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Vucic: Serbia best in Europe, only country in Europe to increase wages

Christian Fernsby ▼ | October 15, 2020
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said he had insisted during an online meeting with an IMF mission on a wage increase in the Serbian public sector, and added that Serbia would be the only country in Europe to increase wages despite the coronavirus crisis.
Aleksandar Vucic
President   Aleksandar Vucic
“The IMF said wages, pensions and everything else should not be increased – they are cautious and I like their approach. Today were our first discussions on wages, they are skeptical, but we insisted and demonstrated there was enough space for a public sector wage increase,” Vucic told the RTS after the meeting.

Topics: Serbia

“We asked the people from the IMF, and they do not know of any other country in the region or in Europe that will go for a wage increase, because other countries have no possibility for that,” he said.

He said the wage increase would not lead to a hike of public debt and announced Serbia would make another arrangement with the IMF as soon as its current one expired.

It is a matter of security and Serbia’s good position on the global financial market, he said.

Vucic said the IMF would soon officially announce that Serbia’s economic growth rate in 2020 a year marked by the coronavirus pandemic was -1.5 pct, making the country Europe’s leader in growth.

“They have improved their forecast initially they said growth will not be -3 pct but -2.5 pct, and the official estimate, which they will confirm in two days, is that it will be -1.5 pct,” Vucic said, adding that Serbia would work to make the negative growth rate even lower.

The IMF's forecast came after they saw Serbia’s performance and everything that was done in Q3 2020, a period in which Serbian authorities expected a minimal but positive economic growth, even though the country was terribly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, he said.