Minister Stefanović: The state takes care of its armed forces
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Nebojša Stefanović, PhD, handed over apartment keys to 12 members of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces in the Central Military Club today. According to him, neglect towards personnel and the difficult times are a thing of the past, because today the state, led by President Aleksandar Vučić, is economically stronger and determined to take care of its armed forces.
Handing over the keys to members of the defence system and the families of deceased colleagues, Minister Stefanović said that being able to help people who have worked for Serbia all their lives to solve one of life's most important issues – to get a roof over their heads for themselves and their families - is an indescribable feeling.
– Unfortunately, there were periods when our military, ministry and state were in such a bad state that they could do nothing. Those were hard times. You carried them on your back, you and your families. It is impossible to correct those mistakes, but what we can do today is make things better for the people working in our system and future generations. That is what President Vučić told me when I took office, the task he gave me, to make our system even better, is difficult, serious and requires hard work - said the Minister of Defence.
Thanks to the responsible policy of the President and the Government of the Republic of Serbia, he said, Serbia is economically stronger today and that is why it can take care of its armed forces.
- We are not omnipotent but we try to help the people who have dedicated their whole lives to this system to solve their life issues. The affordable housing construction project is well underway, which is an opportunity for our members to buy apartments on favourable terms, and I saw how happy young sergeants and lieutenants are for being able to solve that issue. Unfortunately, many of you did not have that opportunity, you are solving this issue now that you are advanced in your careers, but that neglect towards personnel and difficult times are a thing of the past - said the Minister.
Minister Stefanović also says that, in addition to providing them with housing, the care for people working in the defence system will be expressed through a new salary increase.
- Thanks to what I agreed with President Vučić, we had two salary increases and we expect the third one. We want to show the defence system personnel that the state looks after them. I want you and all your colleagues to know that people are the most important resource this country has. All the aircraft, tanks, artillery, rifles and ammunition that we purchase are also fantastic, but people are most important to us. And we will do our best to prove it to you - said Minister Stefanović, congratulating all the people who were given keys to the apartments today.
Sergeant Major Boban Kostić, who works for the Human Resources Sector, says that this is a big day for him and his family.
- I got an apartment in Belgrade, in Yuri Gagarin Street. It’s a two-bedroom apartment and I will live in it with my family. I am very satisfied with the apartment and very grateful to the Ministry of Defence for taking care of its members - said Sergeant Major Kostić.
Mira Mamula, a widow from Belgrade, is one of those who received a key to the apartment today.
- I want to thank the Ministry of Defence for helping me and my children solve this important life issue. I am happy because I finally have a roof over my head - Mrs Mamula said.
State Secretary Branko Živanović and Assistant Minister for Human Resources Katarina Tomašević, who attended the ceremony, also congratulated the members of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces on their new apartments.