"There Are Solutions For 40 Restructuring Companies"

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić said Wednesday he believed it possible to find a solution for around 40 restructuring companies and save them from bankruptcy. Vučić and Labor Minister Aleksandar Vulin met in Belgrade with officials of the Confederation of Autonomous Trade Unions led by Ljubisav Orbović and representatives of worker unions from 40 companies undergoing restructuring. There is a total of 156 restructuring companies in Serbia. It was Vučić's and Vulin's first meeting with one of the representative unions since the adoption of the laws on labour and pension and disability insurance in mid-July, which were opposed by the unions. Vučić told reporters after the meeting it was key that the government had got support from unions not to treat everything within the restructuring companies as property during their upcoming sale. He proposed at the meeting to form a committee for restructuring companies according to their industrial branch, adding that he would seek support from other unions as well for measures to help those companies, in order to privatise all the restructuring companies and another 584 that have yet to go through the process. The government is prepared to write off the companies' debts, which form 65 percent of all the debts owed by the restructuring companies, he pointed out. Those companies owe EUR 2.4 billion to the government, but those debts cannot be collected, he said. That is not all, because they cost the state EUR 750 million annually, so a solution for them has to be found, he noted. "We were going in the wrong direction for some 15-20 years, given out aid, but never solved the problem," he said. Read more.