“Magyar Szo” (Hungarian Word) Novi Sad, 3 January 2004
The interview of HRH Crown Prince Alexander II
After the official support from the Serbian Patriarch Pavle and Serbian Orthodox Church to the reestablishment of monarchy, the international and Serbian media increased significantly their interest in the subject and the personality of Prince Alexander II.
Articles on “pro” and “contra” monarchy appear almost every day. On the issue of why a constitutional parliamentary monarchy is the best solution for Serbia now, we talk to Crown Prince Alexander II in person.
- It has been three years now since you returned to the homeland. What is Your Royal Highness’s general impression?
It was an incredible experience. To come back home and one’s roots, to be able to travel around my country. I enjoyed contacts with the people. I was deeply touched by the cordiality with which my family and I were accepted. I was impressed by the wonderful people and by the beauty of our country.
- What would be the legal and legitimate way to reestablish monarchy in Serbia? What would be the Royal prerogatives in the Kingdom of Serbia and would the royal authority be in way limited?
After many difficult years it is very important for the citizens of Serbia to know what the constitutional parliamentary monarchy really is.
Just like any parliamentary republic, the constitutional parliamentary monarchy has democratic elections for the Parliament. There is a Prime Minister who runs the country together with his or her cabinet. The King is not a member of any political party, he is a symbol of stability, unity and continuity. At the same time he is a defender of democracy.
What I would like to be taken into consideration is the example of the Spanish constitution, from which much can be learned. Personally, I think the issue of the monarch’s authority limitations is solved very good in the Spanish constitution, but that is the issue for the Parliament, and for a serious and responsible discussion on the subject. Basically, the King rules, and the Government reigns. In republics, presidents belongs to political parties, to which he owes loyalty, but in a constitutional parliamentary monarchy the King does not belong to any political party, he is neutral, and that is why I think it is the best solution for our country, because it would prevent political conflicts and frequent failures that we have witnessed. So, the Government has the authority.
And another thing: constitutional parliamentary monarchy is much cheaper for the citizens. The elections expenses are cut down, only the Parliament is elected and local authorities, so the tax payers are spared. It is a huge saving. The expenses of the Royal Families are very limited and come down to covering the state protocol commitments and the expenses of the King, the Queen and their children, and nothing else. It is very much like in republics, where you have extra expenses for presidential elections. The budget and the expenses, of course, are approved by the Parliament, which means moral responsibility of everybody.
- Why do you believe this is the right moment for reestablishment of monarchy and would the Crown bring so much wanted stability?
The right moment to start discussing this issue will be after the Parliament is constituted. Our citizens need stability, they need jobs and a responsible government.
There is no doubt the constitutional parliamentary monarchy would contribute greatly to a stable and peaceful future of Serbia, which is the case in other countries with the state system like this, Spain, Canada, Japan, Denmark, Holland and others.
The citizens have to know that their jobs and all the business in the country are suffering tremendously if there is no stability and moral integrity. Once again, I believe the constitutional parliamentary monarchy is a warrant of all that and the warrant of progress.
- Has anything like that happened in the world, and are you and your associates, monarchists, preparing for it?
Again there is the example of Spain. The Kingdom of Spain used to be under the fascist dictatorship of General Franco, all the way until the mid seventies of the 20th century. In only a few years she became an example of a democracy and a member of the European Union.
- What is your comment on the support from Patriarch Pavle and Serbian Orthodox Church?
It is really great to have the support of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle. I am deeply grateful to him for that. The Church and the Crown both have long tradition in our country. The Patriarch, just as myself, has deep respect for all religions and ethnic groups. We must all live together in peace. Every citizen of our country must have equal rights and must be equally protected by the law.
- Does Your Royal Highness have any knowledge about which political parties in Serbia support monarchy in their programs and in their election campaign concepts, and is there a political party that you are inclined to?
In a constitutional parliamentary monarchy the King is outside and above politics. He is not a member of any political party, nor favors any of them. The monarch is a symbol of stability and unity, and has no political preferences. On the other hand, all political parties must abide to the democratic principles and moral standards. It is so in all constitutional parliamentary monarchies around the world.
- Who do you expect support from in the world?
Serbia is a sovereign country and she must be responsible for her problems. In other words, we should take our destiny in our own hands, following the democratic principles and human rights. It is important to be friends with all countries, and this should be respected, but we should not allow interfering in our internal affairs.
That is why I am convinced we are going to have a responsible government, but I also take the right to publicly criticize any attempt of abuse or breaking the basic democratic rules and human rights. I am very happy to see that we now have good relationships with other countries, be they republics or monarchies.
- How would the reestablishment of monarchy in Serbia influence the relations in the present State Union of Serbia and Montenegro?
Our politicians should realize that there are republics and monarchies within the European Union and they work together on daily basis. The presidency over the European Union rotates every six months, and republics and monarchies take their turn. So, I repeat, our politicians should work together for the benefit of all citizens of Serbia.
- What is the message of Your Royal Highness to the readers of “Magyar Szo” and the national minorities in Serbia?
The diversity of cultures that we have in our country makes us only richer. Every citizen of our country must feel safe, must have all the democratic rights, but at the same time that means that no one has the right to impose one’s will to the others. Simply, we must respect each other. Democracy and human rights must be the foundation of our country and this is something that everybody must respect.
I express my warmest wishes to all the readers of “Magyar Szo”, to the Hungarian community, as well as to all other ethnic groups in Serbia.
Journalist: Dr. Tibor Celler
Copyright © 1998 NJ.K.V. Prestolonaslednik Aleksandar II
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