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Serbia, cuts in wages and pensions from November 1

Parliament passes budget revision. Vucic calls for austerity

27 October, 19:47
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic

(ANSA) - BELGRADE - The Serbian parliament has passed the 2014 budget revision, which includes the cuts and the austerity measures taken in recent weeks by the government to restore the finances, encourage the private sector and modernize the country, which has started moving along the path of integration in the EU. 188 deputies voted in favour (ouf of the 250 in the unicameral parliament), 10 voted against. From November 1st there will be cuts in public-sector wages and pensions exceeding 25,000 dinars (about 210 euros). The salaries will be cut by about 10%, while there will be no reductions for 61% of retired people, whose pensions amount less than 25,000 dinars. For 1.5 million retirees with benefits below 40,000 dinars ( 336 euros), the cuts will be less than 10%, while the reduction will be greater than 10% for those who have a pension amounting 40,000 dinars.

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, speaking in the parliament before the vote, asked citizens ''a year and a half of patience and savings'', arguing that in 2016 Serbia will ''come out of the tunnel'' by recording ''the highest growth rate in Europe.'' ''We decided to make these cuts to reduce the difference between what we have gained and what we have spend to reduce our debt and increase growth. There is no alternative'', Vucic said.

According to PM this year GDP will record a decline between 0.3% and 0.4%, mainly due to catastrophic floods last May. In 2015, he added, Serbia is expected to grow, economically, by about 1%. (ANSA).

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