Branislav Jorgic, a financial analyst, said on Feb. 2 that a decision by the Government of Serbia to offer to young people aged between 16 and 29 a one-off assistance payment in February, two months ahead of Serbian elections, was an act of corruption aimed at the electorate, while a promise that if the government “survived” the April vote they could get more was sheer blackmail.
“This aid campaign may be politically useful, but it’s very bad for society,” Jorgic said in a comment for BETA. He explained that the aid might have served a purpose if targeted at people at risk of sinking below the poverty line or those whose income was already below the poverty threshold.
“The one-off payment is not a way out of the poverty zone, and will only make people dependent on government transfers,” Jorgic said, recalling that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic promised another payment in the second half of the year, if the citizens of Serbia supported the current authorities in the April polls, adding anotherEUR400 million to the expenditure side of the national budget.
Jorgic said that Serbia’s public debt was around EUR30 billion, or EUR4,300 per capita, and the new budget allocation of EUR800 would only raise Serbia’s total debt.