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Serbian Cabinet Changes Won’t Affect Investments, Officials Say

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia’s outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Mladjan Dinkic, who supported government subsidies for foreign investors, said the state should keep the program regardless of his departure and a looming Cabinet reshuffle.

Two days after Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic announced he would fire Dinkic over policy and personnel disputes, the outgoing deputy government leader and economy minister, who also offered to resign, said conditions won’t change for foreign investors who receive up to 10,000 euros ($13,527) for each job created.

“It’s the best program this government made,” Dinkic told B92 television in a live broadcast today, crediting the incentives as a reason for Serbia’s 24 percent increase in exports in 2010. He said his political party G17 Plus would continue supporting the ruling coalition to prevent instability or the risk of early elections.

“I want the government to continue working, we have to continue attracting foreign investments” Dinkic said, referring to the incentives extended so far to Fiat SpA, South Korea’s Yura Corp., Benetton Group SpA of Italy, French Sagem SA, Slovenian Gorenje Group d.d., Germany’s Grammer AG and others.

Dinkic’s party is to propose a replacement for him and another Cabinet member, National Investment Plan Minister Verica Kalanovic, who decided to step down along with Dinkic.

Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic confirmed in an interview to Blic newspaper that he would propose a broader government shuffle by the end of the month, following an internal analysis of the work of all ministries.

Cvetkovic moved against Dinkic after he questioned his authority and ability to lead the government, dominated by the Democratic Party of President Boris Tadic. The prime minister also announced the dismissal of Deputy Finance Minister Slobodan Ilic, who recently clashed with Dinkic over a Gorenje investment.

Serbia’s 250-seat parliament is to discuss and vote on the dismissals next week. Parliamentary elections are due next year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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