Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that Serbia “is bleeding” two million Euro for electricity on a daily basis, because there is not enough water for the Djerdap and Perucac hydroelectric power plants due to droughts.
“Today the price of electricity reached a record high in the European market, 540 Euro per megawatt-hour. Our people pay 40-41 Euro, 14 times less,” Vucic told the pro-regime TV Pink.
He said Serbia now has to buy electricity at that price because it is unable to produce sufficient quantities and that it is also buying gas at the market price and added that 650 million Euro has so far been allocated for gas that is stored in Hungary.
The President said that, with China’s help, Serbia is trying to secure two million tons of coal and that it has already purchased all it was able to get the region.
“There are two problems here. One is money, the other is whether there is anywhere (to buy),” Vucic said.
Serbia is still financially stable, but next year will be the hardest because the country has to repay a debt of 4 billion Euro from ten years ago, Vucic said.
The President said that the state will not give up on increasing pensions and salaries in the public sector.
Salaries in the public sector could go up 12.5 – 14 per cent as of January 1, he said, adding: “If we do really, really well, we will make it happen in December.”
Pensions will be increased by 19.1-19.3 per cent starting October if there are no problems with electricity, gas and coal, otherwise we will start in December, Vucic said.
He asked the people for understanding if things don’t quite go according to plan, and said that some major infrastructure projects might have to be postponed for a year or two due to the current situation.