Janmaat: Privatization or restructuring for monopolists

BELGRADE - Serbia should solve the issue of public companies which are monopolies, and it is up to the Serbian government to decide whether it will privatize or restructure them, said Freek Janmaat, official of the EU Delegation to Serbia.

Monopolies are present in the sectors of energy, telecommunications, transportation and postal services, Janmaat said at the presentation of the economic part of the latest EC report on Serbia's EU integration progress.

The Serbian government should privatize or restructure these public companies to make them more efficient and profitable, he said.

Commenting on Serbia's capacity to bear competition once it joins the EU, Janmaat said that Serbia is already integrated into the European system.

A total of 72 percent of investments in Serbia has come from EU companies and 62 percent of Serbia's trade is realized with the EU member states, he added.

Janmaat said that the EU is expecting to see how the Serbian budget for 2015 and a three-year plan for consolidation in the public finance will look like.

He said that the announced consolidation measures are positive, and this also refers to the decision to reduce public sector wages, pensions and subsidies.

Serbia should curb subsidies. We have noticed that the level of subsidies is increasing. The share of subsidies in GDP stands at 2.6 percent, while in the EU it amounts to 0.8 percent, he said.

Janmaat said that progress has not been made in regulating the GMO trade.

The legislation relating to GMO in Serbia is not harmonized with the EU, and this is also a condition for Serbia's WTO membership, he said.

EU laws envisage strict testing and labeling of GMO products, and it is...

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