MAYOR’S INTERVIEW FOR THE DAILY NEWSPAPER POLITIKA
On the occasion of the second anniversary since being elected Nis City Mayor, Darko Bulatovic gave an interview to daily newspaper Politika.
Bulatovic: Nis Has Future
In the past two years, significant development results were achieved, the enormous debts and the number of unemployed have been reduced, and the conditions for further development were created, Mayor Bulatovic said.
Since July 11th, 2016, when, following the spring elections, the current executive city government was formed, very important results were achieved in Nis in terms of development and improvement of the lives of citizens. These are the words of Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic who particularly pointed out that Nis had changed its image in a really short time period, which could be seen at every step. Nis is also the driving engine of all the most important economic, cultural and sporting events in the South and Southeast of Serbia, and it is on the best way be the leader again in the development of this part of our country.
In the past two years, due to the support of the prime minister then, and now the president of Serbia, Aleksander Vucic, we have achieved the most in the field of economic development, largely by our own engagement and extraordinary cooperation with the state authorities and ministries in the Serbian government. Recently the City of Nis has been awarded the title Champion of Local Economic Development by Serbian Development Agency and the National Alliance for Economic Development, whose chairman of the board used to be PM Ana Brnabic. This recognition has come to us for the best practice in attracting foreign investors. The business environment in Nis has been completely changed – new factories and production facilities have been opened, the number of unemployed people is now around 26,000, and in 2012 as many as ten thousand more fellow citizens were unemployed. At the end of summer we expect the announced arrival of new investors in Nis. At the same time, we managed to free ourselves from the huge amount of debt owed due to unplanned spending of money from the city budget and, which, it was known, two years ago was over 50 million euros. Rigorous savings, good planning, increased revenues and reduced expenditures and with significant financial support of the state to our budget, we reduced the city’s debt by about 2.5 billion dinars, and kept fulfilling our regular obligations. And, most importantly, the City of Nis did not take any new loans.
Significant results in Nis, Bulatovic emphasizes, have been achieved in all areas of life and work:
Nis actively engaged in the beginning of the realization of the Railway Corridor 10 project, the airport’s operations improved with a record increase in the number of passengers, almost all city public companies and institutions operate without problems. The New Clinical Center has been opened, and the City Health Care Center, the largest primary care institution in Serbia, has been renovated. In cooperation with the University of Nis, much is being done to activate educational potentials and thanks to that Nis is already highly positioned as one of the largest centers for the development of advanced technologies in Serbia. At the same time, numerous problems have been resolved in the utility service system and transport infrastructure, as well as in the area of child and social protection and in the continuity we are solving all the problems of citizens so that we could provide better living conditions and a higher standard for our citizens.
In the end, Nis City Mayor especially stressed that everything was done in order to continue the development of the city without the delay:
I have to point out that because of the overall measures undertaken to overcome the challenges of the long-term crisis and positive results on creating the conditions for further development, the city also received the award from the British Financial Times which recognized Nis as the European City of the Future”. And on the World Bank Doing List Nis ranked top positions according to the time needed for obtaining the construction and other permits and thus City of Nis has been giving full support to the Serbian government’s policy of attracting investment and economic development. This, as well as the constant support we have from the state authorities and the people who lead Serbia, most of all, obliges us not to stop, said Nis City Mayor Darko Bulatovic in the interview for the Daily Newspaper Politika on the occasion of the secondary anniversary of his term of office.
Toma Todorovic, Politika