Budget Decrease for Serbian Municipalities

resizer11Several Serbian local officials warned the Serbian Government that its economy measures could lead to the bankruptcy of many municipalities in Serbia.

The government had earlier announced a possible decrease of the cash to be transferred from the Republic’s budget to local budgets.

Local officials are mostly worried about the possibility of an equal drop in transfers to all municipalities, which would be dangerous for undeveloped municipalities. The government claims that the greatest crisis and financial decrease will fall on the most developed ones. 

Miroljub Stojicic,the mayor of Vranje, a town in Southern Serbia, told B92 that there are no investments in the town in 2009, so local government will search only for ways to survive the year. The mayors of financially strong minicipalities are also worried.

Goran Jesic, mayor of Indjija, one of the most developed and rich towns in Serbia, explained that cash transfers from the Republic’s budget are not donations to the municipalities: „They pay us for the services that local self-governments carry out in the name of the state, such as issuing personal documents to citizens“, said Jesic.

The national association of local authorities in the Serbia Standing Conference of Towns and Minicipalities, SCTM, announced that it will organise a meeting on Friday with only one issue: the possible decrease in money transfers from the budget to local self-governments.

In another development, Danas Daily today published information about local officials’ salaries. Many of them earn more than the Serbian Prime Minister or government ministers. Some mayors of small towns are better paid than those in larger Serbian municipalities.

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