October 5 (SeeNews) - Following are some of the main stories in the online versions of Serbian media over the weekend and on Monday morning. SeeNews has not verified these reports and cannot vouch for their accuracy.
- International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said he expects the government in Belgrade to articulate a plan aimed at covering the 2010 budget gap very soon. IMF Resident Representative in Serbia Bogdan Lissovolik said last week that the Balkan country should aim for a budget deficit of 3.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) next year to strengthen its fiscal balance. The IMF has delayed until October 20 the completion of its second review of its 3.0 billion euro aid arrangement with the government in Belgrade, tying the release of the second and third tranches, worth a combined 1.4 billion euro, to the findings of the upcoming mission.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Serbia to come up with concrete measures aimed at bridging its 2010 budget gap, either through slashing public spending or raising taxes, IMF Deputy Director for Europe Paul Thomsen said.
- Serbia will post an agriculture trade surplus of between $700 million and $900 million in 2009 , Agriculture Minister Sasa Dragin said, adding that the country’s 2008 farming trade surplus totalled about $600 million. Serbia’s agriculture sector posted a trade surplus of $320 million in the first six months of 2009, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said last week.
- Russia may lend money to Serbia in support of the country’s budget and big investment projects, Russia’s Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said after meeting with his Serbian counterpart Diana Dragutinovic on Sunday. Kudrin added that Russia may adopt relevant legislative changes to make possible providing the funds to Serbia in 2009, as the Balkan nation is not among countries that have been approved funds for this year.
- Serbia posted a trade surplus of $913.2 million with members of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) during the first eight months of this year, the country’s statistics office said. The Balkan country’s exports to CEFTA members during the review period totalled $1.64 billion, while imports totalled $723.1 million. Farming products made the biggest contribution to the trade surplus.