BELGRADE, July 3 Serbia's government told
debt-ridden drugmaker Galenika to cut jobs and wages, rejecting
union demands for more financial support following the collapse
of a possible sale of the company.
Serbia is trying to offload up to 175 loss-making state
enterprises, including Galenika and national flag carrier JAT,
in an attempt to trim its budget deficit to 4.7 percent of
Canada's Valeant pulled out of a possible bid in
Galenika last month, citing, among other things, union
With a workforce of about 2,000 people, Belgrade-based
Galenika has accumulated debt of around 170 million euros
($221.59 million) and needs about 50 million euros in additional
capital in 2013.
Serbia's finance ministry said on Wednesday that the company
should cut the workforce to 1,200 and the wage bill by 20
percent, using the savings to pay off suppliers.
"There were no obligations undertaken nor promises made that
taxpayer money would be spent on Galenika's unpaid bills," it
said in a statement.
Galenika unions had called on the government earlier on
Wednesday to help pay back suppliers.
($1 = 0.7672 euros)
(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Pravin Char)