Great challenges for Serbia, we are fighting for a better life

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The Minister of Finance, Siniša Mali, stated that to date, another 25,000 young people have applied for financial assistance from the state in the amount of 100 euros, and that public finances are completely stable, reports the Ministry of Finance.

“Our public finances are stable and completely under control. So now the share of public debt in GDP is 52.1 percent, which is far below the Maastricht level of 60 percent, despite the huge help we have given. In the first three days of June, we are again paying 100 euros to young people aged 16 to 29. A total of about 25,000 young people applied within the new cycle, and I will remind you that in the first round, money was paid for 1,059,425 of them “, said Mali as a guest on Happy Television, reports the Ministry.

He reminded that young people who applied earlier do not have to do it again and that their money will be paid automatically.

Mali added that the session of the Government of Serbia will adopt a decision that companies that suffer the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine can use the second guarantee scheme to refinance the obligations from the first guarantee scheme.

“So, the measure will refer to companies that have exports or imports from Ukraine, Belarus and the Russian Federation.” By the way, these are very favorable loans, which are cheap, for five years with a two-year guarantee and a grace period. It is an attempt to help them and alleviate a very difficult situation “, stated Mali.

As he explained, citizens should not worry about whether the shelves in stores will be full.

“A few months ago, on the initiative of President Aleksandar Vučić, we filled the commodity reserves, we bought the goods in advance, knowing that a great crisis was coming. I remember that the president said back in November that we could expect a crisis, which is why it was necessary to get everything we needed. We bought everything we needed, even water, milk powder, filled the commodity reserves to the top. When the crisis starts, when the supply chains are interrupted, in this way, shortages in stores are prevented. That is very important for us, especially after the bad experiences of the 1990s, “Mali emphasized.

He reminded that Serbia controls the prices of basic foodstuffs, as well as oil.

“We still have controlled fuel prices, it is available at gas stations, and we still have low electricity prices, despite the huge energy crisis. President Vučić said that the price of electricity will not increase. Prices are rising, and transport costs are rising due to the rising price of fuel, electricity … What a factory produces is certainly more expensive. And then look, due to rising inflation, factories cannot increase the price of their finished products as much as they should, because the purchasing power of citizens is declining, so compromises are being made, “Mali explained.

The Minister of Finance added that on the other hand, precisely because of inflation, employees are asking for higher salaries, which puts pressure on business, which is becoming more expensive, because production is more expensive.

“When you have more money in conditions of high inflation, it encourages consumption, and thus affects inflation. That is why everyone is now wondering what to do. “We need to coordinate monetary policy, what the NBS is doing and what the government is doing in terms of fiscal policy, ie helping the economy, the citizens,” said Mali.

He emphasized that a balance has been reached between controlling inflation and stimulating the economy to continue growing.

“We are growing, the growth rate is still high and this year it will be between 3.5 and 4.5 percent, which is in line with projections.” On the other hand, imported inflation from abroad is a problem for us, and we cannot control that, “explained Minister Mali.

He said that the pressure on President Vučić and on Serbia continues.

“I feel like it’s hysteria. As the president said, the train started from the east to the west a long time ago, and we are in the middle. This conflict will especially affect the poorest, who will have big problems, especially when it comes to energy and food. In my opinion, energy is the most important thing, to see how we will define the energy strategy for the next three to five years, to try to be as independent as possible from others. We have to be more ready and stronger in the years to come “, Mali emphasized.

He also referred to the situation in the region and pointed out that peace and stability are not just words, but a necessity in order to continue to grow and develop.

“Just today, we have a meeting with President Vučić regarding the ‘Open Balkans’ initiative. We have done everything with Northern Macedonia and Albania. I hope that Montenegro will join the initiative. Now trucks pass freely, with work permits people from Albania work in Serbia and Northern Macedonia and vice versa. In addition, the flow of goods is accelerating, the whole region is moving further economically. With a stronger region, Serbia won, but so did the region. When we are bigger, then we are more attractive because we are a bigger market. Investors are more interested “, the Minister noted.

Mali said that the principled position of Serbia has its consequences, especially when it comes to the capital market.

“We have problems and I had talks with the biggest investors. Our position is understood, but not to be more risky than any other. The challenges are huge, the capital market reacts to every crisis. I hope we avoid the worst case scenario. We have enough money, we are fighting to ensure the normal functioning of our economy and to enable the smooth functioning and stable living standard of the citizens of Serbia “, concluded Mali, reports Tanjug.