Dacic: The police must not destroy the reputation it earned among citizens

Tanjug
28/12/2011

Dacic told reporters that the police must not destroy the reputation it earned among citizens who gave their trust to the forces and thus listed it among top three institutions in Serbia, together with the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian Armed Forces.

Everyone should do their job and those who will not perform their duty should quit and start looking for a new job, Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic stated on Tuesday, commenting on the strike of the Independent Police Trade Union.

Dacic told reporters that the police must not destroy the reputation it earned among citizens who gave their trust to the forces and thus listed it among top three institutions in Serbia, together with the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian Armed Forces.

The minister recalled that the police made an intervention in the case of the strike of raspberry producers and also removed workers from railway lines, but it would be absolutely unacceptable to send police officers to break the strike of the police. Dacic did not wish to comment on the statement ‘We will arrest the government’ voiced during the Monday strike, but he said that such anarchy must not be allowed to go on.

Dacic said that he sent a clear message to the trade unions as to what they can and cannot do, and that he is serious about it. He recalled that the financial position of the police improved considerably during his mandate and that since November 2010, officers have been receiving salary supplements worth RSD 10.000, while a salary increase would in fact total 3.000.

He posed the question as to what police officers would say if they were to be asked whether they would prefer to receive an increased salary or salary supplements, and added that he does not understand whose interests are served by the current protesters’ demands.

The salary increase will be granted when the conditions for it have been met, Dacic said and noted that he supports the trade union. However, he warned that trade unions should not abuse his sympathy because everything has its limits.

Dacic said that if this is a case of competition between trade unions, then he believes employees have been manipulated. He said that the police should go back to work and added that if somebody is dissatisfied in the political sense, then they can go to polls and they also have the option of quitting the forces.

The minister stated that in previous police strikes, he decided that officers’ salaries should not be reduced for the days they spent off duty. Dacic pointed out that the 2012 budget allocates RSD 7 billion more to the police than was the case in 2011, and that the latest demands would imply an increase in the budget for the police by another RSD 7 billion, which is impossible.

He said that the police service is not the only beneficiary of the budget and that there are also other budget beneficiaries who are watching the situation develop and are probably wondering whether the Interior Ministry comes first on the list.

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