Reuters: Serbia to spend 5 billion euro to cope with the aftermath of the coronavirus

The Reuters news agency has reported on a programme of measures for the recovery of the Serbian economy announced by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

“Serbia plans to offer about 5 billion euro in loans and subsidies to businesses to help them cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus,” President Aleksandra Vucic said.

“The state will also make a one-off payment of 100 euro to every Serbian citizen older than 18, or around 5 million people, the entire electorate. The recovery programme, which the president announced late on Sunday, would lead to an increase in the deficit this year that would be covered from financial reserves and borrowing. The deficit was originally forecast at 0.3% of economic output,” Reuters reports.

It also reminds that, so far, 13 people in Serbia, out of a population of 7 million, have died from the coronavirus and 741 have been infected. To counter the outbreak, Serbia introduced stringent measures, including a state of emergency and an overnight lockdown for all.

Under the plan, agreed with the International Monetary Fund, Serbia’s public debt should not exceed 60% of GDP, from 52.4% at the end of 2019, Vucic told the Prva TV. “We will have problems, but fewer than others,” he said, adding that more details would be announced on Tuesday.

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Serbia’s currency reserves in February stood at 13.458 billion euro, down from 13.694 billion euro a month earlier.

To aid recovery, local banks are expected to “throw in” around 2 billion euro in a fund for which the state would secure an additional 1.25 billion euro in guarantees. Serbia’s development fund would add another 200 million euro.

(B92, 30.03.2020)


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