Belgrade, 21 May 2014 – Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic announced today that the government will soon make a plan for the country's recovery and repair of material damage caused by floods, which will be implemented in four areas, and added that all donations Serbia will receive will cover up to one-fourth of the total damage.
Speaking at a joint press conference with President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Suma Chakrabarti, Vucic explained that the four segments refer to the recovery of the power system, roads, repair of the damage on houses and other facilities, and the creation of economic growth and recovery of the country’s overall economic strength, which is of vital importance.
The Prime Minister said that the power system has suffered by far the greatest damage, while the total damage in the country will amount to several hundred million Euros. He noted that the electric power industry of Serbia alone suffered the damage worth more than €200 million.
He said that there will be problems in the shipment of coal to the Kolubara thermal power plant, that between €500,000 to €1 million are lost in electricity per day, but that the attempt will be made to launch the production at the level of 20-25%.
The road network suffered greater damage than the railway and some routes will stay closed for both passenger and freight traffic for a long time.
Vucic underlined that the reconstruction of road infrastructure must start straight away within ten days and that will be the first repair job that will be done.
Another urgent matter is to start with the reconstruction of houses, especially of those citizens who have been left completely without a roof over their heads, the Prime Minister stated and added that the timeframe for this work is two to three months.
The fourth area of reconstruction is creating economic growth and recovery of the entire economic strength, he said and reiterated that that is crucial for Serbia’s progress.
The Prime Minister said that the country will be restored, noting that a greater industrial growth than planned will need to be generated, but that a good deal of elements from his keynote address to the Serbian parliament will not change.
He underlined that Serbia will work together with EBRD on creating business environment.
Vucic warned that although a considerable aid will arrive from the EU, Russia, the UAE and other countries, it will cover only 20-25% of the total funds Serbia will need for the clean-up of flood consequences.
The Prime Minister underlined that the talks with representatives of EBRD will be continued, and that he spoke with Chakrabarti about concrete projects and the restructuring of public companies for which financial aid will be needed too.
Chakrabarti confirmed that the EBRD is ready to cooperate with Serbia in the short, middle and long-term.
He noted that after the catastrophic floods that have hit Serbia in recent days, it is necessary to rebuild roads and water supply systems.
Chakrabarti expressed condolences on behalf of the EBRD and his own to all those who suffered losses and damage, and praised the Serbian government’s swift response to the crisis.
EBRD is a bank that helps this region the most, he recalled and announced that this financial institution will make additional efforts to send all necessary aid to Serbia.