You too could be prime minister of Serbia!
by Dejan Ilic
You too could be prime minister of Serbia! - a Feral mini-test.
It is human to wish to hold a position which gives you power without carrying any obligations whatsoever. Such positions are rare. One of them is the post of prime minister of Serbia. However, in order to fill this post you must meet certain conditions, show that you possess the characteristics qualifying you for it. This test will help you to ascertain whether you are a person suitable to do the job of Serbian premier. Read the questions carefully and circle the answers that are closest to your views. You will learn from the results of the test whether you too could be the Serbian premier.
1. Suspects in the murder of former prime minister Zoran Đinđić, and a cooperative prosecution witness in the murder trial, are killed in Belgrade. As prime minister you would:
a) say that the killers will be caught and that the government will do all in its power to complete the trial despite all obstacles.
b) say nothing at all; merely reflect that you understand Zoran Đinđić and how hard it was for him; recall your words: ‘When you yourself have gone through it all, you get a better picture and view the work of your predecessors somewhat differently.’
c) tell the public that ‘the prosecution witness Zoran Vukojević had insisted that the police should cease protecting him’, and add : ‘We were obliged by law to do as he wished. Were we supposed to guard him against his will?’
2. The citizens of Montenegro have decided in a referendum that their republic should be an independent state. As prime minister of Serbia you would:
a) recognise the new state, wish the citizens of Montenegro much happiness and success in their new state, and work to establish inter-state relations as soon as possible, for the sake of both the citizens of Montenegro and the citizens of Serbia.
b) state that Serbia is busy with itself, that ‘there is a priority at this moment which is above all, meaning that there exists something which for Serbia at this moment is far more important than congratulations or recognition - which, by the way, a state does not need in order to exist.’
c) tell the public that ‘Serbia has not become independent - it is actually Serbia and Montenegro, without part of its territory’.
3. Being prime minister, you are asked [while attending a slava, a semi-religious festivity] when the indicted Ratko Mladić will be delivered to the court in The Hague. You would:
a) say you are doing all you can for Serbia to fulfil this obligation, and try to convince your interlocutors that you are sincere.
b) answer: ‘I can tell you anything you like about this festivity. I have already made a statement. The advantage of a written statement as opposed to verbal discourse is that the former is very precise. Additional questions should not be put at a slava, don’t you understand? You may get an answer tomorrow or the day after, but at a slava one talks of nothing but the slava - if you know what a slava is.’
c) declare that ‘the question is meaningless’ and add: ‘It is as if you asked me how long I will live.’
4. As prime minister you have made stringent criticism of the European Union, i.e. of its policy of ‘posing conditions’ which you had hoped ‘was finally behind us’. Your criticism earns the riposte: ‘Commissioner Olli Rehn is very glad that Premier Koštunica has not ascribed to the EU also responsibility for the six goals scored against Serbia and Montenegro by Argentina during the world cup.’ You would:
a) ask the EU commissioner to take your remarks seriously, because they have to do with the lives and welfare of the citizens of your state.
b) declare that, in contrast to your country’s team, the team from Finland, from where the commissioner comes, had failed to qualify for the world cup, and add: ‘I do not recall the last time it succeeded in doing so.’
c) tell the commissioner that, unlike Serbia, the EU does not have a football team.
5. The president of Serbia [Boris Tadić] has distanced himself from your criticism of the EU, saying that ‘he has nothing to do with the policy of defying the world and displaying false pride’. You would:
a) ask the president of the republic what his policy is, then...
b) declare that the president of the republic ‘is not contributing to the realization of strategic goals and key elements of national unity’ and that he ‘speaks only for his party’.
c) content yourself with musing aloud: ‘There does exist a degree of mutual distrust between Tadić and Koštunica and it is up to all of us to overcome this mistrust. Koštunica agrees with this in principle, but doubts that the other side will hold to the agreement, given that agreements are not always respected. But we have to forget the past and turn to the future.’
A. If you have mostly circled the answers under a), then you take politics too seriously and think wrongly that your role as prime minister consists of creating stable living conditions for the citizens of your state. This automatically disqualifies you from the competition to become Serbian prime minister.
B. If most of your answers come under b), you would be as good a prime minister of Serbia as the current incumbent (since all the suggested answers derive from him or his spokesmen). It is noticeable, however, that you are holding yourself back a little and not bringing your full creativity to the prime minister’s job.
C. If you have circled c) most often, then you have gone one step further than the current prime minister and shown that you are the right person for Serbia. You have correctly deduced, as have the prime minister’s cabinet colleagues (whose actual statements we have used here), that there are indeed no limits and that you can say whatever occurs to you without suffering any consequences as a result. Welcome to Serbia!
Translated from Feral Tribune (Split), 30 June 2006