Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said today she is satisfied with the results achieved by the Serbian government over the past two years, which has remained committed to its goals, first and foremost when it comes to the macroeconomic stability and the strengthening of Serbia.
We are deeply committed to changing Serbia for the better, and I am convinced that the things we are doing have moved in that direction, Brnabic said, pointing to the reforms that have been implemented, digitization and the goal of creating an economy based on knowledge and innovations.
She said that the Serbian government will continue to work on the affirmation of human rights and freedoms, on strengthening independent regulatory bodies and improving the living standards of citizens.
Wages in the public sector increased between 12 and 23 per cent, and another increase is expected by the end of the year, the Prime Minister said, adding that the biggest increase of wages have been made in healthcare, between 28 and 30 per cent, as well as in education, which shows that priority of the government is to keep the doctors and nurses in the country, as well as to reward employees in education.
The Prime Minister specified that the average salary is now €463, which is 11.3 per cent more, with the note that salaries and pensions are increasing on a real basis and that the surplus in the budget today amounts to RSD 21.26 billion.
Brnabic said that, with the approval of the Social-Economic Council, the minimum salary has been increased by 19.5 per cent, to RSD 27,200, while the tax burden on businessmen was reduced.
According to her, foreign direct investments in the first five months amounted to €1.4 billion, which is 17 per cent more than in the same period last year.
The Prime Minister said that Serbia is a safer country today, stating that the smallest number of crimes in 18 years was recorded in 2018.
Compared to 2017, the number of crimes in 2018 was lower by 6.5 per cent, and more than ten tons of narcotics were seized in just over two years, she said.
Speaking about important projects that will be built this year, Brnabic mentioned the Moravian Corridor and the Belgrade-Sarajevo highway, namely the Sremska Raca-Kuzmin section.
She stressed that European integration remains the strategic goal of the government of Serbia, and the European Union our destination, while at the same time preserving the best possible relations with the United States, Russia, China, the United Arab Emirates, because this is in the best interest of citizens.
Speaking about European integration, Brnabic pointed out that in the previous two years Serbia opened nine negotiating chapters, and 17 in total, two of which have been temporarily closed.
We are ready to open new chapters and this will be a priority in our work. By signing 11 agreements, we received more than €460 million in EU grants, the Prime Minister underlined.
She underlined that the Serbian government bravely began education reforms and recalled reminding that informatics was introduced as an obligatory subject in all elementary schools and that 23 per cent of secondary vocational schools have at least one dual educational profile.
The Science Fund was established for the first time, which is connected with the Innovation Fund, the Prime Minister said and pointed out that funds intended for financing science have been increased by 30 per cent.
As of this year, Serbia is a full member of CERN, and scientific and technological parks have been built in Nis and Novi Sad. Starting with 1 September, we will have 10,000 digital classrooms, within three years we will complete the digitization of all our schools, which is the best indicator of the responsible government’s attitude towards the future of Serbia, Brnabic underlined.