Serbian bank governor quits as nationalists put pressure on
Serbia’s National Bank governor resigned yesterday over pressure from the new nationalist-led government as it seeks to take control of the Balkan country’s finances and name its own bank chief, despite criticism from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
Dejan Soskic resigned as parliament debated a bill proposed by the nationalists that the opposition said would abolish the central bank’s independence.
The EU has warned the governor’s removal would be a step back in Serbia’s efforts to join the bloc.
The IMF, which in February stopped negotiations over a loan because of government overspending, said yesterday that the proposed bill is a “serious concern” and appears to be rushed through.
The adoption of the bill “would trigger uncertainty, undermine policy credibility, and prompt questions about the proper conduct of macroeconomic policies,” the IMF said.
The nationalists came to power in May, replacing a pro-Western reformist cabinet. Their choice for bank chief, Jorgovanka Tabakovic, deputy leader of the nationalist Serbian Progressive Party, has little experience in financial matters.
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