“The pandemic has caused a crisis that no one remembers, and I have forty years of business experience. And since the state said there is no money for a new support package, I expect the consequences to be huge – including social unrest and a blow to banks,” Zoran Drakulic, President of the Business Club “Privrednik”, told Nova.
Drakulic is the first man of the club that gathers the most successful businessmen in Serbia, so his word has special weight when it comes to analyzing what awaits the economy in the fall – and he reminds that the initial optimism about the “withdrawal” of coronavirus has disappeared, and that a new crown strike in September and October.
“I have 40 years of experience in business – we have not yet encountered a crisis like this pandemic. And since the Government said that there is no money for a new package of measures to support the economy, the consequences will be huge. Apart from the fact that many people will lose their jobs, many companies will also stop, and some will reduce their business to a minimum since the demand has dropped,” Drakulic told us.
On top of all that, he warns of two more dangers that could await us in such a scenario.
“One is social unrest – we have seen what is happening in America, it is not only the result of racial discrimination, but also a consequence of the fact that more than 40 million people have lost their jobs. Something similar happened to us on Tuesday night, because the protest in front of the Assembly is not only a protest because of the hustle and bustle, but also because of the hopelessness and what awaits us,” Drakulic is convinced.
Another danger, in his opinion, threatens the banks.
“If the economy does not work, it will not be able to service loans,” says Drakulic.
He sees the solution in the fact that the state tries to selectively “cover” what can be saved in the economy.
“It is much harder to allow something to fail, so that after a year or two you try to put it on its feet,” Drakulic told us.
The Ministry of Finance announced that the state has helped businessmen for three minimums so far with the amount 800 million euros.
“Since the beginning of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the state has helped the economy and citizens with 2.3 billion euros, through direct payments and exemption from tax obligations,” the ministry said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Drakulic draws attention to the fact that this type of state aid should not be viewed as non-refundable aid, because it is not to a greater extent.
“The economy basically received just under 800 million euros for three minimums. Everything else is an obligation that we have left – we will repay deferred taxes and contributions, as well as loans”, reminds Zoran Drakulic.
“I read somewhere that the Minister of Finance, Sinica Mali, stated that they should consult about further measures – and they should consult with businessmen,” Drakulic told Nova.rs.