The European Union is by far the greatest donor to Serbia, mainly to its health care system with over three billion Euro grants from 2000 to 2015, while China is at the 15thplace of all donors and Russia is not among the first 15, the Belgrade Novi Magazin weekly reported in its latest edition on Friday.
Besides grants, the European Investments Bank approved 4.6 billion Euro worth loans, while the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development invested 3.5 billion Euro, mostly to infrastructure and development of the financial institutions.
"That’s why it’s strange to see such a huge promotion of China. It is on the 15thplace on the list of all donors with 9.5 billion Euro grants. And Russia is not even among those 15 countries,” the weekly wrote.
It added that based on those facts “we can see what a strategic importance of a country like Serbia is. But also, what a playing with politics at the domestic scene and putting political rating above truth is."
"We tend to forget that EU, among other things, had reconstructed 20 big hospitals in Serbia, including Torlak Institute and Nis Clinical Centre and provided 252 ambulances for the health service centres across Serbia, which 122 were equipped with respirators crucial for fighting the new coronavirus,” the weekly recalled.
It warned that “we should not be ungrateful since the tradition teaches us to thank for every donation. But we also have to be aware of what our national interests are, and what are we facing during the EU integration process.”
"Of course, it's legitimate to have a different political view, but leading election campaign with the strategic aim to join the EU and then obstructing those proclaimed goals, is simply hypocrisy and delusion of the voters,” Novi Magazin wrote.