Skopje, 23rd November 2012 (MIA) – In the course of the coming four years, i.e. from 2013 to 2017, Macedonia will have to repay one billion euros. Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, confirmed this fact, pointing out that half of this amount was credits taken at the time of SDSM reign, when Branko Crvenkovski, Vlado Buckovski and Hari Kostov held the position of Prime Ministers.
– Billion euros are to be repaid in the period from 2013 to 2017, it is correct data, but if you tried a bit as SDSM, which you rarely do, to have a look at the data, you would have realized that half a billion, out of the billion euros, is credits taken at the time of SDSM in the period between 2002 and 2006. For the truth’s sake, credits were borrowed not only by Crvenkovski, but also by Buckovski, as well as the third Prime Minister Hari Kostov at his time. However, the fact is that credits were also taken at the time of SDSM and we did not blame them, Minister Stavreski said at the continuation of the session of Parliamentary Financing and Budget Commission on Friday.
According to him, there is nothing wrong in taking credits, as SDSM say for the credits taken by the Government of VMRO-DPMNE, but it is bad to take credits at a time when the budget experiences a surplus, like at the time of SDSM. – It is a natural thing for a developing country to base part of its financing on credits. However, it is not good to take credits at a time when the budget experiences surplus, and you had budget surplus at that time, meaning you unnecessarily took credits which are now to be repaid by the generations to come, Stavreski said.
He pointed out that in that period, credit in the amount of US$ 25 million was taken from the World Bank for projects in the field of education, health and social protection. – At that time, you did not increase social protection benefits, you did not increase the pensions, you rather reduced them, there were no reconstruction or construction activities at schools or public health institutions as today, Minister of Finance said, asking why US$ 25 million, funds to be repaid by the future generations, was borrowed.
He mentioned EUR 8.8 million credit for business environment, pointing out that at that time, the country was positioned at 96th place on the Doing Business list, together with the African countries. – Why did you take a credit, what did you spend the funds for, why did you encumber future generations with these funds to be repaid by 2017, and the business environment was disastrous. Why didn’t you implement reforms, why didn’t you improve the business climate, why didn’t you spend the funds in the right manner, Satvreski asked.
This also refers to the cadastre project, the Minister went on, for which EUR 10 million was taken from the World Bank for the Agency for Real Estate cadastre, which in 2006 was the most corrupted and the most inefficient institution in the country. – People could not get title deeds, companies could not get title deeds. Nothing could have been done without giving a bribe. Today, Agency for Real Estate Cadastre, for your information, is one of the most efficient institutions. World Bank Project, the funds of which have been properly used, is evaluated as the best real estate cadastre reform project in SEE and Central Europe. You see, this is how the right way of spending funds looks like, rather than EUR 10 million you took and no one knows what they were spent on and, now, it is on us and the future generations to repay them by 2017, Stavreski underlined.
EUR 24.4 million budgetary support project, as the Minister said, was taken as budgetary support when there was budget surplus and enough funds in the budget at that time. – Why did you sell ESM, you did other things during that period, why did you take funds from the World Bank to additionally encumber the country? What did you spend EUR 24.4 million for, funds we and the future generations are to repay by 2017, Minister of Finance asked.
When you blame somebody for borrowing and having to repay the funds, as he said, you should have a look at whether your track record is clean as regards implementation of the economic policy, how you used the funds, what you used the funds for. We had the worst business climate in the region back at that time, the worst Agency for Real Estate Cadastre, and you borrowed for the same purposes and reformed none of the institutions. That is the difference, Minister Stavreski replied to the accusations by the opposition about the indebtedness of the country.
He underlined that the Government would repay the funds. – We will say nobody, we will not call Washington and tell them Branko Crvenkovski borrowed and we are not going to repay the funds. We will not call KfW to say the Government used these funds in an inefficient manner back then and theses funds will not be repaid. A normal state, a democracy, does not function like that. Regardless of who borrowed the funds, we are obliged to repay them. However, we are also obliged to the public to tell it that half a billion euros to be repaid in the period from 2013 to 2017 are credits Branko Crvenkovski took and did not use them in a good manner, and it is now to the future generations to needlessly pay for that, Minister Zoran Stavreski stressed.