Kosovo’s internal political conflicts deepen over import tax for Serbian goodsAdriatic Journal 22 January 2019
Disagreement between Kosovo’s president Hashim Thaci and the prime minister Ramush Haradinaj over the issue of tariffs for Serbian and Bosnian imports threatens to lead to a crisis of power. Chairman of the assembly of Kosovo Kadri Veseli and Haradinaj met with the US ambassador Philip Kosnett today to discuss US demands for the abolition of tariffs. The local media reports that the issue of tariffs has become a major concern not only for relations with the EU, but also with the United States, and it may lead to destabilisation of the state institutions, or to the fall of Haradinaj’s government. Thaci has asked Haradinaj to abolish the tariffs and appealed to him to stop with populist political moves.
Croatian public debt expected to reach Maastricht level by 2023
Croatia continues to reduce its indebtness level with, according to Eurostat data, tp 74.5% of GPD in the third quarter of last year, down from 78.5% last year. GDP growth and balanced government budget are the main causes for lower indebtedness of state institutions. Public debt has nominally decreased by HRK 2.5bn, from HRK 284.2bn to HRK 281.7bn. Since the beginning of last year, according to RBA analysts, the external component of public debt was down, while the domestic debt increased by more than HRK 5bn. Croatia had the highest level of debt in 2013 when it amounted to 84% of GDP, which means that it fell by 10% in four years. By the end of this year Hrvoje Stojic, an analyst at Addiko Bank, told Seebiz that expects the debt level to fall to 70% of GDP, and by 2023 it could be reach the Maastricht level of 60%. Interest expense has also declined significantly by Croatia, and with the return of investment grade expected this year, the price of borrowing should fall further.
BiH Federation’s trade deficit increases in December
In December 2018, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina realized exports worth just over BAM 618m , 13% less than in November of the same year and 2.7% more than in December 2017. Imports amounted to around BAM 1bn, 6.7% less than in November 2018 or 1.1% more than in December 2017. In December, FBiH exported most to Germany, Croatia and Serbia, while most imports came from Germany, Italy and Croatia.
The World Bank is satisfied with the cooperation with Serbia
Serbian minister of finance Siniša Mali and Verner Gruber, executive director of the Swiss Constituent Bank, assessed yesterday in Belgrade that there is very good cooperation between the international financial institutions and Serbia. The main purpose of the meeting was the realisation of joint projects and further cooperation between the World Bank and Serbia, whose participation in the work of the advisory bodies of the bank takes place through the constituency of Switzerland, which represents its interests. Mali stressed that Serbia’s position today is completely different from a few years ago, primarily thanks to good macroeconomic results and fiscal consolidation. “In this respect, we will consider a new framework for cooperation with the World Bank, which will be adopted over the next few years, which will be based on different foundations than existing, primarily because our economy is now much more stable,” Mali said.