The People’s Party (Narodna Stranka – NS) asked the Government of Serbia to “reduce unreasonably high subsidies” to foreign companies and to redistribute these funds to domestic companies to the same extent and under the same conditions.
“At the beginning of next year, employers will be allowed to lay off a large number of workers, as the ban on the dismissal of workers who work for companies that have received state aid in the form of three minimum wages expires then. If this happens, the state will be responsible because it has pursued the wrong economic policy. There is also a real danger of closure of many small and medium-sized companies due to lack of work,” reads the communiqué of the People’s Party Committee for Economy and Entrepreneurship.
The People’s Party also says that claims made by the Minister of Economy, Andjelka Atanaskovic and the President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Marko Cadez, that domestic and foreign investors have the same rights were not true.
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“Minister Atanasković said that companies in Serbia are satisfied with 1% reduction in taxes and that they receive subsidies for machines or business expansion, but at the same time, the state grants huge subsidies to foreign investors during a serious crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic,” the statement says.
The People’s Party Committee for Economy and Entrepreneurship cited the example of the Japanese tire manufacturer, Toyo Tires, which in the midst of the crisis, received from the Serbian state 41 million euro and 64 hectares of land, worth three million euro. Plus the company will get 84,000 euro for each new worker. The plans is to employ 523 people at the factory.
“Last year, the Chinese car tire manufacturer, Linglong received 82.6 million euro from the State of Serbia, of which 75 million euro was in “cash”, as well as 95 hectares of first-class agricultural land, worth 7.6 million euro. The company will also get 69,000 euro in subsidies for each employee”, the Committee warns.
The Committee also noted that foreign investors often employ unskilled workers for a salary of just over 200 euro per month, who are “forced to work without guaranteed labor rights, in violation of the prescribed working hours, while trade unions are often banned”.
“Most foreign investors mainly import raw materials, used them in production and then export their products. The state has no real income from such activity, except for taxes and contributions on the mentioned very low wages”, reads the statement.
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