On 4 January Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) Ivica Dačić stated that SPS “should take a look at everything that happened before 2000 and learn lessons so it would never happen again.” In this light SPS “could apologise to citizens for the problems that occurred at the time, that maybe partially were our fault, and partially the overall situation that we were in then,” Dačić added. SPS is aspiring closer cooperation with socialist and social democratic political parties in Europe.
SPS was formed in 1990 as a merger of League of Communists of Serbia, headed by Milošević, and the Socialist Alliance of the Working People of Serbia. After Milošević died in 2006 in the Hague Tribunal prison, Dačić took over the party leadership and modernised the party distancing it from the politics of the former leadership. SPS, however, never issued a formal apology for its role in the wars related to the disintegration of Yugoslavia.
At the 2008 general elections the party formed a pre-election coalition with United Serbia and the Party of United Pensioners, advocating social justice, free education and social security for all. SPS made a pro-European majority possible in the Serbian parliament by entering a coalition with the ZES (For European Serbia) coalition led by the Democratic Party (DS) of President Boris Tadić.
Commenting on the current economic situation in Serbia and the problems of Kosovo Dačić said that 11 years after the fall of Milošević the problems in Serbia are “almost the same, even bigger.” He recalled his previous claims that no government in the history of Serbia was more responsible for the situation in Kosovo than Albanian separatism, nationalism and terrorism.
Source: BIRN, B92 and Tanjug