An op-ed piece by Aleksandar Vučić: "Here's how I see Serbia in 2025"

President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, published an op-ed in "Blic", in which he stated how he sees Serbia in 2025.

Source: Blic
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EPA-EFE/ANDREJ CUKIC
EPA-EFE/ANDREJ CUKIC

"Nowadays, the Republic of Serbia is a strong and stable state, a factor of peace and stability, a country of cranes and hoists, new factories and new jobs. Today, in Serbia, there is no more talk about when life will be better, but about what else we can do to further improve the quality of life of its citizens", Vučić stated for "Blic".

"That is what we fought for every day, with hard and painstaking work," President added.

Here's a full text of today's op-ed:

It was not easy to get here, because they left us a country with a collapsed economy, where padlocks in factories were more common than machine workers. They left us a country where unemployment was at a maximum and salaries and pensions at a minimum. They left an empty state budget in which there was no money for the one-month payment of pensions.

We had to react quickly and implement a serious program of fiscal consolidation, which included some difficult economic measures. We started the recovery of Serbia, which was not easy at all, but it was necessary. The results were evident. From the economic growth that was in the red, we have reached the point of being the fastest growing economy in Europe in the last two years. Despite all the crises, public debt is completely under control, unemployment has fallen from 25.9 percent to below 10 percent, and salaries and pensions have risen significantly. From the average salary which was 331 euros, we have reached the level of 635 euros in December 2021. We raised the minimum wage from 15.747 dinars to 35.012 dinars, which is the amount this year. At the same time, I have personally opened or laid the foundation stone for more than 250 factories throughout Serbia, and I am proud that our country is a leader in the region in attracting foreign direct investment. Last year alone, we attracted 3.9 billion euros in foreign direct investment, more than any other Western Balkan country combined.

Thanks to the fact that we managed to consolidate public finances and that we have money in the budget today, we designed the "Serbia 2025" program, which has already begun to be implemented. By 2025, a total of 14 billion euros will be invested in various projects from the transport infrastructure, then in new hospitals and schools, as well as for energy, youth and pro-natal policy.

A total of nine billion euros will be invested in transport infrastructure, one billion euros in water supply and sewerage, 700 million euros for our youth, 600 million euros for health, 600 million euros for education and digitalization, 500 million euros for infrastructure in culture and tourism, 500 million euros for energy, 500 million euros for the development of sports infrastructure, 300 million euros for infrastructure in agriculture. These are projects that generations have been waiting for, and which will be realized in just a few years.

Part of this program is the project of building the Belgrade Metro, which has been waiting for generations of Belgraders, and which finally began to be realized in November last year. Just as we made Belgrade Waterfront, we will make the Belgrade Metro, and it is a project that no one will be able to stop.

I am especially proud of the part of the program that concerns youth and pro-natal policy, considering that every mother who gives birth to a child from the beginning of this year will be entitled to a non-refundable state aid for buying an apartment or house in the amount of up to 20.000 euros. This will be a huge help for parents, which is followed by new aid package in the amount of 300.000 dinars for the first-born child, and an additional 100.000 dinars for the second and third child. We hope to set aside as much money as possible for this purpose, because it also means more newborns in our country.

When you look at these results and planned projects, we should really be proud because we have made Serbia a strong and powerful state. But, I belong to those who are never completely satisfied and who know that they can always do more and better.

Great Victor Hugo once said that "dreams create the future". We dreamed big dreams, which we managed to achieve thanks to hard work, and now we continue to dream and continue working. The two great crises that hit the whole world in the previous period, first the coronavirus pandemic, and now the Russia-Ukraine conflict, shook much stronger economies than ours. We are completely stable, we are fighting well with all challenges, and we continue to build our beautiful Serbia.

Our dream today is for Serbia to be a country networked with highways and modern railways in 2025, in which every house will have a connection to the water supply and sewerage network, and in which every citizen will have an even better quality of life. Our actions give us legitimacy so that we can promise the citizens with complete certainty, and under full responsibility, that the average salary by the end of term of the next government will be 1.000 euros, and the pension 500 euros.

Together we can do everything!

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