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The Finance Committee accepted the Bill on the provision of a guarantee for Srbijagas

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The Finance Committee of the Parliament of Serbia accepted today the Proposal for the Law on the provision of a guarantee by Serbia on the indebtedness of “Srbijagas”, and it is a loan in the amount of 105 million euros for financing current liquidity. State guarantees are given in favor of UniCredit banka, NLB Komercijalna banka and AIK banka, and on behalf of Srbijagas.

Dragan Babić from the Public Debt Administration said today at the session of the Finance Committee that the support of the government through the provision of guarantees is necessary in order to continue the supply of gas.

“Given that it is necessary to ensure a safe and continuous supply of gas, the public company Srbijagas is forced to continue importing additional quantities of natural gas, which affects liquidity,” said Babić.

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He explained that the import of intervention quantities is paid in advance and that “Srbijagas” is not able to provide funds from current liquidity, and that the support of the government through loan guarantees is necessary.

Bajatović: We have already spent the money

Director of JP “Srbijagas” Dušan Bajatović says that it is not a question of new debt and that “they have already spent the money”, but that the company must ensure current liquidity.

He reminded that until 2012, that company had seven debts of 200 million euros each. Bajatović said that there are 286 million cubic meters of gas in the warehouse in Banatski Dvor, and 380 million cubic meters in the warehouse in Hungary in case, for any reason, the flow of this energy source from Russia is interrupted.

He added that “Srbijagas” operates in conditions where the price of gas is heavily subsidized and that the price of that energy will have to be increased this year. The opposition MPs assessed at the session of the finance committee that Serbia is borrowing lightly and that it will all have to be paid back.

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Opposition: The trend of this government is to get Serbia into debt

The head of the parliamentary group of the People’s Party, Miroslav Aleksić, says that “the trend of this government is to get Serbia into debt”, adding that he finds it incredible how easily government representatives talk about it.

“Listening to the Minister of Finance, we realize that we should be happy to borrow, as if we were giving loans. Such an image is being created all the time,” Aleksić said, adding that a few days ago, Serbia borrowed for the first tranche in the amount of 1.75 million euros.

He claims that countries in the region had a higher GDP growth than Serbia last year, and he stated that according to the World Bank, the growth in Croatia was 6.6 percent, Hungary 5.5 percent, Romania 4.6 percent, Albania 3 .5 percent, while, he says, only North Macedonia was worse than Serbia, which had a growth of 2.5 percent, with a GDP growth of 2.1 percent.

Deputy of the “United” parliamentary group, Vladimir Obradović, asked how Serbia will pay back those loans, and added that there is not enough information about the proposed laws to be able to make a decision on how to vote.

The members of the Committee considered the Bill on the regulation of the obligations of the Republic of Serbia towards the International Monetary Fund, based on the use of funds from the stand-by arrangement, approved for Serbia in 2022.

In addition to the Bill on providing guarantees of Serbia in favor of Unikredit banka, NLB Komercijalna banka and AIK banka for the indebtedness of Srbijagas in the amount of EUR 105 million, the Bill on the confirmation of the agreement on the guarantee for the renewal of the freight rolling stock of Serbia between Serbia and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was considered. (EBRD) for a loan of 43 million euros.

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