija in important segments that will keep them safe and guarantee safety in the future. And, despite all the critics, despite all those who are saying that we do not work sufficiently for our people, I want to tell you that our people today move out from Kosovo less than it was the case in previous years. We have 82 first grade pupils in Gracanica, 32 in Laplje Selo, more children than ever in Klokot and other Morava Valley villages.
The European Union is possible. And today, when we are facing difficult times, and sometimes vice versa, we want to and we can be a part of the big European family. Not because we need their money, but because we strive towards organized, sometimes boring, but democratic and responsible society.
At the same time, our friendship with Russia is also possible, and no one can destroy it. We are grateful to our Russian friends for their support in moments when Serbia was facing hardships, and we, as a small country, return with our respect and friendly relations, which we are not ashamed of but honestly proud of.
I owe words of gratitude to our friends from Asia, Africa and America who unambiguously supported Serbia on its often thorny path of political and economic problems.
And yes, strong, organized, decent and modern Serbia is possible!
It is possible to fight for and win security and safety for all our citizens in Kosovo and Metohija; it is possible to defend, as you had the opportunity to see, Serbia from unilateral economic sanctions imposed by some of the neighboring countries, but all that is possible only if Serbia is economically and politically strong-and it grows stronger every day.
Kosovo and Methoija negotiations are not easy at all, nor they are pleasant, but I am not saying this to complain. I am just stating the facts. They are tough, sometimes harsh, and sometimes unfair. That’s what international relations are about and we have to understand that. Everyone is defending their own interests. I am talking about us and our European partners. Our job is to defend the interests of Serbia and that’s what we do.
It is important to know one thing: by defending interests of Serbia we try not to gain new enemies, but to win over and gain new friends. In order to be strong, Serbia, and please remember this, must not, and I reiterate, must not be alone. All those who would sometimes easily get angry with someone and enter into conflicts must bear this in mind. We are not afraid of anyone. And you know me well, you know that I am not afraid of anyone, too, but we pursue deliberative and rational politics. That’s Serbian politics. That’s Serbian politics for the future. We saw many defeats, we experienced many, and they were becoming our daily life. Today we want to win. That is why we change ourselves, our habits and our behavior.
Those negotiations are sometimes like arm wrestling, sometimes like a game of endurance, sometimes like a card game in which some cards are marked, and some players in favorable position.
And there will be problems, tensions and disagreements, raised voices on that path, but citizens must know that my and our main concern will always be the safety of this ship sailing through rapids and around rocks…a ship called Serbia. That ship must sail into a safe harbor and its passengers, citizens of Serbia, must get everything that the citizens of the developed world have- security, future, prosperity.
We will not recognize Kosovo as an independent country. But, we will do everything for normalizing relations between the Serbs and Albanians, to build connections and to decrease animosities from the past. And I am telling you this here, dear progressives, to your face, because I have never hidden the truth from you, and I never wanted to skip the parts you did not like. I always want to tell you things you will not applaud, because it’s where the future lies. It’s where the future of your children, mine and all the children in Serbia lies. My vision is Balkans without conflicts, Balkans with no tight clamps and borders; Balkans where everyone will respect each other and develop their particularities without endangering each other. And, most importantly, Balkans where free flow of goods and people is enabled; where people trade with each other, play sports matches (which we usually win), where they do not fight, fight wars and jeopardize future of their children. Therefore, my dear friends, we Serbs want good relations with Bosniaks but also with Croats, Hungarians, Albanians and everybody else. And just like we will not let anyone jeopardize Serbia, humiliate it- we have clearly demonstrated it. Peace and stability are our victory. Only in that case we will have fast progress and we will be strong, and grow stronger every day.
In that context, we will continue discussions with Albanian side in Brussels in the best faith that it is the essential interest for Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija- and I see a lot of them here, so please welcome them- and for Serbs wherever they might live, as well as for the stability and long-term sustainable peace in the region.
On countless occasions I hear our people say, and many of you my dear progressives, that we ran out of patience with Europe, they want our disaster, take everything that is Serbian. And many others show up immediately, offering easy solutions, not often that easy, that they become receptive to every ordinary person. But, life and position of Serbia are much more complicated than that, and what I am interested in is not the impression and current mood of people, but the final result- victory and success of Serbia. Those easy and seemingly simple, first of all, popular solutions offered by some, have so far led us only to defeats, loss of territory and numerous human tragedies, tragedies of ordinary Serbs. Such politics came to an end. Although many people who learned to politically live in the 1990-ies and the only thing they know is to speak about those years, because it seems that something always reminds them of that time, because this is the only mud and moor they swim in, would be happy if Serbia would somehow be isolated- that is not going to happen and Serbia will be open and free country.
Additionally, our obligation is to be -but be careful not to interfere in their relations, only to be a good and solid support to Republika Srpska. Always to be at service to our people in Republika Srpska, help them as much as we help ourselves, by keeping, respecting and not demolishing integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Democratic life in Serbia is very developed, which is good. Nevertheless, there is an important difference between political stakeholders. There are those who are working, and those observing from the safe distance and just commenting.
And to all those who are following us on our path, Serbia’s path, commenting the whole time about things being impossible, that we are wrong, that we will not make it… I can answer all of them with another quote of the great Roosevelt- repetition, gentlemen, does not transform a lie into a truth.
