International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Serbia, Microsoft sign memorandum of understanding

November 30, 2023

The Serbian government signed a memorandum of understanding with Microsoft on Thursday to allow access to the company’s Learn platform which includes an AI module.

A press release said that the memorandum was signed at the Synergy 23 conference by Minister of Science, Technological Development and Innovation Jelena Begovic and Microsoft Country Manager for Serbia Milan Gospic giving access to the platform to researchers, startups and students.

Begovic is quoted as saying that Microsoft pledged to open jobs for 60 engineers at its research and development center in Serbia and Gospic as saying that the company’s cooperation with Serbian state institutions is focused on public digital services, healthcare, education and innovation.

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/serbia-microsoft-sign-memorandum-of-understanding/

BiH bans import of 2t of Croatian mandarins due to banned pesticide

November 29, 2023

Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities have banned the import of two tonnes of mandarins from Croatia because border checks of fruit samples showed the presence of a pesticide banned in the EU since spring 2020.

The Sanitary Inspectorate of the Federation entity said on Wednesday it took samples from a shipment of mandarins at the Bijaca border crossing and that lab analysis showed an excessive quantity of the pesticide chlorpyrifos.

The Sanitary Inspectorate ordered that the shipment be destroyed. Its employees were instructed at the beginning of this month to step up the control of citrus imports at the recommendation of the BiH Food Safety Agency.

The same pesticide was discovered in another fruit shipment from Croatia earlier this month.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/bih-bans-import-of-2t-of-croatian-mandarins-due-to-banned-pesticide/

Air Serbia, Belgrade to host CAPA aviation summit

November 29, 2023

Air Serbia said on Wednesday that it would host the CAPA 2024 World Aviation Summit in November 2024 with the city of Belgrade.

„The key global event in the field of aviation, the CAPA Airline Leader Summit World & Awards for Excellence, organized annually by the renowned aviation think tank, the Centre for Aviation (CAPA), will take place in Belgrade on 21 and 22 November 2024, while the hosts of the summit will be the City of Belgrade and Air Serbia. The summit will bring together over 250 global leaders from the aviation industry and will be an excellent opportunity for Belgrade to showcase its commitment to enhancing air transport on a global level,” a press release said.

It said that the CAPA Airline Leader Summit World & Awards for Excellence brings together CEOs and high-ranking representatives of the most important global and regional airlines, airports, and others in the industry.

The CAPA Summit will include a presentation of awards for excellence to airlines and airports in several categories.

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/air-serbia-belgrade-to-host-capa-aviation-summit/

Serbian public debt at 27 billion Euro

November 29, 2023

The Public Debt Authority said on Wednesday that Serbia owes more than 27 billion Euro on loans, bonds and to investors.

It said that in September 2023, Serbia that part of the public debt stood at 8,935 billion Euro. The country also owes 6.804 billion Euro to investors in long-term state Dinar bonds.

Serbia owes foreign governments 3.438 billion Euro in loans and another 2.518 billion to the Export-Import Bank of China.

According to the latest data, the International Monetary Fund is owed 2.514 billion Euro and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development 2.210 billion.

Serbia issued long-term Eurobonds worth 1.93 billion Euro and owes the European Investment Bank 1.851 billion.

The Public Debt Authority figures show that 58.1 percent of the debt is in Euro, 20.6 in Dinars and 13.8 in Dollars.

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/serbian-public-debt-at-27-billion-euro/

Price of new Fiat model to be produced in Serbia revealed

November 29, 2023

A new generation of electric vehicles will be manufactured in Kragujevac, Serbia, confirmed the Stellantis Group.

The workers at the Fiat plant have already completed their training, and the first vehicles will roll off the production line next year. The simplest new Panda Hybrid should cost around 15,000 euros, and its electric version approximately 20,000 euros, reported the Serbian state TV (RTS).

We want to position ourselves, to enable everyone to have a small, cheap and efficient electric vehicle. The new vehicle will be called Pandina, and it will be sold on all continents and with countless personalizations for certain markets, said Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares.

The new Fiat Panda will see its production in Serbia, Brazil, and Morocco. The Stellantis factory in Kragujevac, Serbia, where the Fiat 500L was produced up until last year, will manufacture the new model starting 2024.

