comment 15 Jan 16

Vucic Charm Offensive Appears to Disarm Serbian Media

The Serbian PM amply demonstrated his considerable PR skills at his annual press conference, while the media seemed unable to get straight answers to tough questions.

Sasa Dragojlo
BIRN
Belgrade
Serbian PM Vucic serves barbequed cevapi, A Serbian traditional dish, to the journalists | Photo: Beta

The Serbian Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic, held his annual press conference on Thursday, during which the sharpness of his public relations skills and the apparent impotence of the Serbian media were clear for all to see.

Held at Villa Bokeljka in Dedinje, Belgrade’s most elite neighbourhood, the conference was split into two parts: a formal 45-minute question and answer session and an informal social mixer, with Vucic serving food and wine.

“A good host needs to keep his guests well fed and not thirsty,” Vucic said, while conversing with the ‘top guns’ among Serbia’s media editors.

Around 50 journalist from various TV and print media were crammed in a small room to put questions to the prime minister. With barely enough standing room one journalist, Svetlana Bozic Kraincanic from Radio Television Vojvodina, even fainted. Vucic immediately went to help her, cameras flashing all the while.

Most questions put to Vucic were about whether early parliamentary elections will be held in Serbia and potential developments in Belgrade’s diplomatic relations with neighbouring countries – notably Kosovo.

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