Which prime minister pushed Serbia further into debt the most?

Serbia’s public debt currently stands at 23.4 billion euro or 51.1 per cent of gross domestic product. Compared to data from November last year, our country’s total debt was reduced by 700 million euro.

The news that Serbia will again issue debt securities will increase Serbia’s debt by about 1 billion euros, but this move will have a positive effect in the medium term, as the government will refinance the 2011 and 2013 loans with these securities.

Nevertheless, the government of Mirko Cvetkovic (2008-2012) continues to be the leader pushing Serbia further into debt. Ivica Dacic’s government takes the second place and the government, with Aleksandar Vucic at the helm as PM, ranks third, according to a survey conducted by Blic Biznis.

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According to official figures from the Ministry of Finance, covering the period of four years, during Cvetkovic’s reign as Prime Minister, Serbia’s debt increased by 9 billion euro, i.e. from 8.7 to 17.7 billion euro. In terms of the GDP share, it jumped from 26.8 per cent to 52.9 per cent.

On the other hand, Serbia currently owes a total of 23.4 billion euro and is less indebted than at the end of 2018, when the public debt amounted to 24.1 billion euro. From 2012 to date, public debt has increased by 5.7 billion euro.

During this period, Serbia changed three governments – public debt grew the most when Ivica Dacic was prime minister in the period from 2012 to 2014 (EUR 5 billion), while during Aleksandar Vucic’s term as prime minister, the debt went up by 500 million euro. Since 2017, when Ana Brnabic was appointed PM, public debt has increased by 200 million euro. In practice, this means that Serbia’s public debt has fallen from 70 per cent to 50 per cent in terms of its share in the gross domestic product in the last four years, and in the last two years, from about 60 per cent to 50 per cent.

On the other hand, the former prime ministers Zoran Djindjic, Zoran Zivkovic and Vojislav Kostunica managed to reduce the country’s debt in the period from 2000 to June 2008, by a total of 5 billion euro, from 14.7 to 8.7 billion euro. The government of Zoran Djindjic (2001-2003) managed to reduce the public debt by 2.6 billion euro, the government of Zoran Zivkovic (2003-2004) by 500 million euro, and the government of Vojislav Kostunica (2004-2008) by 2.2 billion euro.

In the early 1990s, during the reign of Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia and Montenegro had almost no debt.  When Radovan Bozovic, Nikola Sainovic and Mirko Marjanovic were country presidents, Serbia’s debt grew by 1 one billion euro, and the reason for this was economic sanctions.

(Blic, 12.06.2019)



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