Finance Minister Sinisa Mali said Serbia made effort to fight for every job and help small businesses in need.
“The whole world is facing the biggest economic crisis ever. We have come up with strong and comprehensive measures to support the economy,” he told Pink Television.
He said that within 12 days, Serbia came out with measures to support our economy, with 600.8 billion dinars, which is half of our annual budget.
“Only six countries have come up with such big measures, only the US, China, France, Germany, the UK, maybe another country and Serbia,” he said.
According to him, due to economic strength, the state was able to bear the brunt of the crisis.
“It would not be a chance for those measures if we had not implemented the reforms, if we haven’t got the strength to support our economy with 5.1 billion euros to overcome this crisis,” Mali said.
He told businessmen that he expected them to use the assistance.
“And then, together, slowly, as borders open, as the economy moves, we see if we will determine whether we would be able to still help somewhere else,” said Mali.
According to him, the measures were jointly adopted, with the “unity and solidarity” that must now find within us.
“We are fighting on two fronts, one is a fight for the economy and the other for our lives,” he said, adding
that Serbia succeeds on both fronts, thanks primarily to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
Mali said that the US and other countries are talking about the need for the economy to open as soon as possible, and that, by using the athletic vocabulary, we need to “start the race within the starting gun.”
“We need to be prepared with these measures for the race and start running as soon as possible,” he said.
Mali said the measure to help citizens is good, because the money will certainly return to the Serbian economy.
“We will adopt a budget rebalance tomorrow, which will include all these economic measures, and the payment of minimal wages will start in the first week of May. We are also adopting a regulation on 100 euros for every citizen of Serbia. “We will automatically pay € 100 each. We will start on May 15 and then give the remaining adult citizens the opportunity to apply if they want € 100,” he said.
The minister added that this would be confirmed by telephone, as he had heard in recent days that many did not want this assistance.
He noted that Serbia was the only country to return its citizens free of charge to their homeland when the epidemic began, costing tens of millions of euros and that partly because of that, Air Serbia was destroyed.
“The transportation will not be free anymore. Tomorrow in the budget rebalance we are allocating 2 billion dinars for 400.000 new vouchers to Serbian citizens of 5.000 dinars to spend summer in Serbia,” he said.