Skopje, 17th December 2012 (MIA) – Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski stated that SDSM today continued its policy of blocking the Budget. SDSM proposal, according to the Vice Prime Minister is a hasty one, envisaging 10% cuts and non realization of the Government Program .

– SDSM submitted to the Government, document, which is actually not a document, wish and manner to unblock the 2013 Budget but it rather additionally strengthens the Budget blockade, Budget adoption, thus also jeopardizing the interests of all citizens of the Republic of Macedonia. SDSM stance is an ultimatum: either to accept all their demands or no amendments will be accepted and 2013 Budget will not be adopted. This is not constructive opposition, on the contrary, it is rather destructive opposition and another proposal for preventing the adoption of the 2013 Budget, Minister stated.

He went on that that this proposal includes many illogical matters and which cannot be discussed in such manner since it gets in the essence of the realization of the Government Program of the Republic of Macedonia. – What is proposed are cuts in Budget positions, which would mean a complete slow down in sectors such as health, proposing reduction by EUR 80 million, not realizing projects, being part of the Government Program, non- construction of sports facilities and halls, not paying liabilities for laboratories and other procurements being already completed, not paying bills for heating, electricity and similar. It is a matter of a hasty proposal showing that the real goal of SDMS is to additionally slow down the operations of the Parliamentary Commissions, thus preventing the Budget adoption, Stavreski pointed out.

According to him, Government of the Republic of Macedonia has operational program, being obliged to carry out that program, precisely with all projects and obligations being undertaken before the citizens. Budget, he added, is well prepared, not jeopardizing anyone, providing for development and capital investments, payment of increased pensions, social assistance, subsidies, realization of significant capital infrastructure projects, regular settlement of liabilities towards the economy, construction of schools, roads, railways and similar.

Minister emphasized that SDSM requires cutting by even 9% from such Budget, which together with the proposal by MP Izet Zeqiri leads to cuts by more than 11%. This, the Minister believes, shows that the goal is neither correcting something nor being constructive. No opposition can require and expect 11% from the Budget to be cut since that means not realizing the Government Program. There is nowhere in the world a case of blocking the Budget adoption by the opposition by submitting thousands of amendments and there is nowhere in the world, an example of the opposition creating the Budget. This is the essence of democracy. Accepting an ultimatum and blackmail in such manner would mean violation of the democracy and the political system of the country, which is not acceptable to us, Stavreski said, adding that the Government is the one that proposes the Budget and of course bears the responsibility therefore.

– The Budget we propose is in favour of the citizens, welfare beneficiaries, pensioners, farmers and private companies since it will provide job for them through construction, through VAT refund on regular basis, it will provide sufficient funds for construction of new hospitals, schools, wastewater treatment stations… It would not be a good thing for such Budget to be cut. It is not a good thing to cut the funds for capital facilities, since they saved the country, i.e. the economy in such troubled times, as a result of which Republic of Macedonia has less severe consequences of the European crisis, Stavreski stressed.

He pointed out that this once again shows that SDSM does not show will to overcome the narrow political interests, appealing once again that the political debate is legitimate, however, the deliberate delay of the Budget adoption and putting the country in crisis is not typical for democratic parties. – I appeal for SDSM and the overall opposition to excel themselves, the narrow political interests and to free Republic of Macedonia and its citizens from being held hostage, Stavreski said.

As regards the claims of the opposition that there will be no problems in the payment, referring to the 2003 Budget, which was adopted on 27th March 2003, Stavreski said that this Budget was adopted since the Government was established later due to the elections.

It is totally different from now, when the obstacles are of political nature, wish and desire of SDSM. Second, despite blocking the Budget adoption, SDSM also blocks the Budget financing which should be seen as a package, i.e. the financing through both credits from the World Bank, which we provided in such troubled times with many efforts and discussions with the World Bank and the banks. If SDSM blocks this as well, and this was said today in coordination meeting, it shows that they practically also put in question the regular payments of pensions and subsidies, as well as everything which is financed from the Budget, Stavreski said.

As for the amendments and the specific proposals, Stavreski said that the Government considers them with due reference. If we could work faster and if we could see all amendments, we will surely give opinion about all of them. I feel sorry that the constructive proposal by the President of the Parliament presented at today’s coordination meeting was not accepted, Minister of Finance Zoran Stavreski said.

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