"Deputy PM's office is not hindering reforms"

Minister of Finance Lazar Krstić has said that he does not think that the office of First Deputy PM Aleksandar Vučić was hindering reforms.

Source: Tanjug
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He was reacting to this qualification made by Economy Minister Saša Radulović, who was explaining the reasons for his resignation.

“It was not my impression at any moment that the Deputy Prime Minister's Office is hindering the reforms, actually it was quite the opposite,” Krstić told reporters, adding that Vučić was "the one who initiated the talks on reforms."

Krstić said that it was the proposal of the first deputy prime minister to appoint him as minister of finance, while Radulovic was appointed minister of economy in July 2013 as part of the government reshuffle.

“We have undergone the process of harmonization of measures which were announced in October and many other things such the laws on privatization, bankruptcy and labor,” Krstić said, adding that the talks were not easy.

Radulović also attended the talks on the stabilization package and long-term fiscal strategy, the minister said.

Krstić said that "it is no secret that Radulović had a different plan for the tax reform."

The plan was discussed and it should not be discarded in the long run, but it is impossible to pass it now due to the budget deficit, the minister of finance said.

Krstić said that it is planned to adopt the amendments to the Labor Law with greater involvement of all relevant factors and to complete the process of restructuring.

"Precedent"

Lazar Krstić stated on Tuesday that the upcoming visit of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission to Serbia during the election campaign will be "a precedent and a sign of trust that the government will continue to implement reforms."

“The IMF does not pay visits during election campaigns and elections, and this is a great sign of trust in us as a government that we will finish what we have started. I believe that these negotiations will be thorny, but our goal is to make an arrangement with the IMF and we will persevere,” Krstić told reporters.

The arrival of the IMF "encourages investors to come to Serbia and it is a sign that the country is in the process of reforms from which it will not deviate substantially," he said.

“The government in the election period cannot sign an agreement with the IMF, so the signing ceremony would take place after the elections, but we expect that the greatest part of the talks will be conducted during their stay of two and a half weeks,” Krstić said, noting that the IMF Mission will stay in Serbia from February 26 to March 13.

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