And you keep repeating, and making up, day after day. I guess you see yourselves in our roles, so you know what you used to do and what you would do again. You make up affairs, burning corpses down, wiretapping, censorship, dictatorship, lying about contracts, our families, busses, our airliner, our steel mill and who knows what else. A small company of people sits in a bar, amid working hours, having drinks and chitchatting how nothing’s right. I guess this is their biggest problem. And, unlike them, I am proud to be able to say in front of you here that I am the first who comes to my office and the last who leaves it. And I know no vacations, going outs and chitchatting with a drink in hand. But… I absolutely support those people. And I’ll by them a round. Let them continue, as long as they do it that way, we’ll be better off. And Serbia will be better off. It suffered enough with those before us who were pretending to work.
So, do not worry. It serves no good to them-all those lies, no matter how often they repeat them.
Serbia knows the truth.
It knows who is working and who is only repeating!
It knows who dares, and who is afraid to change anything!
It knows who can, and who is hiding from every problem!
And most importantly, it knows who works for it, and who works for his/her summer holiday in Brioni!
You will never cheat this country again, gentlemen.
Those who are repeating will never rule Serbia again. It asks for, requires excellent students.
It wants to move forward, to learn, to pass exams, to win, to be the best.
And only those who can enable this to it; only those who are ready to sacrifice, to work non-stop, to create common by renouncing personal, only those who know that nothing is impossible… well, only those will be able to rule on behalf and to the benefit of our people. This is the standard that we set, and that standard will not be changed. Serbia will not allow it.
But, let me not spoil this celebration with needles words about those who do not deserve many words, let alone a story. We do have more important topics.
We have Serbia and job that we have not yet finished.
We have our path, ladies and gentlemen, and a duty not to do what several centuries ago Miyamoto Musashi, great Japanese thinker and swordsman, warned about saying that people drift away from their path once they try to put more shine on it and sell it as goods.
Listen to this, because this refers to all of us:
Do not hope for shine on this path, progressives. And do not try to sell what we are doing, because we shouldn’t be doing it for ourselves and to our benefit.
Do not chase after functions, at any cost, do not ask for privileges. Unfortunately, some of us thought that power is opportunity to get rich, to leave comfortably, to look at themselves, instead of looking at people and country. Therefore, we will have party assembly in January, to replace at least a part of those people, to put them where they belong, and to welcome new, energetic and courageous people to our party-the party we want to use to change reality in Serbia.
Do not call upon power, because we are here not to rule, but to serve our country and our people. Do not call upon me and the Party when you are doing bad and dishonest things, because I have never allowed you to do that, let alone ordered you to. Those who think that party functions give them right to behave arrogantly, right not to talk to the people, to act as if they were above ordinary people, will not have their place in the Serbian Progressive Party. No matter what their name s are, and no matter what their party credits and functions are. Of course, this is not going to be an easy task, we will have to keep working on ourselves and to change ourselves, but strength of the SNS is in being capable of criticizing, changing and making itself better. And not when it looses the trust of people, and pronouncing apologetically those words, but at the peak of its popularity. That is the difference between us and everybody else.
Our task has been and will remain modern, progressive, strong and decent Serbia.
Our task is daily change and working hard on that change, changing ourselves, our environment and our country.
There is no space for any kind of enjoying the results. Because, like Sun Tzu said, opportunities multiply as they are seized, and once you use one, they keep emerging and you have to chase all the new ones that emerged.
On the fifth anniversary I said three words. Today, I will repeat the same word six times:
Work, work, work, work, work and work- this is what awaits us in coming days.
Development of any society is not possible without economic progress, and we have to work so much on it, but, remember, economic development, reindustrialization are not possible without serious work on developing education, culture and science.
And this is another task of ours; new cultural matrix in Serbia, new standards, based on progress.
Everything must move forward in the country, not only economy, regardless of being the most important.
In order to do that, we need new products and new values.
We need to create them.
We need to make them, design them, and produce them.
To adopt new technologies and new know-how.
To teach children to use them.
Therefore, maybe the most important task that awaits us is education reform. And science that is created and applicable will result from it; culture that is not based on whining, but on permanent striving towards better.
And the main prerequisite for that is our work; mine and yours. And awareness that such Serbia - decent and progressive is possible.
And that we can create it. Great people new that, in all times and all centuries. They knew there was nothing except you that would enable you to become faster, better, richer, stronger or smarter. Everything is in you. Everything exists.
Therefore today, like David Cameron did only seven days ago, I want to send a clear message: I am not tired even now, I have the same hunger, thirst and paramount wish and energy to change Serbia together with you, like I had year and a half ago- to work harder than ever and to always make us proud of the results of our work.
That better, stronger, richer and more decent Serbia is in you; it already exists, all it takes is to make it true.
For some reasons, dear friends, I am in a hurry. I cannot talk about it, but I am in a hurry more than ever.
And I will work more and harder than before, and I have worked diligently so far. And this is my promise to you: I will not stop, and I will fight for our Serbia.
And when we make a mistake in future, we’ll make things right; and when we fall we will rise again, but Serbia will be strong, successful and standing strait.
Move on to work, progressives. Another seven years is ahead; and Serbia and the whole world.
Once again, thank you dear Toma!
Thank you all!
Thank you wonderful, ordinary people, standing in front of this room;
You who are in front of the “Sava Center”, not being able to come in.
Thank you for never having difficulties to do everything it takes for your Party.
Thank you for believing in Serbia.
Thank you for loving our Serbia.
Long live Serbia!
Sava Centar - 17.10.2015.