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Serbian government determined to fight monopoly

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Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic stated yesterday that the government is determined to fight monopoly, adding that only by supporting competition can long-term and stable growth and democracy be secured in Serbia.

Speaking at a press conference organised by the Commission for the Protection of Competition, Cvetkovic underlined that anti-monopoly policy does not only imply struggle for market behaviour in economy, but added that it also permeates the political and social life of a country.

He stated that the government is ready to provide full support to the Commission for the Protection of Competition but at the same time it will not jeopardise its independence.

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With the adoption of the Law on the protection of competition in 2009, European standards in this area have been attained, he said, recalling that Serbia adopted other laws as well, such as the Law on state assistance and control, Law on public procurements and a series of branch laws in trade, agriculture, infrastructure etc.

Apart from legislation, we need institutions, including the Commission for the Protection of Competition, and appropriate court instances, which Serbia already has, he underlined.

Cvetkovic also declared that the government is preparing incentive measures for agricultural production to enable Serbian producers to do business in the market and produce quality food, acceptable for the population.

Agricultural producers in Serbia, a country with a surplus in its trade in agricultural products with the world, should be enabled to take advantage of the currently high prices in the world market and achieve larger foreign currency inflow, he observed.

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He recalled that the Serbian government has reached an agreement with sugar mills on the price of sugar, which has not changed for more than six months, and also added that the price of bread is under control.

The Prime Minister added that there are still some basic food products whose price should be agreed on with the manufacturers.

Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Water Management Dusan Petrovic said that competition is crucial for a regulated economy, where citizens will have the greatest benefit as it will provide them with better and cheaper goods.

Head of the EU in Belgrade Vincent Degert said that a good competitiveness law and its implementation is key to Serbia’s EU accession and explained that even more important is its full implementation.

Also important is the creation of adequate institutions, Degert said and added that the Competitiveness Commission has to tackle numerous challenges and tasks in the fight against monopolies.

Degert announced that the EU will invest €3 million to finance a new project related to the direct implementation of the competition law in Serbia.

President of the Competitiveness Commission Vesna Jankovic said that the previous year was a milestone in the implementation of antimonopoly policy in Serbia.

Jankovic said that the Commission is making its fifth anniversary today and added that protection of competition is one of the few areas in our country that is fully compliant with the legislation and EU directives.

Source Serbian Government

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