The editor-in-chief of NIN weekly, Milan Ćulibrk, says that he fears that the Serbian government has been hiding something when it comes to Rio Tinto, recalling that three members of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences (SANU) had sent a letter to the government about the company in May, but that no one had responded or invited them for a talk to hear their views.
He adds that the price of electricity will increase on 4 April, immediately after the elections, and that in January, pensioners will have less purchasing power than 12 months ago, despite the announced higher pensions.
According to Ćulibrk, electricity will become more expensive for companies from January, which, in turn, will lead to an increase in the prices of their products, i.e. fuel, cigarettes and various other products.
The expert says that President Aleksandar Vučić has managed to convince everyone that he had agreed with the Russians that the price of the Russian gas for Serbia would remain 270 euros per cubic metre, but that the problem is that he did not agree on how much it will cost to buy additional quantities of gas. Serbia will have to pay 4.7 million dollars a day for the additional quantities of gas at “astronomically high stock exchange prices”, reported Danas daily.
Ćulibrk fears that the price will be even higher, after, as he says, what he heard on Friday from President Vučić on Pink TV according when he said that “there is an agreement that Russia will provide us with six million cubic meters of gas per day, while our consumption is 10 million, and there are days when it is even 12 million”. Vučić said that for higher quantities we will pay the stock exchange price of around 1,700 euros.
Ćulibrk believes that the price of electricity will rise, as he says, on 4th April (immediately after the elections). If EPS, which now imports electricity at prices five or six times higher than it sells it to citizens, records a loss, someone will have to cover it, and if there is no money, the state will cover it,” he said.
He added that electricity is imported in the worst possible time, when prices are at their peak. “If everything had gone well, maybe EPS could have exported electricity,” he said, adding that the question is what will be the price of electricity for companies from January.
Ćulibrk notes that there has been a general price increase of 7.4% up to November and adds that prices have risen more than the salaries of civil servants and pensions. On the other hand, the ministers, Siniša Mali and the Prime Minister, all say they Serbia has never had a bigger economic growth which will translate into a higher living standard of its citizens.
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