Tavares said the Kragujevac plant will be the first factory of serial electric vehicles in the Balkans, adding that the plant workers who have undergone training have already mastered most of the work.

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/price-of-new-fiat-model-to-be-produced-in-serbia-revealed/

Statistics office says birth, death rates drop

November 24, 2023

The Republic Statistics Office (RZS) said on Friday that birth and death rates dropped in Serbia this year.

The number of births in the January-October 2023 dropped by 0.9 percent compared to the same period of 2022, it said and added that the number of deaths in the same period dropped by 14.7 percent.

The number of births by November 1 this year was 50,964 compared to 51,401 a year earlier and the number of deaths was 80,308 compared to 94,196 a year earlier, the RZS said.

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/statistics-office-says-birth-death-rates-drop/

EEA report says air pollution cause of premature deaths in Serbia

November 24, 2023

More than 15,000 people died prematurely due to air pollution in Serbia in 2021, the European Environmental Agency (EAA) said in a report on Friday.

According to the latest country data released by the EEA, 14,373 premature deaths were caused by elevated PM2.5 levels, 1,152 of NO2 pollution, and 413 of O3 pollution.

The EEA said that air pollution in Europe remains well above recommended World Health Organization (WHO) levels, posing a significant threat to health.

“According to the latest European Environment Agency (EEA) air quality health assessment published today, 253,000 deaths could have been avoided in the EU if the fine particulate matter concentrations had met WHO recommendations. Exposure to air pollution causes or aggravates certain diseases like lung cancer, heart disease, asthma, and diabetes according to new estimates of health impacts,” a press release said.

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/eea-report-says-air-pollution-cause-of-premature-deaths-in-serbia/

Serbia, North Macedonia sign Memorandum on construction of high-speed railway

November 17, 2023

Serbian Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Goran Vesic and North Macedonian Minister of Transport and Communications Blagoj Bocvarski signed on Friday in the Serbian Government a Memorandum on cooperation between the ministries on the construction of a high-speed railway between the Serbian city of Nis and the North Macedonian capital of Skopje.

The Memorandum was signed in the presence of Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and her North Macedonian counterpart Dimitar Kovacevski.

Brnabic told a press conference that Serbia has completed the section of the high-speed railway from Belgrade to Novi Sad, and that the Novi Sad – Subotica section should be completed by end of next year, and expressed hope that Hungary will finish its part of the railway from Budapest to the border with Serbia by the end of 2025.

She said Serbia will fund the construction of the high-speed railway to Nis from grants and loans, and that an agreement has been reached with North Macedonia to continue the railway to Skopje.

“We will set up a joint working group with a clear action plan,” said Brnabic.

Kovacevski said the two countries’ governments are working to improve the economic and social position of their citizens, to increase the efficiency of the business community and look for solutions in the times of an economic and energy crisis and geopolitical turmoil.

“Cooperation within the region is important to us in order to show through these results that we are ready for cooperation and membership in the European Union,” said Kovacevski, emphasizing that the focus must remain on the European Union, where the Western Balkans countries belong.

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/serbia-north-macedonia-sign-memorandum-on-construction-of-high-speed-railway/

Ministry allows access to Belgrade residence registry

November 16, 2023

The Serbian Internal Affairs Ministry (MUP) said on Thursday that it was allowing access to data on residence registration in Belgrade.

A press release on the MUP web site said that the decision was taken “for the interest of the public to get timely, precise and complete information and prevent incorrect and ill-intentioned information about the registration of residence”. It said that the data is for all of Belgrade as of October 31 and will be updated in the next 15 days.

The MUP decision comes after opposition officials reported fictive residence registration in Belgrade with allegations that the ruling coalition was registering voters for the December 17 elections in places where the opposition has strong support.

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/ministry-allows-access-to-belgrade-residence-registry/

Statistics Office-More building permits issued this than last year

November 16, 2023

The Republic Statistics Office (RZS) said that 3,113 building permits were issued in September 2023, which is an increase of 7.9 percent compared to the same period last year.

Out of the total number of permits issued in September 2023, 85.4 percent related to buildings, and 14.6 percent to civil engineering constructions.

“When only buildings are concerned, 85.9 percent of permits related to residential buildings, and 14.1 percent to non–residential ones, while regarding civil engineering constructions the largest number related to pipelines, communication and electric power lines (69.8 percent),” said the RZS.

