Aleksandar's Feed
Sep 5, 2013

Serbian finance minister says has backing for “serious” reform

BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia’s new finance minister outlined on Thursday a plan to overhaul the tax system and bloated public sector and cut red tape, saying he is convinced he has the support of the fractious coalition government.

The jury is still out on whether 28-year-old Lazar Krstic has the political clout to push through the kind of reforms that successive governments since the fall of Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic in 2000 have ducked.

Sep 4, 2013

West urges Serbia to allow, protect gay Pride

BELGRADE (Reuters) – Western envoys urged Serbia on Wednesday to make sure a planned gay pride march this month goes ahead without violence, in a test of the Balkan country’s commitment to tolerance and diversity as it eyes talks on joining the European Union.

Authorities in Serbia banned Belgrade Pride last year and the year before, after a 2010 march triggered rioting by nationalist protesters and soccer hooligans. Gay rights activists say they will try again on September 28.

Aug 29, 2013

Serbian party threatens snap election if painful reforms blocked

BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia’s biggest party threatened its smaller coalition partner on Thursday with a snap election if it keeps up its resistance to painful reforms that the country’s new finance minister has vowed to pursue.

The Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), the dominant party in the ruling alliance, has taken on the finance portfolio after a cabinet reshuffle in July, setting up a showdown with Prime Minister Ivica Dacic’s Socialists over radical spending cuts.

Aug 21, 2013

Future Serbia FinMin sees 2014 deficit lower at 4 pct – newspaper

BELGRADE, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Serbia’s 2014 budget deficit
should not overshoot 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP),
down from the revised 4.7 percent target for this year, said
Lazar Krstic, the country’s finance minister designate.

“What is acceptable for the International Monetary Fund and
the international community is the deficit of three percent,
four percent at most,” Krstic, a 29-year old Yale-educated
economist, said an interview with Belgrade’s NIN weekly, which
will be published on Friday.

Aug 20, 2013

Serbia seeks early move on IMF talks-government adviser

BELGRADE, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Serbia, under pressure to
stabilise its finances, aims to ask the International Monetary
Fund next month to restart talks on a new loan deal crucial for
reassuring investors, a government adviser said on Tuesday.

Both the IMF, which last year froze a previous standby loan
deal with Serbia, and the country’s fiscal advisory body have
warned that the government risks missing its revised budget
deficit target of 4.7 percent of national output this year.

Aug 20, 2013

Serbia aims to seek new talks with IMF in September – govt economic adviser

BELGRADE, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Serbia aims to ask the
International Monetary Fund next month to restart talks over a
new loan deal that is crucial for reassuring investors, a
government advisor said.

The IMF, which froze a previous standby loan deal with
Serbia early last year, and the country’s fiscal advisory body
have warned that the government risks missing its revised budget
deficit target of 4.7 percent of national output this year.

Aug 14, 2013

McKinsey consultant Krstic to be Serbian finance minister

BELGRADE (Reuters) – A U.S.-educated McKinsey consultant is to be named Serbia’s new finance minister as part of a cabinet reshuffle agreed in July, an official and local media said on Wednesday.

Serbian Yale graduate Lazar Krstic, who is about 30, agreed to take the post after meetings with Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, said a government official familiar with the talks who asked not to be named.

Aug 13, 2013

Serbia may hire McKinsey consultant as finance minister -source

BELGRADE, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Serbia is in talks with a
U.S.-educated McKinsey consultant about becoming the country’s
new finance minister, following a cabinet reshuffle in July, a
political source and local media said on Tuesday.

Mladjan Dinkic was fired, along with at least three other
ministers, to avert a snap election. Serbian Prime Minister
Ivica Dacic had threatened to bring down the coalition
government unless Dinkic was replaced and his small United
Regions party ejected from the alliance.

Aug 8, 2013

Serb central bank holds off rate cut after minister’s ousting

BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate on hold at 11 percent on Thursday, erring on the side of caution after the ousting of Finance Minister Mladjan Dinkic.

Slowing inflation had offered scope for a cut but Dinkic’s departure has deepened concern among investors over the government’s growing budget gap, leaving the dinar currency at greater risk of a selloff.

Jul 8, 2013

Serbia pledges public sector, pension reform; IMF warns on deficit

BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia will begin reforming its costly public sector and pension system before the end of the year, the government said on Monday, as the IMF pressed the country again to do more to bring its high budget deficit under control.

Public sector wages and pensions in the former Yugoslav republic account for around half of state outgoings, and the high fiscal gap means the ruling coalition faces the politically unpalatable prospect of having to cut back on jobs, wages and pensions.