Vučić: Snap elections could happen, more one-off financial assistance for citizens

At yesterday’s press conference, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić announced a series of economic measures, including an increase in pensions, salaries for educators and health care professionals, as well as other civil servants.

Vučić also announced a direct financial aid of 10,000 dinars for each child up to the age of 16, new 100,000 free tourist vouchers and lower prices of certain basic foodstuffs, including the Sava white bread (the price will be reduced from 57 to 54 dinar per loaf).

In terms of senior citizens, the President announced higher pensions by 5.5 percent from October 1 for 1.7 million of them, and then a 14.6 percent increase on January 1, 2024.

Pensions were last increased in January this year by 12.1 percent. The previous increase was in November last year, about 9 percent, and with these two hikes, the amount of average pension went up by about 7,000 dinars.

Vučić also pointed out that teachers will receive a 5.5 percent salary increase starting September 1, and another 10 percent on December 1 or January 1.

Both Vučić and Serbian PM, Ana Brnabić, announced the possibility of early elections, while the PM also offered her resignation if needed.

“We are satisfied with Ana Brnabić’s work and we are ready to agree on the date of the elections with those who would prefer city and municipal elections to take place early. This is a matter for discussion between all political actors,” Vučić said.

“Now it is clear that we will have early parliamentary elections. It’s just a matter of deciding the month in which the parliamentary elections will take place… tensions in society are always resolved by elections,” said Vučić.

The opposition parties reacted negatively to the aforementioned measures, claiming that the President overstepped his constitutional powers.

Zoran Lutovac, leader of the Democratic Party (DS) which was once the biggest and most influential opposition party, said that Vučić’s media conference was “watching the President violating the country’s Constitution live”. Lutovac said that the media conference would result in more weekly protests and was the result of state authorities starting to panic.

“Everything that was said is the consequence of panic and fear. Vučić wants to anaesthetize the public and turn attention away from the protests. He said that there was a possibility of early elections even though no one asked him to schedule snap elections. He obviously doesn’t like a parliament that includes people who criticize him. He needs to portray himself as the only existing institution,” Lutovac said.

(Blic, N1, 08.01.2023)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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