Brnabic: No budget left if we meet every demand

Tanjug/Strahinja Aćimović

Outgoing Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Tuesday that she thinks a deal with protesting farmers is close but warned that there isn’t enough money in the budget to meet every demand.

“If we give everyone everything they demand there will be no more budget, there is no more Serbia,” she told the pro-regime TV Pink, adding that a compromise is in the government’s interest.

Farmers in central Serbia blocked one of the exits to the E-75 highway outside the town of Lapovo following the breakdown in negotiations between farmers and the government.

She added that the farmers’ demands of 700 Euro for a ton of sunflower are “extremely ambitious” compared to prices in neighboring countries. “We offered them 600 Euro a ton and one of the protesting organizations – the Initiative for the survival of Serbian farmers – refused that this morning,” she said, adding that the government can’t guarantee any purchase price. “We can’t open that Pandora’s box because everyone will demand the same, regardless of the market, the situation and their own competitiveness. We can’t destroy our economy… but we can help,” Brnabic said.

“We can’t meet unrealistic demands which have been written down just to be refused so that someone can launch a fake political career,” she said.