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Local governments’ fiscal woes “threat to public finances”

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Cities and municipalities in Serbia owe around a billion euros and are late in paying mature obligations of 300 million, – four percent of GDP.

Beta is reporting this, citing Fiscal Council chairman Pavle Petrovic, who spoke during a news conference in Belgrade on Tuesday.

The fiscal problems of cities and municipalities are threatening Serbia’s public finances and slowing economic growth, Petrovic said, and added:

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“If the Serbian government does not take the necessary measures, the debts of cities and local self-administrations will sink state finances.”

The debt, he said, was as big as the Electric Power Industry (EPS) – one billion euros – and is comparable to that of the public gas enterprise, Srbijagas (1.2 billion).

“The structural problems of local self-administrations is that budget funds are being spent on subsidies, for a total of around EUR 200 million, while at the same time EUR 250 million in investment in local infrastructure, waterworks, sewerage, waste treatment is missing,” Petrovic said.

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