Skopje, 10th December 2012 (MIA) – Irresponsible behavior by the opposition SDSM by blocking the work of the Parliament regarding next year’s Budget and the borrowing at the World Bank will cost Republic of Macedonia EUR 84 million. The Government and VMRO-DPMNE will find way to settle the liabilities and realize the envisaged payments towards the pensioners, social welfare beneficiaries, farmers, to realize infrastructure projects, …..

Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, said today in the Parliament, saying that SDSM behavior was politically incorrect and scandalous compared to the practice in the other European countries.

According to Stavreski, loans the Republic of Macedonia is to take are almost identical with the liabilities it has to pay next year, therefore SDSM arguments that such borrowing will increase the government debt or such money would be spent for other purposes are unfounded. On 8th January next year, he explained, Eurobonds fall due to be repaid in the amount of EUR 175 million, while total amount to be repaid next year by the Republic of Macedonia on the basis of already undertaken liabilities towards abroad, loans taken in the time of both SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE, accounts for EUR 257 million.

– Hence, we have to repay EUR 257 million, EUR 175 million out of which at the beginning of January already. We have loans agreed with the World Bank, the loan in the amount of EUR 50 million we are taking now for budget support and the new PBG loan from the World Bank in the amount of EUR 220 million to EUR 250 million. Hence, if all loans are summed up, we will see that they are almost identical with the liabilities the Republic of Macedonia is to pay next year. False argument of SDSM that these loans will increase the debt of Macedonia or that they will be used for other purpose falls flat. On the contrary, these funds, de facto in identical amount, will be used to repay the liabilities from the previous period, which will provide for liquidity of the budget and of the payments by the country towards abroad, Stavreski said.

Arguing the claim that Macedonia will suffer damage in the amount of EUR 84 million as a result of blocking the adoption of the Budget and the loan from the World Bank, he said that if Republic of Macedonia went to the capital market with Eurobonds next year, which required no approval by the Parliament, instead of taking the two favourable credits from the World Bank, interest rate to be paid by the state would be twice higher compared to the one agreed with the World Bank.

– In seven years, the repayment period for that bond or the loans from the World Bank, i.e. the guarantee, Republic of Macedonia will needlessly pay EUR 84 million more than it is supposed to pay if it takes the funds from the World Bank, Vice Prime Minister said.

He asked SDSM and its leader Branko Crvenkovski if the country had surplus of money, i.e. EUR 84 million, to pay for the irresponsible behavior of SDSM and for protection, as he said, vain in any case, of the political career of Crvenkovski. Do future generations need to repay EUR 84 million more just because SDSM behavior is politically incorrect and causes damage to the Republic of Macedonia, Stavreski asked.

At the same time, he went on, price will be paid by all other citizens and all those who are to receive money, one way or another, from the Budget. – So, price will be paid by the business sector, since liquidity and settlement of liabilities are put into question, price will be paid by the pensioners, since pension increase the Government envisages is jeopardized, the welfare beneficiaries, since increase of social welfare will be endangered, farmers, since increase of subsidies will be threatened, the price will be paid by all of use since realization of major infrastructure projects will be held up, Stavreski underlined, pointing out that the Government and VMRO-DPMNE will certainly not allow for this to happen and will find way to settle the liabilities and the envisaged payments.

Depending on the opposition behavior, Stavreski emphasized, the Government would take adequate position as for how to continue.

According to Stavreski, SDSM behavior is scandalous, harmful and irresponsible and they primarily disgrace themselves as a political party, as well as the Republic of Macedonia, disturb the relations with the World Bank and put interests of all Macedonian citizens into jeopardy.

Never before, he underlined, not even once, opposition party in Macedonia had held up the adoption of the Budget and the borrowing of similar type and put the adoption of the next year’s Budget into question. Never before 1,266 amendments were submitted for the Budget adoption and 160 amendments for а World Bank loan.

– Not only it has not happened in Macedonia in the previous 20 years, but it has rather not happened in any European country. This does not even happen in Greece nor in Italy and any other country with a government debt higher than 100% unlike the Republic of Macedonia, which government debt is 30% of GDP, Stavreski said.

Republic of Macedonia, he underlined, has be extended 14 identical loans from the World Bank as budget support so far. So, this loan in the amount of EUR 50 million, and the next one in the amount of EUR 250 million, are neither the first one nor something unusual in the practice of financing the Budget of Macedonia. When voting the adoption of 14 identical loans in the past in Macedonia, there has never been more than one amendment submitted, while now SDSM and the rest of the opposition submitted 160 amendments. Even more, in seven cases out of the 14, SDSM were not the ruling party, partially in the period from 1994 – 1998 and from 2003 to 2006, i.e. seven such loans were proposed by SDSM, and now they are disputing the adoption of the loan.

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