“According to EUROSTAT reports, Serbia has been among the poorest countries in Europe in the last ten years … What has changed in the past ten years is that countries that were below the level of development of Serbia, especially Romania and Bulgaria, are now far ahead For comparison, according to an indicator measuring individual per capita consumption, Bulgaria was at 44 percent of the EU average, Romania at 47 percent and Serbia at 44 percent in 2011. Today, Bulgaria is at 58 percent, Romania at 79 percent. and Serbia to 49 percent of the EU average. So, in 10 years, Romania and Bulgaria have significantly increased the living standard of citizens, as opposed to Serbia, where that standard is more than twice lower than the European Union average, “Radosavljevic explained.
He pointed out that food prices in Serbia have increased by about 14 percent in the past year, which is among the highest average price increases in Europe.
“At the same time, the price of meat has risen by over 20 percent on average. If we add the prices of petroleum products, which are one of the highest in the region, we come to the conclusion that for several million citizens who spend most of their earnings on basic food and energy , inflation is several times higher than the official one, “said the professor.
When asked how the pensioners and employees will survive, most of whom receive a pension (150 euros) and a salary (380 euros) significantly below the average, he said that the question is more for the government than for economists.
“Citizens will have to start practicing alchemy if it continues like this, because surviving in such conditions is surreal. With inflation slowly but surely approaching double digits, the situation becomes even more complex,” he stressed.
In addition, Radosavljevic added, there has been a great stratification of the population in Serbia in the past 20 years.
“This stratification is visible at every step, especially if you come to Belgrade from a smaller area. On the one hand, you have only about 30,000 citizens who officially earn over 250,000 dinars, and on the other hand, over 4.5 million citizens who can’t get to 40,000 dinars a month, “he explained.