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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Fajon: Coronavirus not excuse for locking democracy, EU biggest donor to Serbia

March 25, 2020          

anja Fajon, a member of the European Parliament (EP) says the coronavirus pandemic must not be an excuse for 'locking' democracy and that governments must not be allowed to impose unlimited powers, adding the European Union has been the greatest donor to Serbia's health care system with 200 million Euros in the last two decades, the Beta news agency has reported on Thursday.

"Since many governments declared the state of emergency to fight a real threat from coronavirus efficiently it is necessary to monitor if that move is balanced and proportional," Fajon, the chairwoman of the EP Delegation for relations with Serbia, told the Belgrade Danas daily.

"Nearly 200 million Euro has been donated to Serbia to improve the health care system in the last two decades, while the amount of loans is even higher," Fajon said.

 She said that Ylva Johannson, the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, "warns that a complete shutting down of Serbia is a huge problem, especially for its citizens who should be allowed to return home safely."

"It is also necessary to protect the chain of supplies and allow travels to 'basic workers', as well as transport," Fajon says.

She added it was clear that China was successful in limiting, even stopping the virus from spreading and "that's why we're warmly grateful for  their (reciprocal) help, not only to Serbia but also to some EU member state."

Having in mind the current relations between Serbia and China, that aid is not surprising, Fajon says.

"Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that the EU and its member states are still the biggest donors to Serbia and that Belgrade receives the most donations in the Western Balkans, Nearly 200 million Euro has been donated to Serbia to improve the health care system in the last two decades, while the amount of loans is even higher," Fajon said.    

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a582081/Pandemic-is-not-excuse-for-jeopardising-democracy.html

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