The general assessment of the Prime Minister regarding the reconstruction of the Government comes down to the following: everyone did their job right, but nevertheless, new energy is needed. In other words, good work included working with “old energy” or without enough energy. This gives us an original formula of success: anemic zeal, sluggish activity, apathetic commitment. Obviously, this wasn’t bad either, but now we need something completely new. What may that be?

Everything started when the State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance criticized the deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Mladjan Dinkic, claiming that the Minister used his public position to promote his own party cartel. Many believed this criticism to be justified. The State Secretary was sufficiently informed and energetic, but he failed to follow the codex which dictated that he repress his resolution and keep silent. This is why he was quickly deposed.

Dinkic did not hesitate either. He showed his hand, accusing his own Government of loosing authority due to poor coordination and the fact that it does not make decisions independently, but listens to orders coming from another center of power. He, too, was apparently right. He, too, showed enough knowledge and energy, but he failed to follow the codex which dictated loyalty and confidentiality. This is why, when his deposal was initiated, he resigned.

From the draft amendments to the Law on Government, we can see that such excesses will no longer be tolerated. We can conclude that new energy is actually drawn from conspiratory solidarity, from covering mistakes and keeping them a secret, from the inner prohibition of criticism. Thus, new energy is the same as the old one, and comes down to the suppression of energy, shutting down, unavailability and forced unity, not only in what is good, but also in everything that is wrong and unacceptable. Can we establish credibility based on this kind of new energy?

Unlike the energetic moves towards everyone in the Government who endanger the credibility from within, such decisiveness never existed when criticisms came from the outside. Not from the opposition, but from the independent regulatory bodies.

Many people have already forgotten that, two years ago, the then Republic Board for Resolving Conflicts of Interest, as an independent and autonomous body, issued a measure recommending the deposition of two state secretaries for using public positions to influence decisions of the judiciary. State Secretary in the Ministry of Economy, Nebojsa Ciric, thought it was a good idea to protect privatized companies from failing, by giving a recommendation to the courts in 2009 to bring to a standstill all proceedings and implementations of decisions in cases where employees sued their companies for unpaid salaries. He asked the state secretary in the Justice Ministry to investigate this possibility. The latter investigated this possibility by submitting Ciric’s recommendation to the Supreme Court “for further processing”. The Supreme Court then sent an official announcement to the presidents of district courts. However, shortly after this was made public, the Supreme Court rescinded the announcement. The Government not only refused to accept the recommendation of the State Board, but, despite the fact that it did not fall under its jurisdiction, denied that anyone attempted to influence the courts and that the two secretaries violated the law. As we can see, conspiratory solidarity is already a well-tried method. After the last few excesses, the only thing left to do was to transfuse it into an imperative rule.

Furthermore, some announcements indicate that the same Mr. Ciric will be recommended for the new Minister of Economy. The previous Minister, who gave the recommendation, recently bragged about how Boris Tadic was elected president thanks to, amongst other things, the untruth that this Minister stated during the electoral campaign – that every citizen will receive 1000 euros from the sale of public companies. When asked if he regretted this statement, he answered decisively: “No. I would do it all over again…”

Authority and credibility obviously do not always go hand in hand. With new energy of such a sort, this disparity is only becoming stronger – in favor of fictive authority, and to the detriment of true credibility.

Translated by Bojana Obradovic

Pešč, 10.03.2011.