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Dec 23, 2009 11:21 EEST
BELGRADE (Serbia), December 23 (SeeNews) – The European Union has given Serbia half of the 100 million euro ($142 million) earmarked for the Balkan country under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), and will lend it 200 million euro towards maintaining macroeconomic stability next year, local media reported.
The 50 million euro Serbia has received under the IPA programme will be used to support the country's budget, Belgrade-based broadcaster b92 (www.b92.net) reported late on Tuesday quoting the delegation of the European Commission to Serbia. The next tranche of 50 million euro is due next year.
Serbia formally applied to join the European Union on Tuesday.
Serbia can expect to receive between two and three billion euro per year in European Union funds once it joins the bloc, the country's EU Integration Minister Bozidar Djelic said earlier this month.
The Balkan country made substantial progress towards EU accession with the signing of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) in April 2008 and with the arrest of Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic in August 2008. Its progress towards accession has been hindered by the government’s failure to arrest fugitive Bosnian Serb war crimes indictee General Ratko Mladic.
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