In today's Večernje novosti Nebojša Bakarec, an official of prime minister Vojislav Koštunica's Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) explains his party's long term strategy as finding a middle road between fascism and liberalism. What, you say? Yes, really. Asked to comment on an earlier remark by his fellow DSS-ovac Obren Joksimović (remember him? from JUL? from the war? from the first DSS government? when Koštunica was forced to fire him as minister of health he got the nickname «Oboren») that DSS could «govern for the next 20 years» in a coalition with the Serbian Radical Party (SRS), Mr Bakarec says:
«That is Obren's personal position. But I agree that party officials cannot come forth with personal positions and not influence the party. But everyone has the right to a position...
How many people are there in DSS like Obren Joksimović who support the Radicals?
There aren't many.
And how many are inclined to the Democratic Party (DS)?
They too, like the ones inclined to the Radicals, are in an absolute minority.
Is the party as a whole more inclined to the Radicals or the Democrats?
We are equidistant from each. Both parties are extremists for us. For them there exist two Serbias, and for us only one. DSS practices the politics of the «third way»...
Asked to explain further the «extremism» of both parties, Mr Bakarec offers his interpretation:
«SRS has a patriotic orientation and I think they they stick to it in a principled way. I agree that sometimes because of that they look like an elephant in a glass shop, because they lose measure. On the other hand, DS is excessively inclined to the foreign factor, just one it seems to me --the United States.»
As the conversation continues, Mr Bakarec also signals the rehabilitation of Milošević's old party, the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS). Since DSS is already in a coalition with SPS, it is probably not surprising that he wants to up the ante, and declares «there are fewer and fewer alibis for saying that it is not possible to work with SRS and SPS.»
Probably there is some good in an increasing number of DSS officials recognizing openly what their party has been doing undercover since 2000. And it may be true that democracy and fascism are indeed two extremes. It will be interesting to see how voters will take a party that refuses to make distinctions between them.