According to the permits issued in Serbia in September 2023, the construction of 3,586 apartments with average useful floor space of 74.2 m2 was recorded.

Out of the total number of apartments in new residential buildings, 9.4 percent will be built in single-apartment buildings, with average useful floor space of 163.8 m², and 89.4 percent of apartments will be in buildings with three and more apartments, with significantly smaller average useful floor space of 63.4 m².

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/statistics-office-more-building-permits-issued-this-than-last-year/

Household income lower than average salary

November 15, 2023

The Republic Statistics Office (RZS) said on Wednesday that the average monthly income for households in Serbia in 2022 was lower than the average salary.

The RZS said that the average monthly income for households stood at 78,393 Dinars (1 Euro – 117 Dinars), with 49.9 percent of households getting their income from salaries, 32.1 percent from pensions. The household income was lower than the average monthly salary which stood at 84,227 Dinars.

The average monthly household income in urban areas was 80,697 Dinars compared to 74,644 in rural areas. The average household income stands highest in Belgrade (90,056 Dinars) and lowest in southern Serbia (73,510).

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/household-income-lower-than-average-salary/

Rio Tinto company files nine lawsuits against Serbia over Jadar project suspension

November 11, 2023

The company 'Rio Sava Explorations', a daughter company of the 'Rio Tinto' company, filed nine lawsuits against Serbia before the Administrative Court due to the suspension of the Jadar project and lithium mining works.

The Administrative Court confirmed to Nova.rs media outlet that four cases were formed against the decision of the Government of Serbia from January 2022, which suspended the project, two against the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and three against the Ministry of Finance.

The first two lawsuits, according to the court, were filed on May 13, 2022, and refer to the decisions of the Government of Serbia to cancel the decisions of the Ministry of Environmental Protection on the underground exploitation of boron and lithium and the environmental impact assessment.

Two other lawsuits against the Government were filed after its Administrative Commission rejected the appeals of the ‘Rio Save’ company, while two lawsuits against the Ministry of Agriculture were filed because of inspection measures.

The basis of the dispute in cases against the Ministry of Finance, as stated by the Administrative Court, is tax.

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/rio-tinto-company-files-nine-lawsuits-against-serbia-over-jadar-project-suspension/

RZS-Value of construction works in Serbia in Q3 up by 19.3 percent

November 10, 2023

The value of construction works in Serbia in the third quarter of 2023 increased by 19.3 percent at current prices, relative to the third quarter of 2022, said the Republic Statistics Office (RZS).

Observed at constant prices, the total value of construction works increased by 15.8 percent, that is, 3.1 percent on buildings, and 22.3 percent on civil engineering. In the third quarter 2023, the value of construction works done, at constant prices, noted anincrease as follows: Vojvodina region 54.4 percent, Belgrade region 12.1 percent, region of Southern and Eastern Serbia 2.4 percent, while it decreased in the Sumadija a and Western Serbia region by 5 percent relative to the same quarter 2022.

Out of the total value of works done, 97.6 percent were performed in Serbia, while the rest, 2.4 percent, was performed on building sites abroad.

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/rzs-value-of-construction-works-in-serbia-in-q3-up-by-19-3-percent/

Serbia’s public debt 51.3 percent of GDP

November 8, 2023

Serbia’s public debt stood at 51.3 percent of the GDP at the end of September 2023, the Finance Ministry said on Wednesday.

It said that the public debt totaled 35.46 billion Euro compared to 35.2 billion or 50.7 percent of the GDP at the end of August.

Serbia’s public debt at the end of 2022 was 33.33 billion Euro or 55.1 percent of the GDP.

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/serbia-s-public-debt-51-3-percent-of-gdp/

FinMin data shows lower than planned budget deficit

November 8, 2023

The Serbian budget had a deficit of 13.4 billion Dinars in the first 9 months of 2023, lower than the projected 115.4 billion, the Beta news agency said on Wednesday quoting data from the Finance Ministry.

Budget revenue in that period totaled 1,372.6 billion Dinars (1 Euro – 117 Dinars) and spending totaled 1,386 billion.

A fiscal surplus was recorded in the January-September period of 15.8 billion Dinars with a primary fiscal surplus of 129.8 billion Dinars, according to data on the Finance Ministry web site.

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/finmin-data-shows-lower-than-planned-budget-deficit/

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