Unions "against measures that lead to further recession"

BELGRADE -- The Confederation of Autonomous Trade Unions of Serbia (SSSS) does not support any government measures which entail reduction of personal income.

This move leads to further recession, SSSS Secretary Zoran Mihajlović said.

Mihajlović noted that the reduction of public sector salaries and pensions would impact the citizens' purchasing power, as well as production.

We will end up in a vicious circle which we can hardly exit, Mihajlović told Tanjug.

Daily price increase brought citizens to the verge of survival, Mihajlović said and added that the announced measures would cause social unrests.

We do not support pension cuts because pensions are vested rights and beneficiaries of pensions allocated funds for years on end so that they could have a normal life and some degree of security today, Mihajlović noted. I am not sure whether it would be constitutional to deprive them of these rights now, Mihajlović said and added that he expects pensioners to react in case the measures are implemented.

He believes that there is room in the public sector for considerable savings and that this side should have been covered better so that pensions and salaries could be left untouched.

The blame for employment on political grounds does not rest on these people, this was a practice over a number of year and the incumbent government is not immune to it either, which is why we need to strike some balance, Mihajlović said and added that it is not easy to fill the budget at this point.

The Serbian government needs to find new ways to increase budget revenues through investments and public works instead of introducing restrictive measures and tightening the belt, he noted.